No. 8 Nebraska (10-1, 4-1 Big Ten) vs. No. 17 Illinois (7-5, 1-4 Big Ten)
Huff Hall (4,500) • Champaign, Ill. • Saturday, Feb. 1 • 4 p.m. CT
Series History: Tied 3-3-0
Last Meeting: Nebraska won, 18-15, on Jan. 18, 2013, in Lincoln, Neb.
TV: Big Ten Network (Play-by-Play: Tim Johnson, Color Analyst: Jim Gibbons, Sideline Reporter: Shane Sparks)
Twitter Feed: @HuskerWrestling (www.twitter.com/HuskerWrestling)
No. 8 Nebraska (10-1, 4-1 Big Ten) looks to continue its momentum from last weekend’s wins when the Huskers battle 17th-ranked Illinois on Saturday afternoon at Huff Hall in Champaign, Ill.
The dual between the Huskers and Fighting Illini is set for a 4 p.m. CT broadcast on the Big Ten Network. The commentary will be provided by Tim Johnson (play-by-play), Jim Gibbons (color analyst) and Shane Sparks (sideline reporter). The matchup can also be tracked on Twitter by following @HuskerWrestling, and scoring will be available on TrackWrestling.com.
The all-time series between the schools is tied at 3-3-0, with Nebraska posting the most recent victory in a thrilling 18-15 triumph over the Illini at the NU Coliseum last season. All five of Nebraska’s ranked wrestlers won their matches to spark the upset of then-No. 5 Illinois in front of 1,365 fans.
This season, Nebraska enters the matchup after knocking off a pair of ranked Big Ten foes on the road last weekend. On Friday, Jan. 24, the Huskers took down then-No. 11 Ohio State, 28-12, in Columbus, Ohio. Two days later, Nebraska cruised past then-No. 21 Purdue by a 28-9 margin in West Lafayette, Ind.
Tim Lambert (125), Shawn Nagel (133) and TJ Dudley (184) each earned pins over the weekend and are each projected to start on Saturday afternoon against Illinois. Lambert, the No. 9 wrestler by InterMat, will face defending national champion Jesse Delgado in Champaign.
Nagel, a senior, will also take on a ranked grappler as he takes the mat against No. 11 Zane Richards. No. 9 Dudley is set to face redshirt freshman Nikko Reyes.
Top-ranked 157-pounder James Green enters the weekend with a perfect 24-0 mark as he faces No. 13 Jackson Morse on Saturday afternoon. Green leads a trio of Husker juniors in the top five who will compete this weekend.
No. 4 Robert Kokesh (174) wrestles Tony Dallago, while No. 5 Jake Sueflohn (149) grapples against Caleb Ervin. At 197 pounds, Nebraska could start either Caleb Kolb or Spencer Johnson. Additional Huskers scheduled to wrestle on Saturday include Colton McCrystal (141), Austin Wilson (165) and Collin Jensen (HWT).
Last Time Out: Huskers Top Purdue to Pick Up 10th Win
No. 10 Nebraska won eight matches against No. 21 Purdue on Sunday, Jan. 26, to post a 28-9 victory over the Boilermakers at Holloway Gymnasium in West Lafayette, Ind.
With the win, the Huskers completed a weekend sweep on the road of ranked Big Ten opponents. Nebraska knocked off No. 11 Ohio State on Friday night in Columbus, Ohio by a 28-12 margin. Seven Huskers registered victories against the Buckeyes.
Against Purdue, senior 133-pounder Shawn Nagel pinned No. 14 Cashe Quiroga in the fifth match of the night, as he was one of two Huskers to earn bonus points on the night. Robert Kokesh (174) added a major decision in the final bout of the afternoon. Nagel’s fall came in 3:53 as he improved to 9-5 on the season.
The dual started at 184 pounds, where redshirt freshman TJ Dudley notched a 5-1 decision over Purdue’s Tanner Lynde. Dudley earned a takedown in the opening stanza before riding out Lynde in the second period. Dudley started the third period in the down position and earned a reversal before tacking on a point for riding time.
Nebraska suffered a loss at 197 pounds as No. 20 Caleb Kolb fell by a 3-1 decision to No. 15 Braden Atwood, but the Huskers picked up victories at heavyweight and 125 pounds before Nagel’s pin.
At heavyweight, Collin Jensen battled Alex White to a scoreless first period before the Husker redshirt freshman escaped in the second and added a takedown. He gave up an escape in the final period but earned a riding time point to cap the match.
No. 9 Tim Lambert (125) managed a 3-0 decision over Camden Eppert in the following match to give Nebraska a 9-3 lead. Lambert, a redshirt freshman, earned a first-period takedown before riding out Eppert in the second period and earning an escape in the third stanza.
After Nagel’s fall, Nebraska’s Colton McCrystal was pinned by Danny Sabatello in 6:53 at 141 pounds. Clinging to a 15-9 lead, the Huskers won the final four matches in convincing fashion, outscoring the Boilermakers 40-11 during that stretch.
At 149 pounds, junior Jake Sueflohn prevailed over Brandon Nelsen by an 11-4 margin before top-ranked 157-pounder James Green defeated Alex Griffin by the same score in the following match.
Sueflohn earned four takedowns in his match, three of which occurred in the third period. He improved to 24-3 on the season.
Green managed three takedowns against Griffin and earned two reversals from the down position. Green, a junior, continued his undefeated run with a 24-0 record following his victories this weekend.
At 165 pounds, sophomore Austin Wilson earned a 6-0 triumph over Chad Welch. After a scoreless first period between the pair, Wilson earned near fall points in the second period. In the third period, Wilson earned an escape, takedown and riding time point for the final margin. He completed a perfect 2-0 weekend without giving up any points.
Reigning All-American Kokesh (174) capped the Husker victory with 12-3 triumph over Patrick Kissel. Kokesh is 26-1 this season and improved to 11-0 in duals.
Scouting the Illinois Fighting Illini
No. 17 Illinois is 7-5 on the season, with a 1-4 record in Big Ten duals. The Fighting Illini won their most recent outing in convincing fashion, with a 29-6 rout of Michigan State on the road last weekend. Prior to its win over the Spartans, Illinois had lost five consecutive duals after winning its first six. Illinois’ first dual appearances of the season came at the Chicago Quad on Nov. 16, where the Illini dominated Arizona State, Ouachita Baptist and SIU Edwardsville by a combined score of 106-17.
On Nov. 30, Illinois defeated George Mason and North Carolina State at the Journeyman Duals in Troy, N.Y., before taking down Bloomsburg in its first match of the Grapple at the Garden in New York, N.Y., on Dec. 1. In the second dual of the event, the Illini lost to Cornell by an 18-15 margin. The following weekend, Illinois traveled to Wisconsin and fell to the Badgers by one point. In January, Illinois opened with narrow losses to Ohio State and Michigan at home before a 28-point loss to No. 1 Penn State in State College, Pa.
Defending national champion Jesse Delgado is the highest ranked grappler in Illinois’ lineup, with the No. 3 spot at 125 pounds. The junior from Gilroy, Calif., is 15-2 on the season, and is joined by 197-pounder Mario Gonzalez as the only two Illini in the top five. Gonzalez, a senior, is ranked fourth by InterMat with a 7-0 mark this season. Steven Rodrigues rounds out Illinois’ wrestlers in the top 10, with the No. 8 spot at 141 pounds.
Additional Illini wrestlers ranked by InterMat include Zane Richards (11th at 133), Zac Brunson (13th at 157) and Jackson Morse (13th at 165).
Illinois is coached by Jim Heffernan, who is in his fifth season at the helm of the Fighting Illini wrestling program. Heffernan, who is in his fifth season overall as a head coach, holds a career mark of 44-28-2. Associate Head Coach Mark Perry and Assistant Coach Jeremy Hunter make up Heffernan’s staff at Illinois.
Wilson Impressive Over Weekend at 165
Sophomore 165-pounder Austin Wilson managed a pair of shutout victories last weekend against Ohio State and Purdue to improve to 17-8 on the season. Wilson, who entered the weekend on a three-match losing streak, took down the Buckeyes’ Joe Grandominico by a 6-0 decision on Friday night before defeating the Boilermakers’ Chad Welch by the same score on Sunday afternoon.
Battle for Pin King
Robert Kokesh (174) and TJ Dudley (184) lead all Husker starters with eight pins each heading into this weekend’s matchup with Illinois. In what has been a back-and-forth battle all season, Dudley managed a fall last weekend against Ohio State’s Kenny Courts to tie the race at eight. Non-varsity member McCoy Newberg (174) also has eight pins this season. Spencer Johnson (197), Collin Jensen (HWT) and Aaron Studebaker (184) are all tied for fourth on the team with five pins.
Kokesh, Sueflohn on Winning Streaks
Juniors Robert Kokesh (174) and Jake Sueflohn (149) each ride double-digit winning streaks into this weekend’s dual against Illinois. Kokesh has won 12 matches in a row, dating back to his 3-2 seteback to No. 1 Andrew Howe of Oklahoma at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational on Dec. 7. Sueflohn’s last loss also came at the tournament, falling to No. 2 Kendric Maple of Oklahoma in the finals, 8-3. Sueflohn has won 11 straight matches, which include his first-place showing at the Reno Tournament of Champions. Kokesh also took home the crown at the tournament in Reno, Nev.
Johnson, Kolb Battling at 197
Spencer Johnson and Caleb Kolb have split the dual starts at 197 pounds for the Huskers after 11 matches. Kolb has made six appearances, including the last three, and holds a 2-4 mark. Johnson is 3-2 in five showings for Nebraska and holds an overall record of 22-8 this season.
Kokesh Nearing 100th Win
Junior Robert Kokesh (174) is six wins shy of the 100th of his collegiate career at Nebraska. The third-year starter holds a 94-12 career record, with 26 of those victories coming this season. Last season, Kokesh went 38-4 en route to a third-place finish at the NCAA Championships at 174 pounds. In 2011-12, Kokesh wrapped up his redshirt freshman campaign with a 30-7 mark at 165 pounds.
Nebraska has 21 members in its 100-win club, with Josh Ihnen becoming the most recent to reach the milestone last season.
Huskers in the Rankings
No. 1 James Green (157) leads six Huskers who are ranked in InterMat’s latest poll, released on Jan. 28. Fellow juniors Robert Kokesh (No. 4 at 174) and Jake Sueflohn (No. 5 at 149) round out Nebraska’s grapplers in the top five. Tim Lambert is ninth at 125 pounds, while TJ Dudley moved up to ninth at 184 pounds and Caleb Kolb retained the No. 20 position at 197 pounds.
The WIN Magazine rankings were released on Jan. 27 and feature five Huskers in its poll, with Green garnering the top spot. Sueflohn remained third at 149, while Kokesh retained the No. 4 spot at 174. Lambert is 10th and Dudley is ranked No. 12.
In the Amateur Wrestling News poll, released on Jan. 28, five Huskers achieved top-20 rankings. Green is first, Sueflohn is third, Kokesh is fourth, while Dudley is 10th and Lambert is 11th.
As a team, Nebraska is ranked in the top 10 of the InterMat, WIN Magazine and USA Today/NWCA/Amateur Wrestling News Coaches rankings. The Huskers are seventh in the InterMat poll, seventh in WIN Magazine and eighth in the Coaches poll.
Honors Pile Up for Undefeated Green
Junior James Green remained No. 1 at 157 pounds in this week’s rankings after posting two wins over the weekend to improve to 24-0 on the season.
Green ascended to the top spot following his Jan. 18 victory over then-No. 1 Derek St. John of Iowa, 9-7. Green still retains the No. 1 ranking in the InterMat, Amateur Wrestling News, WIN Magazine, Asics FloRankings and WrestlingReport polls this week.
Last week, Green also earned a pair of national honors. The two-time All-American won USA Wrestling Athlete of the Week on Jan. 21 and Flowrestling.com’s Brute Wrestler-of-the-Week Award on Jan. 20.
James Green’s List of Honors (all rankings reflect the 157-pound weight class only)
• USA Wrestling Athlete of the Week (Jan. 21)
• Flowrestling.com’s Brute Wrestler of the Week (Jan. 20)
• Ranked #1 in InterMat
• Ranked #1 in Amateur Wrestling News
• Ranked #1 in WIN Magazine
• Ranked #1 in Asics FloRankings
• Ranked #1 in WrestlingReport
Seven Huskers in First Coaches’ Panel Rankings
James Green leads seven Husker wrestlers who are ranked in the first NCAA Coaches’ Panel Rankings, released on Thursday, Jan. 23.
The rankings are the first of three that will be released to help determine seeding for the NCAA Championships, March 20-22, in Oklahoma City, Okla.
Green holds the top spot at 157 pounds with his perfect 24-0 record this season. He is one of three juniors ranked in the top five as Robert Kokesh (174) and Jake Sueflohn (149) each garnered the No. 4 spot in their respective weight classes.
Redshirt freshman TJ Dudley rounds out the top 10 at 184 pounds in the first Coaches’ Panel Rankings as 125-pounder Tim Lambert takes the No. 11 spot.
Sophomore Austin Wilson is 21st at 165 pounds as he seeks his second consecutive NCAA appearance. Redshirt freshman Collin Jensen holds the No. 22 position at heavyweight in his first year in Nebraska’s lineup.
NCAA Coaches’ Panel Rankings (Jan. 23)
157: #1 James Green
149: #4 Jake Sueflohn
174: #4 Robert Kokesh
184: #10 TJ Dudley
125: #11 Tim Lambert
165: #21 Austin Wilson
HWT: #22 Collin Jensen
Fans Set Attendance School Record at Iowa Dual
The audience of 3,946 that showed up to the Devaney Center on Saturday, Jan. 18 set a record for largest home crowd in Nebraska wrestling’s dual history. The previous high came in 2012 against Iowa at the NU Coliseum, where 3,526 fans attended.
Nebraska Wrestling’s Largest Home Crowds
1. Iowa (2014) - 3,946
2. Iowa (2012) - 3,526
3. Oklahoma State (2005) - 3,442
Huskers Set for Home Stretch of Dual Season
Nebraska’s matchup with Illinois this weekend is one of 14 scheduled duals this season, leading up to the NCAA Championships, March 20-22, in Oklahoma City, Okla. The Huskers will also compete at the Big Ten Championships, March 8-9, in Madison, Wis.
After competing against No. 19 Northwestern, No. 18 Stanford, No. 3 Iowa, No. 11 Ohio State and No. 21 Purdue, the Huskers will face three additional teams that are currently ranked in the USA Today/NWCA/AWN Poll, released on Jan. 28, including Saturday afternoon’s dual against No. 17 Illinois.
Following this weekend, Nebraska returns home on Feb. 7 to host No. 11 Michigan before hitting the road for its final dual of the season in a Feb. 21 matchup at No. 15 Wisconsin.
BTN, BTDN to Feature Huskers Eight Times
Nebraska will make its final Big Ten Network appearance of the season this weekend and has two more showings on the Big Ten Digital Network.
Saturday afternoon’s battle with Illinois in Champaign, Ill., is the second BTN exposure of the season for Nebraska after they came for the Huskers’ home dual against Iowa. NU’s matchup with the Fighting Illini is slated for a 4 p.m. CT start.
The final two duals of the season will be streamed on BTDN, including the Senior Night matchup with Michigan on Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. Nebraska’s final road appearance on BTDN is slated for Feb. 21 against Wisconsin, starting at 7 p.m.
Nebraska has already made four appearances on BTDN this season, with the Huskers’ victories over Indiana, Wyoming, Ohio State and Purdue being streamed. NU’s win over Penn on Jan. 11 was streamed on Huskers.com as part of the “Tumble N Rumble” event.
The Big Ten has also announced times and coverage for the Big Ten Championships, March 8-9, in Madison, Wis. Session I on March 8 starts at 10 a.m., with a stream on BTDN. Session II on the same day begins at 5 p.m., on BTDN. Sunday’s Session III commences at 11 a.m., with the third-place matches slated for 1 p.m., on BTDN. BTN will broadcast the first-place matches at 1 p.m., on Sunday.
BTDN is available at www.video.btn.com/allaccess and requires a subscription. All dates and times of scheduled events are subject to change and can be found on www.BTN.com.
Any changes to Nebraska’s schedule during the season can be found on Huskers.com.
Next Up: Michigan
Nebraska returns to the Devaney Center for its final home dual of the season on Friday, Feb. 7, against Michigan. The Huskers will honor seniors Adam Joseph, Caleb Kolb and Shawn Nagel before taking on the Wolverines at 7 p.m. For ticket information, visit Huskers.com or call 1-800-8-BIGRED
Husker Wrestling on Social Media
Nebraska wrestling can be followed on a variety of social media platforms for up-to-date team information as well as features on wrestlers:
• Twitter: @HuskerWrestling (www.twitter.com/HuskerWrestling)
• Facebook: www.facebook.com/NebraskaWrestling
• Instagram: www.instagram.com/HuskerWrestling
• YouTube: www.youtube.com/HuskerWrestling
• Flowrestling: www.flowrestling.org/user/NEwrestle
“Behind the Grind” is a weekly video blog that showcases the Nebraska wrestling program. Each week, photos from the Nebraska wrestling room will be tweeted to show behind-the-scenes footage of practice. Additionally, following practice a wrestler and/or coach will talk about Nebraska wrestling while also previewing the upcoming week. Fans are encouraged to tweet their questions for each coach and wrestler at @HuskerWrestling.
Three Huskers Earn Reno Titles
Jake Sueflohn (149), James Green (157) and Robert Kokesh (174) each won their respective weight division titles to lead Nebraska to the team championship at the Reno Tournament of Champions on Sunday, Dec. 22.
The Huskers finished with 159 points, which was 56 ahead of second-place Wyoming. North Carolina finished third with 97 points.
After Sueflohn took a first-round bye, he won back-to-back major decisions before capping his perfect day with three consecutive decisions. He won the championship match by a 7-1 margin over The Citadel’s Matt Frisch.
Green pinned three of his five opponents in Reno, while adding a technical fall and one decision. He took down Andy McCulley of Wyoming in the championship bout, 9-5. Green earned his third tournament title of the season after claiming the Warren Williamson/Daktronics Open and Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational crowns as well.
Kokesh capped his performance with a 3-1 decision over Southern Oregon’s Brock Gutches in the finals. Kokesh added a decision in his opening bout, but earned two pins and two major decision in his other matches. His quickest pin came in the third round in a time of 1:02.
Tim Lambert (125) and Austin Wilson (165) each made it to the finals in their respective weight classes, but ultimately took runner-up honors. Lambert went 4-1 with a major decision before falling to Wyoming’s Tyler Cox in the finals by a 4-3 margin. Wilson opened with back-to-back technical falls before a major decision in the third round. He lost to Corey Mock of Tennessee-Chattanooga, 9-1, in the championship match.
At 141 pounds, Anthony Abidin earned a third-place finish, winning a 13-0 major decision over CSU-Bakersfield’s Ian Nickell in his final match. Abidin registered two pins on his way to the semifinals before falling by an 8-3 decision to Joey Ward. Abidin won two matches in the consolation bracket following his lone loss of the day.
Spencer Johnson (197) and Collin Jensen (HWT) each finished fifth. Johnson dropped a 3-1 decision to Reuben Franklin of CSU-Bakersfield in his first match of the day, but reeled off five consecutive victories before suffering his second loss. He defeated Upper Iowa’s Carl Broghammer by injury default in the fifth-place match.
Jensen pinned his first opponent, but lost in the second round. In the consolation bracket, he won five matches, two of which were by fall. His final victory was a pin in 5:37 over Wayne Purnell of West Virginia.
Colton McCrystal (133), Ben Morgan (133), Brandon Wilbourn (165), McCoy Newberg (174), TJ Dudley (184) and Aaron Studebaker (197) also competed at the Reno Tournament of Champions for the Huskers.
Green Captures Cliff Keen Crown
James Green won the 157-pound title at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational to lead Nebraska to a second-place finish on Saturday, Dec. 7.
The Huskers’ 130.5-point total was 24 points behind team champion Oklahoma.
Green opened his day with a 7-5 sudden victory over Michigan’s Brian Murphy in the semifinals. In the finals, Green outlasted No. 12 Brian Realbuto of Cornell, 6-5, to capture the title.
Anthony Abidin (141), Jake Sueflohn (149), Robert Kokesh (174) and TJ Dudley (184) each advanced to the finals in their respective weight classes, but fell in the championship bout.
Abidin earned a medical forfeit win over Virginia Tech’s Devin Carter in the semifinals before losing to No. 1 Logan Stieber of Ohio State by a 16-1 technical fall. Sueflohn managed a 7-6 win over No. 7 Eric Grajales of Michigan, but fell by an 8-3 margin to No. 5 Kendric Maple of Oklahoma in the finals.
Kokesh won a 6-0 decision over No. 11 Stephen Doty of Virginia in the semifinals, but lost a 3-2 decision to No. 1 Andrew Howe of Oklahoma. Kokesh suffered his first loss of the season after a 14-0 start.
Dudley defeated No. 18 Benjamin Stroh of Wyoming in the semifinals, 18-9, before losing a 13-3 major decision to No. 12 Gabriel Dean of Cornell in the finals.
Austin Wilson (165) and Colton McCrystal (133) each started the day in the consolation bracket and managed top-eight finishes. After a decision and a pin for Wilson, he fell by a 4-2 margin to Northern Iowa’s Cooper Moore. In the fifth-place match, Wilson bounced back to win a 9-8 decision over Cornell’s Dylan Palacio.
McCrystal opened his day with a 5-2 decision over Rutgers’ Vincent Dellafave before being pinned by No. 18 Rosario Bruno of Michigan. In the seventh-place, McCrystal fell to Navy’s Colton Rasche, 8-5.
At heavyweight, Collin Jensen dropped his lone match of the day to No. 14 Ross Larson of Oklahoma by fall.
Tim Lambert (125) and Spencer Johnson (197) each lost their opening match on the first day to fall into the consolation bracket. Both picked up a win in the consolation bracket, but were ultimately eliminated.
Manning Earns 200th Career Victory
Nebraska Head Coach Mark Manning picked up his 200th career dual victory on Sunday, Nov. 24, when the Huskers took down South Dakota State, 36-6.
Manning, who is in his 17th season overall, earned the win in his home state of South Dakota. The Vermillion, S.D. native holds a career record of 208-96-5. Manning is 185-72-3 in his 14th season at Nebraska after compiling a 23-24-2 record in three seasons at Northern Iowa.
Huskers Return to Devaney Center
Nebraska returned to the Devaney Center this season for all of its home duals after years of wrestling at the NU Coliseum. The Huskers opened their home dual season on Nov. 17 before hosting a four-dual home stand in January and will take on Michigan on Feb. 7 to wrap up its home calendar at the newly renovated 7,907-seat venue.
In addition to hosting duals, the Devaney Center and Hendricks Training Complex house the wrestling offices, locker room, weight room and wrestling room, all just steps from each other, providing an atmosphere conducive to elite training. The Hendricks Complex, which is inside the Devaney Center, includes a practice facility, coaches’ offices as well as strength and conditioning and athletic medicine areas.
Huskers Show Depth at Wrestle-Offs
Nebraska held its annual Wrestle-Offs in conjunction with the Fall Coaches Clinic at the Devaney Center on Friday, Nov. 8.
Returning All-American Robert Kokesh (174) made one appearance, winning a 17-2 technical fall over McCoy Newberg. 2013 NCAA qualifiers Jake Sueflohn (149) and Caleb Kolb (197) also competed during Wrestle-Offs and each won both of their matches.
Sueflohn opened with a pin over Luis DeAnda in 2:47 before winning by injury default over newcomer Destin McCauley. Kolb battled Spencer Johnson to extra time twice on the night, winning by a 3-2 margin on both occasions.
At 184 pounds, Aaron Studebaker and TJ Dudley split their matches against each other. Studebaker won the first battle by a 4-2 decision, while Dudley won the second showdown, 6-5.
At 125 pounds, redshirt freshman Tim Lambert defeated Shawn Nagel twice, winning the first by pin in 4:52 and the second by technical fall, 18-0. At 133 pounds, Colton McCrystal put together a pair of victories. McCrystal took down Ben Morgan, 6-1, before defeating Eric Montoya, 7-4.
Micah Barnes (165) won both of his matches, defeating Brandon Wilbourn by injury default and outlasting Ian Ousley, 12-3. At 157 pounds, John Svoboda picked up a pair of wins. Svoboda opened with a 5-2 triumph over Ousley and added a 5-2 decision over Metzler.
The heavyweights battled once on Friday night, with Nyle Bartling notching an injury default victory over Collin Jensen.
At 141 pounds, Anthony Abidin pinned Adam Joseph in 1:27 following Joseph’s 5-3 decision over Tyrell Galloway.
Three Huskers Win at Daktronics Open
Robert Kokesh (174), James Green (157) and Collin Jensen (HWT) each captured titles to open the season in the Warren Williamson/Daktronics Open at Frost Arena on Sunday, Nov. 3.
Kokesh tore through the bracket at 174 pounds with two pins, one technical fall and two major decisions. The Wagner, S.D., native opened with a fall in 6:04 over Augustana College’s Drake Fanslau and added a pin in 2:06 in the semifinals against Michael Joseph of Minnesota. Kokesh completed his tournament run with a 13-3 major decision over Missouri’s Mike England in the finals.
Green took home the title at 157 pounds with a victory in the finals over Kyle Bradley of Missouri. Green added a pin, major decision and technical fall leading into the final match. His fall occurred in 1:49 in the quarterfinals against Northern Illinois’ Andrew Morse.
Jensen captured the heavyweight crown in South Dakota by winning four matches after a first-round bye. Jensen pinned his first opponent in 2:46 before a major decision in the quarterfinals. He won back-to-back decisions to cap his championship run, including a 7-3 victory over Devon Mellon of Missouri in the finals.
Tim Lambert (125), Anthony Abidin (141) and Jake Sueflohn (149) each made appearances in the finals but fell by decision to finish second. Lambert finished the day with four wins, including two by technical fall. Abidin achieved a pin in 1:08 and a technical fall as part of his four victories on Sunday. Sueflohn won five matches, earning two pins and two major decisions in the process.
Ben Morgan (133), TJ Dudley (184) and Spencer Johnson (197) each finished third in their respective weight classes. Dudley defeated fellow Husker Aaron Studebaker, 9-4, in the third-place match at 184 pounds.
Additional Husker placers include Brandon Wilbourn (fourth at 165), McCoy Newberg (fourth at 174), Shawn Nagel (fifth at 125) and Nyle Bartling (seventh at heavyweight).
Burroughs Wins Second FILA World Title
Former Husker Jordan Burroughs added to his international wrestling legacy this fall by winning the 74-kg freestyle gold medal at the 2013 FILA World Championships on Sept. 18.
Burroughs captured his third consecutive world title with the win, which includes the 2012 Olympic Gold Medal in London, England, and the 2011 FILA World Championship. His crown marks the third FILA freestyle title won by a former Husker as Bill Scherr won at 90 kg in 1985.
In the gold medal match, Burroughs defeated Iran’s Essadollah Akbari by a 4-0 decision. Burroughs took a 1-0 lead late in the first period following a push out and extended the lead to 2-0 in the second period with an additional push out. With time winding down in the match, the Sicklerville, N.J. native took down Akbari to close out the match.
Burroughs opened the tournament with a 9-2 technical fall over Gamid Dzhalilov of Tajikistan before winning 7-0 over India’s Narsingh Yadav in the second round.
After the first round of the quarterfinals, Burroughs managed a 1-0 lead over Jabrayil Hassanov of Azerbaijan. The American struck quickly in the second period, however, and extended his lead to 7-0, which stood as the final score.
Burroughs faced Ali Shabanau of Belarus in the semifinals and trailed 0-1 before a double at the end of the first period gave him the lead. Burroughs expanded his lead as Shabanau received penalties for hitting Burroughs in the face. Burroughs held on to a 6-1 lead at the five-minute mark but Shabanau received his third caution and was ultimately disqualified.
Burroughs extended his international winning streak to 65 consecutive matches with his performance in Hungary. He was a two-time NCAA champion at Nebraska and won the Hodge Trophy in 2011.
Green Competes at World University Games
Nebraska All-American James Green went 1-1 representing the United States in freestyle wrestling at the 2013 World University Games at Ak Bars Wrestling Palace on July 11.
Green, a junior from Willingboro, N.J., defeated Finland’s Petteri Martikainen, 4-0, in his opening match in the 66 kg class. Martikainen finished fifth at the 2012 World University Championships.
Nebraska’s two-time All-American was then eliminated from medal contention in the round of eight with a loss to Kyrgyzstan’s Ulukman Mamatov.
Russia’s Magomed Kubanaliev defeated Armenia’s Devid Safaryan 3-1 to capture the gold medal at 66 kg.
Green was one of seven wrestlers from Big Ten schools competing on the 14-member USA Wrestling Team at the World University Games.
Green earned his place on the USA Wrestling World University Games Team by capturing the 66 kg/145.5-pound championship at 2013 ASICS University Freestyle Nationals in Akron, Ohio in late May.
Green was one of four U.S. wrestlers competing in freestyle at the World University Games, along with Ed Ruth (Penn State, 84kg), Nico Megaludis (Penn State, 55 kg) and Tyrell Fortune (Grand Canyon, 120 kg), who earned a bronze medal for the United States.