MAC Wrestler of the Week

Updated 11/18/2009


For Immediate Release-Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2009

MAC Wrestler of the Week

Dustin Kilgore, Kent State University - Sophomore, Berea, Ohio (Berea High School)

Kilgore is off to a 6-0 start with four pins and three wins over nationally-ranked opponents.  On Nov. 14, he won a 184-pound championship at the Oklahoma Gold Tournament by defeating 2008 national champion Mike Pucillo 5-2 of Ohio State in the finals.  Kilgore recorded a first period pin of 18th ranked Pat Bradshaw (Edinboro) in the semifinals, before defeating the top ranked wrestler in the nation at 184.  Kilgore totaled three pins on the day and was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Wrestler.

Kilgore sparked a comeback victory on Nov. 7 with his team trailing Virginia Tech, 18-7, by defeating 16th ranked Tommy Spellman 9-6.  The Flashes went on win the dual meet 20-18.  The 2009 MAC Freshman of the Year also helped Kent State defeat Chattanooga in a dual meet (22-15) on Nov. 7.  With his team trailing 15-10, Kilgore pinned the Mocs' Jason McCroskey in the first period to give the Flashes the lead for good.

Additional Nominees:

Kevin Smith, Buffalo- Sophomore, Mexico, N.Y. (Mexico High School)

Smith has compiled a 6-1 overall record with the start of the season and a perfect 2-0 dual meet record. Three of his six victories have come in the form of a technical fall and two falls.  In the Buffalo Open, Smith collected four straight victories to reach the final round as he defeated 14th nationally-ranked Jimmy Conroy of Pittsburgh in the semifinals with a 5-3 decision.  Smith reached the championship round for the second time in his career and fell to Division I All-American and eighth nationally-ranked Steve Bell of Maryland, finishing in second place.   In the Bulls' first dual meet of the season, Smith pinned Ashland's Jacob Creed at 5:50.  In Buffalo's 16-16 draw with Hofstra, Smith took opponent Jeff Rotella to the mat 12 times as his final takedown with four seconds remaining, earned him a 27-12 technical fall to pull the Bulls within three points of Hofstra.  Smith's performance so far this season has earned him the 20th spot in the latest NWCA/Intermat/USA Today NCAA Division I National Individual Rankings.

Steve Brown, Central Michigan- Senior, Herman, N.Y.

Brown, the defending MAC champion at 149 pounds, opened his season with a 6-5 decision over Chattanooga's No. 16-ranked Joey Knox last Sunday.  Brown took Knox down twice in the first period and scored a reversal in the second period to build a 6-2 lead in the eventual 6-5 win. Brown entered the match ranked eighth nationally at 157 pounds.

Mike LeHolm, Eastern Michigan- Freshman, Jackson, Mich. (Jackson Northwest High School)

LeHolm has posted an 11-1 record through his first two events as a collegiate wrestler. LeHolm placed first at 141 lbs. of the freshman and sophomore division at the Michigan State Open last Sunday, Nov. 15, with a 5-0 record.  On Nov. 7, LeHolm took third place at the Eastern Michigan Open with a 6-1 record following an opening round setback at 141 lbs.

Steve Zimmerman, Northern Illinois- Sophomore, Chicago, Ill. (St. Rita High School)

Zimmerman won all five of his matches at the Michigan State Open last Sunday, including victories over two MAC opponents, to take home the title at 149 pounds after posting an 8-7 decision over David Cheza of Michigan State in the championship match. Zimmerman scored a 12-2 major decision over Eastern Michigan's David Pienaar in his first match of the day and posted a technical fall victory over Tyler Young of Cleveland State, 18-1. Zimmerman defeated Central Michigan's Donnie Corby by major decision, 13-1, in the quarterfinal match before knocking off Appalachian State's Sawa Kostis, also by major decision, in the semifinals.

Kyle Ciccarello, Ohio- Freshman, South Euclid, Ohio (Brush High School)

Ciccarello and the Bobcats wrestled at the Michigan State Open on Sunday and competed quite well across the board. Ciccarello finished first in the freshman/sophomore division of the open, winning all four of the bouts in which he competed. Ciccarello defeated two conference opponents on his undefeated run through the bracket, besting Eastern Michigan's Greg Egbert (15-10) and Central Michigan's Joe Roth (3-1).