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Central Michigan tops Wisconsin

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. -- Freshman 149-pounder Justin Oliver won his 12th-straight match Thursday evening as the Central Michigan wrestling team defeated non-conference Wisconsin, 18-11, in its home finale at McGuirk Arena.

The Chippewas improve to 10-5 on the season. They go to Old Dominion (2 p.m.) on Sunday for their regular-season finale, a Mid-American Conference dual with the Monarchs, 5-12, 0-6.

"I thought we wrestled pretty good tonight," CMU coach Tom Borrelli said. "I felt like in a few weight classes we could have scored a few more points and been a little more aggressive but overall I though we wrestled well."

With the win, CMU finishes the season with a 3-1 record in dual meets against Big Ten opponents including a wins over Purdue and Michigan State. The Chippewas fell to Michigan. Purdue is ranked 23rd, the Wolverines are ranked eighth.

Oliver, who is 25-4 on the season, is ranked as the No. 9 in the nation according to Intermatwrestle.com

"Growing up and looking at the college rankings it was exciting for me," Oliver said. "The first realization that I was ranked was pretty awesome, but I'm looking to get on the podium at the end of the season (NCAA Championships)."

Oliver who spent the first part of the season as the backup to Colin Heffernan, who is ranked No.13 at 149 by Amateur Wrestling News. Oliver will start for CMU the rest of the way.

"Me and Colin have a pretty good relationship and for the most part If I'm about to wrestle a kid he's familiar with he'll give me tip on what they do and their tendencies," Oliver said.

The Chippewas opened the duel with victories from Jordan Ellingwood (184) and Jackson Lewis (197).

Lewis was one of four seniors wrestling his final match at McGuirk. All four, including Zach Horan (141), Luke Smith (157) and Mike Ottinger (174), won his respective match on Thursday.

"They have meant a lot to this program," Borrelli said. "Those guys have been starters for four years, they've won a lot of matches here and have been good representatives of the athletic department."

Sophomore Brent Fleetwood made his return to the lineup after missing the last four duals with an injury. He fell, 7-2, to Johnny Jimenez.

I was happy to get Brent back out there even though he didn't win," Borrelli said. "We needed to get him back out there and get him going before the MAC Tournament so that was a real positive.

"I know he's not happy with the way he wrestled, but you can't take three weeks off with an injury and come back and be the same guy. It takes a little while."

CMU junior Corey Keener (133) dropped a nail biting 9-6 decision to the Badgers No. 12-ranked Ryan Taylor, an All-American in 2015.

"I thought (Keener) wrestled really good even in a loss," Borrelli said. "He was right there with him and that kid was really good, an All-American last year and won over 30 matches. Just a real quality wrestler."

The Chippewas won four of the final five weight classes to seal the win.

Sunday's opponent, Old Dominion, defeated CMU, 22-9, last season in a dual at McGuirk.

"There should be a lot of extra motivation from our guys," Borrelli said. " ou don't like getting embarrassed in your home arena and I feel like last year when the came here we got embarrassed."

Results:
125: Johnny Jimenez (UW) dec. Brent Fleetwood (CMU), 7-2 (6-6)

133: Ryan Taylor (UW) dec. Corey Keener (CMU), 9-6 (9-6)

141: Zach Horan (CMU) dec. Gabriel Grahek (UW), 4-2 (9-9)

149: Justin Oliver (CMU) dec. Andrew Crone (UW), 9-4 (12-9)

157: Luke Smith (CMU) dec. TJ Ruschell (UW), 5-3 (15-9)

165: Rylan Lubeck (UW) dec. Jordan Atienza (CMU), 11-9 (15-11)*

174: Mike Ottinger (CMU) dec. Ricky Robertson (UW), 6-3 (18-11)

184: Jordan Ellingwood (CMU) dec. Ryan Christensen (UW), 4-1 (3-0)

197: Jackson Lewis (CMU) dec. Nic Veling (UW), 7-3 (6-0)
HWT: Brock Horwath (UW) dec. Newton Smerchek(CMU), 2-1 (TB-2) (6-3)



*One point was deducted from Wisconsin's team total for a second bench warning during the 165 pound match. The meet started at 184 pounds.

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