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Tuesday, Dec. 5
The Indiana Daily Student

sports wrestling

IU, five other teams will wrestle in Hoosier Duals this weekend

It will be a busy weekend at the University Gym as six wrestling teams meet for the Hoosier Duals.

IU, West Virginia, Northern Colorado, Drexel, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and Virginia Military Institute will participate in a round robin competition Saturday and Sunday.

IU Coach Duane Goldman said he was not too pleased with IU’s first dual meets back in November but looks forward to seeing the team progress this weekend.

“It’s a new challenge for us,” Goldman said. “The whole format of what we are doing this weekend serves us better down the line like what we are trying to prepare for tournament-wise, trying to string together wins. Three the first day, two the second. You know, to win an NCAA championship you have to win five matches, and this is kind of that scenario.”

The team values these early season meets to prepare them for the road ahead.

“This lays the groundwork, gets us ready, we work out all the kinks out now because the Big Ten season is really competitive,” senior Ryan LeBlanc said.

Goldman and the wrestlers view this as an even field where they should come out victorious.

“I think all of the teams are actually pretty evenly matched,” Goldman said. “I think it should be a good weekend of wrestling. I wouldn’t say that there are necessarily any teams as a whole that are really strong from top to bottom. They are all pretty similar to us. They have their leaders, and they have their guys that are working their way in.”

One of the more interesting individual matchups will be between junior Luke Sheridan and Northern Colorado junior Nick Bayer Jr.

“The kid from Northern Colorado (Bayer) beat me seven years ago in a freestyle match, and when it comes to my freestyle career I don’t really forget matches that I lose,” Sheridan said. “He probably doesn’t even remember me, but I am definitely looking forward to that one.”

IU is now ranked No. 25 in the nation, but that is not what the wrestlers focus on, Sheridan said.

“We are definitely not content,” Sheridan said. “We want to keep pushing it. Top-25 is no accomplishment, really. It is a step in the right direction, but it’s nowhere near where we want to be.”

This year’s IU squad has a combination of highly ranked veterans and inexperienced members. Goldman values what the veterans can provide.

“Our four ranked guys are all juniors and seniors,” Goldman said. “We depend on those guys. Our young guys coming up depend on them. They need that leadership. They need some guys that have been in that action to lead the way.”

For instance, sophomore Ethan Raley has had ups and downs in his first year wrestling with IU after transferring from Lincoln College. Raley went through a difficult stretch two weeks ago to win the 149-pound title at the Keystone Classic.

“Ethan Raley has done a great job, but he has been kind of a rollercoaster,” Goldman said. “He had a really good tournament, then he didn’t look good the next couple of weeks. Then he went to this last tournament and looked great. He has got to develop some consistency.”

Goldman emphasized the benefits his team will have playing at home this weekend.

“It is always good to be able to sleep in your own bed and not travel,” Goldman said. “Also, with finals week and things like that, guys are putting more time in the classroom and studying, in theory, so this is definitely a good time to be here and hopefully we get some good support.”

Follow wrestling reporter Brody Miller on Twitter @BrodyMillerIDS.

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