Four Flashes advance to MAC semifinals


Sophomore Tim Rooney grapples with a Central Michigan wrestler during his match Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018. The Flashes won with a 21-13 upset over the Chippewas, who entered the match ranked second in the Mid-American Conference. 

Kayla Proctor

After the first night of the Mid-American Conference championship, four Kent State wrestlers competed in the semifinals, and Casey Sparkman will be heading to the finals.

The Flashes had four wrestlers continue to the semifinals including Dylan Barreiro, Isaac Bast, Sparkman and Anthony Tutolo. Kent State was announced as the third highest ranked team in the tournament before the semifinals.

Tutolo, wrestling at 133 pounds against Eastern Michigan’s Noah Gonser, got on the board with an escape, ending the second period with a 1-0 lead. Tutolo ended the match with a takedown, and advanced with a 3-1 decision. In Tutolo’s second match, he lost to Missouri’s John Erneste and Tutolo placed 6th.

Bast, wrestling at 165 pounds, picked up his first win of the tournament with a final score of 10-2 to Ohio wrestler Joe Terry. During his semifinal match, Bast lost by fall under Missouri’s Connor Flynn and finished sixth.

Barreiro (174) started the match quickly against Eastern Michigan’s Andrew McNally with a 2-0 lead. Barreiro ended the match and moved forward to the semifinals with a final score of 7-6. Barreiro lost his second match against Missouri’s Daniel Lewis due to a technical fall and a final score of 15-0. Barreiro placed sixth.

After ending the first period tied at 0, Sparkman (157) ended his first match in the quarterfinals with a 6-2 win over Eastern Michigan’s James Wolfe, advancing to the semifinals. In his second match in a fight for a spot in nationals, Sparkman ended the second period down, 3-1, but secured his spot for nationals in overtime with a sudden victory over Old Dominion’s Larry Early with a final score of 5-3. Sparkman is currently in second place in his weight class and will be heading to Cleveland in two weeks to compete at the NCAA championships.

Tomorrow, six Flashes will wrestle for third place at best. Sparkman will be wrestling in the finals for first place. Sparkman is the only one guaranteed to make it to nationals at this point. Kent State is currently ranked in sixth place, but are just two points away from fourth.

The Flashes will compete again tomorrow with the consolation semifinal round at 11:30 a.m. The finals are set to begin at 1 p.m.

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