The Michigan wrestling team”s lower-weights have been dominant this year. It”s not as though its upper-weights including All-Americans Otto Olson, Andy Hrovat and Matt Brink have been wrestling poorly, but the lower-weights have looked phenomenal.

“I should take a lesson from some of these lower-weight guys,” said Olson. “They”re looking real good on their feet.”

What are these guys doing so well?

In the sport of wrestling, a technical fall means complete domination. A tech fall ends a match when a wrestler is winning by 15 points. To be a college wrestler, and to be on the losing end of a tech fall is embarrassing.

Michigan has wrestled in just two preseason tournaments including the Michigan State Open in East Lansing this past weekend but 149-pounder Mike Kulczycki has already embarrassed a handful of wrestlers. Kulczycki notched two technical falls en route to the crown at the Eastern Michigan Open two weeks ago in Ypsilanti. The All-American also posted two more technical falls at Michigan State this week on his way to another first-place finish.

A.J. Grant isn”t a master of the tech fall like Kulczycki, but the 125-pounder is a master of finding a way to win. Grant is one of the smartest wrestlers on the team he knows the best time in a match to score, and the best way to do it. Grant isn”t a “take him down, let him up” kind of wrestler, but he has the will to win which is evidenced by his All-America status.

At the Eastern Michigan Open, Grant beat two of the top freshmen in the nation in Michigan State”s Nick Simmons and Indiana”s Joe DuBuque. In the quarterfinal round in East Lansing yesterday, Grant once again had to wrestle a highly-toted freshman in Northwestern”s Thomas Vargas. In high school, Vargas captured a State championship in California, one of the nation”s best wrestling states.

The score was tied at zero going into the second period, but Grant scored one escape point with a stand-up, and then added two more on a double-leg takedown. Grant won the match 6-0, but was upset by Simmons in the semi-finals. He finished in third-place.

“We”re wrestling our style,” said Grant. “We”re showing everyone we”re in better shape than them.”

Other champions at the Michigan State Open included Foley Dowd (133-pounds), Olson (174), Kyle Smith (197), and Matt Brink (heavyweight).

“I”m real happy with the way we”re wrestling,” said Michigan coach Joe McFarland. “More importantly, I”m happy with the style we”re wrestling.”

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