Missouri leads MAC Championships after Day 1

NORFOLK, Va. -- Fifth-ranked Mizzou Wrestling is in first place at the Mid-American Conference Wrestling Championships after sending six of 10 wrestlers to the finals after day one of competition Friday at the Ted Constant Convocation Center on the campus of Old Dominion. Mizzou has 127.5 total team points, well ahead of second-place Buffalo (94.5).

Advancing to tomorrow's finals are:

RS senior John Erneste - 133
RS junior Jaydin Eierman - 141
Freshman Brock Mauller - 149
Freshman Jarrett Jacques - 157
RS senior Daniel Lewis - 174
RS junior Dylan Wisman - 184

"Those six wrestled really well," head coach Brian Smith said. "They did what they had to in order to get some wins, and got bonus points in a bunch of them. Dyaln Wisman didn't get flustered in a match where he was down and had some close calls, and battled back to dominate a match. Daniel (Lewis) did Daniel things. John (Erneste) not only found a way to win, but got a pin in the third period. We lost some tough, tough semifinal matches at the buzzer - two of them in the final seconds of the third period. Frustrating. But we'll be back tomorrow."

In the first session, Mizzou was dominant as it sent all 10 wrestlers to the semifinals with a perfect 10-0 mark in the first round. Of the 10 wins, seven came via a bonus-point wins with three pins, three technical falls and a major decision at heavyweight. Mizzou's seven No. 1 seeds combined for those six of the bonus point wins, including pins from John Erneste (133), Connor Flynn (165) and Daniel Lewis (174). The trio needed a combined 2:38 to register the three pins.

In the semis, Mizzou won six of 10 bouts and will have a chance to win championships at 133, 141, 149, 157, 174 and 184 tomorrow. Mizzou was close to sending nine of 10 to the finals, but last-second third-period losses by Flynn (165), Wyatt Koelling (197) and an OT loss at heavyweight by freshman Zach Elam prohibited that from happening.

The finals will begin Saturday at 1 p.m. (CT) on ESPN3. Mizzou will look to win its eighth consecutive conference tournament title, dating back to its final year in the Big 12. It would be Mizzou's seventh straight MAC title and of course its seventh overall, which would be fifth-most in league history.

  • With 127.5 points on day one, Mizzou already has more team points than 64 of the previous 68 MAC champions.
  • RS junior Connor Flynn picked up his first pin of the season in the quarterfinal round, needing just 41 seconds to pin Central Michigan's Bret Fedewa.
  • RS senior John Erneste earned a pin in his opening-round bout, matching his career high for pins in a season with nine. He added another in the semis to reset his single season career-high total at 10.
  • Mizzou sent all 10 wrestlers into the semifinals, going a perfect 10-0 in the opening round. As a team, Mizzou averaged 8.15 of a 9.0 possible team points per bout in the opening round.
  • RS senior Daniel Lewis extended his personal win streak to 15 bouts, earning 10 pins during that stretch.
  • Heading into tomorrow's finals, Lewis has a chance to become just the eighth four-time MAC Champion in league history and first since Mizzou's J'den Cox did so in 2017.
  • Jaydin Eierman and John Erneste are both looking to become three-time MAC Champions Saturday after going 2-0 Friday.
  • Mizzou has two true freshmen in the MAC finals - Brock Mauller (149) and Jarret Jacques (157).
  • Freshman Brock Mauller advanced to the finals with a 7-1 semifinal win and went 2-0 on the day. He now has 27 wins in his true freshman campaign, the most for a Mizzou freshman grappler since J'den Cox had 38 in 2013-14. Mauller's only two losses of the season have come to the same wrestler.
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