Wrestlers battle for first place in MAC conference

Sean Ammerman

The Kent State wrestling team will end its regular season schedule this weekend as they go to Ashland Saturday and then face No. 5 nationally ranked Central Michigan at 1:05 p.m. Sunday at the M.A.C. Center.

The disparity in competition is expected to be great between Saturday and Sunday’s match, Kent State coach Jim Andrassy said.

Ashland is a 12-5 Division II school while No. 5 Central Michigan is 11-4 and challenging the top division I schools in the nation. Both Kent State and Central are undefeated in the Mid-American Conference – Sunday’s dual meet will determine first place.

“We’re in a pretty good position here,” Andrassy said. “We kind of control our own fate.”

However, Andrassy admits Central will be one of the team’s biggest tests of the year. Kent State (13-3-1) tied conference foe Northern Illinois, 16-16, earlier this season. When Central faced Northern Illinois, it beat them 33-2.

“They’re ranked fifth in the nation for a reason,” Andrassy said. “We really have to wrestle our best, and they have to wrestle their worst for us to have a chance to win that match. But that’s why you wrestle.”

The Chippewas’ four losses have all been to top 15 teams. They have seven wrestlers ranked in the top 20, including Wynn Michalak, who is No. 1 at 195 pounds.

Andrassy said he expects good match-ups at 125 pounds, when No. 15 Chad Sportelli meets No. 12 Luke Smith and at 184 pounds, when Kent State senior, No. 15 Alex Camargo meets No. 19 Christian Sinnott.

Contact wrestling reporter Sean Ammerman at [email protected].