Record-Courier Staff Report
COLUMBUS — Redshirt freshman Mimmo Lytle's 3-2 victory in the final match gave Kent State a 19-16 win over No. 17 Iowa State Sunday inside St. John Arena during the opening round of the NWCA National Duals.
Following the first program win over the Cyclones, the Golden Flashes fell to host Ohio State 32-4 in the quarterfinals.
"Our goal has been to be like the Iowa States," KSU coach Jim Andrassy said. "So this is just another step. We're really looking forward to tomorrow and next week to continue to prove what we can do against top competition."
Kent State won despite wrestling without one of its top wrestlers, sophomore Sam Wheeler (184 pounds), who was suspended indefinitely after Tweeting derogatory remarks toward gays early last week.
The Flashes and Cyclones each won five matches, but bonus points from sophomore Mack McGuire and junior Tyler Small provided the three-point difference for Kent State. McGuire gave the Flashes a 4-3 lead with a 9-0 major decision over Shayden Terukina. All of McGuire's points came after a scoreless first period.
Small followed with a second-period pin of Gabe Moreno. Scoreless after the first period, Small started the second with a takedown and carefully set up his far-side cradle to give the Flashes a 10-3 lead and seal his 95th career win.
Sophomore Ian Miller made his return Sunday with a 10-4 decision over John Nicholson. Miller jumped out to a 6-2 first-period lead behind three takedowns.
A major decision by the Cyclones at 165 cut the KSU lead to 13-10, with the biggest upset of the day about to occur.
Junior Caleb Marsh put together three takedowns in the first two periods on the way to an 8-7 victory over No. 9 Michael Moreno. Marsh hit a fireman's carry late in the second, and a pair of escapes in the third helped him hang on for the one-point win.
"Caleb really got his offense going," Andrassy said. "He's getting closer to where he was last year. I think it just took him some time to get used to the weight class.
Iowa State took the next two weights to tie the match 16-16, despite strong efforts from the Flashes. In his first career dual, sophomore Cory Campbell led 4-2 late in the second before dropping a 6-5 decision. Sophomore Cole Baxter fell to No. 1 Kyvon Gadson 7-3, but held a 2-0 lead late in the first.
Lytle's second-period takedown of Quean Smith made the difference in his one-point win at heavyweight. Heading toward the edge of the mat, Lytle worked an underhook with a trip and had the presence of mind to keep one foot on the line as both wrestlers came crashing down. The takedown was awarded following the official's consultation with his assistant.
Marsh was the only Kent State wrestler to go 2-0 on the day, earning a 12-1 major decision over Ohio State's Jacob Bresciani. The Flashes wrestled backups at three weight classes against the No. 13 Buckeyes.
Kent State will face No. 18 Illinois today at 11 a.m. The winner will face either Oregon State or North Dakota State at 1 p.m.