Illinois wrestling readies for doubleheader on Saturday


Sydney Laput

Redshirt junior Danny Braunagel takes down Northwestern on Jan. 29. The Illini will be having their first home meets for the regular season on Saturday.

By Martin O'Connor, Staff Writer

With the conclusion of several fall sports, the college schedule welcomes and ushers in a plethora of new sports with their seasons just beginning. Illinois wrestling has begun its season and now finds itself a month in, with upcoming matches in both Chattanooga and Pittsburgh this weekend.

After starting the season at Michigan State back on Nov. 5, the team now sits with a 1-1 overall record on the season. After losing in their last tournament at NC State they will look to end their losing streak as well as improve the season record. This starts with some of the veterans.

Redshirt junior Danny Braunagel has taken a different approach to this season and has started to see the results. Braunagel finished second at 165 lbs in his first two tournaments at MSU and Missouri, while also securing the win for his team with a pin at Buffalo. 

“In the off-season I did things a little differently,” Braunagel said. “I’ve done a lot of mental training myself, I taught myself how to take the pressure off myself and just try to have fun with it.” 

After dealing with injuries in previous seasons, Braunagel focused on recovery and technique a lot in the off-season. He also stated that this season he wants his mindset to be about having fun and to not stress as much with the pressures that come with the grind.

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Through all the work that gets put in throughout the off-season and then all the work that gets put into the actual season, there is one goal on almost every wrestler’s mind. Braunagel is no different. 

“Personal goals are the same thing it’s been the whole time,” Braunagel said. “I want to be on the podium at the end of the season.”

The team’s upcoming matches won’t be an easy obstacle to overcome, but they will look to conquer and build momentum as they move on towards the halfway point in their season.


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