Flashes to Visit Clarion Friday in Final Dual Meet of the Season
No. 13 Kent State (13-5) will compete in its final dual meet of the 2011-12 season Friday night, visiting regional rival Clarion at Tippin Gym. It will also be the Golden Flashes' final tune-up for the 2012 Mid-American Conference Tournament on March 4.
Since mid-December, Kent State has won 11 of its last 12 dual meets, including a 19-13 victory at Rutgers this past Saturday at the NWCA National Duals. The Flashes' only setback in the last two months has come against No. 3 Minnesota and all of Kent State's losses have come against teams currently ranked in the Top 10.
Live audio of Friday's dual is available on RedZoneMedia.com
Four of Kent State's dual wins have come against teams currently ranked in the Top 25 (Edinboro, Missouri, Old Dominion, Central Michigan). Of the Flashes' other victories, eight have been double-digit margins.
Since the 2005-06 season, Kent State has gone 98-31-1 in duals meets. The Golden Flashes have not lost a MAC dual to a team other than Central Michigan since 2005, going 27-0-1 against the combination of Northern Illinois, Buffalo, Ohio and Eastern Michigan. KSU has now won an outright regular season conference crown twice in four years and at least share of the MAC title three times during that span.
Clarion (5-6) has won four straight dual meets and has pounded each of its last three opponents, winning by 27 or more points. The Golden Eagles have two wrestlers ranked in the Top 5 and four ranked in the Top 33 by Division I wrestling coaches. The Golden Eagles are No. 18 in this week's NWMA Mid-Major Poll.
In the all-time series, Clarion leads Kent State 12-8, but the Golden Flashes have won the last seven meetings and each of the last four seasons. Last year in Kent, the Flashes took 8-of-10 matches in a 44-6 victory.
In the Rankings
- Seven Kent State wrestlers are ranked in the Top 30 according to the latest Division I Coaches Poll.
- Five Golden Flashes are ranked in the Top 17 spots according to The Open Mat, while three KSU grapplers are in the Top 10 according to InterMat and Amateur Wrestling News.
- The Golden Flashes are No. 3 in the latest National Wrestling Media Association's Mid-Major Poll, just two points behind Wyoming for the No. 2 spot and eight points behind Cornell for the top spot.
- Kent State is represented in the Top 4 of all 10 weight classes in the latest MAC rankings, including four (Nic Bedelyon, Tyler Small, Ian Miller, Keith Witt) at the No. 1 spot.
The 100-Win Club
Fifth-year seniors Brendan Barlow (Westerville, Ohio) and Nic Bedelyon (Lewistown, Pa.) each hit the 100-win milestone on Dec. 21 and both recently passed Head Coach Jim Andrassy on Kent State's career win list. Barlow's 110 wins is tied for sixth in school annals, while Bedelyon's 108 victories ties him for ninth place. Classmate Ross Tice (Brookfield, Ohio) is also chasing the century mark with 94 career wins, sitting in 15th place among KSU career leaders. When Andrassy took over as head coach during the 2003-04 season, he was one of just four Golden Flashes with 100 career victories. That list has since grown to 12. Earlier this season, Andrassy also hit the 100-win mark as a head coach. His 112 victories are the third most among Kent State's head coaches.
125 Senior Nic Bedelyon (Lewistown, Pa.) led No. 2 Zach Sanders (Minnesota) 3-1 after two periods, before falling 8-4 on Saturday. Bedelyon also breezed past No. 32 Vincent Dellefave (Rutgers) 11-0 Saturday. Bedelyon is to 27-3 on the year and is ranked No. 4 in every national poll. Bedelyon has claimed recent victories over No. 15 Joe Roth (Central Michigan) and No. 22 Jared Germaine (EMU). His other two setbacks this season have come against No. 3 Alan Waters (Missouri), including an overtime loss at the Virginia Duals. Bedelyon has chalked up 13 bonus-point wins: five pins, three tech falls and five major decisions. Bedelyon has earned MAC Wrestler of the Week honors twice this season and has won titles at all three tournaments he's competed in: the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational, the Body Bar and the Eastern Michigan Open. In November, Bedelyon defeated previous No. 3 Jarrod Patterson (Oklahoma) 7-3 in the NWCA All-Star Classic.
Clarion junior Trey Hicks (7-16) posted shutout victories in each of his last two matches.
133 Junior Stevie Mitcheff (Lorain,Ohio) has won nine of his last 14 matches, after a 6-11 start to his season. Mitcheff (15-16) recently moved up to the No. 2 spot in the MAC rankings. Last weekend, he dropped a tight 5-4 decision against Joe Langel (Rutgers). Although he has not yet earned a spot in a national ranking, Mitcheff is No. 31 in the latest RPI ratings. He played a critical role in the Flashes' semifinal and championship round victories at the Virginia Duals, beating Old Dominion's Scott Festejo 8-5 and Missouri's Eric Wilson 4-3. In his last tournament, Mitcheff had a third place finish at the Mat Town Invitational, going 4-1. In December, he advanced to the semifinals of the Cleveland State Open.
Clarion junior Joe Waltko (14-13) had a pair of pins on Sunday.
141 Sophomore Tyler Small (Littlestown, Pa.) leads the Flashes with 28 victories after downing No. 23 Billy Ashnault (Rutgers) 4-2 on Saturday.
Small (28-7) is ranked No. 12 in the latest Division I Coaches Poll and is No. 10 according to Amateur Wrestling News. Six of Small's loses have come against the top seven wrestlers in the nation. He is 14-4 in duals on the year and went 4-0 at the Virginia Duals. Small finished second at the Mat Town Invitational with his only loss coming against defending national champion Kellen Russell. He placed sixth at the Las Vegas Invitational, where he advanced to the semifinals. He knocked off three Top 20 opponents in the span of four days at in November. Small has totaled five pins, four major decisions and a technical fall. He has won titles this year at the Body Bar and the Eastern Michigan Open.
Clarion sophomore Tyler Bedelyon (15-13) was named the PSAC and EWL Wrestler of the Week after going 3-0 in dual meets last week, including a pin over No. 11 Adam Krop (Princeton). Tyler is the younger brother of Nic Bedelyon.
149 True freshman Ian Miller (Oak Harbor, Ohio) should be back in action after missing the last two weekends. On Feb. 1, Miller was named MAC Wrestler of the Week after scoring a 13-5 major decision over CMU's Joey Kielbasa. Miller (24-3) is No. 1 in the MAC, No. 4 according to W.I.N. and No. 7 according to Division I coaches. He went 4-0 at the Virginia Duals with a pin, two major decisions and a 7-3 victory over No. 12 Kyle Bradley (Missouri). Miller was named Outstanding Wrestler at the Mat Town Invitational after going 4-0 with two major decisions and two pins, including a fall against No. 14 Tyler Nauman (Pitt). Miller leads the team with 10 pins and 10 major decisions and carries a 13-1 dual record. He has not lost a match since Dec. 9. Miller also won an individual title at the Body Bar.
Clarion senior Cameron Moran (12-14) earned a 17-0 technical fall over Andrew Murano (Franklin & Marshall) on Sunday.
157 Junior Mallie Shuster (Newville, Pa.) is No. 27 according NCAA coaches after knocking off No. 26 Aaron Sulzer (EMU) 7-6 on Feb. 5 and going 2-0 this past weekend with a 9-2 win against Rutgers and an 8-4 victory against Minnesota. Shuster (23-14) is No. 3 in the MAC and 12-6 in dual meets. He finished fourth in his most recent tournament (Mat Town) with a pair of close losses. He was named MAC Wrestler of the Week after defeating Top 20 opponents from Missouri and Ohio State in December. He also has a dual victory over No. 6 James Green (Nebraska). Shuster went 3-2 in Las Vegas, coming up one win shy of placing. He has piled up 87 career victories and is 29-14 in career duals.
Clarion junior James Fleming (22-2) was No. 4 in the latest Division I coaches poll. Fleming went 31-4 last season with 11 pins and five tech falls.
165 Fifth year senior Ross Tice (Brookfield, Ohio) earned a 9-3 decision over Doug Hamann (Rutgers) on Saturday. On Feb. 5, Tice came back from a 7-3 deficit and defeated Eastern Michigan's Lester France 13-8. As a result Tice (10-12) moved up to the No. 3 spot in the MAC rankings. Tice suffered a pair of one-point losses at the Virginia Duals, including a 5-4 setback in the final seconds against No. 16 Zach Toal (Missouri). He injured his knee Nov. 19 at the Body Bar after recording a pair pins in a trip to the semifinals. He then re-aggravated it in his first bout at the Las Vegas Invitational. Tice was MAC Tournament runner-up at 165 in each of the last two seasons, earning back-to-back appearances at the NCAA Championships, where he has three career wins.
Clarion senior Bekzod Adrurakhmonov (26-4) is No. 5 in the latest coaches poll. He defeated Tice 5-1 in last season's dual after falling to him 8-6 in overtime in last season's Body Bar.
174 Sophomore Brandonn Johnson (Middletown, Md.) fell to a pair of ranked wrestlers on Saturday. The previous weekend, Johnson led No. 23 Phillip Joseph (EMU) 4-1, before getting pinned in the second period. Johnson (15-18) claimed his biggest victory of the year in the championship round of the Virginia Duals, a 4-1 win over No. 14 Patrick Wright (Missouri). Johnson went 3-0 at the Mat Town Invitational with a pin in the semifinals, while wrestling up a weight at 184. Nine of Johnson's 15 wins have been bonus point victories. Johnson is No. 4 in the MAC and claimed a second place finish at the Body Bar, going 3-1. He has five pins, a technical fall and three major decisions this season.
Clarion could use either redshirt freshman Ryan Darch (8-12) or sophomore Nick Milano (7-12).
184 Junior Casey Newburg (Union, Ohio) has won 13 of his last 15 matches, with his only two setbacks coming against Top 10 opponents during that time. Newburg (27-9) is tied for the team lead in major decisions with eight. He is No. 22 in this week's coaches poll and No. 19 according to the Open Mat. Newburg had a perfect 4-0 showing at the Virginia Duals with a pin and two major decisions. He has won 184-pound titles at each of his last two tournaments. He recorded a pair of first period pins and a major decision at the Mat Town Invitational. Newburg also went 4-0 at the Cleveland State Open with a pin and a major decision. He went 4-1 at the Body Bar. Newburg is 11-5 in duals this season. He has 15 bonus-point wins, including four pins and three technical falls.
Clarion junior Steven Cressley (14-11) went 2-1 in duals last week. He was pinned by Newburg in last season's dual.
197 Junior Keith Witt (Oak Harbor, Ohio) fell to a pair of Top 25 opponents this past weekend. Witt completed a 5-0 run in MAC duals and has won 12 of his last 16 matches. Witt (22-13) is No. 1 in the MAC rankings and No. 29 according Division I coaches. He went 3-0 with two quick pins at the Cleveland State Open and went 3-2 at the Mat Town Invitational. In December, he upset No. 7 Brent Haynes of Missouri 2-0. Witt went 3-2 in Las Vegas, coming up one win shy of placing. He placed third at the Body Bar. Since the 2009-10 season, he's tallied 21 pins.
Clarion junior Alex Thomas (21-13) is No. 32 in the latest Division I coaches rankings.
285 Fifth-year senior Brendan Barlow (Westerville, Ohio) fell to No. 4 Anthony Nelson (Minnesota) Saturday in a second tiebreaker as Nelson carried a four-second riding time advantage. Prior to that, Barlow had won four straight, including a victory over No. 17 Peter Sturgeon (CMU). Barlow (24-10) is No. 11 according to W.I.N. and No. 16 according to Division I coaches. He also moved up to the No. 2 spot in the MAC rankings. Barlow came through with clutch victories against both Old Dominion and Missouri at the Virginia Duals. He clinched the team title for Kent State with a 3-2 win over nationally-ranked Devin Mellon (Missouri). Barlow has won 13 of his last 17 matches and owns wins against five different Top 20 opponents. He finished second at the Mat Town Invitational, going 3-1 with a pin and a major decision. Barlow placed fourth in Las Vegas, going 6-2 with wins over three Top 20 opponents.
Clarion senior Quintas McCorkle (22-10) is No. 25 in the latest Division I coaches rankings. Last week, he went 3-0 with a pair of pins.