No. 19 Kent State Falls to No. 11 Central Michigan; Loses Potential Share of the MAC Regular Season Title

Richie Mulhall

It was a rough Sunday afternoon for the Kent State wrestlers, as they fell to their rival Central Michigan in a key match that could have helped the Flashes claim a share of the Mid-American Conference regular season title.

The Chippewas defeated the Flashes in dominating fashion, claiming eight of the 10 matches in the dual en route to a commanding 27-8 victory.

“Our guys wrestled, but we lost a good opportunity to upset a good team,” head coach Jim Andrassy said. “We didn’t match (Central Michigan’s) intensity, and our younger guys got a dose of what Central Michigan is all about, and we need to wrestle much better next time we see these guys at the MAC tournament.”

The only two Flashes who obtained wins for the team were sophomore Sam Wheeler (174 pounds) and fifth-year senior Dustin Kilgore (197 pounds).

Coming off of a successful performance against Clarion last weekend, Wheeler bested No. 23 Craig Kelliher of Central Michigan 5-2. Wheeler is now 19-9 this season with a pair of pins, one technical fall and six major decisions.

Kilgore put up another dominating and relentless performance this Sunday, not allowing his opponent to see the third period for the eighth-straight match. His Central Michigan opponent Sunday didn’t even see the second period, let alone the third.

Kilgore pinned Central Michigan’s Jackson Lewis at 1:43 into the third period of the match to claim victory. By earning his 47th career pin Sunday, Kilgore has now surpassed Jim Swetter for the school’s career record for pins. Kilgore is now only two pins shy of breaking Swetter’s single-season record, 17.

The Flashes’ career-victory leader extended his NCAA winning streak to 49 matches and now also carries a 59-match winning streak in dual meets.

Now 30-0 this season, the unstoppable Kilgore is 18-0 in career duals and still No. 1 in the nation at 197.

Three wrestlers who came up short, but held their own against good competition Sunday, were fifth-year seniors Stevie Mitcheff (125 pounds), Casey Newburg (184 pounds) and Keith Witt (285 pounds).

No. 33 Mitcheff and No. 16 Newburg both lost their matches in similar fashion, falling to their Central Michigan opponents 1-0. Mitcheff’s opponent was No. 10 Christian Cullinan, and Newburg’s opponent was No. 2 All-American Ben Bennett.

Keith Witt also dropped a close match, falling to No. 6 Jarod Trice 2-0.

Andrassy said that the team needs to work on its discipline as the Flashes return to the mat Friday. They will take on conference opponent Eastern Michigan at Bowen Field House.

Contact Richie Mulhall at [email protected].