2012-2013 Elmhurst Preview

Elmhurst College Blue Jays  (Midwest Region)
Head Coach: Steve Marianetti
Years at School as head coach: 11th
Career Record at school: 90-41-2
Assistant Coaches: John Jung, Matt Kuschert, Chris Muscia

Facebook: Elmhurst College Wrestling 

2011-2012 Dual Meet Record: 12-4
2011-2012 National Qualifiers and All-Americans: Dalton Bullard (133, 3rd), Jake Denhof (141), Ryan Earley (149), Joe Rau (184, 3rd), Brian Brooks (285)
Returning Qualifiers and All-Americans: Bullard, Earley, Rau and Brooks

Top returning starters:
Dalton Bullard – 3rd @ NCAA Championships (133)
Joe Rau – 3rd @ NCAA Championships (184), 2x All-American
Ryan Earley – NCAA round of 12 @149
Brian Brooks – NCAA round of 12 @285
Danny Balderas – 21-7, ranked in top 10 most of year @174
Mike Grice – 4th in Great Lakes Regional @157
Mike Ryan – 19-8 @165
Danny Vargas – 16-7, 2x Great Lakes Regional placer @197

Top incoming wrestlers:
Mike Benefiel – Transfer from Oklahoma State, Round of 12 @ D1 NCAA Championships in 2011, 2x D1 National Qualifier
Sean Raddatz – Transfer from Loras, IL state placer as senior
Alex Maynard – Transfer from Harper JC
James Spangler – IL state placer
Tyler Price – IL state placer
Eric English – IL state placer
Zach Kennedy – MI state placer
Mitch Morris – IL state qualifier
Joe Caprio – IL state qualifier
Tyler Espino – IL state qualifier
Zack Urbanski – IL state qualifier
Nick DiNardo – IL state qualifier
Steve Myers – IL state qualifier

Season outlook:
With all but 1 starter returning, the Bluejays look to improve upon last year’s 7th place finish and aim to bring home a trophy from the NCAA Championships for the first time in their program’s history. A very experienced and battle tested group of returners, along with a talented bunch of freshman and transfers make this look like their best team ever. Dalton Bullard and Joe Rau are both back after each finished 3rd in the nation last year. Rau may move up to 197 to make room for Oklahoma State transfer Mike Benefiel, whose peripatetic journey through college wrestling has landed him at Elmhurst for a final season of eligibility. The lineup may also shift in the other direction, as Earley, Grice, and Ryan could all drop from the 149-165 slots down to 141-157.