The seniors kept tradition against Eastern Michigan on Friday by clinching their fourth Mid-American Conference regular-season title.
Five of the six seniors on the team wrestled in the dual, and all five won their final home matches at McGuirk Arena.
The five seniors dominated their matches, outscoring their opponents 31-7 and combing to give the Chippewas 15 points.
“I expected that,” said head coach Tom Borrelli. “All the work that they put in. I knew they would perform well today.”
Of the five that wrestled on Friday, all are ranked in the top five in the MAC, and four of them are ranked in the top 20 in the nation by InterMat Wrestling.
“It’s been nice to see the seniors progress,” Borrelli said. “It is kind of bitter-sweet, because you know they won’t be competing for you after the season.”
Only one of the seniors on the team, 184-pounder Ben Bennett, has reached the prestigious 100-win club. Bennett was the 16th member to join the group.
But 133-pounder Scotti Sentes and heavyweight Jarod Trice, also seniors, are just a few wins away. Sentes, after the dual Friday, gained his 98th victory, while Trice gained his 96th victory.
“It’s exciting to be close to the 100-win club,” Sentes said. “I think we get gold jackets or something. I’m a little upset that I didn’t beat Ben to it, though.”
In their last home dual of the season, the seniors got to share the gym with the gymnastics team for the second Royal Rumble and Tumble event.
For the wrestlers this was a great way to have their last dual at home, heading into the last part of the season.
“I’m happy they made an event out of it,” Sentes said. “With the noise, it reminds me of Nationals. I like it when there is a lot going on around me.”
Borrelli has 22 years of experience and has seen seniors come and go, but he knows what this group of seniors brings to the team.
“There are some unique personalities,” Borrelli said. “We’re going to miss their attitudes. Nothing really seems to get to them.”
After a three-dual stretch in California on Saturday and Sunday and a dual at Michigan State on Feb. 22, the team will then start preparing for the MAC tournament. Bennett, Sentes and Trice have all won MAC championships in their respected weight classes, leading CMU to another undefeated conference mark and regular season MAC title.