Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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Wrestling: Fox’s title highlights 5th-place finish

Dustin Fox did everything he needed to do to win his first Midlands Championships, a year after coming in second at the tournament. He won a marathon match in the heavyweight division, needing two tiebreak sessions to beat Hawk WC’s Mike Faust 5-3. But in his eyes, it wasn’t even his best match of the tournament.

“My quarterfinal was actually my toughest match,” Fox said. “The guy (Nik Fakete) was an All-American at Michigan State and he even won a prestigious tournament in Russia. He’s really good and wrestled back four matches to get third after I beat him.”

Behind Fox, the No. 9 Wildcats took home fifth place, with 89 points, at the Midlands on Dec. 29-30 and made the finals in three weight classes, with Fox winning the lone title. Iowa won the meet with 185 points followed by Iowa State, Central Michigan, Illinois and NU. The Cats were missing 141-pound senior Ryan Lang, last season’s NCAA runner-up.

“It’s one of the best tournaments in the country next to the NCAA Championships,” NU coach Tim Cysewski said. “I thought we had a chance to contend for the title and did that even though we finished fifth, which is not bad. If Ryan Lang didn’t get sick that would have really helped us to challenge Iowa and Iowa State.”

The Cats’ other finalists were sophomore Brandon Precin and senior Mike Tamilow, who won a title last season at Midlands, but was unable to repeat.

“I made the finals and it would have been nice to win,” Tamilow said, “but I wrapped up well and I learned what I need to do better, which is what is nice about these tournaments.”

Tamilow lost to American University’s Josh Glenn 14-9 in the final of the 197-pound weight class.

Three of NU’s wrestlers who did not make the finals also placed. Marty Gould finished seventh in the 149-pound class and Dominic Marella and Nick Hayes finished fifth and seventh respectively in their weight classes (165 and 174 pounds).

While the team performed well, rust still showed after the team’s two-week break before Midlands.

“When guys go home for break they come back and aren’t where they were before,” Cysewski said. “It’s not that they aren’t trying, but their workout partners back home aren’t as competitive as at school.”

With the Cliff Keen National Duals this weekend, the Cats will have another opportunity to build momentum to carry them through the Big Ten schedule, which is full of national title contenders. There are already eight Big Ten teams ranked in the top-15 nationally, which will test the Cats over the next few weeks and prepare them for the NCAA tournament.

As the team builds toward the end of the season, each wrestler is doing their best to prepare for what lies ahead.

“I need to make sure (my matches are) not close,” Fox said. ” I also need to score points and make sure a fluke doesn’t win the match for my opponent.”

Reach Brian Regan at [email protected].

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Wrestling: Fox’s title highlights 5th-place finish