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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

Redshirt sophomore heavyweight wrestler Jacobi Jackson scans his opponent in an NIU wrestling home match. Jackson suffered two major injuries before finishing his 2023-2024 season as a ranked wrestler. (Courtesy of NIU Athletics)

From rehabilitation to ranked: the triumph of Jacobi Jackson

By Zack Rodriguez, Sports Reporter | April 10, 2024

Redshirt sophomore heavyweight wrestler Jacobi Jackson played a pivotal role in the Huskies' pursuit of the MAC West title. Yet, his journey to success encountered significant obstacles, temporarily diverting him from his path to dominance. HIGHLY...

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 freshman Jacob Brya celebrates a victory in an NIU wrestling home dual against Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Friday. Brya was named the MAC West Wrestler of the Week on Monday. (Tim Dodge | Northern Star)

Brya secures MAC West Wrestler of the Week honors

By Zack Rodriguez, Sports Reporter | February 27, 2024

DeKALB – Redshirt freshman Jacob Brya was named MAC West Wrestler of the Week, the conference announced Tuesday. Brya is now the fourth Huskie wrestler to receive MAC weekly honors.  Brya notched his 10th win of the season after topping Southern...

A graphic shows redshirt sophomore Jacobi Jackson as the Huskie of the Week. Jackson defeated his Southern Illinois University Edwardsville opponent Friday to clinch NIU wrestlings MAC West division title. (Eddie Miller | Northern Star)

Jackson nabs Huskie of the Week after conference-clinching victory

By Northern Star Sports Staff | February 26, 2024

DeKALB – Redshirt sophomore Jacobi Jackson garnered wrestling’s first Huskie of the Week honor of the year with a dual-deciding win against  redshirt sophomore Dan McKiernan of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Friday. After blowing a...

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....

Freshman Sean Carroll (right) locks together with Lock Haven sophomore Cael Black. Carroll kept up with Black into overtime to win the match. (Totus Tuus Keely | Northern Star)

Beauty and the Beast: Wrestling vanquishes defending champs

By Zack Rodriguez, Sports Reporter | February 10, 2024

DeKALB – Concluding decisively with three consecutive wins, NIU wrestling (12-2, 6-1 MAC) conquered two-time reigning MAC champion Lock Haven University (6-10, 3-3 MAC) 22-15 in the annual “Beauty and the Beast dual on Friday.  Battling both Lock...

Redshirt sophomore Jacobi Jackson studies his opponent in an NIU wrestling home meet against Kent State University on Dec. 19, 2023. Jackson was named the MAC Co-Wrestler of the Week Tuesday. (Courtesy of NIU Athletics)

Jackson nabs MAC Co-West Wrestler of the Week

By Zack Rodriguez, Sports Reporter | February 6, 2024

DeKALB – Redshirt sophomore Jacobi Jackson was named the MAC Co-West Wrestler of the Week, the conference announced Tuesday.  The announcement follows a dual-deciding victory at the heavyweight division against the University at Buffalo on Saturday....

Sophomore Blake West grapples a Northwestern University wrestler at the Convocation Center on Dec. 19 2023. West won his match on Saturday against the University at Buffalo by technical fall, making him 6-0 in MAC play this season. (Courtesy of NIU Athletics)

Jackson’s late heroics win it for wrestling

By Zack Rodriguez, Sports Reporter | February 3, 2024

DeKALB – Redshirt sophomore Jacobi Jackson’s late meet heroics led NIU wrestling (11-2, 5-1 MAC) past the University at Buffalo (8-11, 3-2 MAC) 18-16 on Saturday.  “I liked that we found a way,” said NIU wrestling head coach Ryan Ludwig. “We...

NIU wrestling head coach Ryan Ludwig screams at his wrestler in a home dual against Central Michigan University on Saturday. Ludwig eclipsed the 100 career-win mark on Dec. 19, 2023. (Elyse Jones | Courtesy of NIU Athletics)

From the Mat to Mentorship: Ludwig paving the path to 100 wins

By Zack Rodriguez, Sports Reporter | January 30, 2024

Thirteen consecutive NCAA qualifiers, 13 All-MAC honorees, 34 MAC champions, and 40 Academic All-MAC selections and a feat repeated just twice in program history: 100 career wins. In the grand tapestry of NIU wrestling head coach Ryan Ludwig's coaching...

Redshirt freshman Tommy Bennett holds off Central Michigan University redshirt sophomore Tyler Swiderski in a dual against the Chippewas on Saturday. Bennett defeated Swiderski 5-4 in a decision victory. (Tim Dodge | Northern Star)

2 wrestlers shine in return, program clinches 10th win

By Zack Rodriguez, Sports Reporter | January 28, 2024

DeKALB – Key contributions from two returnees powered a late surge as NIU Wrestling (10-2, 4-1 MAC) crept past Central Michigan University (3-6, 1-1 MAC) 22-10 at Victor E. Court on Saturday. NIU wrestling head coach Ryan Ludwig achieved double-digit...

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...