Pre-Seeds for 2006 Big Ten Wrestling Championships Announced
Feb. 27, 2006
PARK RIDGE, Ill. - The preliminary seeds for the 2006 Big Ten Wrestling Championships were announced today by conference officials. The pre-seeds are determined by a vote amongst the league's head wrestling coaches after consideration of regular-season results. The 2006 Big Ten Wrestling Championships will take place on Saturday, March 4, and Sunday, March 5, at Assembly Hall on the campus of Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind. The official Big Ten Championships bracket will be set on Friday, March 3.
Top-ranked Minnesota leads all Big Ten teams with three top pre-seeds, as Mack Reiter (25-3 at 133 pounds), Dustin Schlatter (34-1 at 149) and Cole Konrad (30-0 at HWT) all earned the top-nod for the Golden Gophers. Last year, Reiter earned Big Ten champion, Freshman of the Year and Wrestler of the Championships honors. Schlatter was tabbed Big Ten Wrestler of the Week earlier in the year, while Konrad, the defending heavyweight champion, earned three weekly awards. Illinois and conference dual-meet champion Michigan each earned a pair of top pre-seeds, while Indiana, Northwestern and Penn State were all represented with one selection.
Illinois' Alex Tirapelle, the two-time defending Big Ten champion, earned the top pre-seed at 157 pounds and will enter the postseason at 25-1. Tyrone Byrd, 23-4 on the year at 197 pounds, also earned the No. 1 pre-seed from the coaches. Michigan earned top selections at both 141 and 165 pounds with a pair of Churellas, in brothers Josh (22-1 at 141) and Ryan (22-0 at 165).
The remaining three No. 1 pre-seeds went to the defending national champion at 125 pounds, Joe Dubuque (19-0) of Indiana, Northwestern's undefeated (28-0) sophomore at 174 pounds, Jake Herbert, and Penn State's Eric Bradley, who is currently 9-1 at 184 pounds and the two-time defending conference champion.
Less than one week remains until all 11 conference schools will take to the mats for the 2006 Big Ten Wrestling Championships. Illinois, which last year won its first league title since 1952, will enter the postseason as one of nine conference teams ranked in the nation's top 20. Minnesota and Michigan are ranked first and second in the country, while Penn State and the Fighting Illini are eight and ninth, respectively. Rounding out the Big Ten contingent is Iowa (11th), Northwestern (13th), Indiana (17th), Michigan State (18th) and Wisconsin (19th).
Following Illinois' winning score of 130 points from a year ago, was Minnesota (123.5), Michigan (118.0), Iowa (94.5) and Indiana (89.0) and Wisconsin (89.0) in the top five. Penn State (72.5) and Michigan State (70.5) finished seventh and eighth, respectively, while Northwestern (68.5), Purdue (38.5) and Ohio State (26.5) rounded out the field.
Tickets may be purchased by contacting the Indiana University Athletics Ticket Office at 1-866-IUSPORTS or online at www.iuhoosiers.com.
The complete list of pre-seeds follows.
2006 BIG TEN WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS PRELIMINARY SEEDS