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The Indiana Daily Student

sports wrestling

No. 29 Indiana wrestling takes out the Terrapins on the back of hero heavyweight Nick Willham


Indiana wrestling advanced its overall dual record to 4-2 and its conference record to 1-2 after defeating No. 21 Maryland 21-15 at home on Jan 21. Indiana remained undefeated against a rising Maryland team, as the Hoosiers now hold an all-time record of 8-0 over the Terrapins.

Indiana’s victory over Maryland may have been the most exciting dual of the season so far, as the Hoosiers erased an early 12-4 deficit entering the 157 lbs. matchup. The 4 points the Hoosiers scored came courtesy of redshirt senior Michael Spangler at 125 lbs. via a major decision. After Spangler’s victory, the Terrapins rattled off three straight wins, which included one upset, a major decision and a technical fall.

Things looked bleak for Indiana until No. 20 redshirt senior Brayton Lee breathed life into the Hoosier faithful with a 15-4 major decision over No. 30 redshirt senior Michael North the 157 lbs. match. Lee wrestled just his second match of the season for Indiana but came back into the lineup at the right moment for the Hoosiers. Notably, North was fresh off the biggest win of his career as he defeated Northwestern redshirt senior No. 13 Trevor Chumbley on Jan. 14.  

After Lee reinvigorated the lineup, Indiana went on a hot streak, winning three matches in a row against the Terrapins. Victors included redshirt freshman Tyler Lillard at 165 lbs., redshirt senior D.J. Washington at 174 lbs. and redshirt sophomore Roman Rogotzke at 184 lbs. Rogotzke delivered a huge 13-3 major decision to give Indiana the 18-12 lead. Maryland narrowly won the matchup at 197 lbs. to bring the score to 18-15. 

With 9-of-10 matches completed, the dual’s outcome was left in the hands of graduate student Nick Willham in the heavyweight bout. Willham, who recently dropped out of the national rankings due to a string of losses, had the tall task of wrestling No. 23 graduate student Seth Nevills. 

Late in the third period, the two were tied 1-1 when Willham finished a single leg on the edge to take the 4-1 lead. Willham later gave up an escape point but completed the upset with a 4-2 decision and sealed the victory for the Hoosiers.

Indiana wrestling will take the mat again in a week when it hosts Purdue for a dual meet at 7 p.m. Jan. 27 inside Wilkinson Hall. 

Follow reporter Aidan Pollitt (@pollitt_52) for updates throughout the Indiana wrestling season.

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