Indiana Daily Student

Indiana wrestling heads to Appalachian State University for invitational Sunday

<p>Then-sophomore Nick Willham defends a take-down attempt Feb. 6, 2021, at Wilkinson Hall. Willham won his first two matches this season for Indiana wrestling. </p>

Then-sophomore Nick Willham defends a take-down attempt Feb. 6, 2021, at Wilkinson Hall. Willham won his first two matches this season for Indiana wrestling.

The Indiana wrestling team heads to Boone, North Carolina, to participate in the Mountaineer Invite Sunday after winning its first two matches in Louisville, Kentucky, last weekend.

Teams attending the Mountaineer Invite on Sunday include No. 7 Arizona State University, Kent State University, Appalachian State University, Duke University and the United States Air Force Academy. 

No. 20 Illinois, which had 10 wrestlers place in the top six at the Michigan State Open last Saturday, withdrew from the invite Tuesday due to COVID-19 issues within the program, according to an Illinois athletics press release. 

“There is a talented group of teams attending this event,” head coach Angel Escobedo said. “Arizona State is one of the top programs in the nation finishing in the top ten last year.”

Indiana wrestling: Indiana wrestling goes 2-0 after tri-dual dominant matches against SIUE, Bellarmine

Indiana was originally supposed to have a match against Duke at Wilkinson Hall on Nov. 20, but later canceled because they could not find an ideal location for both teams. 

“Unfortunately, we weren’t able to make that dual meet work,” Escobedo said. “However, we’re fortunate to still get the opportunity to compete against the program at the Mountaineer Invite this weekend.”

The lineup is expected to be similar to the one used at the tri-dual last weekend. No. 30 sophomore Jacob Moran will represent the 125-pound weight class. No. 23 graduate student Brock Hudkins will represent the 133-pound weight class. No. 22 junior Cayden Rooks will compete in the 141-pound weight class while his brother, No. 30 junior Graham, will wrestle at 149. 

Junior Kasper McIntosh, who picked up two regular-decision wins in his debut with Indiana last weekend, will represent the 157-pound weight class. It is uncertain who will start for the 165-pound weight class, as sophomore Matt Ortiz and senior Sammy Cokeley both lost last weekend.

“The 165-pound class is one we are still trying to figure out,” Escobedo said. “We put in Ortiz and Cokeley to figure out who fits in there, and we will continue to utilize more guys in there to figure out that category.”

Previously: Indiana wrestling opens season in tri-dual with SIU Edwardsville, Bellarmine on Sunday

Sophomore Nick South will represent the 174-pound class. Junior No. 14 DJ Washington will represent the 184-pound class. At the 197-pound class, junior Nick Willham will wrestle in that spot. Finally, junior Jacob Bullock will represent the heavyweight class.

The team is allowed to bring 16 wrestlers to the invite, so there is a chance a backup will be utilized.

“We expect to have a similar lineup from last weekend competing at the Mountaineer Invite,” Escobedo said. “The team being allowed to bring 16 wrestlers will allow us to figure which guy fits where and what we can do to make this team better.”

The all-day meet will start at 9 a.m. Sunday at the Appalachian State’s Varsity Gymnasium.

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