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Redshirt Freshman, Peyten Kellar, grabs Kent State opponent's ankle on Feb. 3, 2023 at The Convo, in Athens.

Wrestling: Ohio goes down big early, runs out of steam against Cleveland State

Ohio made the quick trip north to Cleveland to take on Cleveland State in a Mid-American Conference dual. Ohio was riding high following its big win at home over George Mason. While Ohio’s top wrestlers in the middle-weight classes performed very well, Cleveland State’s best wrestlers secured the 24-19 victory. The loss for Ohio tells a similar story for the season: the lightweights struggled mightily, and a comeback effort was not enough for the win. 

125-pound class: 

Ryan Meek came off a big win last week against George Mason; however, against Ben Aranda, the No. 5 wrestler in the MAC, Meek was unable to build upon his win. Meek was pinned in the first period, only 1 minute, 49 seconds into the match. The effort by Meek was simply not enough as he put Ohio down by 6 right away.

133-pound class: 

Mason Brugh’s first season as the full-time starter for Ohio has improved recently as he has been able to win more matches of late, including a win last week over George Mason. The sophomore was simply outmatched by Cleveland State’s Nick Molchak, losing a 5-2 decision. Brugh took an early lead in the second period with a reversal, but Molchak hit the same move to even the score before getting a takedown to seal the win. Nonetheless, Brugh’s more competitive efforts have made him more reliable moving forward. 

141-pound class: 

The season for Aidan Waszak has not been smooth, as he only has two wins. One of those wins, however, came against George Mason last week. The outlook was much brighter for Waszak after he picked up his first MAC win of the year. However, he was defeated by Dylan Layton, losing by a tech fall, 17-1.

149-pound class: 

Although he appeared on the roster card for Ohio, Derek Raike did not wrestle, as he continues to nurse an injury suffered two weeks ago against Northern Illinois. In his place, Dominic Hoffarth has gotten the last two starts. Hoffarth was the only Ohio wrestler to lose last week, falling by way of pin. This week, he faced Douglas Terry and put up a much better effort, albeit not a winning one. The 4-2 decision loss for Hoffarth put Ohio down 17-0 at the time, creating a large hole. 

157-pound class: 

Starting off a run of Ohio’s top-ranked wrestlers, No. 16 Peyten Kellar demonstrated exactly why he is one of the best wrestlers in the conference. He disposed of his opponent, Shane Heil, at 2 minutes, 57 seconds, just before the first period ended.

165-pound class: 

After a sloppy match last weekend that saw him nearly get pinned, No. 13 Garrett Thompson ensured that his match against Tate Geiser did not exceed a minute. Thompson got the pin over Geiser, the No. 3 wrestler in the conference, in just 46 seconds. Thompson was hampered a bit by an injury last week, but that did not seem to be a factor against Geiser as the dominance of Thompson continued in his quest for his first NCAA Championship berth. 

174-pound class: 

Yet another top-ranked wrestler for Ohio, No. 21 Sal Perrine, kept Ohio going strong. His opponent, DeAndre Nassar, made sure that he would not be the third straight pin for Ohio. However, Perrine still found a way to win. Perrine picked up a 4-2 decision to draw Ohio to just a 2-point deficit. 

184-pound class: 

Zayne Lehman has shown up in recent matches after a rocky start. Lehman picked up a tech fall last week and followed it up with a major decision win over Joey Lyons. Lehman’s 8-0 win included nearly 4 minutes of riding time as Lehman controlled the match from the opening whistle to the final buzzer. 

197-pound class: 

As Austin Starr looks to emerge as a true contender in his weight class, he will be forced to defeat the wrestlers ahead of him in the MAC rankings. Facing No. 2 Benjamin Smith, Starr could not do much of anything. Starr’s aggressive style was neutralized as Smith put Cleveland State back on top late in the dual. Starr had a big opportunity to make a statement but was simply outclassed by Smith. 

285-pound class: 

Like Starr, Jordan Greer had a chance to make a big statement going against a highly-ranked wrestler. Greer’s opponent, Daniel Bucknavich, sits at No. 1 in the conference and No. 22 nationally. Greer picked up a big win over Chad Nix last week but was unable to replicate any of the magic against Bucknavich. In the all-or-nothing match, Greer could not deliver the dual win to Ohio. 


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