Huskies split Big Ten meeting


The NIU wrestling team succeeded in what they went out to accomplish last night at DeKalb High School, when they came out victorious in one of two meets against Purdue University and Northwestern University.

The Huskies (5-7) ended their 4-match losing streak against the Big Ten this season, with a surprising and promising 22-20 victory over the Wildcats from Northwestern.

But, the Boilermakers ended a Big Ten losing streak of their own at three in NIU’s next match, thanks to 30 points handed to them by the Huskies, due to four forfeits and an injury default; NIU took a goose egg beating at the hands of Purdue, 51-0.

However, the loss to Purdue wasn’t enough to tarnish the smiles off the Huskies, who left DHS showing the Wildcats that DeKalb is their turf.

Northwestern went into the match as the home team, but left feeling a little homesick for Evanston.

Leading the way for the Huskies against the Wildcats was an injury default victory by Shawn White at 126-pounds and a pin by Jim Kossakowski at 177-pounds.

James Spillman also helped out, continuing his clutch wrestling with an 11-3 decision at 150-pounds, and T.C. Dantzler was victorious with an 8-5 decision at 158-pounds. Chad Gautcher (Sycamore), one of three wrestlers from the DeKalb area competing last night, also came out victorious, with a 6-2 decision at 167-pounds.

There could have been more winners in the circle for the Huskies, but Shannon Gregory lost a hard fought battle at 118-pounds to Jeff Mirabella (20-9) by the narrow count of 10-8. And Kyle Edwards lost an overtime match at 190-pounds by the score of 5-4.

Against Purdue, NIU had nothing left to give, as injuries in the previous match accounted for forfeits at the 142, 167, and 177-pound classes. The Huskies also forfeited heavyweight and lost the 158-pound class, when team leader T.C. Dantzler defaulted because of a re-accurring injury to his knee.

Aside from the injuries, head coach Phil Rembert was very pleased with the outcome of the matches.

“We wrestled really tough against Northwestern. Our guys felt that this was our home and if these guys (Northwestern) want to wrestle us at home, that’s fine, but we’re going to make them pay for it, which we did,” said Rembert. “Against Purdue, we were banged up. Gautcher has been bothered by the flu, T.C. hurt his knee, and Spillman was wrestling hurt also. So, we may be resting a few wrestlers.”

Rest or no rest, the NIU wrestling team showed they can wrestle at the competitive level and showed they can accomplish anything they set their minds to.