Wrestlers prepare to face Clarion final dual meet


Photo by Philip Botta.

Tim Dorst

The Kent State wrestling team will close out its regular season dual meet schedule Friday night against Clarion University in Clarion, Pa.

The Flashes (13-5, 5-0 MAC) are ranked No. 13 nationally in the NWCA Coaches Poll, the highest ranking the team has gotten in its history.

Coach Jim Andrassy said the wrestlers have their minds set on maintaining their historic ranking heading into their meet with Clarion.

“It’s the highest we’ve ever been ranked,” Andrassy said. “Our goal is go in there and try to dominate as much as we can so that we can keep that ranking.”

The Flashes have won 11 of their last 12 meets, including a 19-13 win over Rutgers in the National Duals tournament last Saturday. Their semifinal loss to Minnesota in the same tournament was their first dual meet loss since Dec. 11 against Ohio State.

Four Kent State wrestlers are ranked in the top 20 in their respective weight classes, according to the InterMat college rankings. Three of the four are ranked in the top 10, including senior Nic Bedelyon at No. 4 in the 125-pound weight class and freshman Ian Miller at No. 9 in the 149-pound weight class.

Friday’s match will be a homecoming for Bedelyon. The Lewistown, Pa. native will be greeted by numerous family members, friends and high school coaches.

“I’m excited for Friday,” Bedelyon said. “It’ll be great to see everybody.”

Bedelyon’s younger brother Tyler wrestles for Clarion and will compete in the 141-pound weight class Friday, matching up against Kent State sophomore Tyler Small.

Bedelyon is confident that his team will take care of business against Clarion.

“We’ve just got to wrestle tough,” Bedelyon said. “If we all do our jobs, I think we should beat them up.”

Andrassy said freshman Ian Miller will compete in the dual meet Friday night. Miller has missed the last four meets with an injury.

Junior Mallie Shuster could face his biggest challenge of the season as he will likely match up with No. 4 James Fleming of Clarion. Shuster went 2-0 last weekend at the National Duals. Senior Ross Tice will take on Clarion senior Bekzod Abdurakhmonov, who is ranked No. 5 in the 165-pound class.

With the dual season coming to an end Friday night, the Flashes will shift their focus and begin training for the Mid-American Conference Championship tournament next week. The MAC tournament will be held at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, March 4.

Contact Tim Dorst at [email protected]. or @TimmyD_DKS