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Watts named TheMat.com Wrestler of the Week



Michael Watts (Riverton, Utah/Univ. of Michigan) has been named TheMat.com Wrestler of the Week for the week of February 14-20.

Each week, TheMat.com will select an Athlete of the Week, based upon performance within wrestling for that week. The selection committee will consider any level of wrestling, from youth programs through the Senior level. The announcement will be made each week on Wednesday.

Watts, a freshman, won a key match at 125 pounds for the Wolverines in their dual meet against No. 1 ranked and previously unbeaten Minnesota, in Ann Arbor, Mich on Feb. 17. Michigan, ranked No. 3 coming into the dual meet, defeated Minnesota 19-15 in front of a capacity crowd of 1,850 at Cliff Keen Arena.

Watts defeated Travis Lang of Minnesota, 9-6 in the dual meet. Watts scored the first takedown of the match, but fell behind Lang at the end of the first period. In the second period, Watts scored an escape and a takedown to take the lead, then added two more takedowns in the final period for the victory.

Watts' win gave Michigan its first lead in the match of the meet. Both teams scored five wins in the dual meet, making each victory very important. According to Michigan coach Joe McFarland, the win by Watts fired up the home crowd and helped inspire the team on the way to its upset dual meet victory.

Watts added a second win during the week, defeating Blane Culp of Indiana, by major decision, 13-1, in a dual meet in Ann Arbor on Sunday, Feb. 16. Michigan won the dual meet 31-9 to claim sole possession of the Big Ten Conference dual meet title, ending the year with an 8-0 conference record.

Watts attended Riverton High School in Utah, where he won three state high school titles and was named Outstanding Wrestler in the state meet in 2005. He earned a spot on the Michigan team as a true freshman. His overall record for the season is 12-16, with a 5-11 record in dual meets.

He is enrolled in the division of Kinesiology at UM.

Note: To nominate a wrestler for TheMat.com Wrestler of the Week, send the athlete's name, accomplishments for the week and career accomplishments to Gary Abbott at gabbott@usawrestling.org
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