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Returning All-American wrestlers lead team in positive direction
Rachael Cochran
Antelope Staff
Photo Courtesy of Marc Bauer
T.J. Hepburn, a sophomore from East Hampton, Conn., successfully takes down his opponent at the Wyoming Open held this past weekend. Hepurn was the top seed at 149 pounds. His four wins included a tech fall (19-3) and a pin (6:36).
Photo Courtesy of Marc Bauer
Kamarudeen (Marty) Usman, a senior biology major from Arlington, Texas, competed unattached this past weekend at the Wyoming Open. Usman brought home the title at 174 lbs. Usman started off his senior season with a quick pin (2:19) and a tech fall (18-3).

Winter is here and the wrestling season has begun. After winning the National Championship in 2008, the wrestling team is held to a higher standard. With five returning All-Americans and two transfer All-Americans, the team has high hopes for the upcoming season.

“We’ll see how this season goes," Head Coach Marc Bauer said. "We return a lot of national level experience, and nothing is going to be handed to us. We are going to have to work hard and stay focused, and if we do, great things could happen for us,” Bauer said.

The team started the season this past weekend at the Wyoming Open. Even though the meet wasn’t scored, the wrestlers did well as a team.

Coach Bauer was also excited about the number of new faces that will be seen this season. He has a team of 27 wrestlers, and 11 have varsity-level experience.

“We have seven incoming freshmen and three transfer students, 10 new wrestlers total,” Bauer said.

The rest of their season is full of opportunity to compete and another chance at the National Championship. Coach Bauer hopes the number of varsity wrestlers increases and the team keeps the their goals in perspective.

“As a team, we hope to capture an RMAC title, qualify as many individuals for nationals and win a national title again,” Bauer said.

The wrestling team heads to Omaha this weekend where they will compete in the UNO Kaufmann-Brand Open.

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