Wrestling team wins three-of-four over weekend

Sophomore Joe Roth provided an early spark for the Central Michigan wrestling team in all four matches Saturday at the Northeast Duals in Troy, N.Y.

Roth jump-started the Chippewas to a 3-0 lead in all four duals, helping them earn three out-of-four wins on the day.

“I was real impressed with his performance,” said head coach Tom Borrelli. “Especially because he really improved in some of the areas we have been really emphasizing.”

CMU opened the day defeating Northern Iowa before earning a pair of one-point victories over No. 14 American and No. 16 Rutgers. It concluded the day with a 23-15 loss against No. 12 Maryland, leaving with a 5-1 record overall this season in dual meets.

“We wrestled three pretty good teams back-to-back-to-back and most of the other teams in the event only wrestled three matches,” Borrelli said. “I think the grind caught up with us a little bit at the end there.”

CMU received contributions throughout the lineup with eleven different players winning at least one match during Saturday's four duals.

Junior Christian Cullinan was 3-0 at 133 pounds while senior Peter Sturgeon won three of his four bouts in the heavyweight division.

One of his wins was a 2-1 decision over Maryland's No. 6 ranked Spencer Myers. His loss coming to American's No. 2 ranked Ryan Flores, the defending national runner-up.

No. 9 junior Ben Bennett scored bonus-point victories at 184 pounds, giving the Chippewas the lead in eventual come-from-behind victories.

“I think we are looking pretty darn good right now,” Roth said. “I think guys are buckling down throughout the week and I feel we are heading in the right direction.”

With Roth’s undefeated performance on Saturday, he improved to 6-0 in dual meets and 15-2 overall.

“I feel individually they were really solid matches for me,” he said. “From a team standpoint, we were doing the right things, winning matches and scoring team points.”

With such a young team, Borrelli is pleased with its 5-1 start.

“We had quality competition the whole weekend and our guys figured out how to win pretty big matches,” Borrelli said.

CMU returns home next weekend for its first two home games of the season. It hosts No. 4 Minnesota at 7:30 p.m. Friday and then welcomes Ohio at 7 p.m. on Saturday. The match will be the Mid-American Conference opener for both teams.