Updated Fri, Jan 17, 2014 9:34 pm
The Ohio wrestling team fell to Central Michigan, 19-15, despite a second half rally.
Ohio fell in five of its first seven matches of the dual and was down 16-6 going into the final three matches. Consecutive wins from Phil Wellington, 197 pounds, and a critical pin by heavyweight Jeremy Johnson gave the Bobcats life and drew the score to 16-15 going into the final match.
KeVon Powell, 125, fell to Corey Keener 3-1 by a sudden takedown to end the dual. Keener is ranked 12th in the nation according to InterMatWrestle.com.
The most notable loss was from All-American Cody Walters. Walters fell to the Chippewas’ Mike Ottinger in a 2-1 decision. Walters is currently ranked seventh in the nation and Ottinger 10th. Walters has not wrestled much this season due to injury, but he is still the highest ranked Bobcat on the squad. The loss draws his personal record to 2-1 on the season.
11th-ranked Tywan Claxton, 149, and Harrison Hightower, 165, contributed the early wins in the night for Ohio. The win for Hightower marked his fifth consecutive victory.
The loss is disappointing from an Ohio team that just broke the top-25 rankings this week. The loss will likely remove the ‘Cats from the rankings as they held the 25th spot.
Johnson’s win was his 23rd victory of the season. He leads Ohio with the most victories this season, with Hightower, 22, and Wellington, 21, following closely behind.
Central Michigan is 3-1 in the Mid-American Conference. Its sole conference loss is to Northern Iowa.
The Bobcats will be back at it on Sunday when they face Eastern Michigan in the Convocation Center. Ohio is currently undefeated at home and will look to continue that streak.