Updated Fri, Feb 7, 2014 3:12 pm
The Ohio wrestling team has struggled this season to get wins against strong opponents on the road. The Bobcats went 1-3 against Mid-American Conference competition on the road this season.
But that is all in the past. Ohio will finish its regular season with five consecutive duals in the Convocation Center, where the Bobcats remain undefeated.
“It’s huge for us. You get to sleep in your own bed, come work out in your own room, you have your fans, and they’re normally cheering for you and getting on the other team,” assistant coach Kyle Hansen said. “It’s just that comfort level that helps us preform at a higher level.”
Ohio faces Clarion on Saturday and Old Dominion on Sunday to finish conference play.
Clarion is led by Justin Arthur (149 pounds) with a 23-7 record. He has the best personal record of the season for the Eagles by seven wins. Clarion boasts an 8-11 team record coming into the match with up and down performances dominating the Eagles season.
Old Dominion should prove to be a more challenging matchup for the Bobcats. The Monarchs are on a 4-game winning streak after handily defeating Central Michigan 24-7 last weekend. Old Dominion has also not lost a conference match since the month of December and the Monarchs are currently one spot ahead of the Bobcats in the MAC conference standings.
Old Dominion is led by fifth ranked Chris Mecate (141), No. 19 Alexander Richardson (149) and No. 19 Tristan Warner (157).
The biggest issue for Ohio in its last dual meet was giving up bonus points. The Bobcats fell to Northern Illinois despite splitting the bouts because of two technical falls and two pins.
“We talked about the difference in dual meets every time is bonus points,” Hansen said. “Normally every team we match up with it’s going to be a really good match and whoever gets the bonus points is going to win.”
Tywan Claxton will be facing the most challenging opponents between the two meets. He will be facing both Arthur and Richardson over the course of the weekend. Claxton is currently ranked No. 15 in the nation.
“I think (Claxton) can wrestle with everybody. He’s proved that he’s beaten the No. 1 guy in the nation already so that’s some confidence for him,” Hansen said. “So I trust he’ll just go out there and do his job.”
This weekend could also prove to be a big one for Sparty Chino (149). Chino had a big win last week against Northern Iowa’s Jarret Jensen and faces Warner this weekend. A win would be big for Chino, who is still attempting to break into the top 20.