Despite having a short-staffed roster, Ohio’s lack of depth didn’t excuse it from experiencing success.
Ohio placed sixth out of 14 teams at the 36th annual Navy Classic in Annapolis, Md., as senior Tywan Claxton and redshirt sophomore Phil Wellington each claimed titles in the 149-pound and 197-pound weight classes, respectively.
“(Claxton and Wellington) have a plan, and they stick to their plan,” coach Joel Greenlee said. “They do what they’re supposed to do in terms of taking shots and getting on top and grinding a guy out.”
Claxton started the day off with a 12-0 major decision, followed by consecutive 6-4 decisions and a 3-1 victory against Navy’s Alex Johnson in the title bout.
Wellington posted a major decision and a fall in his first two matches of the day. He then defeated Bucknell’s Tyler Lyster with an 8-1 decision before sealing the title with a 9-3 win over Princeton’s Abram Ayala.
The duo of wrestlers each improved their season records to 10-1.
“Tywan’s got himself ranked in the top 20 right now, and he had a real good day today,” Greenlee said. “When the lights are on, the guy wrestles smart. He’s a gamer and he wrestles everybody hard. You can’t say enough about him.”
Also posting a strong showing for the Bobcats on Saturday was 285-pound redshirt senior Jeremy Johnson, who took second place at the tournament for the second consecutive year. He began his day with three victories that included two falls before dropping the championship bout 8-2.
Redshirt junior Harrison Hightower finished 4-1 on the day to secure third place in the 165-pound weight class, marking consecutive weeks that Hightower has placed in the top five. True freshman Noah Forrider grinded out seven matches during the day, en route to a sixth place finish in the 141-pound division.
“I just think (Harrison) is unbelievably consistent,” Greenlee said. “He does the same thing every time. He grinds guys and wears them out. I thought Jeremy (Johnson) wrestled well, he just made a couple of mistakes that you can’t make against a guy who’s got a top 10 ranking.”
Wisconsin won the team title Saturday by posting a score of 164, with Navy coming in second.
The Bobcats rested four of their regular starters, including redshirt sophomores Cody Walters and Sparty Chino. All four are expected to return to action when the team heads to Missouri in two weeks.