Medbery, No. 11 Wisconsin looking for successful spring

As the spring semester quietly sneaks up on students, the Badger wrestling team, ranked No. 11 hopes to kick down the door and vault themselves into the Top 10. But Wisconsin (3-3, 1-3) may have taken a step back from that after falling to both Nebraska and Minnesota over the holiday weekend.

An early headliner for the Badgers this season has been Connor Medbery. After taking an Olympic redshirt season, Wisconsin’s heavyweight returned to the mat at the 2016 All-Star Classic in Cleveland, Ohio. In early November, his strong performance earned him Big Ten Wrestler of the Week Honors. The No. 3 heavyweight in the country not only won his All-Star Classic match but sealed the Cliff Keen title.

Treading right behind Medbery is redshirt senior Isaac Jordan. He is exceeding expectations and then some, dominating his weight class as the season progresses. A highlight of his season was against Indiana. Jordan got a bonus-point win and took down Bryce Martin, securing an 8-0 victory. His performance got the Badgers back on track after an early match deficit. It was a win for Jordan and Wisconsin against a Big Ten foe and displayed Wisconsin’s ability to rally from behind.

As the season lingers, Wisconsin has a lot to look forward to in the coming weeks. Freshman Eli Stickley and redshirt freshman Cole Martin are becoming a part of head coach Barry Davis’s arsenal. Evidently, the 54th Midlands Championships showed the exent of Wisconsin depth. Six members of the Wisconsin wrestling team earned spots on the podium and combined for a seventh place finish.

Late injuries and illness plagued the Badgers halfway through the Midlands tournament and before the Ohio State loss, though. When key players went down, Davis turned to juniors Ricky Robertson and Johnny Jimenez to step up. These wrestlers did not disappoint when called upon and add to the firepower of Wisconsin when fully healthy. With several starters coming back to full strength, the Badgers are ready to make a statement in the spring semester.

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