Without Oliver, Smith, wrestling falls to Kent State

Redshirt freshman Matt Stencel wrestles Eastern's Gage Hutchison during the match against Eastern on Feb. 9 in McGuirk Arena.

Both of Central Michigan wrestling’s Top 10 wrestlers did not compete as Kent State enjoyed their senior day, knocking off the Chippewas 21-13 Sunday.

No. 16 CMU drops to 8-5 overall (5-2 Mid-American Conference) while the Golden Flashes improve to 12-9 (2-4 MAC).

The Chippewas won 4 of 10 matches.

Five of 10 matches were won by a combined nine points.

“We had a bad day,” said head coach Tom Borrelli. “We had some guys get beat in really, really tight matches and (we started) six freshmen. We didn’t have all our bullets in the gun.”

No. 10 141-pound wrestler Mason Smith and No. 4 ranked 149-pound wrestler Justin Oliver were both battling illnesses. Smith and Oliver traveled with the team, but did not weigh in.

“They were both really sick after Friday, we felt like they needed some rest,” Borrelli said.

Senior Jordan Ellingwood started off the meet against Kent State’s Colin Mccracken. The 14 ranked 184-pound wrestler nearly earned the major decision, but Mccracken earned a late escape as Ellingwood won 10-3.

Junior Jordan Atienza (197) fell 6-5 to Kyle Conel. The match was stopped multiple times for blood to treat a cut just below Conel’s left eyebrow. 

Redshirt Freshman Matt Stencel (285) fell to senior Stephen Suglio 1:58 into the second period. Stencel’s takedown was countered into a cradle, giving the Golden Flashes an early 9-3 lead and the senior a reason to celebrate on his final home meet. 

Redshirt freshman Drew Hildebrandt (125) defeated freshman Jake Ferri 6-0. Redshirt freshman Dresden Simon (133) dropped his match to  Anthony Tutolo 6-3, giving the Golden Flashes a 12-6 lead at the halfway point.

Redshirt freshman Riley Brown filled in for Smith at 141 pounds. Brown gave sophomore Tim Rooney all he could handle, but fell 7-5 in overtime. 

Freshman Nolan Saxton once again got the nod at 149 pounds in place of Oliver. The Chippewa Hills alumni clashed with Nick Monico to sudden victory, coming short in a 3-1 defeat.

Borrelli was pleased with the freshmen on Sunday.

“I thought both (Brown) and (Saxton) wrestled well, you’d like to see them win in overtime,” Borrelli said. “(Being) freshman and not having a lot of experience, they’re putting themselves in positions to win. We want them to learn how to seal the deal.”

Senior Colin Heffernan, ranked 14 at 157 pounds, dropped his match to Casey Sparkman. The victory was Sparkman’s 100 win with the Golden Flashes, clinching the dual meet with a 21-6 lead.

Sophomore Logan Parks (165) knocked off Isaac Bast via major decision 12-3, earning 2:53 of riding time. Senior CJ Brucki, No. 14 174-pound wrestler, knocked off Dylan Barreiro 9-4.

Central Michigan travels to Ann Arbor for a clash with No. 4 Michigan at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 18 in the Chrisler.