Wrestlers take big win over Chicago State

By Eric Burt

Only a draw kept the NIU wrestling squad from opening its home season with a shutout against Chicago State as the Huskies won 49-2 Thursday night at Chick Evans Field House.

“This was fun,” Huskie coach Ed Vatch said. “This was what we needed. Once we get on a roll we have to keep rolling.”

Three Huskies came away with pins on the night. Gene Marino (118 pounds) was leading 13-4 when he stuck Shawn Underwood with 30 seconds remaining in the third period. Jon Popp (167) evened his record at 2-2 with a pin of Jay Clemente only 30 seconds into the first period. Heavyweight Mark Kuehl stuck Dave Rowlett with 1:04 left in the second frame to finish the Huskie scoring.

“I anticipated tougher matches,” Vatch said. “We found a lot of their breaking points and then turned it into high gear. It’s similar to the knockout punch in boxing.”

At 142 pounds, Jeff Chumbley wrestled to a 4-4 draw against Myron Meredith. T. C. Dantzler (150) upped his record to 8-5 with a 16-3 win over James Pintor. Jim Kossakowski (158) wrestled the closest match of the night with a 4-3 decision over Robert Young. Joe Madonia (177) scored 11 points in the final period to defeat Abel Garza 17-8.

NIU’s Leo Alongi (126), Pete Caragher (134) and Bill Jepsen (190) each won by forfeit.

“All these guys deserve a pat on the back after tonight,” Vatch said.