Kent State wrestling team to take part in National Duals

Michael Mann

The Kent State wrestling team (10-9) will take a trip to Columbus this Sunday for the first round of the National Wrestling Coaches Association, or NWCA, National Duals.

The Flashes will look past the recent suspension of 184-lb. class wrestler Sam Wheeler, who was suspended indefinitely Monday after his anti-gay posts on Twitter were considered  “ignorant and not indicative of the beliefs held by our university and community as a whole,” according to Director of Athletics Joel Nielsen said in a press release.

Two names have been mentioned to fill the vacant 184-lb. spot in Kent’s starting lineup Sunday: senior Mike Vollant and junior Cory Campbell.

“I’m just looking forward to the opportunity and helping out the team as well as I can,” Vollant said.

“We’ve wrestled hard any opportunity we got,” Campbell said. “When the coaches need us, we’re there.”

Campbell and Vollant will have be vital to the Flashes’ success to the tournament, taking the place of Wheeler’s 26-5 record in the lineup.

Fourteen teams will take part in the NWCA’s National Duals, including Mid-American Conference rival Central Michigan. Seven nationally ranked teams will also participate in the duals, including the No. 1 team in the country, Minnesota, and fourth-ranked Cornell.

The Flashes will open up the tournament against Iowa State, who is currently ranked 17th nationally. The Cyclones have nationally ranked wrestlers as well, the highest being second-ranked junior Kyven Gadson of the 197-lb. class.   

If the Flashes were to defeat Iowa State, they would be put into a match against the winner of the Ohio State and Hofstra matchup. Ohio State ranked 13th in this week’s national poll. Comparatively, the Flashes would face the loser of Ohio State and Hofstra if they were defeated by the Cyclones as the NWCA Duals are a double elimination tournament.

The match between Iowa State and Kent State will start at 1 p.m. Sunday in St. John Arena at Ohio State.

Contact Michael Mann at [email protected].