The Maneater

Mizzou wrestling completes undefeated season at home, recognizes seniors

Three athletes were recognized at senior night as the Tigers beat Eastern Michigan to move to 14-0.

Barlow McGhee wrestles against Oklahoma at a dual in Hearnes Center in Jan. 2016. Maneater File Photo

Missouri wrestling fans saw another season of home duals pass after the team’s 35-7 win against Eastern Michigan on Saturday at Hearnes Center.

Missouri wrestling fans at other venues have something in common: neither have seen the Tigers lose this season.

The team remains undefeated at 14-0 with just five duals remaining before the MAC Championships in March. For the fourth time in five seasons, the wrestling team went undefeated at home, according to a press release from the team.

Along with its last home dual of the season came a celebration of three seniors: Barlow McGhee, Joey Lavallee and Aaron Assad. Assad did not wrestle, but McGhee and Lavallee both claimed victories in a dual where the Tigers won eight of the 10 matches.

“I figured it would be a very emotional day, especially for me, last day in the Hearnes, and I’m a very emotional wrestler,” Lavallee said in the press release. “I let my emotions get the best of me sometimes, so I knew I had to stick to my routine.”

No. 4-ranked Lavallee is 21-1 on the season. His victory against Eastern Michigan was by fall after only 1:18.

“I think (Lavallee) took eight shot attempts in the first minute and he eventually breaks through, takes the kid down, and pins him,” head coach Brian Smith said in the press release.

Smith said McGhee and Lavallee did “unbelievable” in their senior night matches, according to the press release.

“I’m just really proud of both of them, and what they have done, not only on the mat, but what they’ve done off the mat representing the program,” Smith said. “They have been exceptional young men.”

The team’s only losses came in the 149-pound and heavyweight classes, where redshirt sophomore Alex Butler lost in a 20-7 major decision and redshirt freshman Jake Bohlken suffered a 3-2 overtime loss, respectively. The heavyweight has been a consistently weak point of the Tigers’ lineup, with many of Missouri’s heavyweight wrestlers being younger and less experienced than other weight classes.

The Tigers recorded bonus points in four matches in victories from redshirt sophomore Jaydin Eierman, Lavallee, redshirt junior Daniel Lewis and redshirt senior Willie Miklus. These four have dependably recorded large victories for the Tigers in a season where opponents have often been quashed by large margins.

The team will travel for the remainder of the season, starting with a Mid-American Conference dual against Central Michigan on Jan. 19. The four matches after Central Michigan will still be in the Midwest, with matches against Oklahoma State, Northern Illinois, Southern Illinois-Edwardsville and Northern Iowa before the MAC Championships in Mount Pleasant, Michigan.

Edited by Joe Noser | jnoser@themaneater.com

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