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SIUE Prepares for Northern Iowa Open

December 3, 2002

         Just as they did at the Missouri Open, the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville wrestlers will face a tough test when they travel to the University of Northern Iowa on Saturday for the Northern Iowa Open.
         SIUE will face wrestlers from Big Ten schools such as Iowa and Minnesota and Big 12 schools such as Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa State.
         "Individually this is a really tough tournament," said coach Booker Benford. "We are always glad to be a part of it. Our wrestlers learn a lot up there and become better wrestlers for it."
         The Cougars did see success at the Missouri Open. Aaron Wiens (Cicero) finished sixth in the heavyweight division in the open tournament. Zach Stephens (St. Charles, Mo.) and Matt Oliva (Bartlett) each finished in the top eight in the open tournament. In the freshman-sophomore division, Ross Ryan (Crystal Lake) placed in the top eight.
         "We wrestled tough in the Missouri Open," Benford said. "Most guys went hard for all seven minutes, and that is all you can ask for."
                  -siue cougars-