Shoulder surgery to end Conel’s season

Kent State wrestler Kyle Conel celebrates after defeating No. 1 seed Kollin Moore of Ohio State for the second time in as many days to secure third place at the NCAA Wrestling Championships at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland on March 17, 2018. 

Ian Kreider

Just nine months ago, Kyle Conel shocked the college wrestling world when he finished as Kent State’s first unseeded all-American.

Now, his future on the mat is uncertain.

The senior 197-pounder announced on Twitter his season has ended. He will be getting shoulder surgery that will sideline him the rest of the season.

Conel was the second-ranked wrestler at his weight class in the country. He finished third at nationals last year after fighting his way through the pigtail round and knocking off Ohio State’s then-No. 1 seed Kollin Moore twice. Conel’s finish was the second-highest in Kent State history, and one of the largest upsets in recent collegiate wrestling memory.   

Conel sported a 6-1 record at nationals, including two pins. He finished last season with a 30-11 record.

Conel had high hopes for the season, eyeing a national title, but the shoulder injury he suffered months ago continued to bother him heading into the season. He wrestled twice during the team’s home matches this year. During the first match, he beat Lindsay Wilson’s Lucas Miozza, 20-4. In his second — and final — match of the year, he bested California State, Bakersfield’s Mark Penyacsek, 9-8.

Conel’s future in wrestling is yet to be determined, but he said he is “doubtful (he) will continue after this.”

Ian Kreider is the sports editor. Contact him at [email protected].