University of Michigan - Michiganensian Yearbook (Ann Arbor, MI)

 - Class of 2002

Page 167 of 472


University of Michigan - Michiganensian Yearbook (Ann Arbor, MI) online yearbook collection, 2002 Edition, Page 167
Page 167

Text from page 167:

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men ' s wrestling The University ' s wrestling team, which posted an impressive seventh-place finish at the NCAA championships last year, started their season as the fourth-placed team in the nation. They came in this year with strong leadership from head coach Joe McFarland, who has held this position forthree seasons and assistant coach Kirk Trost, who has been with the wrestling team for 16 seasons. Al- though there was firm leadership, the team was unconventionally young with onlyfiveseniorsout of thirty-two wrestlers/ ' Ourstrength comes from the youth in our team because it is these boys who are the most willing to put it out there and be aggressive. They make the matches fun to watch, " said Kirk Trost. Adding to the youth of the team, McFarland signed four red-shirt freshman athletes; Nick Roy, Chase Verdoorn, Mark Moos and Chase Metcalf during the National Letter of Intent early signing period. " We are very excited about these kids. I think that each of their styles fit into our program well. They are tough wrestlers with experience at the national level. I consider them to be the top recruiting classfor the 2002-03 season, " said Joe McFarland. At the last pre-season meet of the 2001 -02 campaign, the team captured half of the 1 individual titles at the Michigan State Open. " This was a great way to get prepared for the upcoming 2002-03 season and with such a strong showing I know that the team is going into the season with high hopes, " said McFarland. The wrestling team started out strong for the 2002-03 year. The team competed unattached and dominated the Eastern Michigan Open by taking 7 of the 10 individual weight class championships. Seniors Otto Olson and Andy Hrovat stood out by wining their weight class championships undefeated. Olson was selected as the University ' s Most Outstanding Player. In addition, Hrovat took a silver at the Pan American Championship, which is a competition in preparation for the Pan American games. Since the Pan American games are played every four years the Pan American Championship features the best wrestlers in North, Central and South America during the three year interum. " The Eastern Michigan Open was a great start for the season. The team came out strong and we had outstanding performances from both the seniors and freshman, " said McFarland. In Las Vegas, Nevada Olson and Hrovat won their individual weight classes on December 1 , which led their team to its first Cliff Keen Invitational Team Championships. The team finished the two- day competition with 163 points, with runner-up West Virginia taking only 1 27 points. Next, the maize and blue opened up its dual meet season in strong fashion by beating 20th ranked Michigan State in a non-conference meet. Throughout the season the wrestling team dominated most of the matches. " Our goal this year is to go back to the NCAA champi- onships and capture the first place victory that we deserve, " said Hrovat. With the teams record and dedication to the sport that goal should not be far off. Sfory by Jennifer Lee En route to a major deci- sion victory, Kyle Smith tosses an op- p o n e n t . Smith entered the season unranked but quickly tore up to fifth in the national rankings. photo by Nicole Muendelien Awaiting the referee ' s signel, senior Andy Hrovat prepares to ride his oppo- nent. Hrovat was one of 19 Wolverines to earn 100 career victo- ries photo by Nicole MuenJelien Dominating hisopponent, senior Otto Olson looks for an oppor- tunity to score. Olson won his sec- ond consecu- tive Big Ten Tournament title, photo by Nicole MuenJehen 19 Iowa State 22 ||| 21 Oklahoma 19 ||| 10 Minnesota 22 ||| 27 Purdue 9 ||| 25 Illinois G ||| 33 Penn State 6 ||| 23 Ohio State 12 | 20 Iowa 15 ||| 32 Wisconsin 7 III 29 Michigan State 7 Sports | 1 63

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