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Central Michigan - Excellent Showing at Michigan State Open

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Central Michigan - Excellent Showing at Michigan State Open

Postby Allen Brown » Mon Nov 16, 2015 12:30 pm

Nov. 15, 2015
Cullen Maksimowski, CMUChippewas.com

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Stating the Central Michigan wrestling team had a successful day at the Michigan State Open would be an understatement.

Of the nearly 30 wrestlers CMU entered in the tournament, which featured a freshman/sophomore division and an open division, 18 placed in the top eight of their respective weight classes including four champions.

Colin Heffernan (149 pounds), Luke Smith (157), Mike Ottinger (174) and Austin Severn (184) were the Chippewas who earned championships.

“Well I think all of our guys competed extremely well today,” CMU coach Tom Borrelli saidå. “I think our team as a whole gained a lot of confidence as well.”

The 24th-ranked Chippewas showed off their depth and talent in several weight classes with six wrestlers facing a teammate in a placement match, including two final matches.

CMU had more than one placer in seven of 10 weight classes.

“Well that’s something (depth) we have been trying to build for a while,” Borrelli said. “Whenever you have competition in weight classes and in the practice room that is real positive thing.”

In the 149-pound final, No. 13-ranked Heffernan faced teammate Justin Oliver, wining in a second tiebreaker, 6-5.

Ottinger faced teammate C.J Brucki in the final at 174, winning by decision, 5-2.

Smith topped Joseph LaVallee of Missouri, 3-0, in the 157 final, and Severn defeated Matthew Miller of Navy, 3-1, in the 184 championship match.

Brent Fleetwood (125) won by default over teammate Carter Ballinger for third place.

Junior Corey Keener (133) finished second, falling to Javier Gasca of Michigan State in the final, 9-6.

CMU senior Zach Horan, ranked No. 12 nationally, also finished second, falling 5-3 to Steve Bleise of Northern Illinois.

CMU sophomores Jordan Ellingwood (184) and Newton Smerchek (heavyweight) finished in third place in their respective weight classes.

Also for CMU in the open tournament, senior Jackson Lewis (197) placed sixth, Jordan Atienza (165) and Adam Robinson (HWT) took seventh, and Tevin Machart placed eighth.

In the freshman/sophomore tournament, CMU’s Kaleb Rahoi finished second at 157, losing to Casey Sparkman of Kent State in the final, 7-3. CMU’s Mason Smith (149) placed eighth.

“I think we are heading in the right direction,” Borrelli said. “I saw a lot of improvement today even from the guys who didn’t place or didn’t place where they wanted to, and I think that’s a great thing moving forward.”

The Chippewas open Mid-American Conference competition on Thursday, Dec. 3 with a dual at Northern Illinois. CMU opens at home against Michigan State in a non-conference dual on Sunday, Dec. 6.
Allen Brown

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