Argue’s spot on the podium marks the 34th time that an NIU wrestler has placed at the tournament in its 51 years. The junior from Matteson, Ill., is also the first Huskie to place at the Midlands since 2010, when Bryan Deutsch took seventh at 157 pounds in 2010.
“It’s a huge accomplishment,” said NIU head coach Ryan Ludwig.
“The grand plan is to do big things in March and that’s what our whole season is about. Right now, we’re building for March. Tyler did a great job with establishing some quality wins on the way and really getting in touch with his offense and doing a lot of good work on top.”
Argue clinched a spot in the top eight early in the day when he scored an 11-3 major decision against George Mason’s Sahid Kargbo.
Following the win, though, he suffered a pair of defeats, falling to ninth-seeded Ethan Raley of Indiana in the wrestleback quarterfinals by an 8-1 decision. In the seventh-place match, Argue was topped by two-time Division II All-American Ryan Fillingame of Adams State in an 8-6 loss.
“Tyler’s a kind of guy that any place, anywhere he’s willing to do the job, but anytime you can do it in front of a home crowd, it adds a bit of a bonus flavor to it,” Ludwig said. “He had some family in the stands, which I’m sure was special to him, so I think he enjoyed the experience.”
The only other Huskie competing on the second day of the tournament was sophomore Andrew Morse. After a 3-1 performance in the first day, Morse bowed out of the tournament after being pinned by Chad Ryan of Columbia early in the third period.
The Huskies return to dual action at 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 4, when they battle in-state rival SIU Edwardsville inside Victor E. Court.
For more information on NIU wrestling and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.