CMU Claims Ninth Straight MAC Championships Title-Tom Borrelli Talks to TDR

Central Michigan claimed individual championships in five weight classes on its way to a ninth consecutive Mid-American Conference Wrestling Championships title on Sunday.

MOUNT PLEASANT – Central Michigan claimed individual championships in five weight classes on its way to a ninth consecutive Mid-American Conference Wrestling Championships title on Sunday.

The Chippewas topped the team standings with 94 points. Finishing runner-up was Kent State with 73 points, while Ohio was third with 62. Kent State’s Danny Mitcheff, who won his second consecutive title at 133 pounds, was named the tournament’s most outstanding wrestler.

Winning individual titles for CMU were Matt Steintrager (125), Conor Beebe (141), Steve Brown (157), Tyler Grayson (165) and Ben Bennett (174).

Eight Chippewas earned automatic bids to the NCAA Championships based on their placement at the MAC Championships. Earning automatic bids were the five weight class champions, Scotti Sentes (133), Mike Miller (184) and Eric Simaz (197). CMU entered Sunday’s championship with seven individuals in the finals and three others still alive in the consolation bracket. Of the five Chippewas who won individual titles, four were first-time champions.

Steintrager was the first Chippewa to advance to the national tournament, earning a medical forfeit victory at 125 pounds. The conference championship was the first of his career.

Beebe also won his first career conference title at 141 pounds. Beebe defeated 2008 MAC champion Pat McLemore (Northern Illinois), 6-2, in the championship match.

Brown, Grayson and Bennett strung together three straight titles for the Chippewas at 157, 165 and 174 pounds. Brown’s 8-5 decision over NIU’s Bryan Deutsch secured his third consecutive conference championship, making him just the ninth Chippewa to win at least three individual MAC titles.

Grayson, a senior, and Bennett, a redshirt freshman, were both first-time champions. Grayson posted a 7-2 decision over Buffalo’s John-Martin Cannon in the 165-pound finals, while Bennett was dominant in a 15-0 technical fall against Kent State’s Keith Witt.

CMU’s other finalists, Sentes at 133 pounds and Jarod Trice at heavyweight, both finished third after losing in the championship match and forfeiting their true-second matches. Trice and Kent State’s Brendan Barlow battled through three tiebreakers in the heavyweight final before Barlow earned the decision based on riding time. The loss snapped a 20-match winning streak for Trice, tied for the second longest in school history.

Trice and Tony D’Alie, who placed third at 149 pounds, will be considered for at-large berths to the NCAA Championships. The NCAA will announce at-large qualifiers on Wednesday, March 10.

Interview

Tom Borelli, Head Coach of Central Michigan.

Central Michigan Complete Results

125 Pounds: No. 1 Matt Steintrager – Champion
First Round: W, pin Greg Egbert (EMU) at 3:12
Semifinals: W, dec. No. 4 Troy Opfer (KSU), 5-1
Finals: W, No. 2 Dan Bishop (UB), med. forfeit

133 Pounds: No. 1 Scotti Sentes – Third place
First Round: W, dec. Tristen DeShazer (NIU), 10-3
Semifinals: W, dec. No. 4 Sean Clair (EMU), 11-8
Finals: L, dec. No. 2 Danny Mitcheff (KSU), 8-2
True Second: L, No. 3 Kevin Smith (UB), med. forfeit

141 Pounds: No. 1 Conor Beebe – Champion
First Round: Bye
Semifinals: W, dec. No. 4 Chase Skonieczny (KSU), 4-0
Finals: W, dec. No. 3 Pat McLemore (NIU), 6-2

149 Pounds: No. 2 Tony D’Alie – Third place
First Round: W, maj. dec. David Pienaar (EMU), 15-4
Semifinals: L, dec. No. 3 Seth Morton (OU), 6-5
Consolation Semifinals: W, dec. No. 4 Marcel Clopton (KSU), 3-2
Third-place Match: W, dec. Dan Ruettiger (NIU), 6-3

157 Pounds: No. 1 Steve Brown – Champion
First Round: Bye
Semifinals: W, dec. No. 4 Clay Tucker (OU), 3-2
Finals: W, dec. No. 2 Bryan Deutsch (NIU), 8-5

165 Pounds: No. 1 Tyler Grayson – Champion
First Round: Bye
Semifinals: W, dec. No. 4 Ross Tice (KSU), 6-1
Finals: W, dec. No. 2 John-Martin Cannon (UB), 7-2

174 Pounds: No. 1 Ben Bennett – Champion
First Round: Bye
Semifinals: W, maj. dec. No. 4 Brian Sheehan (UB), 14-2
Finals: W, tech. fall No. 3 Keith Witt (KSU), 15-0 at 7:00

184 Pounds: No. 2 Mike Miller – Third place
First Round: Bye
Semifinals: L, dec. No. 3 Nick Purdue (OU), 7-5
Consolation Semifinals: W, dec. Josh Peters (UB), 5-4
Third-place Match: W, dec. No. 4 Phillip Joseph (EMU), 8-5

197 Pounds: No. 1 Eric Simaz – Third place
First Round: Bye
Semifinals: L, dec. No. 4 Jimmy Hamel (UB), 3-1 SV1
Consolation Semifinals: W, dec. Scott Penny (NIU), 4-2
Third-place Match: W, dec. No. 3 Adam Cogar (KSU), 5-2

285 Pounds: No. 1 Jarod Trice – Third place
First Round: Bye
Semifinals: W, dec. No. 4 Andy Hartshorn (OU), 7-3
Finals: L, dec. No. 2 Brendan Barlow (KSU), 4-4 RT TB3
True Second: L, No. 3 David Wade (EMU), med. forfeit

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