Ohio is set to compete in the 2019 Mid-American Conference Championships this weekend, which will be held at the Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Virginia, at Old Dominion University. The 2019 MAC Championships will be streamed live on ESPN+.
Here’s a preview of the Bobcats competing in 10 different weight classes:
125 pounds: Shakur Laney
Shakur Laney’s productive season has paid off — he’s earned the No. 3 seed for the MAC Championships. Laney will be heading to Norfolk with a 12-7 record this season with a 6-2 record against conference opponents.
With four spots in the 125-pound class qualifying for the National Championships, Laney is in a safe position to advance. His main challenge this weekend will be his potential match against Michael McGee of Old Dominion. McGee is ranked 16th nationally, while Laney ranks 21st. Both wrestlers have faced each other twice before, with McGee claiming the most recent match.
133: Mario Guillen
Guillen has had a standout season, going 15-1 overall and 8-0 in conference matches. He has been rewarded for his control of the mat, being placed as the No. 2 seed. Guillen must place third to qualify for nationals.
Despite going 8-0 in-conference, Guillen has never actually faced the No. 1 seed, John Erneste of Missouri. When Ohio hosted Missouri on Jan. 11, Guillen won by forfeit. Should he and Erneste face off this weekend, Guillen won’t know what to expect.
141: Cam Kelly
Kelly has dominated his conference matches this season. He’s 7-0 going into the championships and placed as the No. 2 seed, with four spots open to advance.
Kelly is looking to become MAC Champion this year, and the wrestler standing in his way is one he hasn’t yet faced. Jaydin Eierman of Missouri is ranked 4th in the nation for the 141-pound weight class, while Kelly is 14th.
Eierman is undefeated in the MAC as well, meaning Kelly will be in for the biggest match of his season if they meet.
149: Alec Hagan
Hagan will have to fight much harder than most of the roster, as his weight class has only one open spot for nationals. Hagan is the No. 3 seed for the 149-pound class, and only one wrestler in the weight class, Brock Mauller of Missouri, is nationally ranked.
The two wrestlers Hagan has lost against in the MAC this season are the one and two seeds, Mauller and Kevin Budock of Old Dominion.
If Hagan wants to make it to nationals, he will have two big hurdles cross.
157: Zac Carson
Carson is in a favorable position, riding a 7-2 conference record and 8-6 overall record into the MAC Championships. He has been placed as the No. 3 seed.
Although Carson is among five other nationally ranked wrestlers in the 157-pound weight class, he has defeated three of them. Carson’s only two losses came from the wrestlers ranked above him, Larry Early of Old Dominion and Jarrett Jacques of Missouri.
The 157-pound class has five spots open to advance to nationals. If Carson can maintain his dominance over most of his weight class, his chances are all but secured.
165: Colt Yinger
Yinger’s had a promising freshman campaign for the Bobcats, earning himself the No. 4 seed in the tournament. He is coming into the conference championships with a 14-7 record, and he’s 4-2 in-conference.
He will most likely have to face the two conference opponents he lost to this season, Connor Flynn of Missouri and Kenny Moore of Northern Illinois. Both are nationally ranked, but Yinger performed well against them. He lost to Flynn in a 6-5 decision and fell in overtime to Moore.
There is only one national qualifying spot reserved for the MAC in the 165-pound class, so the freshman will have to go undefeated if he wants to continue his season.
174: Logan Stanley
Things aren’t looking good for Stanley this weekend, who posted a record of just 8-14 this season, and beat only one conference opponent. This landed him as the lowest seed for the tournament.
The freshman will have to make quite the run if he wants to go to nationals. There are only two qualifying spots for the MAC in this weight class.
Guarding those top two spots are Daniel Lewis, who is ranked second nationally, and Brit Wilson, ranked 13th.
184: Hunter Yeargan
Yeargan has had an up-and-down year, finishing 12-12 on the season. He will likely have a short weekend because the 184-pound class is one of the most competitive in the conference. There are four nationally ranked wrestlers fighting for two spots.
The junior finds himself at the bottom of the conference, ranked No. 7 in the tournament.
Yeargan finished the season hot, though, winning his last three matches. He will need to carry that hot streak with him into the weekend if he wants any shot of continuing his season at nationals.
197: Derek Hillman
The 197-pound class is probably the most wide open in the conference. There is just a single nationally ranked wrestler: Wyatt Koelling of Missouri.
If someone were to knock Koelling off, the conference champion could be just about anyone. It probably won’t be Hillmann, though. He's No. 6 headed into the tournament and has beaten just one conference opponent this season.
The senior transfer from Eastern Michigan has wrestled very little this year, logging just four matches in the season.
285: Zack Parker
Parker will need to string together his best performances of the season to continue his career. He’s seeded last and will need to finish at least fourth to qualify for nationals.
The heavyweight senior is 1-6 against conference opponents and didn’t beat a single wrestler seeded ahead of him. The MAC also has three nationally ranked heavyweight wrestlers, who are more than likely to take the first three spots. Parker will have to perform well and slide into the last spot to make it to the National Championships.