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The Millikin wrestling team went 2-2 at the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) National Duals at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Ky. Millikin two losses eliminated them from the two-day tournament that features 92 teams from NCAA Division II and III as well as NAIA and NJCCA. 
Millikin’s two wins build on its school record setting performance this season for wins in a season, which now stands at 18 with five losses.
        Millikin opened the day with a 32-12 win over Wisconsin-Oshkosh.
At 125 pounds, freshman Joey Rivera got Millikin going in the right direction with a 17-2 technical fall victory.  Freshman Sean McKenna won 12-3 (MD) at 141 and Peter McCusker won 7-1 at 149 to put the Big Blue up 12-6.  The Birt brothers each scored wins by fall with Tristan Birt winning at 149 with a pin at 5:51 and Bradan Birt scoring his pin at the 1:02 mark.  Jake Tisza won 5-1 at 174 and Taylor McGiffen scored a 20-5 technical fall win at 184 to round out the Millikin scoring.
        The Big Blue advanced to a second round match against Wartburg College who entered the day ranked second in the country in the NWCA Division III team rankings.  Millikin lost 25-18 with Rivera winning 13-7 at 125 pounds and Bradan Birt picking up a 7-3 decision at 165.  The Big Blue closed out the match with two pins with Logan Hagerbaumerwinning at 197 and Frank Tomaskovic winning by fall at 285.
        Millikin then had to wrestle its third straight match of the day defeating Roger Williams 30-17.  Rivera again opened the match with a victory this time a 4-2 decision.  MeKenna made it 6-3 Millikin with a 10-6 win at 141 pounds.  With Millikin trailing 14-6, Bradan Birt pinned Michael Mirmina in 13 seconds at 165 pounds to make it a 14-12 Roger Williams lead.  Millikin trailed 17-12 with three matches remaining.  McGiffen turned the momentum of the match to the Big Blue’s favor with a win by fall at 1:40 at 184 pounds to put Millikin on top 18-17.  Hagerbaumer then rallied to win by fall at 6:25 at 197 pounds to secure the win for Millikin.  The Big Blue picked up six points by forfeit at 285 pounds.
        Millikin closed out the tournament with a 45-0 loss to North Central College with most of the Big Blue backups seeing action.
        The Big Blue will face North Central again on January 21 when they travel to Naperville for a dual with the Cardinals.

Millikin 34 Wisconsin-Oshkosh 12

Wartburg 25 Millikin 18

Millikin 30 Roger Williams 17

North Central 45 Millikin 0

Peter McCusker

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