Wrestling hopes to show strength in Athens

Mike Mann

The Kent State wrestling team (8-6) will take a trip to face the Ohio Bobcats (6-2) Friday evening as the Flashes open a stretch of five consecutive MAC match-ups.

The Flashes are coming off an outstanding performance against North Carolina State, scoring a 23-14 victory in the second annual “Beauty and the Beast” event. That triumph comes without the efforts of Caleb Marsh, last week’s MAC Wrestler of the Week. and sophomore Ian Miller. Both are expected to be back in action for Kent State against Ohio.

Taming the NC State Wolfpack also gained a bit of national buzz for Kent State, earning the Flashes more votes in the USA Today Coaches Poll, but not yet breaking into the top 25.

The Flashes open their five MAC string coming in 2-0 in conference battles. Their two wins came in December; a 38-3 match against Buffalo and a 25-7 match against Old Dominion.

The Ohio Bobcats currently hold a 2-2 MAC record before hosting Kent State on Friday. They scored a 22-13 victory against Eastern Michigan this past weekend.

The Flashes currently have three wrestlers ranked in the top 25 in their respective lb. classes on Intermat.com: sophomore Ian Miller is ranked sixth in the 157-lb. weight class; sophomore Sam Wheeler is ranked fourteenth in the 184-lb. weight class; and sophomore Mack McGuire is ranked eighteenth in the 133-pound weight class.  

Although not yet busting into the rankings, wrestlers Mike DePalma, Tyler Buckwalter, Cole Baxter and Del Vinas are all coming off strong performances against NC State this past weekend and will be key pieces.

The Bobcats boast four ranked wrestlers of their own: sophomore Cody Walters is ranked ninth in the 174-lb. weight class; sophomore Phillip Wellington is ranked 11th in the 197-lb. weight class; senior Jeremy Johnson is ranked eleventh in the 285-lb. weight class; and junior Tywan Claxton is ranked 15th in the 149-lb. weight class.

The Flashes will look to keep their undefeated conference record spotless as they head into Athens, Ohio, for a match with the Bobcats starting at seven p.m. Friday.

Contact Mike Mann at [email protected].