Gregory shines in Wisconsin’s Northern Open


NIU’s wrestling team was out to show what they were made of at the University of Wisconsin’s Northern Open last Saturday, and wrestler Shannon Gregory made sure he was noticed.

The Huskies made an impressive showing in the non-team scoring event, but it was Gregory who was the highlight for the Huskies.

Gregory, who wrestles in the 118-pound weight class, took three straight matches before being pinned by potential All-American Mike Mena of the University of Iowa. Mena was later awarded the meet’s Outstanding Wrestler Award.

Gregory began the meet with an 8-2 victory over unattached entry Shane Sigler. He then took a 10-6 decision over unattached entry Scott Clough as well as a 4-2 win over Michigan State’s Shawn Contos. Gregory then hooked up with Mena, losing the battle by pinfall in 1:49 and then losing the third-place brawl to Brandon Paulson of the University of Minnesota. Coach Phil Rembert was pleased with Gregory’s performance.

“Quite honestly, we thought Shannon was capable of placing and he went out and did just that,” said Rembert. “He’s really getting on top of his game.”

Another bright spot for NIU was grappler James Spillman. The 150-pound Huskie went 3-2 in matches Saturday, taking his first match handily with a 9-0 decision over Jason Lemonler of Northwestern. Spillman also breezed past unattached entry Steve Hadden in a 6-2 decision before dropping a match to Northern Iowa’s Doug Kjeldgaard 11-7. Spillman bounced back from the loss to defeat Todd Sacksteder of the University of Missouri based on criteria in overtime. Spillman then fell to Indiana’s Brook Hoeff in a 6-2 decision. NIU’s Ben Lehrfeld split his decisions in the 167-pound bracket, winning two while losing two matches in the meet.

Heavyweight Demond Rodez fared well in the meet, pinning Eastern Illinois’ Bill Brown and defeating unattached Matt Meyer before losing to unattached entry Doug Chapman.

In other weight classes, Jason Solomon won one for the Huskies in the 126-pound class, as did 142-pound Eric Muhammed. 177-pound Terrell Alexander and 190-pound Adam Teverbaugh also grabbed two victories.

“Overall we wrestled well, especially considering the competition,” said Rembert. “Even though we may have lost a few more than we won, we were close and we got some great experience.”

The Huskies’ next meet is Wednesday at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.