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Ohio junior Tywan Claxton grapples with Kent State sophomore Kyle Bauer. The teams wrestled on Jan. 24 and Ohio won 21-16. (Isaac Hale | File Photo)

Wrestling: Ohio survives Clarion, falls to Old Dominion

There’s a saying that what you’ve done doesn’t matter nearly as much as what you’ve done lately.

That proves very true for Old Dominion, which rolled into The Convo on Sunday with a 7-8 record despite a running four-match win streak.

The Monarchs extended that streak—and ended one of the Bobcats’—with a 22-15 victory over the Bobcats (10-4). It was the end of an eight-match home winning streak for Ohio dating back to Dec. 1, 2012.

“I thought we wrestled hard, we just didn’t have enough to win the tight matches that we needed to win,” coach Joel Greenlee said. “We were in it, it was close, we just didn’t have enough to get it done.”

No. 11 redshirt senior Jeremy Johnson (30-4) started Sunday’s 285-pound dual with a 4-1 decision over Old Dominion’s Matt Tourdot. Sophomore KeVon Powell (10-11), at 125-pounds, followed with a big win of his own, grabbing a 5-4 decision to put Ohio in the lead 6-0.

Old Dominion then used the middle of its weight classes to make the difference in the match, using four straight wins to build a 15-6 lead over Ohio.

Junior Harrison Hightower (27-9) gave Ohio a brief surge of energy at the 165-pound match, pinning his opponent in just 1:43. The fall was Hightower’s team-leading 13th of the season, and narrowed Ohio’s deficit to 15-12.

“It’s always nice to do something like that to motivate your guys and motivate the crowd,” Hightower said. “I just try to go out and do my thing, and not worry about what that guy does on bottom. I try to stick with the same things, since it’s been working so much.”

The comeback hope was largely erased, however, after an upset victory for the Monarchs at the 174-pound class, as Billy Curling defeated No. 10 redshirt sophomore Cody Walters 5-2 and gave Old Dominion a six-point lead with two matches remaining.

No. 11 redshirt sophomore Phil Wellington (27-4) earned a sudden victory at the end of the 197-pound match, though it came after Old Dominion had clinched the dual victory. Wellington and Johnson each finish with undefeated regular season MAC records.

No. 15 Tywan Claxton (22-5), meanwhile, suffered his first conference loss of the season in the 149-pound match.

“(Wellington and Johnson) do the same thing every time, they’re consistent,” Greenlee said. “Johnson doesn’t get rattled, he does the same thing and he does it at a hard pace. Same thing with Phil. They’re both very good at what they do.”

In Ohio’s 21-16 win to Clarion on Saturday, the Bobcats took an early blow when they had to forfeit their 125-pound match. After that, the two teams went back and forth throughout the dual.

Ohio won the final lead change when Hightower got a major decision to give Ohio an 18-16 lead. Walters followed in the final match of the dual with a decision that clinched the victory for the Bobcats.



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