CMU sending eight wrestlers to FILA Junior Nationals

The 2012 season is an Olympic year.

While some of the more experienced Central Michigan wrestlers will attempt to qualify for Olympic redshirts this off-season, a handful of freshmen are looking to improve individually.

“We have a number of guys that are going to be wrestling at universities and senior nationals,” said CMU head coach Tom Borrelli. “We’ll (also) have guys at the FILA Junior Nationals this weekend.”

Eight Chippewa wrestlers will compete at the freestyle FILA Junior National Championships Sunday in Cleveland, Ohio.

The athletes representing CMU are Dakota Cooley (70 kg), Craig Kelliher (84 kg), Malcolm Martin (70 kg), Scott Mattingly (66 kg), Anthony Pace (74 kg), Jared Porter (70 kg), Ryan Quinn (79 kg) and Joe Roth (60 kg).

The tournament will be a qualifying event, similar to the senior national championships. Placing in the top six will qualify wrestlers for the FILA Junior World Team Trials in Franklin, Ind., on May 19-20.

The winner of each weight class there will be invited to join the U.S. FILA Junior World Cup Team, giving them the opportunity to travel and train internationally.

Mattingly, who is one of two CMU starters competing this weekend at the juniors nationals, wants to succeed, not only to have the opportunity to train on another level this offseason but also to move up in the rankings.

“There’s going to be a lot of tough guys this weekend; it’s going to be a really competitive tournament,” he said. “If I win, it’ll give me a lot of confidence, and will help me ranking wise for next season.”

After taking the starting spot at 141, Mattingly finished 18-22 this season, finishing runner up at the Mid-American Conference tournament.

He said the biggest thing about wrestling in the offseason is to set goals, reach them and, inevitably, to improve.

“After the season, we have a meeting with our coach and have a conversation about what we need to work on,” Mattingly said. “The more time you spend on the mat, the better wrestler you’re going to become, and that’s what I’m trying to do.”