Updated Sun, Nov 11, 2012 11:36 pm
In East Lansing, Mi. this weekend, Ohio wrestling took their individual talents to the mats, facing some of the best college wrestlers in the Midwest at the Michigan State Open.
There were two separate divisions in the tournament: a freshman/sophomore division and an open division, where those who did not fit in the former could compete in the latter.
Head coach Joel Greenlee did not see a difference in the competition, which differs from the traditional tournament setup.
"Even though the guys were technically in two different tournaments we didn't approach it any different,” said Greenlee. “We just approached it like any other match."
Tyler Heminger had a first-round bye in the freshman/sophomore 125-lb weight class. The redshirt freshman went on to finish fifth after losing his first match against Jarred Brooks of Notre Dame College.
Freshman Kagan Squire, in the 141-lb freshman/sophomore weight class, lost to eventual winner Mo Miller of Notre Dame College in the quarterfinals but bounced back to place fourth overall.
Andrew Romanchik placed sixth in the 149-lb freshman/sophomore division after losing in the quarterfinals to eventual winner Nick Carr of Kent State University in an 8-5 decision.
Spartak Chino, seeded first in the 157-lb freshman and sophomore class, lost in the finals to Illinois' Zachary Brunson. Zach Rohr made it to the quarterfinals in the same class, also losing to Brunson. Chino and Rohr finished second and fifth, respectively.
Keith Johnson and Cody Rodgers placed sixth and fourth, respectively, in the 184-lb freshman and sophomore bracket.
Bobcat wrestlers who placed first in their bracket include Cody Walters of the 174-lbs class and Phil Wellington in the 197-lb class, both of whom were in the freshman and sophomore division. Walters had a pin in the semifinals in less than five minutes and won the bracket in a 3-1 decision. Wellington won four-straight sets, including a pin in less than two minutes in his first match.
Jeremy Johnson, one of few who competed in an open division bracket, finished second in the 285-lb weight class. The heavyweight MAC champion in 2011, as well as a MAC-individual preseason favorite, lost in a 3-1 bout to Michigan State's Mike McClure.
Greenlee saw dominance in this week’s competition that was not present in last week’s battle, especially against the two weak showings against Chattanooga and ranked opponent Virginia.
“We wrestled more our style. We didn't let our opponents dictate the action like we did a week ago… I think we just wrestled our match instead of waiting around,” said Greenlee.
Yet, dividing the Bobcats into a freshman/sophomore division truly showed how young this team is; 25 of the team’s wrestlers have three-plus years of eligibility remaining.
“We’re still a very young team, and I think they all need to get in a little bit of better shape,” explained Greenlee.
The Bobcats travel to Annapolis, Md. this Saturday to compete in the Navy Classic before heading back to Athens to host their first home match against Central Michigan on Dec. 1.