Central Michigan Wins Third Straight MAC Title

Updated 3/7/2000
BUFFALO, N.Y. - Central Michigan University, with eight participants in the finals, won their third straight Mid-American Conference wrestling championship March 5 at the University at Buffalo.

In all, 18 wrestlers will represent the MAC at the NCAA Championships at St. Louis' Kiel Center March 16th-18th, the ten weight champions and eight wild cards.

In addition, the Chippewas' Ryan Cunningham - who claimed the 174-pound title for the third straight year - won both the Outstanding Wrestler of the Tournament and of the league for the 1999-2000 season. Central Michigan head coach Tom Borrelli, meanwhile, won his third straight MAC Coach of the Year honor for his team1s undefeated MAC dual meet season (5-0) and third straight conference tournament crown with 88.5 points.

Kent State, who had three tournament champions, claimed second place with 70 points and had the Freshman of the Year in 165-pound champion Nick Nemeth. Ohio, who had three champions, was next with 62 points followed by Buffalo (55.5), Northern Illinois (37) and Eastern Michigan (24.5).

Kent's Brent Thompson claimed his second straight MAC title and a trip to St. Louis at 125 pounds by defeating Northern Illinois1 Alexis Rivera, 12-8 in the final. Rivera earned a wild card berth to nationals.

At 133 pounds, Ohio's Brad Wright beat Buffalo's Shawn Kegel, 3-2, to earn a trip to nationals while Kegel also earned a spot to the NCAA Championships by virtue of second place.

At 141 pounds, Central Michigan's Chris Marshall - ranked fifth in the nation - overcame a hamstring injury to beat third-seeded Tom LeCuyer of Northern Illinois, 13-6. Marshall was an All-American last year, finishing fifth at nationals. LeCuyer also earned a wild card berth.

At 149 pounds, Central Michigan's Jeremy Hardman beat Kent1s Sam Murdock, 3-1 in the finals. At 157 pounds, upstart Anthony Ralph completed his Cinderella run through the bracket by overcoming a gash over his left eye and defeated Central Michigan freshman Russell Clark, 10-9. Ralph, a sophomore, beat top-seeded Jake Partlow of Buffalo, 12-3 on Saturday to reach the finals.

At 165 pounds another unseeded Kent wrestler - freshman Nick Nemeth - defeated Central Michigan1s Vernon Cannon, 8-2 to claim the title and the trip to St. Louis. Cannon earned a wild card spot.

At 174 pounds, the event's Outstanding Wrestler, Ryan Cunningham, scored a convincing 12-2 win over Eastern Michigan1s Mike Feeney in a matchup of returning All-Americans. Cunningham was seventh in the nation last year while Feeney was eighth. Cunningham earned the automatic bid to the nationals while Feeney was awarded a wild card slot.

Northern Illinois' David Potter claimed the 184-pound title by beating Central Michigan's Phil Baroni, 5-4 thus earning a trip to St. Louis. Buffalo1s Josh States then pinned Baroni in 4:43 to earn the true second place finish and a berth to the nationals.

At 197 pounds, Ohio's second-seeded Dan Bednar upset returning All-American Chris Vike of Central Michigan to earn a trip to St. Louis. Vike was then upset by Buffalo's Joe Downey, 7-5 in overtime, in the true second place finish format and suffered a season-ending knee injury in the process. Downey earned a wild card with the win.

There were no surprises at heavyweight as Ohio's Tim Courtad, with a No. 11 ranking in the nation, defeated Central Michigan1s Jack Leffler, 3-1 in the final. Courtad has lost just once this season. Leffler earned a wild card berth.


1999-2000 Mid-American Conference NCAA Participants
125 pounds - Brent Thompson (Kent), Alexis Rivera (Northern Illinois)*
133 pounds - Brad Wright (Ohio), Shawn Kegel (Buffalo)*
141 pounds - Chirs Marshall (Central Michigan), Tom LeCuyer (Northern Illinois)*
149 pounds - Jeremy Hardman (Central Michigan)
157 pounds - Anthony Ralph (Kent)
165 pounds - Nick Nemeth (Kent), Vernon Cannon (Central Michigan)*
174 pounds - Ryan Cunningham (Central Michigan), Mike Feeney (Eastern Michigan)*
184 pounds - David Potter (Northern Illinois), Josh States (Buffalo)*
197 pounds - Dan Bednar (Ohio), Joe Downey (Buffalo)*
Heavyweight - Tim Courtad (Ohio), Jack Leffler (Central Michigan)*
*Wild card selections
Alternates - Brian Baughman (Kent), Gary Cooper (Buffalo), Shane Hartzler
(Ohio)

2000 Mid-American Conference Wrestling Championships - All Results QUARTERFINALS

125
Charlie Voorhees, Buffalo DEC Paul Hodermarsky, Ohio 4-2
Claudell Ruffin, Eastern Michigan DEC Ahmad Sanders, Central Michigan 9-5

133
Brad Wright, Ohio ( 0.50) WBTF Josh Wiles, Eastern Michigan 17-1;6:54
Shawn Kegel, Buffalo DEC Twan Pham, Northern Illinois 8-1

141
Mark Wentz, Kent State DEC Bill Jacoutot, Buffalo 7-3
Shane Hartzler, Ohio MAJOR Eric Fairbanks, Eastern Michigan 13-3

149
Jeremy Hardman, Central Michigan MAJOR Matt Schraibman, Eastern Michigan 10-2
Aaron Cooper, Ohio DEC J.C. Gaunt, Northern Illinois 7-3

157
Anthony Ralph, Kent State WBF Tom Seryak, Ohio 2:09
Matt Merrill, Eastern Michigan DEC Luke Dyer, Northern Illinois 9-4

165
Nick Nemeth, Kent State WBF Zac Becker, Northern Illinois 6:08
Gary Cooper, Buffalo MAJOR Tim Hoff, Eastern Michigan 14-6

174
Luke Moore, Ohio DEC Ben Cooper, Buffalo 5-2
Ryan Kinley, Kent State DEC Ben Heizer, Northern Illinois 5-4

184
Josh States, Buffalo DEC Travis Kraft, Eastern Michigan 3-1
Mark Shrout, Ohio DEC Nick Magistrelli, Kent State 6-4

197
Chris Vike, Central Michigan WDQ Jason Nape, Northern Illinois 6:28
Joe Downey, Buffalo DEC Dane Bonnigson, Eastern Michigan 6-1

285
Mike Garofalo, Buffalo DEC Jon Lourich, Northern Illinois 5-3
Jim Swetter, Kent State WBF Derrick Parker, Eastern Michigan 4:16

SEMIFINALS

125
Brent Thompson, Kent State DEC Charlie Voorhees, Buffalo 3-1
Alexis Rivera, Northern Illinois DEC Claudell Ruffin, Eastern Michigan 5-3

133
Brad Wright, Ohio DEC Jordan Webster, Central Michigan 3-0
Shawn Kegel, Buffalo DEC Brian Baughman, Kent State 6-2

141
Chris Marshall, Central Michigan DEC Mark Wentz, Kent State 5-2
Tom LeCuyer , Northern Illinois MAJOR Shane Hartzler, Ohio 9-0

149
Jeremy Hardman, Central Michigan DEC Ryan Bentley, Buffalo 7-3
Sam Murdock, Kent State DEC Aaron Cooper, Ohio 3-2

157
Anthony Ralph, Kent State MAJOR Jacob Partlow, Buffalo 12-3
Russell Clark, Central Michigan WBF Matt Merrill, Eastern Michigan 5:52

165
Nick Nemeth, Kent State DEC John Wervey, Ohio 8-7
Vernon Cannon, Central Michigan DEC Gary Cooper, Buffalo 7-2

174
Ryan Cunningham, Central Michigan DEC Luke Moore, Ohio 6-1
Mike Feeney, Eastern Michigan MAJOR Ryan Kinley, Kent State 15-3

184
David Potter, Northern Illinois DEC Josh States, Buffalo 9-2
Phil Baroni, Central Michigan DEC Mark Shrout, Ohio 7-2

197
Chris Vike, Central Michigan WBF Zeb Miller, Kent State 2:56
Dan Bednar, Ohio OT Joe Downey, Buffalo 5-3

285
Tim Courtad, Ohio DEC Mike Garofalo, Buffalo 8-3
Jack Leffler, Central Michigan DEC Jim Swetter, Kent State 2-1

CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS

125 Brent Thompson, Kent State DEC Alexis Rivera, Northern Illinois 12-8 1ST PL BT

133 Brad Wright, Ohio DEC Shawn Kegel, Buffalo 3-2 1ST PL BT

141 Chris Marshall, Central Michigan DEC Tom LeCuyer , Northern Illinois 13-6 1ST PL BT

149 Jeremy Hardman, Central Michigan OT Sam Murdock, Kent State 3-1;sd 1ST PL BT

157 Anthony Ralph, Kent State DEC Russell Clark, Central Michigan 10-9 1ST PL BT

165 Nick Nemeth, Kent State DEC Vernon Cannon, Central Michigan 8-2 1ST PL BT

174 Ryan Cunningham, Central Michigan MAJOR Mike Feeney, Eastern Michigan 12-2 1ST PL BT

184 David Potter, Northern Illinois DEC Phil Baroni, Central Michigan 5-4 1ST PL BT

197 Dan Bednar, Ohio WBF Chris Vike, Central Michigan ( -1.00) 9:29;tb 1ST PL BT

285 Tim Courtad, Ohio DEC Jack Leffler, Central Michigan 3-1 1ST PL BT

SEMIFINAL CONS

125
Paul Hodermarsky, Ohio DEC Claudell Ruffin, Eastern Michigan 4-0
Ahmad Sanders, Central Michigan DEC Charlie Voorhees, Buffalo 6-3

133
Brian Baughman, Kent State WBF Josh Wiles, Eastern Michigan 1:55
Jordan Webster, Central Michigan DEC Twan Pham, Northern Illinois 9-2

141
Shane Hartzler, Ohio DEC Bill Jacoutot, Buffalo 3-0
Mark Wentz, Kent State WBF Eric Fairbanks, Eastern Michigan 2:06

149
Aaron Cooper, Ohio MAJOR Matt Schraibman, Eastern Michigan 11-3
Ryan Bentley, Buffalo DEC J.C. Gaunt, Northern Illinois 8-7

157
Matt Merrill, Eastern Michigan MED FORF Tom Seryak, Ohio F
Jacob Partlow, Buffalo DEC Luke Dyer, Northern Illinois 5-1

165
Gary Cooper, Buffalo MAJOR Zac Becker, Northern Illinois 13-3
Tim Hoff, Eastern Michigan WDQ John Wervey, Ohio ( -1.00)

174
Ben Cooper, Buffalo DEC Ryan Kinley, Kent State 8-7
Luke Moore, Ohio DEC Ben Heizer, Northern Illinois 1-0

184
Travis Kraft, Eastern Michigan OT Mark Shrout, Ohio 5-4;tb
Josh States, Buffalo DEC Nick Magistrelli, Kent State 9-6

197
Joe Downey, Buffalo WBF Jason Nape, Northern Illinois 1:46
Zeb Miller, Kent State OT Dane Bonnigson, Eastern Michigan 7-5;sd

285
Jon Lourich, Northern Illinois DEC Jim Swetter, Kent State 5-3
Mike Garofalo, Buffalo DEC Derrick Parker, Eastern Michigan 4-2

CONSOLATION FINALS

125
Ahmad Sanders, Central Michigan DEC Paul Hodermarsky, Ohio 10-3

133
Brian Baughman, Kent State MAJOR Jordan Webster, Central Michigan 14-4

141
Shane Hartzler, Ohio DEC Mark Wentz, Kent State 4-1

149
Aaron Cooper, Ohio DEC Ryan Bentley, Buffalo 7-3

157
Jacob Partlow, Buffalo DEC Matt Merrill, Eastern Michigan 7-6

165
Gary Cooper, Buffalo WBF Tim Hoff, Eastern Michigan 6:48

174
Luke Moore, Ohio DEC Ben Cooper, Buffalo 6-4

184
Josh States, Buffalo OT Travis Kraft, Eastern Michigan 2-1;sd

197
Joe Downey, Buffalo DEC Zeb Miller, Kent State (W) 2-0

285
Jon Lourich, Northern Illinois DEC Mike Garofalo, Buffalo 5-1

2nd-3rd Place

125
Alexis Rivera, Northern Illinois MAJOR Ahmad Sanders, Central Michigan 16-6 2TH PL BT

133
Shawn Kegel, Buffalo DEC Brian Baughman, Kent State 6-2 2TH PL BT 141
Tom LeCuyer , Northern Illinois ( -1.00) MAJOR Shane Hartzler, Ohio 9-0 2TH PL BT

149
Sam Murdock, Kent State DEC Aaron Cooper, Ohio 3-2 2TH PL BT

157
Russell Clark, Central Michigan DEC Jacob Partlow, Buffalo 4-3 2TH PL BT

165
Vernon Cannon, Central Michigan DEC Gary Cooper, Buffalo 6-2 2TH PL BT

174
Mike Feeney, Eastern Michigan MAJOR Luke Moore, Ohio 10-0 2TH PL BT

184
Josh States, Buffalo WBF Phil Baroni, Central Michigan ( -1.00) 4:43 2TH PL BT

197
Joe Downey, Buffalo OT Chris Vike, Central Michigan 7-5;sd 2TH PL BT

285
Jack Leffler, Central Michigan DEC Jon Lourich, Northern Illinois 8-4 2TH PL BT