Wrestling entered one of the toughest early season open tournaments in the NCAA and exited with five placewinners.
Two Huskies finished in the top three at the Michigan State Open in the open division, with one Huskie grabbing first place in the fresh/soph division.
“I thought it was an outstanding day of competition with an outstanding field of competition,” said head coach Ryan Ludwig. “We were looking for some of the toughest competition in the region and we found it. I thought our guys stepped up to the challenge well. We have a lot to work on, and we found that out today, too. But for the most part the guys went out there and wrestled very hard.”
Freshman Jordan Northrup took first place at 133 in the fresh/soph division. Northrup went 5-0 on the day, starting the open with two pins and a technical fall before edging opponents from Michigan and Indiana to take the championship.
“[Northrup] put together a great tournament for himself,” Ludwig said. “He had a come-from-behind victory in the finals, which I thought was a big gut-check. I thought he put together a great all-around performance.”
Andrew Morse was NIU’s top finisher in the open division, ending in second at 157. The sophomore easily worked his way through a challenging bracket, reeling off four straight wins, three of which came against ranked opponents. In the championship match, Morse was pinned by Indiana’s Taylor Walsh, a two-time NCAA qualifier. Walsh is ranked eighth in the country at 157.
Morse leads all Huskies with a 9-3 record through two weeks. He has three major decisions, a technical fall and a pinfall victory already this year.
“Morse wrestled really well today,” Ludwig said. “He did what we tell our guys, which is to go out and impose their will on their opponent. He went out and got his offense going right away and racked up a couple of very impressive wins … over nationally ranked foes.”
Junior Tyler Argue, who placed third at 141, posted a technical fall and a pin on the day. Argue ran through a tough field, defeating opponents from Ohio, Campbell and Indiana University before falling to Columbia’s Matt Bystol. Argue won by medical forfeit in the third-place match.
Redshirt freshman Shawn Scott continued to show promise early this year after an injury forced a premature end to his freshman season. Scott finished fourth at 197 after placing second last weekend.
Scott is now 6-3 on the year.
“He did a really great job,” Ludwig said. “He wrestled well against a very solid Michigan State opponent in the quarterfinals to get to the semis. He’s been wrestling very hard. In the match he did lose in semis, we got caught backing up a few times, and Shawn knows that and will work on that.”
Redshirt sophomore Nick Harrison grappled his way to a sixth-place finish. Harrison lost in the opening round before recording a pin, technical fall and winning by injury default. He then lost in his final match of the day to end the event with a 4-2 mark.