Kent State wrestler tries for third MAC title at championships

Zac Sommer

Kent State junior Ian Miller looks to win his third Mid-American Conference title after winning both matches Saturday at the MAC Championships.

Miller (157) completed six takedowns in his quarterfinal match to win 14-5 over Old Dominion’s Devin Geoghegan. Miller then moved on to the semifinal round, defeating Eastern Michigan wrestler Brandon Zeerip, 13-6. Miller subsequently qualified for the NCAA national tournament after his victory over Zeerip.

“I got my offense going and my shots in,” Miller said. “I haven’t been doing that a lot this season and just went back to the basics.”

Miller faces University of Missouri’s Joseph Lavallee on Sunday for the 157-pound MAC title.

“He just needs to go out there and wrestle his match,” coach Jim Andrassy said. “He’s a real hard kid to take down, and he just needs to wrestle hard.”

Junior Michael DePalma (149), fifth-year Caleb Marsh (174), redshirt freshman Jerald Spohn (184) and sophomore Mimmo Lytle (285) all made it past the quarterfinal round before losing in the semifinals.

Spohn defeated Central Michigan’s Cody Caldwell in overtime in the quarterfinal match of his MAC Championship debut. Spohn completed a reversal late in the third to force overtime, where his takedown gave him an 8-6 win over Caldwell.

“I know that I needed either an escape or a reversal,” Spohn said. “I pulled a move I hit all the time, and I moved faster than he did and reversed him.”

Kent State sits in sixth place after day one with 48.5 points, according to the MAC website. Missouri leads with 122 points.

“We had some guys that fought really hard, and we had some that didn’t finish matches,” Andrassy said. “It’s kind of a mixed feeling, but there is still a lot of wrestling to do.”

The Flashes will return to the Missouri’s Hearnes Center for the final round of the MAC Championships at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Contact Zac Sommer at [email protected].