Oct. 12, 2012
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The final segment of the 2012-13 Purdue wrestling preview features the upper-third of the Boilermakers' weight classes and covers their schedule this season. Sophomore Braden Atwood highlights the top-part of the lineup, bumping from 184 to 197 pounds after qualifying for the NCAA Championships as a freshman.
Don't forget the Boilermakers are hosting an open practice to start their season on Saturday, taking their mats out in to Lambert Fieldhouse to showcase the sport for the homecoming crowds. Practice starts at 10 a.m.
The Boilermakers welcome sophomore Pat Kissel back to the lineup at 184 pounds after he redshirted the 2011-12 season. Purdue last saw Kissel at 165 pounds as a true freshman in 2010-11, where he was 6-8 in limited action due to injuries. Four of his six wins that season came with bonus points, scoring a pair of falls and two major decisions. He was a perfect 5-0 in unattached competition last year, pinning three opponents en route to the Central Missouri Roger Denker Open title.
Purdue welcomes a pair of fresh faces to the stable at 184 pounds in freshmen Tanner Lynde and Andrew Hissom. Lynde is a local product, hailing from nearby Delphi High School, and became the first state champion in his school's history last year by winning the Indiana 189-pound title. Hissom comes to Purdue by way of Spring Lake, Mich., where he was a two-time state qualifier.
2012 NCAA Qualifier Braden Atwood makes the jump to 197 pounds in his sophomore campaign, where he's earning national recognition in all the polls despite some still having him at 184. Atwood was 23-15 last year at 184 pounds, including a seventh-place finish at the Big Ten Championships and placewinning efforts at the Midlands Championships and the Eastern Michigan Open. He was third on the team with eight falls, and 12 of his 23 victories came with bonus points.
Sophomore Drake Stein will offer support at 197, but is likely to redshirt the season after starting at 174 pounds in 2011-12. Stein has put on serious pounds since last year, where he put together a 10-18 mark, including six falls, a technical fall and a major decision. Stein could see action at heavyweight this season in unattached competition.
The Boilermakers' starting job at heavyweight is a wide-open race between juniors Adam Walls and Alex White and freshman Preston Quam. Walls has a 16-28 career mark, starting as a true freshman for Purdue in 2009-10 due to injuries to departed heavyweight Roger Vukobratovich. He redshirted last season, but was 9-5 in unattached action, including wins by fall over all three Ohio State heavyweights.
White is 23-23 over the past two seasons for the Old Gold & Black, placing in a variety of open tournaments and seeing sporadic varsity action. He filled in at heavyweight over the last part of 2012, and looks to earn a spot in the starting lineup this fall.
Quam moves up from 197 pounds, where he compiled a 17-10 mark in unattached action last season. He had eight falls, a technical fall and four major decisions. The 2011 California State runner-up placed in six tournaments last season and looks to bring his skills to the heavyweight division this year.
Freshman Tyler Kral adds his name to the list of Boilermaker heavyweights as well this year after winning the Indiana state title at 220 pounds in 2012.
Purdue head coach Scott Hinkel and his staff put together another challenging slate for this year's Boilermaker squad, which is always anchored by the rigorous Big Ten schedule. The Boilermakers open the year at the Eastern Michigan Open, heading to Ypsilanti, Mich., for the second straight season, then return home for a major event where they host a pair of tough teams in Missouri and Old Dominion.
The Boilermakers finish out November on the road with a pair of multi-dual events. They head up to Northern Illinois for the NIU Duals, facing Loras, Calumet St. Joseph and the host Huskies, and then return to the Northeast Duals in Troy, N.Y. for the second year in a row, where they'll have Army, Hofstra, Maryland and Princeton on the schedule.
Purdue wraps up the first semester with a trip to the Northern Iowa Open and a pair of home duals with Southern Illinois Edwardsville and Iowa Western Community College. They'll take a couple weeks off for the holiday season and return to action with the 50th-annual Midlands Championships to complete 2012.
The Big Ten Conference slate kicks off in January as the Boilermakers open on the road at Michigan State, Iowa and Illinois. They'll host defending NCAA Champions Penn State on Jan. 20 before heading up to the Chicago-land area for a neutral-site scuffle with Wisconsin at Hinsdale Central High School. The Boilermakers will battle Northwestern on the road to start February and then complete the conference schedule with home duals against Michigan and Indiana
The Boilermakers return to the National Duals late in the season, looking to exceed their Top-16 finish from 2012, and wrap up the regular season with duals against Franklin & Marshall and Rider on the road.
The 2013 Big Ten Championships are scheduled for March 9-10 at the University of Illinois, while the NCAA Championships follow March 21-23 at the Wells Fargo Center in Des Moines Iowa.