Simmons brothers claim titles at Eastern Michigan Open

YPSILANTI, Mich. -- All-Americans Nick and Andy Simmons swept through the competition at the Eastern Michigan Open Saturday notching 5-0 records en route to tournament championships at 125 pounds and 141 pounds respectively.

"This was a great way to kick-off the season," head coach Tom Minkel said. "We still have a lot to work on, but I am pleased with the overall performance of the team today."

Nick Simmons dominated his first three matches of the tournament, recording falls against wrestlers from Edinboro and Michigan in less than a minute, before pinning Central Michigan's Josh Williams at 3:14 of their quarterfinal match up. Simmons earned a pair of 3-0 decisions in the semifinals against Ricky Deubel of Edinboro, and in the finals against his teammate, freshman Franklin Gomez.

Andy Simmons rolled through the 141-pound bracket, earning technical falls in his first match of the tournament, and again in the finals, beating Navy's Dave Tippett in dominating fashion, 15-0. Simmons gave up just one point in his other three matches, defeating Von Graham of Findlay by major decision, 8-0, and Central Michigan's Eric Kruger, 4-0. He reached the finals by topping Jake Patacsil of Purdue, 4-1.

Besides Nick and Andy Simmons and Gomez, four other Spartan grapplers placed in three different weight classes.

NCAA qualifier Darren McKnight put up a 5-1 record on the day, beating Navy's John Cox in the consolation finals to take third place at 149 pounds. McKnight avenged a 2005 dual-meet loss to Purdue's Doug Withstandley to reach the third-place match.

Redshirt freshmen Tim Hammer at 141 pounds, and John Murphy at 184 pounds, placed fourth, compiling 6-2 records for the tournament. Freshman Rocky Cozart also placed for MSU at 165 pounds, claiming sixth.

The Spartans return to action next weekend, Nov. 12-13, when they host the MSU Open at Jenison Field House. Wrestling starts at 10 a.m. on Saturday and continues throughout the day.


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