KSU wrestling making MAC history

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ATHENS _ Kent State senior Brent Thompson became just the second wrestler in Mid-American Conference history to win four individual titles on Sunday, when he defeated Central Michigan's Ahmad Sanders in the 125-pound championship match at the MAC Championships.

"It feels like a load off my back, because I've been thinking about the match for so long," said Thompson. "It felt great to beat Ahmad. I beat him in kind of a controversial match two weeks ago. I tried to be real aggressive, and he stalled a lot. It feels better beating him for my fourth title."

Thompson (Cuyahoga Falls/Walsh Jesuit) also won the Most Outstanding Wrestler award at the tournament. The last time a Kent State wrestler earned that honor was 1985, when Don Horning won at 118 pounds. Thompson is only the fourth KSU grappler to win the outstanding meet award (Ray Wagner, 1980; Ron Baker, 1983; and Horning).

Thompson's victory helped the Golden Flashes finish third in the team standings with 62 points, behind champion and host Ohio University (74 1/2) and the defending champion Chippewas (63 1/2).

Nick Magistrelli joined Thompson as an individual champion for Kent State. The third-seeded senior won a 184-pound bracket stocked with tough foes by defeating top-seeded Josh States of Buffalo 5-4 in the championship match. Magistrelli scored a late takedown, then rode out States in the final 15 seconds for the win.

Flashes sophomore Nick Nemeth lost his championship match at 165 pounds in controversial fashion. The defending MAC champ and top seed was first awarded two back points with one second left, which would have given him a one-point victory over Buffalo's Dave Guarino. But those points were later taken away when it was determined that Nemeth scored after time had elapsed, and Guarino was handed a 5-4 victory. Kent State filed a protest, but the score stayed as is.

Nemeth bounced back to defeat Ohio's John Wervey 2-1 in his true second-place match.

Junior and former Streetsboro standout Mark Wentz used a takedown and a near fall to send his third-place bout with Ryan Bentley of Buffalo into overtime. Wentz then took Bentley down in the extra frame to snatch the 9-7 victory.

Freshman Mike Tolar lost to Buffalo's Labe Black 7-1 in his third-place match, while senior Jack Hageman lost to top-seed Mike Feeney of Eastern Michigan 4-0 at 174 pounds to finish fourth for Kent State.

Flashes sophomore Zeb Miller defeated Northern Illinois' Pat Caterello 4-2 in overtime in the third-place match at 197 pounds, but junior teammate Jim Swetter fell to Central Michigan's Jack Leffler 3-1 in the heavyweight division and wound up fourth.

In the true second-place matches, Wentz lost to Northern Illinois' Ryan Egan 8-1 and Miller lost to top-seed Brett Faustman of Central Michigan 9-3. Both matmen wound up third.

Ohio's Joel Greenlee won the Coach of the Year award, while Central Michigan's Jason Mester was named Freshman of the Year and Eastern Michigan's Mike Feeney earned Outstanding Wrestler of the Year honors.

Former Ravenna High School star Brad Bauer, wrestling for Ohio University, rallied in the third period but dropped a 10-8 decision in the heavyweight championship match to No. 1 seed John Eschenfelder of Buffalo. Bauer didn't receive one of eight wild-card bids to the NCAA Championships, but was chosen as an alternate.

Thompson, Magistrelli and Nemeth all earned bids to the NCAA Championships, which will be held March 15-17 in Iowa City.

_____

MAC CHAMPIONSHIPS

(At Ohio University)

Final Team Scores

1. Ohio, 74 1/2; 2. Central Michigan, 63 1/2; 3. Kent State, 62; 4. Buffalo, 58; 5. Northern Illinois, 33 1/2; 6. Eastern Michigan, 23 1/2.

Championship Finals

125 _ Brent Thompson (KS) dec. Ahmad Sanders (CM), 6-2

133 _ Shawn Kegal (Buf) dec. Jordan Webster (CM), 10-5

141 _ Jason Mester (CM) dec. Ryan Egan (NI), 7-2

149 _ Ty Morgan (CM) dec. Bill Jacoutot (Buf), 6-1

157 _ Scott Owen (NI) maj. dec. Ryan Smith (OU), 15-5

165 _ Dave Guarino (Buf) dec. Nick Nemeth (KS), 5-4

174 _ Luke Moore (OU) dec. Kevin Carr (CM), 2-1 (OT)

184 _ Nick Magistrelli (KS) dec. Josh States (Buf), 4-3

197 _ Dan Bednar (NI) dec. Brent Faustman (CM), 4-3

HWT _ John Eschenfelder (Buf) dec. Brad Bauer (OU), 10-8

Consolation Finals

125 _ Marlon Felton (NI) dec. Mike Caruso (OU), 8-1

133 _ Anthony Carrizales (OU) dec. Zac Pyles (EM), 8-5

141 _ Mark Wentz (KS) dec. Ryan Bentley (Buf), 9-7 (OT)

149 _ Andy Reichenbach (OU) maj. dec. Eric Fairbanks (EM), 17-6

157 _ Labe Black (Buf) dec. Mike Tolar (KS), 7-1

165 _ John Wervey (OU) dec. Tim Hoff (EM), 6-5

174 _ Mike Feeney (EM) dec. Jack Hageman (KS), 4-0

184 _ Travis Kraft (EM) dec. Mark Shrout (OU), 4-2 (OT)

197 _ Zeb Miller (KS) dec. Pat Caterello, 4-2 (OT)

HWT _ Jack Leffler (CM) dec. Jim Swetter (KS), 3-1

True Second-Place Matches

133 _ Jordan Webster (CM) dec. Anthony Carrizales (OU), 4-3

141 _ Ryan Egan (NI) dec. Mark Wentz (KS), 8-1

149 _ Andy Reichenbach (OU) dec. Bill Jacoutot (Buf), 6-5

165 _ Nick Nemeth (KS) dec. John Wervey (OU), 2-1

174 _ Mike Feeney (CM) dec. Kevin Carr (CM), 3-2

184 _ Josh States (Buf) dec.Travis Kraft (EM), 10-8

197 _ Brett Faustman (CM) dec. Zeb Miller (KS), 9-3

ALL-MAC TEAM

First Team

Brent Thompson, Kent State; Shawn Kegal, Buffalo; Jason Mester, Central Michigan; Ty Morgan, Central Michigan; Scott Owen, Northern Illinois; Dave Guarino, Buffalo; Luke Moore, Ohio; Nick Magistrelli, Kent State; Dan Bednar, Ohio; John Eschenfelder, Buffalo.

HONORABLE MENTION

Mike Feeney, Eastern Michigan; Josh States, Buffalo; Ryan Egan, Northern Illinois; Nick Nemeth, Kent State; Ahmad Sanders, Central Michigan.

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