Central Michigan wrestling comes up empty at junior nationals

No Central Michigan wrestlers placed in the top eight spots at Junior Nationals on Sunday in Cleveland, Ohio.

The freestyle tournament was a change of pace from the folkstyle that is used in high school and college wrestling. In freestyle, the winner of a match must win two out of the three two-minute periods.

“Our young guys have to get a little better at freestyle, and they’re not real good at that style yet,” said CMU head coach Tom Borrelli. “This was the first tournament they’ve wrestled in that style in a year, so you kind of expect them to be a little bit rusty.”

Of the seven that competed, Scott Mattingly was the only wrestler to advance to the quarterfinals, where he fell by 7-0 and 5-1 decisions to Destin McCauley. He was knocked out of the consolation bracket in his next match.

“Scott wrestled OK,” Borrelli said. “I look at the person that beats him – he lost two matches to two very well respected guys, but those guys are still in high school. They’re the No. 1 in their weight classes, but we still feel like we should beat them."

Joe Roth fell by decision in his first match of the day, but wrestled back, winning four consolation matches by decisions before being knocked out in the sixth consolation round.

Craig Kelliher lost his first match of the day, but looked strong in the consolation bracket. He won wrestleback matches by a decision, a 1:47 pin and an injury default before falling in two close matches to Missouri’s John Eblen in the fifth consolation round.

After losing his first match, Malcom Martin won on a tech fall in the first consolation matchup before being eliminated from the tournament.

Excluding first-round byes, six of the seven Chippewa wrestlers fell in their first matches.

Anthony Pace, Ryan Quinn and Jared Porter all went winless on the day.

Dakota Cooley was registered to wrestle in the 70-kg round but did not compete. Borrelli said he suffered an upper body injury at practice last week and will have X-rays this week.

The Chippewas will be back in Mount Pleasant for two weeks to prepare for University Nationals.