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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

2 wrestlers shine in return, program clinches 10th win

Tim Dodge
Redshirt freshman Tommy Bennett holds off Central Michigan University redshirt sophomore Tyler Swiderski in a dual against the Chippewas on Saturday. Bennett defeated Swiderski 5-4 in a decision victory. (Tim Dodge | Northern Star)

DeKALB – Key contributions from two returnees powered a late surge as NIU Wrestling (10-2, 4-1 MAC) crept past Central Michigan University (3-6, 1-1 MAC) 22-10 at Victor E. Court on Saturday.

NIU wrestling head coach Ryan Ludwig achieved double-digit wins for the first time since the 2019-2020 season, marking the accomplishment in four out of his 13 seasons with the Huskies.

“I mean, look, we came out and wrestled hard for seven minutes,” Ludwig said. “That’s what we ask up and down the lineup. So, overall I’m pleased with our effort, our intensity and, of course, our execution. Everybody wrestled as hard as they possibly could, and it was a great team win. We have to keep building.”

In his return to the starting lineup, senior Michael Kaminski squeaked out a 13-10 sudden victory against CMU redshirt freshman Andrew Austin. Trailing for two periods, Kaminski rallied with a 6-3 burst in the third period to force overtime. 

“I got a good shot,” Kaminski said. “He had some real interesting rolls that I was trying to wrap my head around, but he also defended against some of my setups. So I switched it off to shoot at his left leg. Kind of went back and forth there. I felt good on bottom though, so I got out.”

Rehabilitating from an unspecified injury, Kaminski felt ecstatic getting his feet underneath him and marching his way back into the win column.

“A lot of pride, a lot of work leading up to this month,” Kaminski said. “Coming off an injury I feel really great now. So, I’m excited to be going out there and winning. So, I feel great to brag to people like that.” 

The Huskies mounted a 9-0 advantage through the first three matchups, including Kaminski’s sudden victory at 133 pounds. NIU’s lead was quickly extinguished after the Chippewas stole three of the next four matchups.

Representing the 197-pound weight division for the first time since the MSU Open on Nov. 11, redshirt freshman Carter Grewe clinched the program’s 10th team victory with a 7-4 decision over redshirt sophomore Cameron Wood.

“Great,” Grewe said of his return. “A lot of anticipation leading up to this day — visualizing this day — my first day back — hoping it would pan out. Obviously, it panned the way I wanted it to, just the gas tank was a big issue.”


MAC play resumes with a road trip to Buffalo at noon Saturday for a dual against the University at Buffalo. Live stats will be available via Track Wrestling.

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