Kent State wrestling looks to finish 2019 strong against tough opponents

Aidan Coyne Tech reporter

Kent State wrestling (2-4) looks to finish strong before its two week winter break.

Last weekend the team was in Las Vegas for the Cliff Keen Invitational where fifth-year senior Tim Rooney finished 8th overall, advancing to the quarterfinals. Now the team is back home with big matchups at this Saturday’s Cleveland State Invitational, followed by head to head matchups against Northern Illinois and No. 8 Wisconsin.

“The Cleveland State Invitational is an open event for anyone in the collegiate ranks,” coach Jim Andrassy said. “We’re preparing for it like any other meet, trying to get our guys to make weight and win four or five matches so we can win the tournaments and get some good Division 1 wins.”

Following the Cleveland State Invitational, the Flashes will begin  its Mid American Conference schedule against Northern Illinois.

“With MAC competition coming up it kind of starts our road trip style season so it gets the guys more focused on each individual match since they realize that they’ll only have one that day,” Rooney said. “When we compete against other MAC teams it’s good to get those conference wins under our belt behind our strength of schedule.”

“MAC competition starting doesn’t change my mindset on the season,” said Colin McCracken said. “I’m going out there and I’m gonna win and when I win that helps my team out. The most important thing is getting my hand raised at the end of the match.”

Coach Andrassy wants to see how much the team has improved up to this point in the season against another MAC school.

“I think that we’ve improved since the first week,” Andrassy said, “We haven’t had the best start, but I think that our guys have gotten better. The hope is that we throw them out there against a team that’s very similar to us and that our guys wrestle at their best so we can come home with a win.”

The team will travel to Wisconsin the day after Northern Illinois for one of its toughest matchups of the season. Wisconsin is a highly touted program with some of the top ranked wrestlers in the country.

“This matchup is similar to our matchups against Oklahoma and Michigan State, but Wisconsin may be even better,” Andrassy said. “At the end of the day they’re one of the best teams in the country so we’re hoping our guys can compete hard and maybe get a few upsets so we can see some of our guys get into the rankings by beating ranked opponents.”

Contact Aidan Coyne at [email protected]