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Monday, April 15
The Indiana Daily Student

sports wrestling

IU wrestling secures first win of the season behind Streck

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Before the Hoosiers left Bloomington this weekend, IU head coach Angel Escobedo said he told sophomore heavyweight Rudy Streck that there would be a big opportunity for him in Maryland.

By Sunday evening, chants of “Rudy” rang down from his teammates, as Streck was the difference in IU’s 19-16 win over Maryland.

It was his first Big Ten dual win, leading to IU’s first win of the season.

Before Streck ran onto the mat with the score tied, IU held a commanding lead that came from the light weight classes. IU took the first four bouts of the day. Junior Liam Cronin earned a major decision at 125 pounds to open the day and give the Hoosiers early 3-0 advantage. The win marked Cronin’s third straight victory.

“They were more ready for the opportunity than anything,” Escobedo said. “The guys had a lot of energy and you could tell by the way that we started off with Liam getting the win.”

Redshirt freshman Graham Rooks and freshman Cayden Rooks kept the score rolling in favor of IU. Both dropped their matches in Piscataway on Friday but bounced back with wins on Sunday.

Cayden Rooks took a 7-1 decision for the Hoosiers and No. 22 Graham Rooks got past Michael Doetsch 4-2. The narrow victory for Graham Rooks made it his fourth win in the last five matches.

In between the Rooks brothers, 141-pound freshman Eddie Bolivar picked up his first Big Ten dual match, ousting Maryland’s Hunter Baxter 6-4.

Then the Hoosiers encountered some trouble. They dropped four of the next five matches, leaving the score even heading into the final bout before Streck added the final points.

Junior Jake Covaciu was forced to forfeit his match by injury default at 174 pounds after suffering a head injury. Despite a welt on his forehead, Covaciu should be available for Friday’s match against Wisconsin. 

Streck stepped back out on the mat for the final match of the night. 

Up to this point in the year, IU couldn’t find consistency in its heavyweights. Streck was embarrassed in the conference opener against Iowa, as he was pinned early in the match. A loss to Illinois followed, and Escobedo decided it was time to try someone else in the spot.

Streck didn’t strap on his headgear for the next three matches as he watched his replacement, junior Jake Kleimola, go 1-2 in his meetings.

Escobedo decided to give Streck another opportunity to prove himself. Streck and Kleimola would split the matches this weekend. Kleimola was pinned Friday. On Sunday, it was Streck’s turn. 

After IU saw its 13-point lead whittled away to a tie score, Streck got in his stance in competition for the first time in exactly two weeks. It was up to the recently benched sophomore to come through and notch the Hoosiers’ first win of the season. 

And Streck came through. It was an 8-3 decision for Streck. 

“It’s cool to see some other guys step up,” Escobedo said. “It’s such a hard conference to get a win. So it’s always good to get one.”

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