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Ohio University sophomore Mason Brugh pins a George Mason wrestler at The Convo at Ohio University in Athens Ohio, Jan. 19, 2024.

Wrestling: Ohio's struggles on the road continue with loss to Central Michigan

Ohio 5-5 (1-3 Mid-American Conference) was once again defeated on the road, this time against Central Michigan. The lightweights struggled once again, continuing what has been an ongoing issue for Ohio while Central Michigan was able to equal the strength of Ohio’s middle-weight wrestlers. This season, Ohio has won once on the road, moving to 1-5, including a fourth straight road loss on Sunday. 

125-pound class: 

Ryan Meek was dominated by another highly-touted MAC wrestler. Sean Spindle, the No. 2 wrestler in his class in the conference, easily dispatched Meek via tech fall, 20-3, to start the dual. Meek’s struggles have caused Ohio to get off to poor starts, putting the team behind before the better wrestlers have a chance to change the overall outcome of the dual. For Ohio to win more duals, it will need better contributions from Meek to get it off on the right foot.

133-pound class: 

Although not to the same extent as Meek, Mason Brugh has not been able to fully get over the hump this season. A few victories for Brugh are now followed by back-to-back losses. Against Vince Perez, Brugh also lost via tech fall, this time by a 17-1 score.

141-pound class: 

Making his season debut, Kaden Jett faced off against Jimmy Nugent. Jett held his own against Nugent but was ultimately unable to get the win, losing a 6-3 decision.

149-pound class: 

In his first action since an injury on January 12, Derek Raike was no match for the No. 13 ranked wrestler in the nation, Corbyn Munson. Despite the strong competition, Raike was able to keep it close; he held the lead going into the final period. However, Raike could not hold on for the upset victory, dropping an 8-7 decision to make it 16-0, Central Michigan. Although the final result will sour the perception of his performance, Raike demonstrated that he is more than capable of hanging tough against some of the nation’s best wrestlers. 

157-pound class: 

The No. 1 wrestler in his class in the MAC, Peyten Kellar, has yet to slow down as he looks for another berth in the NCAA Championships. Kellar has beaten both the No. 2 and No. 3 wrestlers in the conference. The latter of the two, Johnny Lovett, was his opponent Sunday. Kellar picked up a 6-0 decision to get Ohio on the board. Individually, Kellar has widened the gap between him and his competition with his recent resurgence. Kellar is a perfect 4-0 in MAC duals. 

165-pound class: 

Another top-ranked wrestler for Ohio, Garrett Thompson, was able to get a win. His competition, unranked Tyler Swiderski, was no match for Thompson. Thompson defeated Swiderski by decision 1-0. Thompson is also undefeated in MAC duals. 

174-pound class: 

Sal Perrine and Alex Cramer faced off in the biggest match of the day. The No. 2 and No. 1 wrestlers in the MAC, respectively, headlined the entire dual. The match itself did not disappoint. The pair deadlocked at one point apiece and took the bout to sudden victory. Cramer was able to secure a takedown to grant him the victory over Perrine.

184-pound class: 

Zayne Lehman kept his season rolling. Like Kellar, he is undefeated in conference duals. In the past two years, Lehman has not lost in MAC duals, going a perfect 11-0 in that span. Against Adrien Cramer, Lehman won a 5-2 decision to keep Ohio’s hopes of making a huge comeback a faint reality. Lehman’s run in the MAC will continue in the final three duals as he looks to finish off another undefeated season in the conference. 

197-pound class: 

Coming off a tough loss, Austin Starr was looking to get back on track. However, Starr was unable to defeat Cameron Wood. With Ohio looking to secure some bonus-point victories to complete the comeback, Starr was unable to get the win. Regardless, Starr will attempt to regain control over his season in the final three duals. 

285-pound class: 

With the dual already lost, Ohio sent Jacob Padilla to finish off the day. Facing Bryan Caves, Padilla was pinned in the first period, 2:10 into the match. Caves’ result perfectly encapsulated a rather frustrating day for Ohio on the road against Central Michigan. 


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