Ohio Wrestling Scores Fourth Most Points At Michigan State Open

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After a long offseason of wrestling each other, 26 eager Ohio wrestlers went head-to-head with 457 other wrestlers in the Michigan State Open Sunday in East Lansing,  Mich.

Ohio’s road to the 2015 NCAA Championships started strongly with a fourth-place finish out of 31 teams at the tournament. The Bobcats were noisy guests in East Lancing, scoring 521 points, compiling a tournament-best 85 individual wins and 11 pins.

“I want to make a statement, I want everybody to know I’m here,” 174-pounder Cody Walters said prior to the tournament. After overcoming a season of injuries last year, he did just that as he walked off the mats a champion when Ohio State’s Mark Martin forfeited for medical reasons.

Tywan Claxton also emerged victorious in the 149-pound open. He claimed the first-place crown with a 5-2 decision against Purdue’s Brandon Nelsen.

Four other Bobcat wrestlers made notable performances in the open tournament with finishes in the top-five.

Phil Wellington placed second in the 197 bracket after an 11-4 loss to Ohio State’s Kyle Snyder in the final. The Bobcats’ 165-pounder Harrison Hightower placed third. Sparty Chino and Andrew Romanchik finished third and fourth, respectively, at 157.

On the other end of the mat, the younger Bobcats wrestled just as aggressively in the freshman/sophomore division of the tournament. They scored 340 points and compiled 47 wins – the most out of all the competition in the division.

Freshman Austin Reese claimed the 165 bracket after persevering 3-0 in a match against Michigan’s Garrett Sutton.

Cullen Cummings, 149, and Joshua Parrett, 133, placed second in their respective weight classes. Joel Shump, 133, and Zachary Parker, 285, added to the Bobcats’ points total with third place finishes.