Repeat hopes pinned

Rachel Jones

Central Michigan takes the regular season MAC titles from the Flashes


The No. 15 Kent State wrestling team ended its nine-meet home winning streak and its hope at a repeat regular season conference title with a loss to No. 6 Central Michigan yesterday.

The Chippewas (17-2, 5-0 Mid-American Conference) left the M.A.C. Center with a 21-13 victory over the Flashes (15-4, 4-1 MAC) and the title of MAC regular season champions.

Kent State coach Jim Andrassy said the loss is a learning experience for the team.

“Our guys fought really hard,” Andrassy said. “(I need to) go back and look at the tape and figure out where can we make up ground at and where are situations where we could’ve done better.”

Redshirt sophomore Dustin Kilgore (30-1) said he is taking the loss as something he can grow from.

“Any loss you have, (you have) to turn around and turn into something positive,” Kilgore said. “You have to look and see what kinds of mistakes you’ve made and work off of those so the same thing doesn’t happen next time.”

The Chippewas brought seven nationally ranked wrestlers to the meet. Although the Flashes won only three matches yesterday, most of the losses were close.

Junior Matt Cathell (6-1) competed in his first MAC regular season match after regaining eligibility by the NCAA Feb. 15. At 141 pounds, Cathell pinned Tony D’Alie (14-4), who is ranked 12th nationally, with 44 seconds left in the third period, for his third pin of his career.

“I was trying to keep moving and give myself a chance to win the match later in the period and wound up on top,” Cathell said.

Andrassy said it was one of the biggest moments in the meet for him.

“I think the pin helped us out and made our guys feel better about getting back into the match,” Andrassy said. “He’s very hard to handle, hard to wrestle, and he proved it right there.”

Cathell said he was not trying to get a pin and was surprised when he did.

“I was trying to add the score (while) I was laying there,” Cathell said. “I was just trying to think how I could bring out a win.”

Redshirt freshman Chase Skonieczny (19-15) won the 141-pound match against Connor Beebe (19-6) 5-4.

“We all know Chase is good,” Andrassy said. “I think this match will help give him confidence going into the MAC tournament. I know he has the ability to win it, he just needs to wrestle seven minutes hard.”

Kilgore, who is ranked fourth nationally at 184 pounds, had Kent State’s final victory of the meet. He defeated Central Michigan’s Dillon Kern (7-10) 11-3.

“I wanted to dominate but wrestle a smart match as well,” Kilgore said. “It was a pretty good match, and I was happy with it.”

Kilgore said he is going to eat healthy, stay strong and try not to get hurt before the MAC tournament.

“Other than that, (I’ll) just do the school thing, keep my weight down and everything will come together,” Kilgore said.

The team will have a couple days off before they start preparing again for the tournament, which will take place March 6 and 7 at Central Michigan. Almost every wrestler from Central Michigan who competed yesterday will be at the tournament.

“They’re a better team than us right now, so we had to figure out a way to close that margin a little bit,” Andrassy said. “That’s part of what we’re going to do in the next two weeks to give our guys the best chance they can in the MAC tournament.”

Andrassy said his goal is to keep the wrestlers healthy and in great shape.

“Our guys are right where we want them to be,” Andrassy said. “We just have to find some way to make up some ground.”

Contact sports reporter Rachel Jones at [email protected].