The Huskers finish 2013 at the Reno Tournament of Champions.
Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

Huskers Journey to Reno Tournament of Champions

By NU Athletic Communications

Reno Tournament of Champions
Reno Events Center • Reno, Nev. • Sunday, Dec. 22 • 11 a.m. CT
Event Information:

Schedule of Events (all times central)
Sunday, Dec. 22
11 a.m.: Pigtails
11:30 a.m.: Championship Round I
1 p.m.: Consolation Round Pigtails
1:15 p.m.: Consolation Round I
2:15 p.m.: Championship Round II
3:15 p.m.: Consolation Round II
3:45 p.m.: Championship Round III
4:15 p.m.: Consolation Round III
4:45 p.m.: Championship Semifinals
4:45 p.m.: Consolation Round IV
5:45 p.m.: Consolation Semifinals
8 p.m.: Championship Finals (1st, 3rd, 5th)

The No. 8 Nebraska wrestling team returns to Nevada on Sunday after a two-week break from competition to grapple in the Reno Tournament of Champions at the Reno Events Center.

The event can be followed on and on the official Reno Tournament of Champions website. The pigtail round starts at 11 a.m. CT, followed by the first round in the championship bracket at 11:30 a.m. Complete schedule of events can be found above.

Fourteen Huskers will compete in Reno, with two wrestlers representing Nebraska at 133, 165, 174 and 197 pounds. At 133 pounds, Colton McCrystal and Ben Morgan are set to grapple, while 165 pounds features Austin Wilson and Brandon Wilbourn. Robert Kokesh and McCoy Newberg are each listed at 174 pounds, and Spencer Johnson and Aaron Studebaker will grapple at 197 pounds.

Tim Lambert (125), Anthony Abidin (141), Jake Sueflohn (149), James Green (157), TJ Dudley (184) and Collin Jensen (HWT) are also making the trip to the Reno Tournament of Champions for the Huskers.

In Nebraska’s last tournament appearance, the Huskers took runner-up honors at the Cliff Keen Invitational in Las Vegas, Nev. Green led the way for NU by capturing the 157-pound title, while Abidin, Sueflohn, Kokesh and Dudley each earned second-place finishes.

Last Time Out: 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. Green improved to 13-0 on the season.

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.

All-Americans Continuing Success in 2013-14
Returning All-Americans Robert Kokesh (174) and James Green (157) have showed no signs of slowing down from last season and have a combined 27-1 record this season.

Kokesh takes a 14-1 mark into the Reno Tournament of Champions, following a second-place finish at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational. He has achieved bonus points in 13 of his 14 victories this season, with five pins, two technical falls, four major decisions and two forfeit wins.

Green is 13-0 after winning the 157-pound title at the Cliff Keen Invitational. The two-time All-American has one pin, one technical fall and five major decisions.

Last season at the NCAA Championships, Kokesh finished third at 174 pounds and Green finished seventh at 157 pounds.

‘Tumble and Rumble’ Set for Jan. 11
Nebraska’s Jan. 11 dual with Penn will be a 6 p.m. start at the Devaney Center. The dual will be held simultaneously with a women’s gymnastics meet in an event called “Tumble and Rumble.” More information will be available on as the event approaches.

Manning Earns 200th Career Victory
Nebraska Head Coach Mark Manning picked up his 200th career 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 203-95-5. Manning is 180-71-3 in his 14th season at Nebraska after compiling a 23-24-2 record in three seasons at Northern Iowa.

Huskers in the Rankings
Nebraska has seven wrestlers ranked in InterMat’s latest poll, released on Dec. 17. Juniors James Green (157) and Robert Kokesh (174) each garnered the No. 4 ranking in their respective weight classes, while fellow junior Jake Sueflohn is sixth at 149 pounds. TJ Dudley jumped to 11th at 184 pounds following a second-place finish in Las Vegas. Tim Lambert is 12th at 125 pounds, Austin Wilson is 16th at 165 and Anthony Abidin is No. 17 at 141 pounds.

The WIN Magazine rankings were released on Dec. 16 and feature six Huskers in its poll. Kokesh and Green are each fourth, while Sueflohn rounds out the top five at 149 pounds. Abidin is 11th at 141, Lambert is 16th at 125 and McCrystal is No. 18 at 133 pounds.

In the Amateur Wrestling News poll, released on Dec. 17, nine Huskers achieved top-20 rankings. Green leads the way with a No. 3 ranking as Kokesh is fourth and Sueflohn is fifth. Dudley is 12th, Lambert is 13th, Abidin and Wilson each garnered the No. 17 ranking, McCrystal is 19th and Collin Jensen is No. 20 at heavyweight.

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, eighth in WIN Magazine and eighth in the Coaches poll.

Huskers Face Challenging Schedule
Nebraska will make 14 dual appearances this season, leading up to the NCAA Championships, March 20-22, in Oklahoma City, Okla. The Huskers will also compete in the Reno Tournament of Champions this weekend and the Big Ten Championships, March 8-9.

After taking down No. 17 Northwestern in the opening dual of the season and routing No. 18 Stanford, the Huskers will face six additional teams that are currently ranked in the USA Today/NWCA/AWN Poll, released on Dec. 17.

NU returns to Lincoln for a four-match home stand at the newly renovated Devaney Center starting on Jan. 3 against Wyoming at 7 p.m. The Huskers host Indiana (Jan. 10), Penn (Jan. 11) and No. 3 Iowa (Jan. 18) during that stretch.

The Huskers conclude the dual season with five matches against top-25 opponents. NU hits the road on Jan. 24 to face No. 9 Ohio State before traveling to No. 21 Purdue (Jan. 26) and No. 11 Illinois (Feb. 1). Nebraska’s final home dual of the season is Feb. 7 against No. 19 Michigan. The regular season finale is Feb. 21 at No. 23 Wisconsin.

BTN, BTDN to Feature Huskers Nine Times
Nebraska will appear on the Big Ten Network twice during the 2013-14 season, while making seven appearances on the Big Ten Digital Network.

The Huskers’ first BTN coverage will occur on Saturday, Jan. 18 against Iowa at the Devaney Center at 4:30 p.m. CT. Nebraska will also be on BTN for its road dual in Champaign, Ill., against Illinois on Saturday, Feb. 1. The matchup starts at 4 p.m.

The first of Nebraska’s BTDN appearances is Friday, Jan. 3 against Wyoming. The dual starts at 7 p.m., at the Devaney Center. The Huskers’ other nonconference dual on BTDN is the Jan. 11 home matchup against Penn at 6 p.m.

NU’s first of five inner-conference BTDN appearances is Friday, Jan. 10 as the Huskers host Indiana at 7 p.m. The Huskers’ home dual against Michigan on Friday, Feb. 7 will also be on BTDN, starting at 7 p.m.

Road appearances on BTDN include matchups with Ohio State (Jan. 24 at 6 p.m.), Purdue (Jan. 26 at noon) and Wisconsin (Feb. 21 at 7 p.m.).

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 and requires a subscription. All dates and times of scheduled events are subject to change and can be found on
Any changes to Nebraska’s schedule during the season can be found on

Huskers Sign Six Wrestlers for 2014-15
The Nebraska wrestling team announced the addition of six wrestlers on Wednesday, Nov. 20, who signed national letters of intent for the 2014-15 season.

“We are extremely excited to add these six young men,” Head Coach Mark Manning said. “They all possess a tremendous passion for our sport, and are focused to be champions on and off the mat. Our staff really put a lot of time and effort into recruiting these young men and we feel so positive about each one, and the success they will have through the culture of our program. They will represent Nebraska and our program in a first-class manner, and compete at high standards.”

Nick Bennett - Novi, Mich. (Detroit Catholic Central) – 149/157
Bennett is ranked 97th on InterMat’s Top-100 Recruits list and No. 15 in the country at 152 pounds. He placed third at the 2013 Super 32 Challenge and won the 145-pound title at the 2013 Grappler Fall Classic in Michigan. Before moving to Michigan, Bennett won two state titles at St. Thomas in Houston, Texas. After his final year at Detroit Catholic Central in Novi, Mich., Bennett is projected to wrestle at 149 or 157 pounds for Nebraska.

Derek White - Edmond, Okla. (Edmond North) – 197
White signs with the Huskers while finishing his career at Edmond North High School in Edmond, Okla. White has a career mark of 91-33 and holds the Edmond North school record for takedowns with 212 over the span of his career. A 2013 state champion and 2011 state runner-up, White is ranked fourth in the country at 195 pounds by InterMat and No. 77 overall. He finished third at the 2013 Junior National Freestyle Championships in Fargo, N.D., and earned runner-up honors at the 2013 Super 32 Challenge.

Colton Adams - Scottsbluff, Neb. (Scottsbluff) – 141
Adams enters his senior year at Scottsbluff High School in Nebraska having captured three consecutive Class B state titles. Last season, Adams capped a 53-1 season with the 132-pound crown after winning at 126 pounds as a sophomore with a 37-3 mark. He won the 112-pound title as a freshman at Scottsbluff. Adams is ranked 12th at 132 pounds by InterMat and 64th in the country. He finished third at the 2012 Walsh Ironman and took fourth at the 2013 Super 32 Challenge.

Dustin Williams - Gardner, Kan. (Gardner Edgerton) – 157/165
Williams is a three-time state placer with a 119-11 career record at Gardner Edgerton in Kansas. Last season Williams capped a perfect 43-0 season with his second state title. He won the Rocky Mountain Nationals and finished fifth at the 2013 USA Wrestling Folkstyle Nationals at 160 pounds. Williams is projected to wrestle at 157 or 165 pounds at Nebraska.

Hayden Tuma - Boise, Idaho (Centennial) - 141
A senior at Centennial High School in Boise, Idaho, Tuma is ranked 11th in the country by InterMat and No. 3 at 138 pounds. Tuma has won three state titles and holds a career high school record of 125-4. He has won two Reno Tournament of Champions titles and is one of two current high school wrestlers in the nation to make the Greco-Roman World Team three years in a row.

Tyler Berger - Prineville, Ore. (Crook County) – 149/157
Berger is a three-time state champion at Crook County High School in Oregon and holds a career record of 150-3. Berger is ranked 44th by InterMat across all weight classes and 10th in the country at 152 pounds. He won the 148-pound title of the High School Elite Division at the 2013 Freak Show Tournament. Berger is projected to wrestle at either 149 or 157 pounds for the Huskers.

Huskers Return to Devaney Center
Nebraska returns 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 against Northwestern and will host five additional matchups at the newly renovated 7,907-seat venue this season.

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.


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