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Ohio wrestler Peyten Kellar wrestling in the 157 pound weight class during the Bobcats’ match against Buffalo, Feb. 24, 2024, in The Convo.

Ohio Wrestlers Gear up for MAC Championship

With the regular season finished, Ohio (7-6, 3-4 Mid-American Conference) now shifts its focus toward the MAC Championship. With an outright win, it would be the Bobcats' first tournament win since 2001.

Ohio will head into the tournament with star power within the 157-pound and 165-pound weight class. Both Peyten Kellar and Garrett Thompson hold the top seeds in their respective weight classes. 

Kellar and Thompson look to be the first Bobcats to win an individual championship for the first time since 2017. Shakur Laney was the last Bobcat to win the MAC Championship when he won the 125-pound weight class.

All around, the Bobcats possess great wrestlers that could make a splash in the upcoming tournament. 174-pound wrestler Sal Perrine and 184-pound wrestler Zayne Lehman rank second and third in their divisions respectively.

Perrine may have a chip on his shoulder this time around. He looks to take home MAC gold for the first time in his career after two heartbreaking seasons. The junior out of Northfield had been just a few matches away from winning it all his past two seasons. He finished third in his class in 2022 and finished fourth in 2023.

Match Information:

Dates: Friday, March 8, 12 p.m. / Saturday, March 9, 11:30 a.m.

Location: Kent, Ohio

How to Watch: ESPN+


MAC Dominance:

Since Ohio’s last tournament win in ‘01, only three teams have won the MAC Championship. Central Michigan has won 11 straight Championships from 2002-2012. This was followed by a dominant nine-year reign from Missouri from 2013-2021 before leaving the MAC in 2021. Finally, Lock Haven won the past two championships; Lock Haven will look to three-peat and continue the long-standing tradition of decade-long reigns.

The Defending Champs

Lock Haven comes into the tournament as the team to beat. Despite not holding the best regular season record, the Bald Eagles have the wrestlers to repeat as champions. Lock Haven’s lower weight classes are the best in the MAC, it holds the top-ranked wrestlers from the 125, 133 and 141-pound weight classes. Anthony Noto will be a wrestler to look out for, he stands with very few due to his winning the past two championships in the 125-pound weight class spanning back to when he was a freshman. Gabe Stickland of the 133-pound weight class will also be a defending champion for Lock Haven.

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