Wrestling Announces 2011-12 Team Captains

PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM
Senior A.J. Kissel was named a team captain for the third consecutive season on Friday.

PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM
Senior A.J. Kissel was named a team captain for the third consecutive season on Friday.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM

Oct. 7, 2011

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue wrestling team announced its 2011-12 team captains on Friday morning, honoring seniors A.J. Kissel and Roger Vukobratovich and sophomore Cashé Quiroga, who were selected by team vote. Kissel remains a team captain for the third straight season, while this is the first leadership honor for Vukobratovich and Quiroga.

"This is a tremendous honor for our guys," said Purdue head coach Scott Hinkel. "To be a captain on a Big Ten wrestling team is an honor in itself, but I think it is extra special to be elected by your peers. Those are the guys you go into battle with, day in and day out, and to know they want you at the front of the pack is humbling."

Kissel has been a team captain in each of the last two seasons and is looking to make his final season extra special. Voted as high as 10th in the nation in the various preseason polls, Kissel will take the mat in his senior year at 197 pounds, moving up from 184. He sits just three pins short of the Boilermakers' career record of 48, currently held by Hinkel, and needs 23 wins to reach the 100-career victory plateau, achieved by just 16 wrestlers in Purdue history.

Vukobratovich is the favorite to win the Boilermakers' 285-pound starting position, heading into his final collegiate campaign with a career mark of 25-31, including eight career falls. His best season thus far was in 2008-09, when he finished 10-4 on the year with five pins, a technical fall and two major decisions. Vukobratovich received a medical hardship from the NCAA for the 2009-10 season, and looks to finish strong in his senior year.

Quiroga returns to the mat for the Boilermakers after taking a redshirt in 2010-11, moving up from 125 to 133 pounds. Quiroga was a 2010 All-American at 125 pounds, finishing sixth at the NCAA Championships and setting several Boilermaker freshman records in the process. He was just the fourth true freshman in school history to earn national honors and his 124 takedowns on the year are the most ever by a Boilermaker rookie and the sixth-best single-season total in the Purdue record books. Quiroga's return to the mat is anticipated across the country as he's been tabbed as high as fifth in the nation at 133 pounds in the preseason polls.

The Boilermakers start their practice schedule on Oct. 17 in preparation of the Eastern Michigan Open on Nov. 5.