Huskies impress at MSU Open

By Marcel Carrasco

The wrestling team grappled its way to a good showing Saturday afternoon at the MSU Open.

“I was pleased,” Head Coach Ryan Ludwig said. “I thought we competed with a lot of fire and lot of vigor. We scrapped, and we hustled. I walked away with a really good feeling.”

NIU was well-represented as three Huskies challenged for titles in the Open bracket, including an all NIU championship bout. Two more Huskies made title runs in the Freshman/Sophomore bracket.

Redshirt sophomore Kenny Moore took home the 165-title match against fellow Huskie redshirt junior Caden McWhirter. Moore strolled to a 5-0 record, including a win against MAC opponent Blake Montrie from Central Michigan University. McWhirter went 4-0 before the championship match against Moore.

Redshirt first-year Brit Wilson took second place in the 174-weight class, falling to Darden Schurg of Washburn University with a final score of 8-6. Wilson went 3-0 leading up to the first-place bout.

Redshirt senior Alijah Jeffery placed third in the 133-class, besting Tony Madrigal from the University of Oklahoma 11-1. Jeffery is the active team leader in wins for the Huskies.

First-year wrestlers Gage Braun and Carlos Champagne made it to their weight class championship match for the Freshman/Sophomore bracket. Braun took the 197-class title, beating Purdue University’s David Eli 19-4 with a technical fall in the 197-weight class. Champagne lost to Notre Dame’s Hunter Bay 7-3 in the 133-class.

The MSU Open showcased many MAC matches in the Open bracket and could potentially set up rematches. NIU totaled 10 MAC opponent match-ups, including one double match-up.

NIU will travel to Fargo, North Dakota, Thursday to face the North Dakota State University Bison. NDSU is currently 1-0 with a win over Northwestern University.