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Purdue grapplers battle at wrestle-offs

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Chad Welch and Drake Stein showed off their offense Saturday during Purdue's Wrestle-Offs inside Holloway Gymnasium. The two redshirt seniors each registered technical falls while the seven other bouts were won via decision, including true freshman Gavin Murray at 157 pounds.

"Wrestle-Offs are an evaluation tool for me," head coach Tony Ersland said. "There were a lot of positives. You see a lot of the lessons that we have been teaching starting to take hold. I am glad to see guys making some changes, especially from the bottom position. We have been trying to make an emphasis on exploding and moving on the whistle instead of waiting to see what happens so I thought that was positive."

Welch put on a show, scoring 19 points in 5:47 for a technical fall at 165. The two-time NCAA qualifier stormed back after being taken down by Peter Andreotti in the first period with 17-straight points. Welch took the redshirt sophomore down twice, twice tilted for the newly-implemented four-count four-point nearfall and reversed him to start the second period. Andreotti escaped in the first and third, finishing with four points on the board.

Wrestling in an exhibition match at 197, Stein posted an 18-3 technical fall of freshman Jon Morales in 6:47. The redshirt senior tallied six takedowns, half of which came in the final period. Stein earned a four-point nearfall early in the match and nearly got the pin as time expired in the opening stanza.

A late reversal from Murray to tie and a quick strike earned the rookie a 6-4 sudden victory decision over redshirt freshman Mario Leveille. Leveille scored takedowns in the first and third, following a Murray escape for a 4-2 advantage. Murray's switch tied it up at 4-4 to send the match into a 60-second winner take all session. Fourteen seconds later Murray secured the winning takedown.

The battle between a pair of redshirt freshmen at 125 pounds, Ben Thornton vs. Jonathan Marmolejo, was decided by 1:11 worth of riding time in Thornton's favor for a 4-3 decision. Thornton's three points came by way of a takedown in the first and an escape to start the second. Marmalejo answered the first-period takedown by reversing Thornton and was awarded a penalty point in the third after Thornton was called for stalling a second time.

The Boilermakers open their 2015-16 campaign at the Eastern Michigan Duals on Nov. 7. The first of three duals that day begins at 9 a.m. ET as they take on Northern Illinois. Purdue will wrestle its next two duals back-to-back with Central Michigan at noon, followed by Eastern Michigan at 1:30 p.m.

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