Nine Bobcats Wrestle In University Nationals

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Nine Ohio University wrestlers competed at the 2013 ASICS University Nationals in Akron, Ohio, over the Memorial Day weekend. For most, their tournament ended early, falling out of contention Saturday. For Ryan Garringer and Phil Wellington, their efforts landed them more time to wrestle on Sunday.

Garret Garness, Tywan Claxton, Jacob Rockoff, Sparty Chino, Chaz Gresham, Michael Duckworth and Jeremy Johnson were the Bobcats’ other competitors in the weekend’s freestyle competition.

Both Garringer and Wellington competed in the 96 kg weight class. Each won a match in the championship bracket before dropping down to the consolation bracket.

After defeating 2013 NCAA Qualifier Alex Polizzi of Northwestern by a 13-11 decision, Wellington was pinned by Kent State’s Dustin Kilgore in the second round. Kilgore was the 2012 University Nationals champion at 96 kg. He also was an NCAA champion in 2011.

Garringer pinned his opponent in just 23 seconds in his first round match, but he ran into two-time All-American Matt Wilps of Pittsburgh in the second round. Wilps defeated Ohio’s 184-pounder by tech fall, 12-2.

In his final three matches on Saturday, Garringer dominated his competition. He picked up three wins by an 11-0 tech fall, a pin in 54 seconds and an 8-0 decision. Garringer’s run was ended on Sunday in a 17-10 loss by decision to Polizzi.

After losing to Wellington in the championship bracket, Polizzi was superior in his consolation matches. Before he defeated Garringer he won a match by pin and three by tech fall.

Wellington finished his Saturday with three victories, two of which came by tech fall. On Sunday Wellington was eliminated from the tournament after the University of Dubuque’s Evan Brown pinned Ohio’s 197-pounder. 

Garringer and Wellington ended the tournament with 4-2 records.

Ohio’s heavyweight, Jeremy Johnson, competed in the 120 kg. weight class and was just one match away from competing on Sunday. He picked up a 12-2 tech fall victory before dropping down to the consolation bracket.

Johnson collected two more victories by tech fall, including a 13-2 victory over a familiar face – Jared Torrence of Northern Illinois. Johnson was eliminated by an 11-5 decision at the hands of Northern State (S.D.) University’s Matthew Meuleners.

Chaz Gresham was the only other Bobcat to record multiple wins. He won two matches in the 84 kg consolation bracket before an injury caused him to be eliminated.

Eight of the nine Bobcats who competed recorded at least one win. Overall, Ohio’s grapplers finished the tournament with a 17-18 record.

All results from the weekend’s events can be found