With a surge of majors and falls, points can pile up in a hurry in wrestling matches, something Ohio found itself on both the good and bad side of Sunday.
Ohio wrestled a tri-match against Gardner-Webb and Cleveland State on Sunday, defeating both with respective scores of 37-6 and 20-19. Ohio finishes the season with a 13-4 dual record, 9-0 outside the Mid-American Conference.
“Our goal coming into today was to steamroll both teams,” coach Joel Greenlee said. “We did really well against Gardner-Webb. But we didn’t get it done against Cleveland State. I really don’t know what the reason for that was, but it wasn’t the dominating performance we hoped for.”
The Bobcats started their day by quickly imposing their will on Gardner-Webb, beginning with 184-pound senior Ryan Garringer notching a dominating 13-2 major decision. No. 8 redshirt sophomore Phil Wellington followed with a first period fall in the 197-pound match, pinning Boyce Cornwell in just 2:40. Then, No. 11 heavyweight Jeremy Johnson got a pin of his own in the second period of his match, giving the Bobcats a 16-0 lead after just three matches.
After a forfeit in the 133-pound class gave Gardner-Webb its only points, Ohio swept the remaining five matches. Redshirt sophomore Spartak Chino picked up the Bobcats’ third pin of the day in the 157-pound bout before 165-pound redshirt junior Harrison Hightower upset No. 20 Austin Trott with an 8-3 decision.
Just as Ohio was able to pick up lots of points in a quick manner in the first dual, Cleveland State showed its ability to be just as scary in the second. After the match began with a major decision by Cleveland State in the 184-pound class, Ohio won three matches in a row to give itself a 10-4 lead going into the 133-pound class. Because of another forfeit in the 133-pound match, however, Cleveland State was able to get back into it with the score tied at 10.
The Bobcats rattled off three straight wins after that, building a 19-10 lead with two matches remaining. Then, another momentum swing occurred, as Hightower was pinned in the first period with a defensive fall that brought the score back to 19-16. Cleveland State won the final match with a 3-2 decision, tying the score at 19, but Ohio was awarded the winning team point for winning the most individual matches.
Johnson’s two wins extended his win streak to 12, and clinched an undefeated dual record in the season for the redshirt senior. Wellington’s two wins now place his win streak at ten entering the MAC Championship.
Johnson and Wellington weren’t the only ones riding some momentum going into the conference tournament. No. 18 junior Tywan Claxton bounced back from consecutive losses to go 2-0 on Sunday in his 149-pound bouts. Also posting wins in both duals were KeVon Powell, Noah Forrider and Chino.
“To win the MAC title, everybody’s got to be banging on all cylinders,” Johnson said. “UNI, Missouri and Kent State always bring tough teams. We’re going to have to want it more and we’re going to have to have more heart.”
Sunday’s tri-match was the last competition the Bobcats will see before the MAC Championships.
This article appeared in print under the headline "Ohio defeats Gardner-Webb, Cleveland State"