Wrestling falls 23-16 to South Dakota State
In the first meet since losing senior Colin Heffernan, No. 19 Central Michigan wrestling fell to South Dakota State 23-16 on Dec. 8.
Heffernan – currently ranked 16 in his class – was injured in the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational last weekend, potentially being out for the next six weeks.
He injured his right shoulder; he had a similar injury two years ago to his opposite shoulder.
Head coach Tom Borrelli said Heffernan’s absence is naturally a tough loss for the team, but “just like any sport, it’s the next guy up.”
This weekend’s next guy up in the 157 was redshirt freshman Blake Montrie.
Montrie, who entered the night 4-3 in opens this season, had a tough matchup against No. 12 Luke Zilverberg. He was pinned in 3:27.
“(Heffernan’s injury) changes things a little bit; it makes it more difficult,” Borrelli said. “(Montrie) will have an opportunity to prove himself this weekend.”
Junior Justin Oliver (149), who rose to No. 3 nationally after the Cliff Keen, won by a 10-2 major decision against Colten Carlson.
CMU’s first win of the night came from red shirt sophomore, No. 20 Mason Smith (141). He faced Henry Pohlmeyer, narrowly coming out with a 5-4 decision.
Sophomore Logan Parks (165) dominated his opponent, Zach Carlson, pinning the Jackrabbit in just :55.
Jordan Ellingwood (184) gave the Chips their 16th point, their final win on the night. The 14th-ranked senior defeated Brady Ayers 9-4.
Red shirt freshman Drew Hildebrandt (125) lost to freshman Connor Brown 5-3 in the opening match.
The Jackrabbits boast the No. 1 ranked athlete in the 133 – Seth Gross, last year’s national runner-up. He faced CMU’s red shirt freshman Dresden Simon in the second match of the day. Gross won handedly, dropping Simon 16-2.
C.J. Brucki (174) was the only ranked Chip to lose; the 15th-ranked senior lost to No. 12 David Kocer 10-5.
With the teams tied at 16, junior Jordan Atienza (197) lost to Nate Rotert 16-5. Rotert is ranked sixth nationally.
Trailing 20-16 with one match left, the Chips still had a chance to tie with a major decision in the heavyweight match.
Red shirt freshman Matt Stencel lost 6-5 to Alex Macki, closing out the night and bringing the final score to 23-16, South Dakota State.
The Chippewas will continue their tour through the Dakotas when North Dakota State hosts them on Dec. 10.
The dual meet will begin on Sunday at 3 p.m. in Fargo, North Dakota.