Wrestling: Northwestern’s in store for another successful season


Daily file photo by Seeger Gray

The Cats may be in store for another successful season in 2023 with its continuing group of top wrestlers.

Angeli Mittal, Design Editor

2022 was a historic season for No. 20 Northwestern. Not only did the Wildcats win more than 50% of their matches — which hadn’t happened in four years — but it also marked the first time in eight years that a Cat won a national championship.

The Cats (7-4) finished with a 4-4 Big Ten record, their best since 2017-18. The team scored wins against Illinois and No. 16 Purdue after losses to them in 2021, though No. 19 Minnesota defeated NU again last season. 

The start of the season proved to be rough with four-straight losses in Big Ten play, but coach Matt Storniolo and the wrestling team secured five-straight victories for the remainder of the regular season, and the team finished fifth at the Big Ten Championships. Storniolo recently agreed to continue coaching wrestling at NU for a few more years.

Then-graduate student Ryan Deakin brought home the 157 lbs. national title from the NCAA Championships. He also dominated the season with a perfect 18-0 record and became the third Cat in program history to win three Big Ten titles.

The team also brought home a top-10 national finish for the second-consecutive season, placing sixth. Alongside Deakin, three other wrestlers — then-senior Michael DeAugustino, redshirt senior Lucas Davison and redshirt junior Chris Cannon — were awarded All-American honors and career-best finishes at the tournament.

NU encountered some low points during the peak of the pandemic, but it quickly redeemed itself in 2022 with record-breaking wins. Though Deakin departs the program, one thing’s for sure: The Cats may be in store for another successful season in 2023 with its continuing group of top wrestlers.

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Twitter: @amittal27

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