KENT, Ohio - ODU redshirt freshman Jack Dechow won the 184-pound MAC Championship by beating Northern Iowa's All-American Ryan Loder. ODU finished third as a team in the Tournament and qualified six wrestlers for the NCAA's.
"We had a good overall tournament," said ODU Head Coach Steve Martin. "All of our kids wrestled hard and left everything out on the mat. The MAC schedule definitely has prepared us for the NCAA Tournament in Oklahoma City. We opened some eyes with our team performance and our improvement since November with our young team. Our finalists competed hard. Jack Dechow looked great as he defeated Loder for the second time in a row in two weeks and claimed a MAC title. Chris Mecate got caught and pinned in a trick hold in the finals and that was a surprise. Alexander Richardson took it to the No. 1-ranked opponent in the country and lost in overtime in a battle. Billy Curling lost in a controversial match to Cody Walters from Ohio. Brandon Jeske fought back to get third and was in the zone. Tristan Warner punched his ticket through with his win over Brandon Zeerip from EMU. Kevin Beazley and Matt Tourdot both reversed losses to opponents today and left it all out on the mat. We have a lot of confidence right now and are ready to roll for the NCAAs!"
After their performances at the MAC Tournament ODU's Jeske, Mecate, Richardson, Warner, Curling, Dechow all punched their ticket to the NCAA's courtesy of where they placed and the number of automatic qualifiers the MAC received in each weight class. Eight of the ten ODU Wrestlers that competed in the MAC Tournament finished fourth or better in what was Old Dominion's first ever appearance in the Mid-American Conference Tournament.
125-pounder Jeske took third place, 141-pounder Mecate took second place, 149-pounder Richardson took second place, 157-pounder Warner took fourth place, 174-pounder Curling took second place, Dechow won the 184-pound title, Beazley finished with fourth place and Tourdot finished in fourth place.
ODU finished third out of nine teams in the tournament with 97 points. Missouri won the team score with 118.5 points, followed by Northern Iowa with 116 points. Ohio fell behind Old Dominion with 94.5 points.
At 125 pounds, Brandon Jeske began the second day facing off against Missouri's Barlow McGhee. Jeske won with a decisive takedown to earn a 5-3 decision victory and move to the third place consolation final to take on CMU's Corey Keener. For the second time this year Jeske would get the better of Keener, but this time by shutout. Jeske went on to win by a 4-0 decision and finish in third place to earn an NCAA qualifying bid out of the four MAC automatic bids as a true freshman.
Old Dominion's No. 4-ranked and top-seed Chris Mecate ended yesterday with two decision victories that led him to today's MAC 141-pound Championship. Mecate and UNI's No. 20-ranked Joey Lazor were locked in a scoreless tie before Lazor managed to win by a 3:10 Fall. Despite the second place finish Mecate has earned his second straight NCAA qualifying appearance as a redshirt sophomore.
No. 14-ranked Alexander Richardson won both his matches yesterday to enter the 149-pound MAC Championship against the No. 1-ranked Drake Houdashelt of Missouri. Richardson has faced Houdashelt twice already this year and said following the UNI dual match that he knew he has the stuff to stay with him. He proved that again Sunday by taking the No. 1 in the country to overtime. Unfortunatly Houdashelt pulled out one takedown to earn the 3-1 sudden victory decision. Despite the second place finish, Richardson also qualifies for his second straight NCAA appearance as he earned one of the MAC's four 149-pound automatic bids to the NCAA Tournament.
At 157 pounds, ODU's No. 4-seed Tristan Warner started the second day off against EMU's Brandon Zeerip. Warner managed another 9-2 decision victory to begin the day, which advanced him to the consolation final. Warner took on Missouri's Joseph Lavallee and was pinned at 4:18 to take fourth place. However, Warner's fourth place finish earns him his second NCAA trip in three years as the MAC has five automatic bids at 157 pounds.
Monarchs senior wrestler, No. 18-ranked and top-seed Billy Curling defeated both NIU's Matt Mougin and Cody Caldwell yesterday to earn him a spot in today's 174-pound MAC Championship. Curling would take on Ohio's All-American Cody Walters whom he already beat earlier this season. Walters would get the better of Curling for today with a 4-2 decision. For the second straight year Billy Curling also receives an automatic bid into the NCAA's as he finished second out of the MAC's five automatic bids at 174 pounds.
Redshirt freshman, No. 18-ranked and top-seed Jack Dechow earned his way into today's MAC 184-pound Championship by two wins against Ryan Garringer and Cody Johnston. He faced UNI's All-American Ryan Loder for the second time this season and came away victorious with a 4-2 sudden victory overtime win. Dechow hands Loder his second loss in two years (both to Dechow). ODU's 184-pounder earns his first automatic bid into the NCAA's with the 184-pound Championship around his waist.
Old Dominion's redshirt freshman Kevin Beazley began the day with a consolation semifinal match against Kent State's Cole Baxter. Beazley would end up victorious with a 4-1 decision win and earn a spot in the MAC 197-pound consolation championship. Beazley would face Northern Illinois wrestler Shawn Scott, who handed Beazley his only loss in the Tournament by way of a riding time point. The third place match would once again come down to a single point as Beazley fell short by a 3-2 decision. The MAC had two automatic bids at 197-pounds and Beazley may still qualify for the NCAA Tournament but would have to earn an at-large bid.
At Heavyweight, ODU's Matt Tourdot began the day with a 3-1 decision win in the consolation semifinals against EMU's Khodar Hoballah. Tourdot would face UNI's Blaize Cabell in the third place match to decide who would claim the 285-pound third and final automatic bid at Heavyweight in the MAC. Cabell got the better of Tourdot with a 8-3 decision, but Tourdot still has a chance at an at-large selection to the NCAA's with his fourth place MAC finish.
On another note, future ODU wrestlers Emilio Saavedra won the California state tournament at his respective weight class, T.C Warner won the Pennsylvania state tournament at his respective weight class and Joey Balboni finished second in the New Jersey state tournament in his respective weight class.
ODU Wrestling Full Results from the 2014 MAC Championships
125- Brandon Jeske maj. dec. Kevon Powell (Ohio) 12-0
125- Jared Germaine (EMU) Fall Brandon Jeske 3:47
125- Brandon Jeske dec. Barlow McGhee (Missouri) 5-3
125- Brandon Jeske dec. Corey Keener (CMU) 3RD PLACE
133- Joe Roth (CMU) maj. dec. Michael Hayes 14-3
133- Michael Hayes TF Sebastian Arroyo (Ohio) 15-0
133- Nick Smith (NIU) dec. Michael Hayes 8-4
141- Chris Mecate dec. Michael Shaw (EMU) 7-0
141- Chris Mecate dec. Lavion Mayes (Mizzou) 4-3
141- No. 20 Joey Lazor (UNI) Fall No. 4 Chris Mecate 3:10 2ND PLACE
149- Alexander Richardson dec. Robert Jillard (NIU) 9-4
149- Alexander Richardson dec. Tywon Claxton (Ohio) 5-3
149- No. 1 Drake Houdashelt (Missouri) dec. No. 14 Alexander Richardson SV-1 3-1 2ND PLACE
157- Tristan Warner dec. Spartak Chino (Ohio) 8-4
157- Ian Miller (KSU) dec. Tristan Warner 8-2
157- Tristan Warner dec. Brandon Zeerip (EMU) 9-2
157- Joseph LaVallee (Missouri) Fall Tristan Warner 4:18 4TH PLACE
165- Harrison Hightower (Ohio) maj. dec. Devin Geoghegan 9-0
165- Zach Toal (Missouri) maj. dec. Devin Geoghegan 10-2
174- Billy Curling dec. Matt Mougin (NIU) 6-1
174- Billy Curling dec. Cody Caldwell (UNI) 6-1
174- No. 12 Cody Walters (Ohio) dec. No. 18 Billy Curling 4-2 2ND PLACE
184- Jack Dechow maj. dec. Ryan Garringer (Ohio) 13-1
184- Jack Dechow dec. Cody Johnston (Missouri) 8-3
184- No. 18 Jack Dechow dec. No. 8 Ryan Loder (UNI) SV-1 4-2 MAC CHAMPION
197- Shawn Scott (NIU) dec. Kevin Beazley 5-4
197- Kevin Beazley dec. Jackson Lewis (CMU) 11-6
197- Kevin Beazley dec. Cole Baxter (Kent State) 4-1
197- Shawn Scott (NIU) dec. Kevin Beazley 3-2 4TH PLACE
285- Matt Tourdot dec. Jared Torrence (NIU) SV-1 3-1
285- Devin Mellon (Missouri) dec. Matt Tourdot 4-1
285- Matt Tourdot dec. Khodar Hoballah (EMU) 3-1
285- Blaize Cabell (UNI) dec. Matt Tourdot (ODU) 8-3 4TH PLACE
Photos of every MAC Championship participating ODU wrestler will also be available on the site this week.
The NCAA Championships take place in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma from March 20-22 at the Chesapeake Energy Arena. Check back on odusports.com this week for more details.
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