CMU Wrestlers Win Sixth MAC Tourney in Seven Years

ATHENS, OHIO - The Central Michigan University wrestling team (12-4, 5-0 Mid-American Conference) won its sixth MAC Tournament in the last seven years Sunday afternoon at Ohio University.

Two wrestlers also won individual titles in the tournament: Jason Mester (Mineral Point, Wis./Sr.) at 141 and Adam Cunningham (Maple Ridge/Fr.) at 149. Mester dominated his three opponents in the tournament, scoring two technical falls and a major decision in his three matches. Mester also became the sixth CMU wrestler to win three MAC titles.

Central Michigan took first in the tournament with 89 points. Northern Illinois took second, 16 points behind the Chippewas. Ohio took third with 55.5, followed by Buffalo (39.5), Kent State (36) and Eastern Michigan (36).

The Chippewas picked up two of the four awards handed out after the tournament. Mester was named the "Co-Wrestler of the Year," and head coach Tom Borrelli won "Coach of the Year." This is the sixth time Borrelli has won the coaching award, the most ever in MAC wrestling history. Ohio's Jake Percival shared the "Wrestler of the Year" award with Mester and was also named the "Outstanding Wrestler of the Tournament." Buffalo's Mark McKnight, the champion at 125, won "Freshman of the Year" honors.

Central Michigan's first finals match came at 133 as CMU's Jordan Webster (Washington, Ill./Sr.) took on Sam Hiatt of Northern Illinois. The match was scoreless after the first period with Webster getting on the board first with an escape three seconds into the second period. The action picked up in the third period with both wrestlers scoring a reversal to tie the score at the end of regulation. The two battled hard for the first 45 seconds of overtime before Hiatt was able to score the deciding takedown, winning 6-4.

At 141, fourth-ranked Jason Mester went for his third MAC title against Andy Hiatt of Northern Illinois. Mester took control early, scoring two takedowns in the first period. Mester added a takedown late in the second and two more in the third to secure the major decision, 12-4. Mester becomes the sixth CMU wrestler to win three MAC titles.

Adam Cunningham battled 18th-ranked Josh Wooten for the 149-pound title. Wooten scored a takedown with one-second left in the first period to take an early two-point lead. Wooten took a three-point lead midway through the second and it remained that way the rest of the period. Cunningham got on the board with an escape early in the third period and then took Wooten down and to his back, scoring four points and taking a two-point lead. He held off a late charge by Wooten to win his first MAC title, 6-4.

In the final at 157, Ty Morgan (Huber Heights, Ohio/Sr.) battled fourth-ranked Jake Percival of Ohio. Percival scored a takedown four seconds into the match and controlled the action throughout, winning by major decision, 8-0. The final at 165 was between a pair of ranked wrestlers as CMU's David Bolyard (Akron, Ohio/Jr.), ranked seventh, took on 11th-ranked J.J. Holmes of Eastern Michigan. Holmes scored the first points with a takedown midway through the first period and increased his lead with three nearfall points near the end of the period. Holmes controlled the rest of the match, winning 9-3.

Chippewa Mitch Hancock (Royal Oak/Jr.) took on 17th-ranked Ed Pawlak in the final at 174. The match was a low scoring affair that came down to the final seconds. Pawlak took the lead in the second period with an escape and it remained 1-0 entering the third period. Hancock tied the score midway through the third when he was awarded a point when Pawlak was called for stalling. Hancock barely missed earning a reversal at the end of the third as Pawlak secured the win, 3-1, when he earned the riding-time point at the end of the match after riding Hancock out the whole third period.

Central Michigan's final wrestler to compete in a finals match was Bill Stouffer (Lowell/Jr.) at heavyweight against Ohio's Jeremiah Beltran. Stouffer scored the first points, an escape in the second period. He extended his lead to three points with a two-point nearfall, but was called for a defensive fall with 45 seconds left, giving Beltran the victory and MAC title. CMU had two wrestlers compete in third-place matches. Joe Yager (Fulton/Sr.) used an escape and the riding-time point to win his match at 197 over Northern Illinois Greg Reardon, 2-0, giving the senior third-place. At 184, Alex Lammers (Huber Heights, Ohio/Jr.) fell to Alex Camargo of Kent State, 5-3. Camargo scored a takedown with a second left in the first period to take the lead that he would never relinquish.

Three CMU wrestlers had true second-place matches that wrapped up the tournament. At 133, Jordan Webster defeated Anthony Carrizales of Ohio, 4-2. Webster got a takedown a minute into the match and rode Carrizales the remainder of the period to take control of the match. The lone scoring in the second was an escape by Webster, giving him a three-point lead. Carrizales rallied back with a takedown midway through the third period, but it was not enough as Webster held on for the victory, 4-2.

David Bolyard battled Alex Nelson of Northern Illinois in the true second-place match at 165. Bolyard took control early with a takedown 40 second into the match, and recorded two more takedowns to secure the 8-3 victory. The final CMU wrestler to go was Bill Stouffer at heavyweight against Joe Sapp of Northern Illinois. Stouffer notched a takedown two minutes into the match and never relinquished the lead. Stouffer was dominate on top during the second period, using three nearfall points to give himself a seven point lead after two periods. Stouffer earned the major decision with a takedown with five seconds left in the third period, wining 13-3.

Team Standings

1. Central Michigan - 89

2. Northern Illinois - 73

3. Ohio - 55.5

4. Buffalo - 39.5

5. Kent State - 36

5. Eastern Michigan - 36

MAC Awards

Coach of the Year - Tom Borrelli, Central Michigan University

Wrestler of the Year - Jason Mester, CMU and Jake Percival, Ohio

Outstanding Wrestler of the Tournament - Jake Percival, Ohio

Freshman of the Year - Mark McKnight, Buffalo

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