Updated Fri, Jan 3, 2014 11:36 am
Six Bobcats were alive on the second day of the Southern Scuffle but only heavyweight Jeremy Johnson placed in the day, achieving fourth in the tournament.
Johnson won his first match of the day but then fell to All-American Nick Gwiazdowski of North Carolina State. Gwiazdowski is ranked fifth in the nation and Johnson 11th, according to InterMatWrestle.com.
Johnson then defeated 15th-ranked Austin Marsden of Oklahoma State to advance the battle for third place; however, Johnson did not wrestle in his final match due to medical default.
Phil Wellington, 197 pounds, won his two matches in the day in close decisions, defeating Cole Baxter of Kent State 3-2 and sixth-ranked Taylor Meeks of Oregon State 5-3. Wellington opted out of his third match due to injury within one round of placing.
Harrison Hightower, 165, won his first two matches in the day but lost to 15th-ranked Dylan Palacio of Cornell in a 7-3 decision. Hightower was also within one match of placing in the tournament.
First round losses by KeVon Powell, 125, Cullen Cummings, 149, and Ryan Garringer, 184, eliminated half of the Bobcats early on.
The advancement to the second day of matches by the freshman Cummings was impressive as he fills in for the injured Tywan Claxton.
New injuries to Johnson and Wellington, arguably Ohio’s hottest wrestlers so far this season, is alarming as their next match is against a conference opponent. The Bobcats will need to rest up in order to heal before these critical matches.
Ohio will be back on Jan. 10 when it hosts Northern Illinois. The match will be the Bobcats’ first of five consecutive Mid-American Conference matches.