January 28, 1999
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The 12th-ranked Purdue wrestling team will have its hands full this weekend, as it travels to Ohio State on Jan. 29 and Penn State on Jan. 30. The Boilermakers, 14-2 overall and 1-0 in the Big Ten, are currently riding a nine-match winning streak. Purdue is coming off recent wins over Eastern Illinois (31-3) and intrastate rival Indiana (21-13). The Hoosier loss was their first in league competition.
Ohio State enters the weekend with a 9-6 overall record, 0-2 in the Big Ten, while 11th-ranked Penn State is 7-3 overall and 1-1 the league. On Jan. 24, the Iowa Hawkeyes snapped the Nittany Lions' 15-match home winning streak with a 30-9 dual meet victory.
The match-up on Sunday against the Lions will be held in the Bryce Jordan Center, which is also the site of the upcoming NCAA Championships to be held on March 18-20.
"When you go on the road, whether it be in the Big Ten or not, you need to come out and wrestle with an extreme intensity," Purdue assistant coach Scott Hinkel says. "Last year against Ohio State, we came out very sluggish and the meet came down to the last one or two matches. We were fortunate enough to escape with the victory. We need to take it to them right away and not give them a chance to breathe."
The Boilermakers are led by redshirt freshman Jason Silverstein's 23 victories. Ranked 12th by the Amateur Wrestling News at 125-pounds, Silverstein is 3-0 in league competition. He also leads the Boilers with 77 takedowns and 13 three-point near falls. On Sunday, the Ramsey, N.J., native, will take on third-ranked Jeremy Hunter, who is a perfect 19-0 on the season.
At 133-pounds, 12th-ranked senior Josh Hutchens will tangle with 18th-ranked Nate Parker from Penn State. Hutchens enters the weekend competition with an 11-5 overall record and a 2-1 mark in the Big Ten. Parker, a freshman, enters with a 9-6 mark.
Fans will get their money's worth during the 157-pound match, when sixth-ranked senior Willie Wineberg will grapple with third-ranked Clint Musser from Penn State. Wineberg, 14-0 on the season, has recorded 67 takedowns this year, while allowing only two.
This will be the first battle between two of the most storied Ohio High School Athletic Association wrestlers of all-time. Wineberg, a graduate of Fairfield H.S. near Columbus, Ohio, is the only four-time state champion in Ohio state history. Musser, a Walsh Jesuit H.S. graduate near the Akron/Cleveland area, was a three-time champion. His junior year he placed second. Questions of who is the top wrestler from the state of Ohio still linger.
"Whenever we go to the Akron area and recruit, there still to this day seems to be some buzzing about who was the best," Hinkel says. "They are both tremendous competitors and their match up should be very entertaining."
Senior James Crnich, who is ranked 17th at 174-pounds with a 21-4 record will face second-ranked Glenn Pritzlaff, 15-1, from Penn State.
The other ranked opponent the Boilermakers will face will be 19th-ranked Peter Rogers from Ohio State, who enters with a 22-6 record.
The meet with the Buckeyes will begin at 7 p.m., while the contest with the Nittany Lions is slated to start at 1 p.m.