Dec. 7, 2010
The No. 19-ranked University of Michigan wrestling team will kick off the Big Ten Conference portion of its 2010-11 schedule on Sunday (Dec. 12) with a dual meet at No. 4 Wisconsin in Madison, Wis. The match is slated for a 1 p.m. CST start at UW Field House.
Michigan's Projected Starting Lineup
|Wgt.||Name||Year/Elig.||Hometown (High School)|
|125||Sean Boyle||So./So.||Lowell, Mass. (Blair Academy)|
|133||Zac Stevens||Jr./Jr.||Monroe, Mich. (Monroe)|
|141||Kellen Russell||Sr./Jr.||High Bridge, N.J. (Blair Academy)|
|149||Eric Grajales||So./Fr.||Brandon, Fla. (Brandon)|
|157||Aaron Hynes||5th/Sr.||Mt. Morris, Mich. (Flint Kearsley)|
|165||Dan Yates||So./Fr.||Hesperia, Mich. (Hesperia)|
|174||Justin Zeerip||Sr./Jr.||Fremont, Mich. (Hesperia)|
|184||Hunter Collins||Jr./So.||Gilroy, Calif. (Gilroy)|
|197||Anthony Biondo||5th/Sr.||Clinton Twp., Mich. (Chippewa Valley)|
|Hwt||Ben Apland||Jr./So.||Woodridge, Ill. (Downers Grove South)|
MICHIGAN BY THE NUMBERS:
Complete Statistics: Through Dec. 5
LAST TIME OUT: CLIFF KEEN LAS VEGAS INVITATIONAL
Behind the efforts of four Wolverine placewinners, including 141-pound champion Kellen Russell, Michigan claimed sixth place (86.5 points) at the prestigious Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational (Dec. 3-4) -- just 4.5 points out of the top five. In addition to Russell, the Maize and Blue earned placing performances from junior/sophomore Ben Apland, who was second at heavyweight, fifth-year senior captain Anthony Biondo, who took fourth at 197 pounds, and sophomore/freshman Dan Yates, who defaulted to eighth place at 165.
What Happens in Vegas -- Senior/junior Kellen Russell became just the eighth Wolverine wrestler all-time to win two individual Cliff Keen Invitational titles, capturing the 141-pound crown with a 5-0 record. He defeated three ranked opponents, including Illinois' No. 2 Jimmy Kennedy and Cal Poly's No. 9 Boris Novachkov in his final two matches. Russell used a quick attack and solid defense to edge Novachkov in the championship match, striking on a first-period duck under before battling through a couple late scrambles to win, 3-2. His victory against Kennedy in the semifinals came early when Russell converted on a duck early in the first before catching the Illini wrestler in a half to earn his first pin of the season at the 1:16 mark. With the weekend performance, Russell was named the Big Ten Conference Wrestler of the Week and climbed to the nation's No. 1 ranking at 141 pounds in all major polls. He is a perfect 10-0 on the season.
Dual Domination -- Senior/junior Kellen Russell held off a late charge against Lehigh's Stephen Dutton on Nov. 19 to secure a 6-5 decision and extend his dual winning streak to 18 consecutive matches. The Wolverine captain sat out last season with injury but, after starting 1-1 in 2008-09 dual meets, won 16 consecutive dual appearances to close out the season. Russell boasts an impressive 38-6 dual record over his collegiate career.
Big Ben -- Behind his solid runner-up performance at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational (Dec. 3-4), junior/sophomore Ben Apland made his debut in the national rankings, settling at the No. 9 spot in the latest InterMat poll. Apland knocked off three straight ranked opponents en route to the heavyweight final, including a 6-2 decision against Central Michigan's fifth-ranked Jarod Trice in the semifinals. Apland has wrestled exclusively ranked opponents this season, going 3-3 through his first six matches of the year. Using the latest InterMat poll, Apland losses have come against the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 8 nationally ranked heavyweights.
Calling the Shots -- Head coach Joe McFarland is in his 12th season as head coach of the Michigan wrestling team. Since taking over the reins in 1999, McFarland has helped mold Michigan into a highly-touted national contender, guiding the U-M wrestling squad to three Big Ten dual-meet championships (2004, '05, '06) and eight consecutive top-10 finishes at the NCAA Championships (2001-08), including an NCAA runner-up performance in 2005. He is the third-winningest coach in program history with a 137-65-5 record at the helm and has led 18 different student-athletes to three NCAA individual titles, 39 All-America citations and 17 Big Ten individual crowns.
IN THE POLLS
The Wolverines moved up a couple spots -- to the No. 19 position -- in the latest NWCA/USA Today Division I Team Coaches poll, released Tuesday (Dec. 7). Michigan also boasts seven individuals ranked among the top 25 wrestlers in their respective weight classes in the InterMat, Amateur Wrestling News, WIN Magazine or Division I College Wrestling polls:
Wed-Thu., Dec. 29-30 -- at Southern Scuffle (Greensboro, N.C.), 9 a.m.
Fri-Sat., Jan. 7-8 -- at Virginia Duals (Hampton, Va.), 9 a.m.
Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423