The Wolverine

April 2013

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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  big ten/NCAA championships: Wrestling we started to dwindle a little bit and didn't perform as well as we should have." Despite failing to crown a Big Ten champion, Michigan gained a successful learning experience from the rigorous tournament for its youthful group. "I really think we can take this momentum into the NCAA Tournament, where it really counts," redshirt junior Sean Boyle said. "Every match was so tough and close. "In this tournament, every match is a grind, and that is what you are going to see at the NCAA Tournament. The other conferences don't get these tough, grinding matches consistently, and ultimately you see the Big Ten have the most All-Americans and NCAA champions every year." Boyle paced Michigan with a 2-2 record and a fourth-place finish in the 125-pound weight class. He dropped a close 4‑1 decision to No.  2 seed Nico Megaludis of Penn State in the third-place contest. Yates recorded a monumental victory over top-seeded Logan Storley of Minne‑ sota in the 174-pound quarterfinals, but failed to capitalize. He dropped a close decision in the semifinals and finished in sixth place with a 2‑3 record. "I was talking to the other kids in my class at weigh-ins, and we were talking about how it is probably going to be easier to place at the NCAA Tournament than Big Tens just because our conference is so stacked," Yates said. "It's definitely wresting on a different level in the Big Ten. It isn't like other sports where the conferences are close in level of competition. The Big Ten is so far above the other conferences." Freshman Taylor Massa enjoyed a breakout performance at 165 pounds, plac‑ ing fifth in his first appearance at the Big Ten Championships. Redshirt junior Eric Grajales, the No. 1 seed in the 149-pound division following a 15-1 dual meet record, finished in seventh place with a 2-2 effort. No. 1 Penn State won the conference crown for the third consecutive season with 151 team points, and No. 3 Minnesota was second with 139 points. Seven U-M wrestlers made the trip to Des Moines, Iowa, for the NCAA Cham‑ pionships, March 21-23. The Wolverines finished 11th in the country a year ago, largely on the shoulders of now-graduated 141-pounder Kellen Russell's second straight NCAA title, but will depend on a collective team effort in 2013. "If everybody wrestles up to their capabilities, there is no reason why we can't be in the top five in the nation," Yates said. "We are shooting to have multiple All-Americans," Boyle added. "None of us want to be selfish, but if we do our best individually, the team race will take care of itself. "Every guy on the team that qualified is aiming to be an All-American, and if we do that I think we have a good shot at placing in the top five, and having a great team tournament." — Kevin Minor

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