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Northern Star

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The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

NIU redshirt sophomore Blake West grapples on the back of Lock Haven freshman Logan Sallot on Feb. 9. West was eliminated in the first round at the 2024 NCAA Championships. (Northern Star File Photo)

West makes earl departure from Nationals

By Zack Rodriguez, Sports Reporter | March 24, 2024

After falling short of an at-large bid into the 2023 NCAA Championships, redshirt sophomore Blake West made his Nationals debut in Kansas City, Missouri, Thursday. West was eliminated from the tournament after losing both matches in the opening round. West...

Redshirt sophomore Blake West eyes his Kent State University opponent in Day 1 of the MAC Championships Friday. West qualified for the NCAA Tournament after falling in the championship round of the MAC Championships. (Elsye Jones | Courtesy of NIU Athletics)

Wrestling places 7th at MAC Championships

By Zack Rodriguez, Sports Reporter | March 12, 2024

DeKALB – Seven Huskies merit a MAC Championship spot while one earned admission to the NCAA Championships during the 2024 MAC Championships Friday and Saturday on the campus of Kent State University. NIU extended its NCAA qualifier streak to 51 consecutive...

Redshirt sophomore Blake West attempts to pin Southern Illinois University Edwardsville redshirt sophomore Davian Guanajuato on Fridays Senior Day event for NIU wrestling. West defeated Guanajuato 4-3 on Friday to finish the season undefeated in dual matchups. (Tim Dodge | Northern Star)

Return of the MAC: Wrestling champions the West

By Zack Rodriguez, Sports Reporter | February 24, 2024

DeKALB – Redshirt sophomore Jacobi Jackson pinned his opponent with seconds remaining in the first period as NIU Wrestling (13-2, 7-1 MAC) fended off Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (6-6, 3-4 MAC) 22-13 to clinch the MAC West at Victor E....

Redshirt sophomore Blake West pins his Kent State University opponent on Dec. 19. West recorded his 20th victory of the 2023-2024 season on Saturday against Cleveland State University. (Scott Walstrom | Courtesy of NIU Athletics)

Wrestling owns East tiebreaker, garners first road victory

By Zack Rodriguez, Sports Reporter | January 20, 2024

A belated rejuvenation by Cleveland State University (3-7, 1-2 MAC) came up short as NIU wrestling (9-2, 3-1 MAC) clinched its inaugural road victory of the spring season on Friday. The Huskies now hold sole possession of the top spot in the MAC West.  Redshirt...

Then-redshirt freshman Blake West opposes Buffalo’s then-redshirt freshman Mason Bush in NIU wrestlings match against Buffalo on Feb. 4. West earned third place at 125 pounds in the Cougar Clash on Saturday. (Northern Star File Photo)

West earns third, Huskies take fifth at Cougar Clash

By Zack Rodriguez, Sports Reporter | December 4, 2023

DeKALB – Redshirt sophomore Blake West earned his second third-place medal of the year on Saturday as NIU finished fifth as a team at the Cougar Clash. NIU has had seven or more wrestlers place through the first three tournaments this season. Replicating...

Redshirt freshman Danny Curran (right) grapples with redshirt freshman Dylan Gvillo (left) during the Huskie Duals exhibition last Friday. The Huskies first dual takes place Friday against Lindenwood and St. Ambrose. (Tim Dodge | Northern Star)

NIU wrestling: New faces, returning stars

By Zack Rodriguez, Sports Reporter | November 1, 2023

DeKALB – Roll out the mats, break out the headgear and prepare the ringworm ointment, as the NIU wrestling season is rapidly approaching. LAST SEASON RESULTS  Last season, NIU wrestling finished with an 8-5 overall record and went  5-1 in the...

NIU redshirt freshman Blake West opposes Buffalo’s redshirt freshman Mason Bush in the first match of the wrestling side of the meet on Feb. 4 at the Convocation Center. (Alyssa Queen | Northern Star)

7 Huskie wrestlers named to All-MAC Academic team

By DeOndre Saunders, Sports Reporter | March 30, 2023

DeKALB – Seven players from the NIU wrestling team were announced on Tuesday to be on the Mid-American Conference All-Academic team. Student-athletes must have at least a 3.20 cumulative GPA and have participated in at least 50% of the contests scheduled...

NIU redshirt senior Izzak Olejnik grapples with Kent State University sophomore Enrique Munguia during Sundays dual meet. The 165-pound wrestlers clashed in a battle of nationally-ranked opponents. Olejnik and Munguia were ranked No. 10 and No. 25 respectively in the Dec. 13 InterMat rankings for their weight class. (David Dermer)

Olejnik wins second straight MAC title

By Adrien De La Peña, Sports Reporter | March 6, 2023

DeKALB – NIU redshirt senior Izzak Olejnik brought home the Mid-American Conference (MAC) title for the second year in a row at 165 pounds to earn a spot in the 2023 NCAA Championship in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  Olejnik defeated No. 5 seed Central Michigan...

NIU redshirt senior Anthony Gibson begins his match at the Beauty and the Beast meet on Feb. 4 against Buffalo’s redshirt senior Michael Petite. (Alyssa Queen | Northern Star)

Two pins propel Huskies past Cougars

By Adrien De La Peña, Sports Reporter | February 20, 2023

DeKALB – Strong performances from the lightweight and middleweight classes helped NIU wrestling (8-5, 5-1) to a 25-12 win over the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) Cougars (1-14, 1-7) Sunday.  Redshirt freshman Blake West started...

Redshirt freshman Blake West earns his first Huskie of the Week award. (Graphic by Harrison Linden)

Blake West secures Huskie of the Week honor

By Northern Star Sports Staff | February 13, 2023

DeKALB – Redshirt freshman Blake West’s electrifying overtime win over Northwestern University redshirt senior Michael DeAugustino netted him this week’s Huskie of the Week honor. West’s performance brought the Convocation Center crowd to its...

Wrestlers from NIU and Ohio University grapple during Fridays dual meet in Mount in Athens, Ohio. (Courtesy Ohio Athletics)

Lightweight match momentum propels Huskies over Ohio

By Skyler Kisellus and Adrien De La Peña | January 21, 2023
A speedy 18-0 lead built by NIU wrestling during Friday's road dual meet served as the foundation for the Huskies' triumph over MAC-unbeaten foe Ohio.