The University of Northern Iowa (8-6, 5-1 WWC) will compete at No. 8 Nebraska (14-4, 5-4 B10) Sunday for the team’s final dual of the 2011-12 season. The meet will begin at 1 p.m. inside the NU Coliseum. A live stream of the dual will be shown at BTN.com.
PANTHERS CRACK INTERMAT’S TOP 25
UNI is rated No. 23 in InterMat Wrestling’s latest tournament rankings. This is is first time all season the Panthers have cracked the top 25 this season. The Panthers are tied with Kent State for the 23rd spot with 22 tournament points. Last week, UNI was rated 32nd and have not been ranked as high as 31st until this week. Joe Colon’s jump from No. 11 to No. 5 in the 133-pound individual ratings is the big reason for the spike.
COLON EARNS SECOND WWC WRESTLER OF THE WEEK HONOR
Joe Colon was named the Western Wrestling Conference “Wrestler of the Week” for the second time in three weeks this past Tuesday. Colon earned the distinction after toppling Devin Carter, the nation’s No. 1-ranked wrestler, as the Panthers competed at the NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals Regional at Iowa State.
UNI TO HOST WEST REGIONAL
Panther wrestling will host the NCAA West Regional this season on Sun., March 4, at the McLeod Center. All seven WWC programs will have wrestlers competing at the tournament with the goal of qualifying for the NCAA Championships in St. Louis. Tickets to the West Regional can be purchased at the door, by calling 319-273-4TIX (4849), or by visiting www.unitix.uni.edu.
COLON MAKING HIS PRESENCE FELT
Redshirt sophomore Joe Colon made a name for himself Feb. 12 as he toppled Virginia Tech’s Devin Carter, ranked No. 1 at 133 pounds, by major decision. Since that win, Colon jumped from No. 11 to No. 5 in the latest InterMat rankings. Beginning in late Decemeber as he placed seventh at the prestigious Midlands Championships, Colon has won 15-consecutive matches. Over the span of those 15 matches, Colon has won by regular decision just once. The rest have been major decisions (5), technical falls (4) and pins (5).
UNI leads the all-time series with Nebraska 30-14-1. The teams began competiting with each other in 1931. The last time UNI defeated Nebraska was in 1989. Since then, the Cornhuskers have topped the Panthers 12 times and tied once. Last season, the No. 16-ranked Huskers edged past UNI, 18-15.
DON’T FORGET BONIN
While Joe Colon and Ryan Loder have garnered most attention for their performances lately, David Bonin (157) has also been putting together a very respectable second half to the season. The junior has won 10-straight dual matches and boasts a 27-6 season record. Last week, Bonin was named the Western Wrestling Conference “Wrestler of the Week.” This week, he broke into the InterMat ratings for the first time this season.
JAUCH RETURNS TO THE LINEUP
Ryan Jauch competed for this first time since Jan. 21 Sunday at the National Duals Regional. The junior returned to the Panther lineup at 149 pounds, jumping up two weight classes from his usual spot at 133 pounds. Jauch went 1-1 at his new spot.
RACKING UP CONFERENCE CREDENTIALS
Panther wrestlers have claimed the last three WWC “Wrestler of the Week” awards. Joe Colon took the honor Jan. 31 and Feb. 14. David Bonin received the distinction Feb. 7. Ryan Loder has also been named a “Wrestler of the Week” this season (Nov. 29).
TOP TEN FOES TO SQUARE OFF
Sunday’s premiere match will be at 184-pounds as No. 6 Ryan Loder squares off with No. 8 Josh Ihnen of Nebraska. Loder is 30-2 overall with a 13-1 dual record, while Ihnen is 20-4 overall with a 15-3 dual record.