After a hard-fought performance at the Big Ten Championships in Minneapolis during spring break, eight IU wrestlers earned the chance to compete at the NCAA Championships, which begin today.\nThe No. 15 Hoosiers, who finished ninth in the Big Ten during the regular season, moved up five spots in the www.intermatwrestle.com poll following their strong showing to finish the season. Helping IU in the rankings was not only its eighth place performance at the Big Ten Championships, but also a dominating 24-14 road win over then-No. 10 Northwestern.\nThe headline of the season so far has been sophomore Angel Escobedo’s quest for an undefeated season and his \ntriple crown.\nAfter winning the Midlands Tournament in January, the sophomore secured the second leg of the triple crown with an exhilarating 4-2 victory over rival Jayson Ness from Minnesota at the Big Ten Championship.\nEscobedo began in the down position in the second period and struck first 11 seconds in by earning two points on a reversal. After riding out the rest of the period, the Hoosier surrendered a reversal, similar to the one he put on Ness. Knowing he would lose the match because of the immense amount of riding time Escobedo picked up in the second period, Ness opted to kick out. In doing so, he gave up a point in hopes of taking down his opponent. Escobedo held on for the remainder of the third period and took home the championship in the 125-pound weight class.\nEscobedo became the first Hoosier to win a conference title in 11 seasons. Roger Chandler was the last Hoosier to wear the crown in his respective weight class, winning the 142-pound class in 1997.\nJoining Escobedo in St. Louis for the Nationals is senior Brandon Becker. The No. 4-ranked Hoosier looks to earn his third All-American distinction of his career after finishing third at the Big Tens. Becker came all the way back following an upset in the quarterfinals to win the consolation bracket for the 157-pound weight class.\nSophomores Matt Coughlin and Trevor Perry, along with junior Andrae Hernandez, are all heading back to Nationals for the second straight season. Coughlin finished fifth at the Big Ten Championships in the 165-pound weight class, while Hernandez finished sixth in the 133-pound weight class. Perry finished sixth in the 174-pound weight class.\nMaking his debut for the Hoosiers at the National Championships is sophomore Nate Everhart. The injury-plagued Hoosier sat out the first half of the season after dropping a weight on his foot during conditioning. Freshman Kurt Kinser also qualified for the Hoosiers in a wild-card at-large bid as well.
Get stories like this in your inboxSubscribe