Senior wrestler makes most of weight-class jump

Austin Severn’s journey to his senior year has been anything but easy.  

After compiling a 28-26 record his first two seasons, Severn was focused on leaving a legacy at Central Michigan. During his junior year, he split time at 184 pounds with then-sophomore Jordan Ellingwood.

“We went at it a lot in the wrestling room,” Ellingwood said. “It was a really tough battle between the two of us.” 

Severn would go on to win the 2015 Michigan State Open at 184 pounds, going undefeated in the tournament.

The battle between he and Ellingwood continued, however, an ankle injury forced Severn to the sideline. That Ellingwood as the main wrestler in the 184 class. 

“Jordan took the role and never looked back,” said head coach Tom Borrelli. “I think if Austin wasn’t banged up we probably would’ve moved him to 197 and maybe wrestled him there in the MAC tournament (last year).”

Ellingwood finished last season 29-14, won the Mid-American Conference title at 184 and was named CMU's most improved wrestler.

Severn on the other hand would finish the season 15-7 and defeat Old Dominion’s Keleab Fetahi in his only MAC appearance.

When the offseason arrived, a new objective stood in Severn’s way — he needed to move up weight classes in order to see more time on the mat.

“The offseason was huge for me,” Severn said. “We usually lift three to four times a week. I would usually lift another one to two days a week. I knew I had to get bigger.”

Severn made the move to 197 in the offseason and hasn’t looked back.

The New Lothrop native has compiled an overall 21-8 record this season and holds a 7-1 record in the MAC.  Severn is currently ranked No. 16 in the nation at 197.

Borrelli said making the jump from 184 to 197 was the right move for Severn.

“Making weight at 184 last season was difficult for him,” Borrelli said. “He has dense muscle tissue, so it was pretty easy for him to put on the weight and put it on the right way.”

Borrelli said the results from summer workouts have helped get Severn to where he is today.  

“I think he’s had a good year,” Borelli said. “He has higher goals than just getting to the national tournament. I think (Severn) would like to do well at the national tournament and get on the podium.”

Ellingwood agreed that Severn is going down the right path.

“(Severn) is doing what we all thought he could do,” Ellingwood said. “(Severn) is working hard every day. We try to push each other and see who can work harder. Obviously, it’s helped both of us out. I’m proud of him.” 

Severn said he is happy with the season so far, but knows there’s still work to be done.