Miller named MAC Freshman of the Year


Nic Bedelyon, senior, wrestles Jared Germaine, sophomore, at the match against Eastern Michigan on Feb. 5. The Flashes won 28-10. Photo by Nancy Urchak.

Tim Dorst

Freshman wrestler Ian Miller put together a stellar season for the Flashes, and his accomplishments have earned him the biggest honor for a freshman in the Mid-American Conference.

Miller was named the MAC Freshman of the Year for the 2011-2012 season. The 149-pound Miller finished his campaign with a record of 29-5, including nine major decisions and a team-high 12 pins.

Miller said winning this year’s award was really special to him.

“I’m really honored to be named Freshman of the Year,” Miller said. “It really means a lot.”

Miller was ranked as high as No. 5 in the nation in the 149-pound weight class, according to the InterMat college rankings. He helped the Kent State wrestling team earn a No. 13 ranking in the NWCA Coaches poll, the highest national ranking in the program’s history.

Miller held a dual meet record of 14-1, including a 4-0 performance at the Virginia Duals tournament on Jan. 13-14. Miller also carried a 19-match winning streak for much of the season.

After going undefeated against MAC opponents in the regular season, Miller claimed an individual championship at the MAC tournament on March 4 with a 13-2 major decision in the final match. He became the first true freshman to win a MAC title for the Flashes since Nic Bedelyon did it in 2008.

Miller said he enjoyed traveling with the team and gaining valuable experience as a true freshman.

“Just being around the upperclassmen and learning the ropes and what it takes, that was all important to me,” Miller said.

Miller’s dominant performances during the season earned him the No. 5 seed in the NCAA Championship on March 15-17. He advanced to the round of 16 with a first-round pin at 57 seconds into the match.

Miller said competing at the national tournament was a good eye-opener.

“It didn’t end the way I wanted it to, but it prepared me for the future,” Miller said. “So, it was a good experience.”

At the Mat Town Invitational on Dec. 29, Miller went 4-0 and took the title of Outstanding Wrestler for the tournament. Miller also won an individual title at the Body Bar Invitational at Cornell University on Nov. 19.

Miller said he is looking forward to next season and to continuing his career with the Flashes.

“It’s going to be really special,” Miller said. “I know how everything works at the national tournament and at the college level, so I’m going to come in prepared next year.”

Contact Tim Dorst at [email protected] and TimmyD_DKS.