IU dropped a pair of matches this weekend against No. 3 Iowa, 32-7, and No. 10 Illinois, 28-9. Despite the losses, 184-pound senior No. 6 Nate Jackson reached a milestone.
Against the Hawkeyes, the Hoosiers were able to secure two victories from Jackson and heavyweight sophomore Fletcher Miller during the IU’s senior night, which Jackson called crazy.
“Usually getting ready for dual meets is a lot less stressful,” Jackson said. “For some reason today was really stressful, and I think I was putting a lot of pressure on myself. It was a more emotional experience than I thought it was going to be.”
Jackson said he got a little emotional before the match and is grateful for everything the University Gym and the Hoosier wrestling program have done for him.
After the emotional spell, however, it was business on the mat. Jackson was slotted to wrestle No. 5 Sammy Brooks, but a late pull had Jackson wrestling Mitch Bowman.
Jackson was up 6-4 after the first period and took over from there. He defeated Bowman 23-9 to get career win No. 99 and stay unbeaten in dual meets this season.
Miller got his first win of the Big Ten season by defeating Steven Holloway 3-1 in dramatic fashion. With 10 seconds left, the match looked to be heading to overtime before Miller was able to secure a late takedown with three seconds left.
“It’s a good one to get here right at the end of the season,” Miller said. “Knowing I can make that next step and beat some of these guys I have had close matches with this year and hopefully I can knock a couple guys off at the Big Ten Tournament.”
Against Illinois, IU was able to pick up two more individual wins despite dropping the match 28-9.
Sophomore Cole Weaver picked up his ninth win of the season by pinning Mousa Jodeh in slightly more than four and a half minutes.
Jackson brought home the second victory of the night by defeating No. 12 Emery Parker 9-6.
Jackson scored four takedowns and an escape point en route to his win, and it moved him to 28-2 on the season, unbeaten in dual competition and his 100th win in a Hoosier singlet.
The Hoosiers now have the week to prepare for their last dual meet of the season in the NWCA National Duals. The Hoosiers’ opponent is still to be determined.
With one dual left, Miller said he knows the team is losing leadership from Jackson and the rest of the senior class but that leaves an opportunity open for him and others next season.
“It’s going to be tough in the room next year not having some of those guys,” Miller said. “It will be a tough loss but also a good opportunity for some of us to step up next year.”