Updated Sat, Mar 22, 2014 11:46 am
The moment wrestlers strive for is to be named an All-American. All-American status means that a wrestler is one of the top eight in his weight class in the country. While wrestlers might hang in the top-ten rankings during the year, during “March Matness,” anything can happen
Ohio heavyweight Jeremy Johnson got to experience the honor of being named an All-American for the second time in his collegiate career Friday night.
Johnson defeated Michigan’s Adam Coon 3-1 in a sudden victory overtime to achieve the honor. He pulled the upset over Coon, who was seeded fourth in the tournament.
The win made Johnson the all-time wins leader at Ohio with 143.
Johnson earned his shot at all-American honors with wins over Ty Walz of Virginia Tech and Billy Smith of Rutgers. The win over Smith marked his 40th of the season. This set the record for the most victories in a single season by a Bobcat.
Following the All-American achievement, Johnson fell to Mike McMullen of Northwestern in a 6-1 decision.
Ohio’s other wrestlers did not have as much success as Johnson. Tywan Claxton (149 pounds) Phil Wellington (197) and Cody Walters (184) all went winless during the day.
Claxton wrestled first and fell to 4-2 Chris Villalonga of Cornell in a sudden victory.
Wellington fell to Jace Bennett of Cornell, 5-4. Wellington was leading the majority of the match but suffered a takedown in the final seconds. The loss eliminated him from the tournament with a career-best 34-5 record.
Walters failed to achieve consecutive All-American honors when a 2-1 loss to Central Michigan’s Mike Ottinger eliminated him from the tournament. Friday marked the third time this season that Ottinger and Walters met on the mat. Just two weeks ago Walters defeated Ottinger in the MAC tournament.
Walters and Wellington are both redshirt sophomores with experience and more to learn. Wellington, a redshirt sophomore, was able to greatly improve this season and can be expected to continue the trend in the next two years. Walters suffered from inconsistency due to a concussion that prevented him from getting into a rhythm during the season.
Claxton , a redshirt junior, will also have another season to improve with the Bobcats. He finished with a 27-9 record.
Johnson will wrestle Saturday morning for seventh place. The redshirt senior won his seventh place bout his sophomore year when he received his first All-American honor.