Wrestling looks to continue its dominance over MSU Thursday
The Central Michigan wrestling team has a chance to reach an all-time winning record over Michigan State 7 p.m. Thursday at McGuirk Arena.
A win would also give them a winning record at home this year. At McGuirk the Chippewas have beat two Mid-American Conference opponents, Ohio and Northern Illinois, and lost to powers Minnesota and Lehigh.
The Chippewas record against the Spartans is 13-13. They have beaten MSU for the better half of the 21st century.
“I don’t want to lose to those guys because of the in-state a little bit,” junior Ben Bennett said. “But again it’s just another match. Any time you get a chance to compete, (I want to) do what I’m good at and win the match, and score points and make it exciting.”
CMU has defeated MSU in nine-straight duals. The momentum of the series turned to the Chippewas favor not by their performance, but as a result of a rule change.
The streak of wins over the Spartans began on Dec. 3, 2002 when they won as a result of eighth tie-breaker criterion. It was the first season the tie-breaker determinants were enforced.
The Spartans have struggled this season with a record of 3-10, and have lost their past six matches.
“You can throw out the records,” head coach Tom Borrelli said. “They’re a state rival. It’s going to be a really spirited dual meet.”
Anthony Jones Jr., Curran Jacobs and Ian Hinton highlight the group of MSU wrestlers with a 57-23 combined record.
184-pound Bennett will wrestle Hinton.
Victories by Bennett have been the lone consistency for this season. CMU started out 12-2, and have fell to 13-8. Bennett is 26-3 and 5-0 in the MAC.
“The body of work that he’s done over the course of those four years has led to that consistency,” Borrelli said. “He’s probably our hardest worker on the team, so all that has built up to that.”
Joe Roth status
Central Michigan wrestler Joe Roth of the 125-pound weight class will make a return to the mat on Thursday.
Borrelli said he should be better than ever against MSU.
“He always starts us off good for the most part,” Bennett said. “He puts points on the board, and I think he gets things going a little bit and gets guys excited and gets the crowd into it. So I think it’ll be good to have him back."
Roth began feeling ill Saturday, the day before the National duals. It was decided he would not wrestle before the weigh-ins on Sunday.
“I was excited to compete,” Roth said. “I was planning on wrestling, I was excited to wrestle. I was disappointed I wasn’t able to, but I feel better now.”
Roth said he felt he hurt more than himself by not playing Sunday.
“I was disappointed I wasn’t able to help the team,” he said. “I don’t know. I mean it happens.”