Two losses for wrestlers

By Paul Keller

The Huskie wrestling team had a long weekend, beginning with a hard-fought 24-20 loss to Eastern Illinois and ending with a frustrating eighth-place finish in the eight-school Indiana Hoosier Invitational.

The loss to EIU was a tough one, since the Huskies were so close to knocking off the Panthers despite having to forfeit two matches worth 12 points to the Panthers.

At 134 pounds for the Huskies, Mike Gonio cut an 11-0 EIU lead down to 11-4 with a 14-3 win over the Panther’s Lorne Garret. NIU senior Tim Cocco also cut the EIU lead from 17-4 to 17-8 with a 10-2 decision over the Panther’s Todd Matichak at 150 pounds.

NIU freshman Brett Messerli, wrestling for the first time this season due to injuries, pulled out an 11-10 win at 158 pounds over EIU’s Bob Johnson with three takedowns in the final 45 seconds.

Huskie sophomore Joe Madonia won his 167-pound match over the Panther’s Henry Treverbaugh, cutting EIU’s lead to 17-14.

NIU’s 190-pounder, Tom Hoy, pinned EIU’s Mike Birt in 2:20 to tie the score at 20-20, but the Panthers pulled out the win with their heavyweight, Copache Tyler, downing Huskie freshman Mark Kuehl, 14-1. The win improved the Panther’s record to 8-2-0, while the Huskies fell to a 2-8-1 mark in dual meet competition this season.

In the Indiana Hoosier Invitational, host IU easily won its meet with 72.5 points, outdistancing runner-up Eastern Illinois at 59.5 points. Finishing in third and fourth places respectively were West Virginia at 53.75 points and Illinois State at 46.5 points.

Tennesse-Chattanooga finished fifth with 45.25 points, while Southern Illinois finished in sixth place with 38 points. The Huskies managed only 7.5 points, finishing eighth behind Wright State, which scored 12.5 points.

The bulk of the Huskies’ total points came from 167-pounder Joe Madonia, who opened the meet with a 21-8 decision over a Wright State opponent and bounced back from a hard-fought 4-2 loss in the second round to win two wrestleback contests for third place at the invitational.

The Huskies return to DeKalb to host Wisconsin-Whitewater on Wednesday, Febuary 3, in an 11:30 a.m. luncheon special.