If you’re a fan of consistency, then the Michigan wrestling squad is the team for you.
The Wolverines consistently lost their dual meets this season, posting just two victories. An eighth-place finish at the Big Ten Championships followed up Michigan’s 10 losses this season.
But even if you’re a fan of consistency, it may be too late to start following the team. The NCAA Championships are the lone event left on No. 23 Michigan’s schedule.
And that’s not all.
“We’re going to finish top-five (at Nationals),” fifth-year senior Nick Roy said.
“The only reason we didn’t do well (at Big Tens) was because a lot of teams were really well-rounded and every one of their wrestlers scored points,” Roy said. “Not every one of our wrestlers scored points, which was our downfall.”
Michigan finished 11.5 points behind third-place Iowa.
Going into the last weekend of the season, the Wolverines finally have a chance to prove they’re better than their record. Michigan has wrestlers qualified in five of the 10 weight classes, four of whom are seeded in the top four.
With a bigger playing field, the Wolverines benefit tremendously. The squads with the most top-ranked wrestlers do the best in such large tournaments.
And not many other teams are as top-heavy talent wise as the Wolverines. It was just a lack of depth that hindered them throughout the season.
“At Nationals, we have four guys ranked in the top-four,” Roy said. “Those are huge points. Those are ridiculously huge points. If we have four guys finish in the top four and if I (get) All-America (honors), we’re definitely going to finish in the top-three. That just doesn’t happen with a lot of teams.”
Co-captain Eric Tannenbaum, who suffered his first loss of the season in the Big Ten Championship, knows the key to finishing the season well is relaxation. You can’t get caught up in the hoopla of the tournament.
“The entire tournament is just unbelievably mentally draining,” Tannenbaum said. “I just try to stay out of watching other peoples matches until the tournament is really over, until after my last match. It’s a long tournament.”
But the Wolverines have at least one thing to help them relax – they are finally competing in a format conducive to their strengths.
Or at least in the one place they haven’t disappointed this year.