WR Starts Season at Michigan State Open
Nov. 3, 2017

Michigan State Open

Sunday, Nov. 5 / 9:30 a.m. ET
Jenison Field House / East Lansing, Michigan

Brackets, Live Scoring / Live Video

Purdue wrestling will take to the mat for its first competition of the 2017-18 season Sunday at the Michigan State Open. Action from Jenison Field House is set to get underway at 9:30 a.m. ET. The double-elimination tournament features an open division and a freshman/sophomore division.

With nearly the entire 31-man roster expected to compete attached or unattached, the Michigan State Open allows fourth-year head wrestling coach Tony Ersland to effectively evaluate his team.

“I am definitely ready for the season to start,” Ersland said. “To win you have to do two things: prepare well and compete well. There’s been a lot of hard work and effort put in by these guys since the end of last season. Now it’s time to compete. It’s going to be fun seeing the results and the gains our guys and our team as a whole have made.”

Numerous weight class changes stand out on the Boilermakers’ 2017-18 roster. Last season’s starters at the three lower weights have all shifted. After spending the past two seasons at 125 and 133 pounds, Ben Thornton and Luke Welch have swapped weight classes. Welch has made the move to 125, while Thornton bumps up to 133. Nate Limmex drops from 149 to 141 for his redshirt sophomore campaign.

The move for Welch is a weight he has already found success. In June, he captured the 57 kg (125 pounds) freestyle championship at the USA Wrestling University Nationals, with two of his five wins coming against All-Americans.

“Ben and I are both very excited to compete at our new weight classes,” Welch said. “Two seasons ago we made a pact for him to go 125 and I go 133, but if we didn't perform to our best abilities, we would switch weights. We didn't like our results last season and decided to take it into our own hands by switching weights. I think it benefits both of us. Ben is strong and I think his style matches better at 133. I think it benefits me dropping to 125 because my diet is a lot cleaner and I feel like it benefits my conditioning for matches. A lot of work has been done since last season and I'm thankful to God for giving me another season to showcase the talent he has given me.”

Purdue’s middleweights have also reversed roles. Jacob Morrissey, an NCAA qualifier at 174 pounds last season, will take over the 165-pound role as a redshirt senior. Dylan Lydy, who wrestled every match for Purdue at 165, has moved into Morrissey’s place at 174.

“I think these guys have moved into the weight class that’s right for them, where they can be the most competitive and wrestle at a higher level,” Ersland said. “We’re very excited to see what they can do.”

In contrast, Christian Brunner is staying put at 197. Brunner enters his sophomore run ranked 18th nationally after qualifying for the 2017 NCAA Championships as a true freshman.

Sunday marks the first official collegiate competition for the redshirt freshmen, the nation’s sixth-ranked recruiting class in 2016. Additionally, 10 true freshmen will compete unattached in the freshman/sophomore division.



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