Wrestling defeated by Central Michigan

A.J. Atkinson

Two Mid-American Conference champions led the Kent State wrestlers in their second place finish in the MAC Tournament this weekend.

Junior Dustin Kilgore continued his dominance, defeating the former MAC champion Eric Schuth,12-6, to become the ninth wrestler in Kent State history to become a three-time MAC Champion.

At 125, junior Nic Bedelyon earned his second MAC championship with a solid 10-3 win over Ohio’s Gabriel Ramos.

v“I look at it as just another step up the ladder towards reaching my goal of becoming a national champion,” Bedelyon said of the award.

The Flashes finished behind Central Michigan with 73.5 points, 5.5 points back from the Chippewas.

Jim Andrassy, Kent State coach, said he is happy the team finished second — especially after falling 14 points behind Central Michigan at one point in the tournament — but is frustrated with finishing second in six consecutive seasons.

“We have the better athletes and have the better team and still take second,” Andrassy said. “For us to take second, we wrestled well, but we had the people good enough to win this tournament.

“To be team champions, you need guys who do great things, not just good things.”

Andrassy said the team let too many scoring opportunities pass to win the tournament.

“We look back as coaches at situations and explain to our team we could have scored more points,” Andrassy said. “In seven weight classes, we averaged 10 points. At 141, 149 and 157, we had a total of 2.5 points. That’s where the big points could have come.

Andrassy did not place all the blame on these three wrestlers though. He said many of the other wrestlers had opportunities to record more points.

“I think that at 184 (sophomore Casey Newburg), we had the opportunity to get a win and we didn’t get it,” Andrassy said. “At 197 (junior Dustin Kilgore), we had a few opportunities to get a major decision, and we didn’t get it. At heavyweight (with junior Brendan Barlow,) we didn’t win. We have the ability. We just didn’t do it.”

Even junior Ross Tice, who finished with a strong second place spot, thought he could have given more effort.

“I feel we could have won and should have,” Tice said. “I could have done more to get that team championship.”

Bedelyon looked at the loss in a more optimistic view.

“As a team, everyone improved from the beginning of the season till now,” Bedelyon said. “Now, we have to continue improving for next year, and we will the MAC Championship.”

Similar to Bedelyon’s attitude, the Flashes are moving on and setting new goals for the remaining season and next year.

“Our next goal is to get some guys to be All-Americans, and we have nine of the ten starters coming back next year,” Andrassy said.

Currently, Bedelyon, freshman Tyler Small at 133, Kilgore and junior Barlow at heavyweight will represent Kent State in the NCAA Tournament in Philadelphia, Pa., March 10-12.

More qualifiers may be announced Tuesday.

Contact A.J. Atkinson at [email protected].