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Blessed with one of the nation’s top practice facilities and one of the sport’s best game day venues, Nebraska Wrestling Coach Mark Manning, Olympic Gold Medalist Jordan Burroughs and two high achieving juniors were interviewed Tuesday night on Shawn Eichorst’s Talk to the Director of Athletics Radio Show. Greg Sharpe, the voice for the Huskers Sports Network, asked Nebraska’s head coach, reigning world champion and two current members of the team about the heightened experience and expectations of competing in the renovated Bob Devaney Sports Center. They also discussed Saturday night’s unique opportunity for Nebraska to host a wrestling match against Penn at the same time the Nebraska women’s gymnastics team hosts Northern Illinois.
Saturday’s 6 p.m. Tumble N Rumble experience involving wrestling and gymnastics on the same floor at the same time is designed to create a larger crowd than each sport would get on its own. The idea is to make a gymnastics fan out of a wrestling season ticket holder and/or vice versa. Manning, who fully endorses the idea, has coached 34 of Nebraska’s 93 All-Americans in his 13 years at the helm. He calls the Big Ten the nation’s most powerful conference for wrestling. The Big Ten has six of the top 11 rated wrestling programs and 10 in the top 25.
Sharpe also interviewed Husker juniors Robert Kokesh, a 174-pound wrestler from Wagner, S.D., and James Green, a 157-pound two-time All-American from Willingboro, N.J. Kokesh, Nebraska’s Most Outstanding Wrestler for the 2012-13 season, finished third at the NCAA Championships last season. He also was named Nebraska’s Redshirt of the Year in 2010-11 and the Huskers’ Most Dedicated Award winner in 2011-12.
In November, Nebraska beat Northwestern, South Dakota State, Utah Valley, Stanford and Cal State-Bakersfield. In December, the Huskers’ finished second in the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational and first in the Reno Nevada Tournament of Champions. Last weekend, Nebraska won the final five matches of a dual meet win over Wyoming. Ranked wrestlers Jake Sueflohn (149), Green (157), Austin Wilson (165), Kokesh (174) and TJ Dudley (184) all earned victories during the Huskers’ closing run for a 26-12 triumph. The Huskers host Indiana at 7 p.m. Friday before jointly competing with the women's gymnastics team in Saturday night's Tumble N Rumble event.
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