Wrestling wins final meet of regular season, beating Old Dominion 21-15
The 2015-16 regular season ended with a win for the Central Michigan wrestling team, Sunday.
Despite having to forfeit a match, the Chippewas were able to defeat Mid-American Conference foe Old Dominion 21-15 on Sunday in Norfolk, Virginia. The 19th-ranked Chippewas finished the regular season 6-2 in the MAC and 11-5 overall.
“Anytime you’re going into the year end tournament on a positive notes, with the right attitude and vibe is important,” Borrelli said.
Sophomore Brent Fleetwood (125-pounds) was held out of competition due to injury concerns. Fleetwood competed in his first match in over two weeks against Wisconsin on Thursday, but was not able to go on Sunday. Fleetwood fractured a bone in his foot at Northern Iowa on Jan. 29. The forfeit gave the Monarchs six points and kept them in the meet.
Borrelli said he withheld Fleetwood because he felt discomfort during his meet against Wisconsin on Feb. 18 and the coaching staff did not think he was ready to compete.
After the forfeit, the Chippewas trailed 9-6, but junior Corey Keener (133) earned a pinfall over Josh Matkham to give six points back for CMU. Senior Zach Horan (141) lost his first match in over a month as he fell to Chris Mecate 3-1, which tied the meet at 12.
Freshman Justin Oliver (149-pound class) extended his winning streak to 11 matches as he defeated Alex Richardson 5-4 and CMU held a 15-12 lead. Senior Luke Smith gave the Chippewas some breathing room and extended their lead to 18-12 after blanking Devin Geoghegan 3-0.
Sophomore Colin Heffernan made a surprise appearance in the 165-pound match. Heffernan—who had spent his entire career at 149 until today—lost his opening match in the class 5-3. The match closed the score to 18-15 with only one match left.
“We just wanted to see how he’d do,” Borrelli said. “I felt he wrestled well, but obviously he didn’t win the match.
With the meet on the line, senior Mike Ottinger stepped to the mat against Jared Swan. The match was tied late in the third round when Ottinger scored a late takedown to go up by two. Swan responded with an escape, but it wasn’t enough as Ottinger earned the 5-4 decision and a victory for Central Michigan.
“He’s come through for us almost every time we’ve asked him to all year,” Borrelli said. “He’s been the last match a lot of times and when it’s come down to him, I can’t think of a time he hasn’t come through.”
The Chippewas finish the regular season in third place in the MAC and have 13 days to prepare for the conference championships on March 5-6 in Ypsilanti.
“I’m happy with the progress we’re making,” Borrelli said. “Obviously, we want to do well in the MAC tournament, get guys on the podium and go to the NCAAs, but i’m happy with our progress.”
Central Michigan 21, Old Dominion 15
125: Brandon Jeske (ODU) wins by forfeit
133: Corey Keener (CMU) pinfall Josh Markham
141: Chris Mecate (ODU) dec. Zach Horan, 3-1
149: Justin Oliver (CMU) dec. Alex Richardson, 5-4
157: Luke Smith (CMU) dec. Devin Geoghegan, 3-0
165: Seldon Wright (ODU) dec. Colin Heffernan, 5-3
174: Mike Ottinger (CMU) dec. Jared Swan, 5-4
184: Jack Dechow (ODU) dec. Jordan Ellingwood, 4-3
197: Austin Severn (CMU) dec. Kaleab Fetahi, 8-2
HWT: Jackson Lewis (CMU) dec. Austin Coburn, 5-3
Assistant Sports Editor Andrew Surma contributed to this article