Nov. 13, 2008
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue wrestling team is set to host the inaugural Boilermaker Challenge this Saturday in concurrence with a celebration of 95-years of wrestling at Purdue. The seven-team dual event will start at 10 a.m. in Lambert Fieldhouse, featuring four rounds of action on a trio of mats.
Headlining the teams in action is 11th-ranked Big Ten rival Northwestern and No. 25 Kent State, while the Boilermakers will also host highly-touted UT-Chattanooga, Mid-American Conference foes Eastern Michigan and Northern Illinois and NAIA representative Campbellsville. Several highly-ranked wrestlers will be in action across the board, resulting in a few clashes between nationally recognized opponents.
The Old Gold and Black is set to welcome back nearly 50 of its outstanding alumni, including several former NCAA All-Americans and NCAA Champions. Standouts that are expected to be in attendance include 1950 NCAA Champion Joe Patacsil, former head coaches Mitch Hull, Bill Trujillo and Don Corrigan, NCAA All-Americans Dave Lilovich, Matt Lindley, Joe Urso and Ben Wissel, Big Ten Champion Joe Lilovich and world-renounced MMA star Jon Fitch. As a part of a weekend celebration, the attending alumni will be invited down to the mats and recognized prior to the start of the 2 p.m. dual matches.
The Purdue lineup is led by its four ranked wrestlers in senior Jake Patacsil and sophomores Luke Manuel, A.J. Kissel and Logan Brown. Patacsil is 11th in the country at 149 pounds, while Manuel is eighth at 165 pounds, Kissel is 11th at 184 pounds and Brown is 13th at 197 pounds. Patacsil leads the team with 36 back points on the year, lifting his career total to an all-time Purdue best 546, while Kissel stuck a team-high three opponents at the season-opening tournament to bolster his career total to 22, good for ninth all-time at Purdue. Junior 141-pounder Juan Archuleta leads the Boilermakers in both wins (6-1) and takedowns (27), but junior Nick Corpe is set to make his debut this weekend at 174 pounds, and will look to defend his team title for the most takedowns last season.
Other top wrestlers in action include fourth-ranked 125 pounder Brandon Precin of Northwestern, second-ranked 184-pound teammate Jake Herbert and Chattanooga's fourth-ranked 141-pound junior Cody Cleveland. Precin will face off with No. 13 Nic Bedelyon of Kent State at 2 p.m., and that match will also feature Herbert against the Golden Flashes' 13th-ranked freshman Dustin Kilgore. In the day's final session at 4 p.m., Cleveland is set to do battle with 10th-ranked sophomore Keith Sulzer of Northwestern.
Tickets for Saturday's event are available through the Purdue ticket office and are $5 for adults and $2 for students. For the first time in Purdue wrestling history, live results will be available through the NWCA's new college scorebook. Please visit the Boilermaker Challenge Live Results page for a link to Saturday's match of your choice.