Wrestling falls to No. 4 Minnesota

To be the best, you must beat the best.

The Central Michigan wrestling team showed they are not the best yet.

The No. 19 Chippewas lost 24-9 to No. 4 Minnesota at McGuirk Arena Friday night.

“They’re a good team, we need that.  We need to wrestle the people that are going to show us what it takes to be good,” said CMU head coach Tom Borrelli.

CMU gradually began to turn the tide when the score was 14-0, but it was not without more losses.

Freshman Jared Porter came out with enough aggression for the Chippewas during his first start to leave the first period scoreless and the second period down 2-1.  He lost by a 5-2 decision.

“I thought he wrestled a pretty good first period.  Then I felt like he faded a little bit,” Borrelli said. “He weighed in at (149) and he’s wrestling (157), so he’s a little small for that weight class.”

Fellow freshman Mike Ottinger appeared he would continue his impressive start against No. 8 Cody Yohn.  The score after the third period ended 1-1, but Yohn was awarded one point for riding time.

“He’s has a lot of improvements to make,” Borrelli said. “He’s actually a very, very good freshman and I think he’s going to improve as the year goes on.”

With momentum gradually going in CMU’s direction and the crowd stirring, redshirt freshman Anthony Bill stepped up, he was 2-7 entering the match.

He had a 2-0 lead from a takedown and did not give it back to Minnesota’s Steven Avalos.  The Chippewas crowd rose and gave Bill a standing ovation as a result of tallying the first points of the meet for CMU. The score still favored Minnesota 20-3.

The Chippewas followed by winning two of their last three matches to create a more aesthetic loss by 15.

Furthermore, momentum helped but talent was what clinched victories for No. 9 ranked Ben Bennett and Peter Sturgeon.

CMU wrestler’s Ben Bennett won 2-1 decision against No. 5 Kevin Steinhaus and Peter Sturgeon broke No. 2 Tony Nelson’s unblemished record by winning a 6-4 decision.

“That was a heck of a win for (Sturgeon),” Borrelli said. “He’s a heavyweight that trains really hard.  Wants to do everything everyone else does.  When you have that, everyone rallies around it.”

While the team was feeding off Sturgeon, he was feeding off the crowd.

“I really like the atmosphere here.” Sturgeon said.  “It’s definitely (excites) you when you’re out there on the mat.”