Wrestling season ends on day two of NCAA Championships
For the second straight season, Central Michigan wrestling’s season ended on day two of the NCAA Wrestling Championships.
CMU finishes the tournament with only 6.5 points — tied for 37 place with Northern Colorado.
Four Chippewas remained in the field entering Friday’s action in Cleveland, Ohio, but will leave Quicken Loans Arena without an All-American wrestler for the second straight year.
"It was an up and down weekend," said head coach Tom Borrelli. "We had some bright spots and disappointments, but we got some things we can build on."
Junior Justin Oliver was the final Chippewa standing in the tournament. The sixth-seeded 149-pound wrestler defeated Michigan’s Malik Amine 7-1 and Nebraska's Colton McCrystal 5-2. Oliver was one win away from All-American status for the second straight year.
"When you wrestle in a tournament like (the NCAA Championships) it points out a lot of your flaws," Borrelli said. "The guys on our time will take those things to heart and focus on improving and come back strong next year."
Oliver fell short of becoming an All-American by dropping his final bout to Oklahoma State’s Boo Lewallen, 9-4.
"(Lewallen) tied (Oliver) up, took a lot of things that he's real good at away from him," Borrelli said. "(Lewallen) just wrestled a real smart, tactical match against (Oliver) and he just couldn't get to any of his offense."
Senior Jordan Ellingwood opened day two with a 5-4 victory over Missouri’s Canten Marriott in a No. 15 vs. No 16 seed battle at 184 pounds.
Ellingwood dropped his final bout to Illinois' No. 10 Emory Parker, 17-6, ending his CMU wrestling career.
Sophomore Mason Smith started day two with a 5-0 loss to Penn State’s No. 8 Nick Lee at 141 pounds.
Senior CJ Brucki also dropped his final bout in a CMU singlet when he lost 11-2 to Northwestern’s Johnny Sebastian.
The Chippewas will return seven starters for the 2018-19 season, including Smith, Oliver, Matt Stencel, Jordan Atienza, Drew Hildebrandt and Dresden Simon and sophomore Logan Parks.
Stencel was the only Mid-American Conference Champion this season. The Chippewas finished with an 8-6 regular season dual meet record and 5-2 in conference dual meets. CMU finished second in the MAC Championships as a team.