Kent State held its "Beauty and the Beast" event for the second year on Sunday at the M.A.C. Center, with the wrestling and gymnastics teams competing simultaneously against North Carolina State. Both Golden Flashes squads posted impressive wins over the Wolfpack.
Despite having two starters out of its lineup, Kent State's wrestlers (8-6) captured 6-of-10 matches in a 23-14 win over N.C. State (10-3). Meanwhile, the Flashes gymnasts (4-1) produced a season-high point total in a 195.400-194.150 triumph over N.C. State (2-3).
Standout KSU wrestlers Ian Miller (So., 157 pounds) and Caleb Marsh (Jr., 174) missed Sunday's match due to injuries.
"When we found out at weigh-ins that Caleb wasn't going to be able to go, I was worried," KSU coach Jim Andrassy said. "I thought it would be hard for us to win, but we had a lot of guys step up. I'm proud of our guys for the way they came through."
Prior to Sunday, the Flashes were just 4-9 at the 165-pound weight class and 1-12 at 125 pounds in dual meets, but sophomores Tyler Buckwalter and Del Vinas each came up with big victories.
The afternoon started at 165, as Buckwalter earned a 9-1 win over Peter Santos. In just his fourth victory of the season, Buckwalter scored a takedown with 10 seconds left in the match to clinch the major decision.
Buckwalter set the tone in the first period with a takedown immediately followed by a three-point turn.
"Tyler's a better dual-meet wrestler than a tournament wrestler at this point," Andrassy said. "Our hope is that he just continues to progress."
The Wolfpack answered with a major decision of their own at 174 before sophomore Sam Wheeler gave the Flashes the lead for good with a 9-5 decision over Mike Macchiavello. Wheeler recorded two first-period takedowns and never trailed.
Sophomore Cole Baxter followed with an 8-3 decision over KaRonne Jones that included four minutes of riding time.
"Our young guys are getting better and better every match," Andrassy said. "The improvement isn't always as fast as we'd like it to be as coaches, but it's come against very good competition this year."
Vinas claimed his first career dual victory with a 5-3 decision over Micah Perez. Vinas scored a pair of first-period takedowns from his own shots and escaped in the third.
"It was only our second win at 125 in a dual this year," Andrassy said. "We can win a lot of duals if we win there."
Sophomore Mack McGuire brought the crowd to its feet with a first-period pin of Chris Wilkes. With the match scoreless late in the first, McGuire got in deep on a shot and had not yet earned a takedown, but tilted Wilkes' legs high enough to put him flat on his back.
With his team up 19-11, sophomore Michael DePalma sealed the victory with a 12-2 major decision of Brian Hamann. Up 2-0 after one period, DePalma broke things open in the second with a reversal and two takedowns.
The Flashes begin a string of five straight conference duals Friday, visiting Ohio. Miller and Marsh are both expected back in the lineup.
Senior Marie Case led a superb effort by the 21st-ranked gymnastics squad.
"NC State is such a quality program we knew we needed a good effort, and I am proud of our team for bouncing back" KSU head coach Brice Biggin said. "Our team put together a great performance."
Case finished second in the all-around competition (39.275) for the Flashes. Case took first in the floor exercise with a score of 9.900, tied for first in the uneven parallel bars (9.800), tied for second on balance beam (9.825), and tied for third on the vault (9.850).
Freshmen Olivia Trout and Samantha Gordon tied for second in the floor exercise with new personal-bests of 9.825. Trout tied Case for second on the balance beam.
Junior Amiah Mims and sophomore Jaymi Baxter tied Case for third on the vault with a score of 9.850.
"We had girls step up and fill in where we needed them to and beat a really good team." Biggin added. "This is a great experience for the fans and a really neat event to put on here with the wrestling team competing with us in the M.A.C."
Kent State picked up two wins and suffered its first loss of the season Friday, scoring 194.475 points to defeat George Washington (4-2, 193.400) and Eastern Michigan (0-3, 192.750) but fall to No. 16 Rutgers (4-0, 195.250) at the M.A.C. Center.
Trout tied for first in the balance beam (9.800), while junior Nicole Radon and Trout tied for second in floor exercise (9.850).
Case tied for fifth in the vault (9.825), and junior Chelsea Drooger tied for fifth with Baxter and Case in the parallel bars with scores of 9.800. Case finished second in the all-around competition with a 38.725.
Marsh was named Mid-American Conference Wrestler of the Week after going 4-0 at the Virginia Duals last weekend.
Marsh defeated two higher-ranked opponents, including a 3-2 upset of No. 10 Steve Doty (Virginia). He earned a 3-1 decision over No. 18 Mike Dessino (Bloomsburg), a convincing 11-4 decision over John Dickson (Virginia Tech) and a 4-0 shutout of Terrell Forbes (Citadel).
The Flashes' 174-pounder improved to 10-5 on the season and 9-3 in duals. He was ranked No. 25 in this week's WrestlingReport.com poll.
TRACK AND FIELD
The Kent State women's track and field team cruised to an 83-68 victory over rival Akron at the Kent State Field House Friday night, while the men's squad fell 77.5-73.5 to the Zips.
"I think the women did a great job showing their strength," said KSU director of track and field Bill Lawson. "The women had a solid meet. We did well today on the men's side. We weren't great. We had some great performances, but we have more firepower sitting on the sidelines getting ready to go in the next weeks."
Ann Marie Duffus and Dior Delophont were both double winners on the night. Duffus took home top honors in the long jump (19-8.25) and the 60-meter hurdles (8.51). Two-time All-American Delophont continued her success in the high jump and triple jump, winning the first with a 6-0.50 effort and the latter with a 40-6.25. She currently sits No. 1 in the Division I high jump.
Hannah Fleck took the first women's victory of the night with a time of 5:02.19 in the mile run. Also on the track, Roseanne Erickson finished first in the 60 meters (7.62), Lauren Burnett won the 800 meters (2:17.74) and Chanitta Westbrooks ran to victory in the 200 meters (24.92).
Alexandria Vintevoghel won the 3,000 meters with a time of 10:14.19, and Joh'Vonnie Mosley continued her success this season with a win in the shot put (54-8.0.) She ranks fourth in the nation in the event.
On the men's side, Wayne Gordon spearheaded Kent State's efforts. He won the 200 meters in 21.06, the second-best time in KSU indoor history. He preceded that with a win in the 60 meters in 6.77, which sits fifth-best all-time.
William Barnes picked up the first win for the Flashes men with an 8.06 performance in the 60-meter hurdles. Other winners on the night were Miles Dunlap in the 400 (47.87), Reggie Jagers in the weight throw (62-2.50), and Donovan Tolbert in the triple jump (48-5.5).
Hard to believe based on the current weather conditions, but collegiate baseball/softball season is right around the corner.
Kent State's softball team rolled into the Field House for a practice Sunday afternoon, after the baseball squad had wrapped up day one of its annual Father/Son Camp. Karen Linder's KSU softball squad opens the 2014 season Feb. 7 in Long Beach, Calif.
Kent State's baseball team, under first-year coach Jeff Duncan, will start practice on Friday in preparation for its 2014 season opener Feb. 14 at Arizona.
Jessacca Gironda and Morgan Mah were selected to the 2013 Ohio Collegiate Soccer Association All-Ohio Academic First Team, while Stephanie Haugh was a Third-Team choice.
Gironda, a Business Management major, posted a 3.88 grade-point average. The First Team All-MAC selection led Kent State and the MAC in scoring with 33 points (14 goals, 5 assists). She is now the record-holder for goals in a career (31) and points in a career (78).
Mah, both the MAC and College Soccer Madness Defensive Player of the Year, started 19 games for the Flashes this season. The senior defender and Zoology major with a 3.51 grade-point average combined for seven points on two goals and three assists.
Haugh, a midfielder, has a 3.96 grade-point average and is majoring in Psychology. She led Kent State in assists (6) and added three goals this season for 12 points.
Senior Andrew Goodwin and junior Paige Foster were selected to the 2013 Academic All-MAC Cross Country teams.
Goodwin, an American English major with a 3.62 grade-point average, competed in six events this season. His best finish was 11th place (20:43) at the Tommy Evans Invitational.
Foster, a Nursing major with a 4.00 grade-point average, compete in six events this year. Her best finish this season was fourth place (18:42) at the Tommy Evans Invitational in Akron.
Five Kent State student-athletes have been named to the 2013 Academic All-MAC team: Sabrina Binder, Hannah Faulkner, Susanne Fielder, Rebecca Lee and Alexis Madeira.
Binder, a senior, is a two-time NFHCA Division I National Academic Squad selection. Faulkner also earned Academic All-MAC honors as a sophomore, while sophomore Felder was an NFHCA Division I National Academic Squad honoree her freshman year.
This is the third consecutive Academic All-MAC honor for Lee, who graduated this past December. Lee also is a three-time NFHCA Division I National Academic Squad selection.
The honor is the first in sophomore Madeira's young Kent State career.
Facebook: Allen Moff, Record-Courier