Four Kent State wrestlers book tickets to Cleveland

Senior+Stephen+Suglio+takes+a+breath+of+celebration+after+winning+by+pin+in+his+match+against+Central+Michigan+Sunday%2C+Feb.+11%2C+2018.+%5BFILE%5D

Senior Stephen Suglio takes a breath of celebration after winning by pin in his match against Central Michigan Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018. [FILE]

Kayla Proctor

Kent State left Mount Pleasant, Michigan, and the Mid-American Conference championships with spots at the NCAA tournament for four wrestlers: Kyle Conel, Casey Sparkman, Anthony Tutolo and Stephen Suglio.

Conel (197 pounds) won his final match by decision over Derek Hillman from Eastern Michigan by a final score of 7-2, securing a spot at nationals and winning first place in his weight class.

Sparkman (157) won a spot to nationals Saturday after winning both of his matches. Sparkman wrestled Missouri’s Joseph Lavallee on Sunday, losing the match, but took second place in his weight class.

Tutolo (133) led, 3-2, in his match against Central Michigan’s Dresden Simon and won by decision by a final score of 10-5, sending Tutolo to the NCAA tournament due to a medical forfeit.

Suglio (285) wrestled for third place and a spot to nationals and took both, winning by a decision over Buffalo’s Jake Gunning.

“We had three guys steal spots to get to nationals,” Kent State coach Jim Andrassy said. “I’m really proud of how they wrestled, because all of them except Tutolo and Sparkman didn’t really have great days in wrestling yesterday, but they came back and battled to get their qualifying spots.”

Kent State ended the tournament in fourth place with a total of 98.0 points, Stephen Suglio bringing in the most points for the Flashes with 14.5. Missouri took home the team title.

Six out of the seven Flashes who wrestled Sunday won at least one of their matches.

The rest of the team’s rankings are listed below.

  • Jake Ferri (125) placed seventh

  • Tim Rooney (141) placed fifth

  • Chance Driscoll (149) placed seventh

  • Isaac Bast (165) placed fourth

  • Dylan Barreiro (174) placed fourth

  • Colin McCracken (184) placed eighth

“I’m happy how they all battled this weekend,” Andrassy said. “It was good for the other guys to see them go out there and wrestle and win.”

The NCAA tournament, which is held from March 15-18, is hosted in Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena this year, and it is also sponsored by the MAC.

“This is the first time nationals has been in our backyard,” Andrassy said. “It’s the closest we’re ever going to get. It’ll be good to get our guys out there and wrestling.” 

Kayla Proctor is a sports reporter. Contact her at [email protected]