CEDAR FALLS, IOWA – The Northern Iowa wrestling team (4-3, 2-0) defeated Big Ten opponent Wisconsin (5-4, 0-2) Friday, 25-15. The win broke a nine-dual winless streak against the Badgers that has spanned the past nine seasons.
The Panthers dug Wisconsin into a hole early, and the Badgers never recovered. Senior Cruse Aarhus (125) made a statement in the night’s opening match, topping UW’s Austin Hietpas with a 17-2 technical fall. The West Gym has been good to Aarhus, who has compiled two tech. falls and a major decision in the Panthers’ three home duals this season.
Joe Colon (133) gave UNI five more early points, as he also defeated his opponent, Shane McQuade, with a 17-2 tech. fall. The redshirt sophomore is undefeated in dual action this season at 3-0.
UNI racked up even more bonus points in the night’s third match, as redshirt freshman Levi Wolfensperger (141) defeated Thomas Glenn with a 9-0 major decision. After Wolfensperger’s victory, the Panthers found themselves up 14-0.
From that point, it was tough for Wisconsin to recover, as the Panthers even held the three out of the four matches that they lost to regular decisions. Meanwhile, David Bonin (157) and Ryan Loder (184) both compiled major decisions, and Blayne Beale (285) won by decision.
Bonin used a takedown with eight seconds left in the third period, in addition to a riding time point, to turn his win over Shawn Perry into a major decision. The junior Louisiana-native is 3-0 in home duals this season. Bonin also leads the Panthers in career wins with 61.
Loder was one point away from a tech. fall, but he had to settle for a 16-2 major decision over UW’s Timmy McCall. The sophomore continued his dual-match perfection, as he boasts a 7-0 dual record and 23-1 overall record.
Beale put an exclamation mark on UNI’s first win over a Big Ten opponent since 2010, topping the Badgers’ Cole Tobin with a 5-2 decision. A crucial takedown with 1:08 left in the third brought the 1,000-plus West Gym crowd to its feet.
The Panthers’ next dual meet will take place Jan. 27 in Orem, Utah, as UNI faces Western Wrestling Conference opponent Utah Valley.
125: Cruse Aarhus (UNI) TF Austin Hietpas (UW), 17-2; 6:35 (UNI 5-0)
133: 12 Joe Colon (UNI) TF Shane McQuade (UW), 17-2; 6:23 (UNI 10-0)
141: Levi Wolfensperger (UNI) maj. dec. Thomas Glenn (UW), 9-0 (UNI 14-0)
149: 9 Cole Schmitt (UW) dec. Clay Welter (UNI), 3-0 (UNI 14-3)
157: David Bonin (UNI) maj. dec. Shawn Perry (UW), 11-3 (UNI 18-3)
165: 14 Ben Jordan (UW) dec. Riley Banach (UNI), 6-0 (UNI 18-6)
174: Frank Cousins (UW) FALL Onni Prestidge (UNI), 1:10 (UNI 18-12)
184: 6 Ryan Loder (UNI) maj. dec. Timmy McCall (UW), 16-2 (UNI 22-12)
197: Jackson Hein (UW) dec. Taylor Kettman (UNI), 8-3 (UNI 22-15)
285: Blayne Beale (UNI) dec. Cole Tobin (UW), 5-2 (UNI 25-15)