A random draw might have been the difference in wrestling’s 19-15 win against No. 25 Ohio Friday at the Royal Rumble and Tumble at McGuirk.
Instead of starting out with the 125-pound weight class, the dual finished with No. 12 Corey Keener taking down Kevon Powell for the 3-1 win in extra time.
“If we would’ve started at 125 it might have been better for us,” said head coach Tom Borrelli. “I think their kid has trouble making weight and Corey isn’t used to waiting. Psychology and conditioning it might have been better for us at 125, but it worked out with Corey wrestling the last match.”
Neither Keener or Powell had the advantage after the first period. Keener finally broke the 0-0 score by breaking free from Powell to get a one point escape.
Powell answered with his own escape and pushed the match into extra time. Keener scored a takedown in extra time to get the 3-1 win by decision and gave his team the 19-15 victory.
“Coach said it was all coming down to me and I was ready,” Keener said. “It was different (wrestling last). I’ve wrestled first my whole career, even in high school. When to warmup and things like that really threw me off, but it wasn’t bad.”
The Bobcats cut into the Chippewas 10-3 lead early with a 4-0 win by decision from Harrison Hightower over Nick Becker in the 165-pound weight class, but CMU had an answer.
No. 10 Mike Ottinger went up against No. 7 Cody Walters in the 174-pound weight class that ended in a familiar result. Walters, an All-American and the defending Mid-American Conference champion received his second stalling warning, resulting in a point for Ottinger and eventually a 2-1 win.
“I wrestled (Walters) two years ago and I knew he was going to be staying away from me,” Ottinger said. “Two years ago I won with a stalling point as well, I guess he doesn’t want to wrestle me.”
The Chippewas don’t have time to celebrate the win because at 2 p.m. Sunday when they welcome No. 7 Missouri into McGuirk Arena.
“They are going to know what they’re getting into,” Borrelli said. “We beat them in dual last year and they aren’t going to come in here overlooking us so we have to wrestle well.”