MAC to MAC: Tigers take care of business at Central Michigan, Kent State
Mauller, Jacques, Wisman, Koelling won two bouts in three days.
Jan. 20, 2020
No. 23 Missouri wrestling (8-5, 5-0 Mid American Conference) entered the weekend with 17 consecutive victories against MAC opponents, and they left it with 19 after decisive road wins over Central Michigan (3-4, 3-2 MAC) and Kent State (5-8, 1-3 MAC) on Friday and Sunday, by scores of 25-13 and 31-12, respectively.
The Tigers withstood early pinfall losses, as well as a rare major decision loss for veteran No. 19 Grant Leeth against Central Michigan, to win both duals by double digits. No. 5 Brock Mauller, No. 15 Jarrett Jacques, No. 24 Dylan Wisman, and Wyatt Koelling each won two bouts in three days, all leaving the weekend with stellar records.
Despite a subpar out-of-conference record and an 0-4 marking against current NWCA Coaches Poll Top 25 teams, Missouri continues to dominate the MAC. Central Michigan started hot, building a 10-4 lead after bonus point-laden victories from No. 12 Drew Hildebrant and No. 13 Dresden Simon, but the Tigers proceeded to win each of the next six bouts.
Those bouts included three major decisions, two of which were courtesy of redshirt freshmen Peyton Mocco, Jeremiah Kent, plus a tough 5-4 win for Jacques over No. 12 Logan Parks. Kent, a redshirt freshman who is receiving more playing time from coach Brian Smith, dispatched junior Jake Lowell 14-3 and is continuing to impress on the mat.
Central Michigan received three votes in the latest NWCA Coaches Poll, and it remains the strongest win for the Tigers in terms of strength of opponent.
Missouri had no trouble against Kent State, who lost eight of 10 matches in Columbia. The Tigers received technical fall wins from Jacques and senior Connor Flynn, who returned to the lineup after a more than two-month hiatus from duals.
Flynn made his re-entrance at a different weight class than his last dual bout, which was a loss against Illinois on Nov. 14, 2019. He wrestled that match at 174 pounds, but as of late he’s dropped to the 165-pound class, and has been splitting time with Mocco.
Kent was pinned against Kent State, but it seems as though he’s taken over the starting role at 174 pounds. He has started nine duals in a row at that weight class.
Smith’s crew will have almost a full week off after four duals in 10 days, of which they won three, with the one exception being No. 18 Northern Iowa. The Tigers will return to Hearnes Center for a double-dual with Northern Illinois and Cleveland State, beginning Saturday at 2 p.m.
Missouri will have a chance on Saturday to extend its MAC win streak past 20, as well as win its ninth consecutive conference championship.
Edited by Wilson Moore | email@example.com