Wrestling drops second MAC dual to defending MAC champion Missouri

After a tough 17-16 loss to Northern Iowa last Sunday, the Central Michigan wrestling team dropped another Mid-American Conference dual meet 24-8 on the road against Missouri.

“I don’t think anyone on this team is happy,” Junior Brent Fleetwood (125) said. “Missouri is one of the better teams we get to wrestle all year. That’s a good time to show how good we are, try to pull an upset (and) get some recognition. There were three or four matches that were within one or two points. You take those points away and give them to us it changes the whole match.”

The loss now drops CMU to 3-2 on the season and 1-2 in MAC duals. Missouri improves to 10-2, 6-0 in the MAC, extending their MAC dual winning streak to 27.

The meet started off with the 197-pound weight class. CMU Senior Austin Severn faced two-time national champion and Olympic bronze medalist J’den Cox. Severn held tight at the start, but Cox took over in the second period, scoring three takedowns in an 11-2 victory.

Junior 285 heavyweight Newton Smerchek dropped his match 6-2 to Redshirt Freshman Austin Myers 6-2, leaving him 0-3 in MAC dual meets.

A featured match of the meet came at 125 pounds. Defending MAC Champion and 20 ranked Barlow McGhee against Brent Fleetwood. Fleetwood earned the win with a takedown in sudden victory.

“I thought I wrestled pretty good,” Fleetwood said. “I wrestled him in the past, I knew he was athletic, very powerful. I just tried to stay low, stay moving, stuck to the game plan and scouting report from the coaches.”

Senior Corey Keener faced off against 15 John Erneste to an 11-6 loss. Redshirt Freshman Mason Smith fell to 9 Jaydin Eierman 5-3. After the match Smith slammed his headgear to the ground, costing Central Michigan a point, making their deficit 13-2.

“He won’t do that again,” head coach Tom Borelli said about Smith. “He understands that he has to control his emotions more than that. He hurt the team. He apologized to the team and we don’t expect it to happen again.”

Sophomore Justin Oliver and Junior Colin Heffernan both dropped their matches to ranked opponents- 11-4 and 3-1 respectively. Freshman Logan Parks fell by technical fall in the first period to 7 Daniel Lewis 16-0.

Juniors CJ Brucki and Jordan Ellingwood both won their matchups. Brucki won 8-3, and Ellingwood won 2-1 in the second round of sudden victory.

Even with the taste of a loss to Missouri in their mouths, this won’t be the last time CMU will be matched up with the Tigers.

“We’re going to see a lot of those guys again come the MAC Championships,” Brucki said. “We’re going to take what we learned and try to capitalize when it counts.”

“We need to work on improving in certain areas. We need to get better everyday in practice,” Borelli said.

CMU will return to McGuirk Arena at 7 p.m. Friday for another MAC dual meet against Old Dominion.