Preview: CMU wrestling prepares for 2022 season
After going undefeated in the Mid-American Conference, placing second at the MAC championship, and having four wrestlers taking the NCAA stage, Central Michigan wrestling is back.
“We’re trying to build on last year,” said head coach Tom Borelli. “We didn’t finish the way we wanted. We didn’t win the conference tournament. We were undefeated in dual meets in the conference, so we want to build on that and try to win the conference again. And obviously, we want to get guys into the National tournament and place.”
Traveling to East Lansing, the Chippewas start their season with the Michigan State Open on Saturday, Nov. 5 at 9 a.m. Team scores will not be kept giving some new faces a chance to earn their starting spot.
“We’re going to have five new faces in our lineup this year,” Borelli said. “We have some guys who have an opportunity to make a name for themselves. I am hoping they take that as a challenge. They’re capable of just taking over and continuing to be successful in their weight classes.”
After losing five seniors, the Chippewas will lean on their returning starters:
Set to start as CMU's 133-pounder, Vince Perez finished last season with a record of 17-21.
Redshirt senior Corbyn Munson (149) finished last season going 4-1 at the MAC championships, earning his spot at the NCAA tournament ranking in at 25. Falling at the NCAA tournament, he ended his season with a 25-10 record.
Along with Munson, redshirt junior Johnny Lovett (157) punched his ticket to the NCAA tournament last year, going 2-1 at the MAC championships. Lovett ended his season with a record of 22-8.
Wrestling in the 165 weight class, redshirt senior Tracy Hubbard placed fourth in the MAC championship eliminating him from the NCAA tournament. Hubbard finished the season 23-11.
Rounding out the returnees is redshirt junior Ben Cushman (184). Falling 0-2 at the MAC championships, Cushman ended his season 10-17.
This match gives the Chippewas a chance to wrestle against other opponents for the first time this season. Wrestlers from Illinois, the University of Michigan, Ohio State, Utah Valley, Cleveland State, Northern Illinois, Ohio, and Oklahoma will be taking the mat along with the Chippewas.
“We are looking forward to competing against other people,” Borelli said. “You get tired of wrestling the same people, so it’s exciting to compete against other teams and there will be some good teams competing at the Michigan State open.”