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Monday, Feb. 26
The Indiana Daily Student

sports wrestling

IU travels to Illinois for Huskie Duals

After six Hoosiers placed at the fifth annual Hokie Open, IU wrestling is back this weekend at the Huskie Duals in DeKalb, Ill.

The tournament will match the Hoosiers against Tiffin, South Dakota State and Northern Illinois.

While the tournament originally featured five teams, Cleveland State will be unable to compete, making one less opponent for the Hoosiers to grapple.

IU Coach Duane Goldman has prepared his wrestlers for the all-day event, with last Sunday’s Hokie Open giving the Hoosiers experience and practice.

“They have made weight and have shaken off the cobwebs,” Goldman said. “The Manchester dual really hurt us from an injury standpoint. Fortunately, everyone came out of the Hokie Open fairly healthy.”

While the previous tournament was an individual style event, the Huskie Duals will feature a dual meet format.

“Different duals present different challenges,” Goldman said. “Every team is capable of a strong performance. Especially since we have already lost two starters for the season, we need to wrestle well every time out.”

According to the theopenmat.com, the Hoosiers will enter this tournament with three nationally ranked individuals.

Heavyweight junior Adam Chalfant is ranked No. 10 in his class, junior Ryan LeBlanc is ranked No. 14 in the 165 weight class and sophomore Taylor Walsh will go in ranked No. 17 in the 157 weight class.

Though the team relies heavily on these three wrestlers, the focus will be on the team as a whole.

“Everyone is important,” Goldman said. “We need our experienced wrestlers to compete at a high level and our new faces to compete hard for wins.”

All in all, a variety of faces will see sufficient mat time. Goldman said the Sunday lineup will be slightly different than that of the Hokie Open.

With this new lineup, Goldman said the Hoosiers will adjust accordingly for the duals.

The Huskie Duals will serve as a venue whereby the younger wrestlers can gain more experience, while the more experienced wrestlers will use the tournament as a means to practice their skills in a challenging situation.

Goldman said the Huskie Duals and the upcoming Keystone Classic are building blocks on the road to the Big Ten and NCAA championships in March.  

“We have a long way to go before we are ready for the end of the season, but that is how it should be,” Goldman said. “We do not want to be in March-shape in November.”

With the duals quickly approaching, the Hoosiers will be without two of their starting wrestlers.

“It is pretty unfortunate,” Goldman said. “We lost (junior) Mitchell Richey for the year, our starting 149, and we lost (freshman) Garret Goldman, our starting 197.”

IU will begin the tournament 11 a.m. Saturday against South Dakota State.

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