Conor Youtsey was the last healthy 125 on Michigan's campus. When I heard the rumor at a high school match on Wednesday night I scoffed at it. The two-time All-American was working on his life past wrestling and the idea we'd see him back in maize and blue this weekend seemed extremely far fetched. Instead, the rumors kept coming and we saw it on Sunday in Evanston.
College Wrestling is a grind and Youtsey always seemed to, frustratingly at times as a fan, show up for the big moments after inconsistency in others. A 6th place finish in 2015 was followed by another up & down regular season. Under the bright lights at Madison Square Garden in 2016, an unseeded Youtsey finished 5th with losses to Megaludis & Tomasello, the last two national champions.
Youtsey's first match of the season resembled that of an assistant coach at practice. Using energy in spots only when necessary, he controlled the ties and scored in quick bursts. On top he looked for openings that his freshman opponent gave, eventually a suck back led to an inverted headlock and an eventual pin.
The spark of having Youtsey back was welcome to McFarland's squad after a really rough Friday night against Illinois. The top matchups all went against the young Wolverine squad. Michigan's match against Northwestern showed that they weren't going to spend much time in mourning. They came out flying scoring early and often on their way to posting two pins and four tech's.
Malik Amine was in the dual lineup for the first time in his career, replacing an injured Zac Hall. He decided to forgo mat time and finish the match quickly with a pin in just 48 seconds.
Much attention, and rightfully so, has been made to the three top ranked Michigan freshmen this season. Two other freshmen, Profaci & Striggow, have had mixed results as they go through the grueling schedule a top ten program goes through. They both picked up two wins this weekend as they could quietly be putting together a resume for a top 7 seed at the Big Ten tournament. Hopefully, they keep the progress up and make the big dance this year.
149 -- Malik Amine (U-M) pinned Shayne Oster, 0:48 U-M, 6-0
157 -- #9 Brian Murphy (U-M) tech. fall Ben Sullivan, 21-4 (6:37) U-M, 11-0
165 -- #2 Logan Massa (U-M) tech. fall Johnny Sebastian, 26-10 (6:27) U-M, 16-0
174 -- #8 Myles Amine (U-M) tech. fall Braxton Cody, 21-6 (7:00) U-M, 21-0
184 -- Mitch Sliga (NU) major dec. Aaron Calderon, 13-2 U-M, 21-4
197 -- Jackson Striggow (U-M) dec. Jacob Berkowitz, 6-3 U-M, 24-4
Hwt -- Conan Jennings (NU) pinned Dan Perry, 6:03 U-M, 24-10
125 -- Conor Youtsey (U-M) pinned Anthony Rubinetti, 4:13 U-M, 30-10
133 -- #4 Stevan Micic (U-M) tech. fall Jason Ipsarides, 17-2 (7:00) U-M, 35-10
141 -- Sal Profaci (U-M) dec. Alexander McKenna, 7-3 U-M, 38-10