Saturday, we will have four dual meets at the annual Journeyman/Asics Northeast Duals at Hudson Valley Community College. We will wrestle Purdue at 9:30 AM, Army at 11:15 AM, Arizona State at 1:40 PM, and Eastern Michigan at 3:30 PM. The Open Mat will be doing a live blog of the day's events. Check it out here. Below is a look at each of the teams that we will wrestle on Saturday.
Purdue is a very solid Big 10 team. They are a very talented team that placed 28th at the NCAA Championships last year. They will be a good test for the team right off the rip. They are ranked #18 by Wrestling Report, #23 by WIN Magazine, and #24 by Intermat. They are lead by returning All-American Cashe Quiroga and four returning national qualifiers. They are 1-1 on the young season coming off of a 37-6 trouncing of Indianapolis. At 125 pounds, they will start redshirt sophomore Camden Eppert. Eppert is 5-2 on the season and was a National Qualifier last season. At 133, Quiroga comes off of a redshirt year and placed 6th at the NCAA Championships as a true freshman the previous year. Quiroga is 4-1 so far this year and ranked in the top 10 in the country. At 141 pounds, fifth-year senior, Jake Fleckstein is a returning Big 10 place winner and 7-3 on the season. Fleckstein is nationally ranked by Wrestling Report and took 2nd at the Eastern Michigan Open. At 149 pounds, Purdue has UNC Greensboro transfer Ivan Lopouchanski. Lopouchanski finished in the top 12 at the NCAA Championships last year and collected 41 wins on the season. This year he is ranked in the top five in the country and is undefeated at 6-0. At 157 pounds, Tommy Churchard is a redshirt junior and is 3-3. At 165 pounds, redshirt sophomore and returning starter, Kyle Moiser will start. He is currently 5-2 and was second at the Eastern Michigan Open. Drake Stein will start at 174 pounds. He is a true freshman who was a two-time Indiana State Champion and is currently 4-2. Branden Atwood is the 184 pound starter for Purdue and is a redshirt freshman. He recently placed 3rd at the Eastern Michigan Open and is ranked in the top 25 in the country. At 197 pounds, returning senior 3X National Qualifier, AJ Kissel is ranked in the top ten in the country. He has only wrestled in one match this season as he just got back in the line-up from an injury. The heavyweight will be nationally ranked redshirt senior, Roger Vukobratovich. Vukobratovich is 5-2 on the season.
Army is a program on the rise with second year head coach Joe Heskett. They recently had a big win over Iowa State and are 2-1 on the season, paced by returning National Qualifier Jordan Thome. At 125 pounds, Scott Filbert or David White will start. Filbert is a redshirt freshman who finished in the top eight at the Body Bar with a win over Steeley. White is a sophomore that started and won 20 bouts for Army last year and placed at the EIWA Championships. White finished 5th at the Oklahoma Gold Classic this year and Filbert came in at 6th in the same bracket. Thome is a returning National Qualifier at 133 pounds and won the Body Bar Tournament last weekend and beat Hunter in that tournament. He also took 2nd at the Oklahoma Gold Classic. Thome is 9-2 on the season and ranked in the top 20 in the country. Connor Hanafee is 8-5 on the year at 141 pounds. Hanafee is a junior who finished in the top eight at the Body Bar last week. Daniel Young is a returning starter and finished second on the team last year with 27 wins. Young is 8-1 and finished 3rd at the Oklahoma Gold Classic. Young is also nationally ranked this year. Jimmy Rafferty is a senior captain for Army at 157 pounds. He has a 9-5 record with a 3rd place showing at the Oklahoma Gold Classic and 6th at the Body Bar. At 165 pounds, sophomore Alex Smith won 21 matches last year. Smith placed at the Oklahoma Gold Classic this season. Collin Wittmeyer is the starter at 174 pounds and has wrestled well this year with two wins over top ten ranked opponents. Wittmeyer is a junior that sports a 8-3 record and placed 3rd at the Oklahoma Gold Classic. Wittmeyer is nationally ranked. Will Brown starts for the Black Knights at 184 pounds. He has six wins on the season and placed 5th at the Oklahoma Gold Classic. At 197 pounds, either senior Daniel Mills or senior Orion Ross will start. Mills has started for all three dual meets and has not competed in either tournament this season. Ross had a solid showing at the Oklahoma Gold Classic with a 5th place finish. Either Stephen Snyder (freshman) or Christian Botero (junior) will start at heavyweight. Snyder is a two-time Maryland State Champion and Botero was the starter last season.
Arizona State is coming off a season that saw them finish 6th in the country. They have a nice mix of young talent and seasoned veterans. The team led by returning All-American heavyweight Levi Cooper. ASU is 2-0 as a team so far this season. At 125 pounds, they will probably start redshirt senior David Prado. Prado finished in the top eight at the Eastern Michigan Open. The 133 starter will either be redshirt freshman Shane McGough or redshirt sophomore Kalin Goodsite. McGough is a former 3X Arizona State Champion and 4X finalist. Goodsite won 17 bouts last year splitting time between 141 and 133 pounds. At 141 pounds, ASU will start redshirt freshman Nathan Hoffer. Hoffer is 6-2 on the season and placed 4th at the Eastern Michigan Open. ASU has transfer Victor DeJesus at 149 pounds. DeJesus is a two-time Junior College National Champion and is a junior. Kyle DeBerry is expected to start at 157 pounds. DeBerry is a redshirt senior and is a returning starter. At 165 pounds, redshirt freshman Derek Felton or redshirt freshman Hans Rasmusson. Felton is a former 4X Arizona State Finalist and Rasmusson is a transfer from Eastern Michigan University. Eric Starks is a returning national qualifier who is nationally ranked at 174 pounds. He is a senior leader for ASU. Jake Meredith is also a returning national qualifier and PAC Ten Champion who is a senior at 184 pounds. Redshirt freshman Bobby Bowman could also compete for ASU at 184 pounds. Bowman has competed in both of ASU’s dual meets this year and finished in the top eight at the Eastern Michigan Open. At 197 pounds, Tommy Burriel has entered the national rankings as a redshirt freshman. He placed a solid 3rd at the Eastern Michigan Open. Levi Cooper will anchor the team at heavyweight. He is redshirt junior who placed at the NCAA National Tournament last year and is ranked in the top ten in the country.
Eastern Michigan University is another program that is much improved from last season. They are 1-0 with a win over Big Ten foe Michigan State. They have six guys that have been nationally ranked in their line-up, including returning National Qualifier Aaron Sulzer. At 125 pounds, redshirt sophomore Jared Germaine is nationally ranked and a returning starter. He is 5-1 on the season with a 2nd place showing at the EMU Open this year. Andrew Novak (6-2 so far this year) is a returning starter at 133 pounds. Novak is a redshirt senior and former MAC Conference finalist who placed 5th at the EMU Open this season. At 141 pounds, redshirt senior Corey Phillips is back as a starter. He is 5-2 on the year and took 5th at the EMU Open a couple of weeks ago. Jaylyn Bohl is a redshirt freshman starter for the Eagles at 149 pounds. He has won four matches so far this season. Aaron Sulzer is the team leader and returning starter at 157 pounds. Sulzer is a returning National Qualifier who is nationally ranked and 4-1 on the year. Sulzer took 2nd at the EMU Open this year. At 165 pounds, Lester France started his fifth year with a bang. He has entered the national rankings in his first year as a full-time starter. He is 5-1 and won the EMU Open this year. Phillip Joseph had a very good true freshman year for EMU before being forced to redshirt because of injury last year. He is back and ranked nationally with a 4-2 record and had a 4th place showing at the EMU Open. Mike Curby is a redshirt freshman starter at 184 pounds and prefers to wrestle upper-body. Nick Whitenburg is back as the starter at 197 pounds and is a redshirt sophomore. Whitenburg was nationally ranked last season. At heavyweight, Wes Schroeder is a redshirt senior and a seasoned veteran for EMU. He is also nationally ranked.
We are excited to compete on Saturday. The Northeast Duals is a great event that brings excitement to the wrestling world. Also, we have a handful of redshirts competing at the Mat Town Open in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania on Saturday. I will post a preview of that event tomorrow morning.