Updated Mon, Nov 18, 2013 2:36 pm
The Ohio wrestling team won its first three matches at the Eastern Michigan Duals against Drexel, Utah Valley and Indiana Tech.
The Bobcats kicked off the meet with a comeback win over Drexel. They started off the match down 12-0 and won five consecutive matches to take the lead. Phil Wellington, 197 pounds, then fell to Brandon Palik and the score was tied 15-15 going into the final match. Heavyweight Jeremy Johnson defeated Jamie Callender by a major decision, 14-4, to solidify the Ohio victory.
Wellington is currently ranked 16th in the country and Palik 14th according to IntermatWrestle.com. The 7-0 loss was disappointing for Wellington who won his weight class at the Michigan State Open and was named Mid-American Conference Wrestler of the Week last week for the first time in his career.
Ohio then took on Utah Valley and defeated the Wolverines in another comeback victory. The Bobcats were down 13-4, but gained momentum from a pin by Harrison Hightower, 165, over Curtis Abner, which cut the gap to 13-10. Johnson once again solidified the win with a major decision over Adam Fager, 15-1.
Johnson is currently ranked ninth in the country and Fager 20th. The win was Johnson’s first against a ranked opponent this season. Last week, he fell to Adam Chalfant of Indiana who is ranked eighth.
The Bobcats dominated the final match of the day by a 36-point margin, winning 42-6. Noah Forrider (141), Tywan Claxton (149), Ryan Garringer (184), Wellington and Johnson all collected pins in the match.
Forrider’s pin was added to the books as his first ever as a Bobcat. His commanding performance was a positive way to close out the day for Forrider who fell in his other two matches. Forrider has high expectations for the Bobcats given his skill level as only a freshman.
Claxton, Hightower and Johnson won all three of their matches on the day. Cody Walters, 184, and Sparty Chino, 157, both won their two matches in the day, but did not wrestle against Indiana Tech.
The wins gave the Bobcats great momentum to kick off the season. Their ability to come from behind for the win shows perseverance for the young team.
The Bobcats will travel to Navy for their next match on Nov. 23. Following the match they will have a week off for Thanksgiving before coming back at it on Dec. 6 against Missouri.