Men’s wrestling wins big at Open

By Ed Rietveld

Even though this was a weekend away from dual meet action, it still proved to be a successful one for NIU wrestling.

Huskie reserve and redshirt wrestlers competed in the Harper Open at Harper College on Saturday.

NIU had 10 wrestlers make the podium; six Huskies who won their respective tournaments in their weight classes.

Wrestlers from NIU won the tournaments at the three smallest weight classes. Redshirt freshman Braun Marquez won at 125 pounds, redshirt freshman Thorian Twyner was the victor at 133 pounds and sophomore Tyler Argue was champion at 141 pounds.

“What worked well [for me] was my conditioning” Marquez said. “I just pretty much outworked my guys that I did wrestle.”

Fellow freshman Gabriel Morse finished second at 149 pounds. At 165, a pair of Huskies faced each other in the finals with redshirt sophomore Sam Bennett defeating freshman Billy Chancey, 8-5.

Bennett said it was a challenge facing somebody you’re so familiar with in the finals.

“It’s hard,” Bennett said. “It’s always a good battle because we know each other so well. I mean I think I wrestled Billy two or three times this week. We both wrestled really hard and I just came out better on top, but he wrestled real well.”

At 174 pounds, freshman Trace Engelkes finished fifth. At 184 pounds, redshirt junior Shane Rosenberry finished third.

NIU wrestlers also won the last two weight classes. Senior Arber Bebo won the 197-pound bracket and redshirt freshman Arthur Bunce won in the heavyweight division.

Head coach Ryan Ludwig said his wrestlers did well offensively which allowed them to score points and come away with the victories on Saturday.

“They did a good job keeping heavy hands on the head and moving forward getting to the leg attacks,” Ludwig said. “[They] kept moving forward to get to their shots and then finishing well.”