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Record-Courier staff report
Kent State sophomore Ian Miller will be competing for another Mid-American Conference title today after posting two convincing victories on day one of the MAC Championships on Saturday at the M.A.C. Center.
As a team, the Golden Flashes went 0-4 in overtime matches and suffered through several other tough breaks. As a result, Kent State sits in seventh place with 48 points, while Northern Iowa leads the pack with 97 points.
Miller pinned Buffalo's Wally Maziarz in the first period of his quarterfinal bout, then claimed an 8-2 victory over Old Dominion's Tristan Warner in the semifinals.
The top seed at 157 pounds, Miller will take on No. 2 seed Luke Smith of Central Michigan in today's final.
Joining Miller with wins in the quarterfinals for Kent State were sophomores Michael DePalma (149) and Cole Baxter (197). DePalma earned the Flashes bonus points with a 15-0 technical fall of Northern Iowa's Tyler Patten, while Baxter worked an arm bar for near-fall points twice in his 9-3 victory over Eastern Michigan's Nick Whitenburg.
DePalma and Baxter will be among six Golden Flashes competing for a top-six finish today. Junior Caleb Marsh (174), sophomore Mack McGuire (133) and sophomore Tyler Buckwalter (165) all dropped their quarterfinal bouts, but bounced back for wins in the consolation bracket.
Buckwalter and Marsh each trailed 2-0 on the way to major-decision wins. Buckwalter tilted Eastern Michigan's James Klosz twice in a 15-4 victory, while Marsh turned Matt Mougin of Northern Illinois with a bow-and-arrow and scored a takedown in the final seconds for a 16-8 win.
A stalling point against McGuire led to an eventual overtime loss in his quarterfinal against Missouri's Matt Manley. Later in the day, a first-period takedown by McGuire proved to be pivotal in a 3-0 win over Buffalo's Justin Farmer.
Sophomore Del Vinas (125) earned Kent State's first win of the day with a 10-1 major decision of Northern Illinois' Nick Harrison. Vinas bear-hugged Harrison for a four-point takedown in the first and never looked back in his pigtail-round victory.
Eight different Flashes earned victories Saturday, including redshirt freshman Mimmo Lytle (285), who claimed a 2-1 win over Central Michigan's Adam Robinson. Lytle dropped a pair of overtime bouts, one in sudden victory and one in a tiebreaker.
Today's action begins at noon at the M.A.C. Center with the consolation semifinals, with the championship round scheduled for 1:20 p.m.