The No. 12 Wisconsin wrestling team (7-3-, 0-3-1) will compete against Big Ten rivals Ohio State (7-7, 0-3) and No. 17 Indiana (14-2, 3-1) this weekend. The Badgers will face the Buckeyes Friday at St. John Arena before heading to the University Gymnasium to face the Hoosiers in Bloomington. Both teams will be looking for their first Big Ten win in this highly anticipated duel.
“We should go down this weekend and come back 2-0,” head coach Barry Davis said. “I think Indiana will be a lot tougher than Ohio State. They have a lot of ranked guys like we do … so if we do what we are supposed to do, we should come out 2-0.”
Davis plans on winning both duels by keeping his wrestlers focused and prepared. Davis also imposed a strict no cell phone policy. He hopes this will allow his Badgers to be less distracted.
The duel against the Buckeyes will begin at 7 p.m. The Badgers lead the all-time series with the Buckeyes, 24-17-1. Although the Badgers hold the historical edge, a win will not come easy. The Buckeyes feature an impressive lineup to match Wisconsin’s nationally ranked wrestlers. Junior Tom Clum, No. 6-ranked nationally, is set to battle T.J. Enright, No. 16-ranked, in the 133-pound weight class. Enright won two matches last weekend for the Buckeyes, defeating Byron Dunlap of Virginia and Brian Dyer of Indiana, while Clum picked up victories against both Michigan’s Mark Moos and Michigan State’s Ryan Froese.
At the 197-pound weight class, junior Ryan Flaherty, ranked No. 14 in the nation, will compete against J.D. Bergman, No. 4 in the nation. Bergman is a returning All-American who also won both of his matches last weekend scoring a major decision over Virginia’s Scott Smith and defeating Indiana’s Josh Buuck. Flaherty dropped his only match last weekend to Michigan State’s Jeff Clemens.
After a day of rest, the Badgers will travel to Bloomington to challenge the Hoosiers for a decisive Big Ten match. The Hoosiers will be looking for their third conference dual victory against the Badgers.
Competition begins at 1 p.m. Sunday at the University Gymnasium. Wisconsin leads the all-time series by one against Indiana, 24-23, but the Hoosiers have won five of the last seven meetings between the two schools.
Senior Tyler Laudon, No. 12 in the nation, is set to duel No. 15-ranked Mike Simpson at the 141-pound weight class. Laudon picked up a win in his only action last weekend, scoring an overtime victory over Michigan State’s Andy Simmons last weekend. Simpson recorded a technical fall over Virginia’s Chet Naylor before picking up the overtime victory over Jason Johnstone of Ohio State.
In the 157-pound weight class, sophomore Tyler Turner, No. 12, is set to contend against Brandon Becker, No. 15 in the nation. Turner split his matches last weekend losing to Michigan’s Ryan Bertin before recovering to defeat Matt McCarty against Michigan State. Becker also recorded two wins last weekend, defeating Paul Bjorko of Virginia and earning a major decision against Keegan Mueller of Ohio State.
Hoping to remain undefeated this weekend is senior Brady Reinke. The No. 9-ranked 184-pounder will battle unranked wrestlers from both schools. Reinke is the only undefeated Badger at 9-0.
“Indiana is pretty good,” said Wisconsin assistant coach Bart Chelesvig. “They’ve got some good individuals and a solid team so we expect a tough meet with them.”