Central Michigan Tops No. 4 Ranked Michigan

Updated 1/21/2008

Storu courtesy of Central Michigan University athletic media relations


MOUNT PLEASANT ? Ninth-ranked Central Michigan topped No. 4 Michigan, 21-13, in front of a raucous, Rose Arena record-crowd of 4,273 Sunday afternoon.


The fourth-ranked Wolverines (13-3 overall) are the highest ranked opponent CMU has defeated since a 19-15 victory over No. 3 Oklahoma at National Duals in 2006. The Chippewas (9-2 overall) have now defeated Michigan each of the last two seasons.


The Chippewas (9-2 overall) won six of the 10 individual bouts on Sunday, tallying bonus points in two of the six victories. Luke Smith staked the Chippewas to an early 5-0 lead with a technical fall at 125 pounds, but the Wolverines would post victories at 141, 149 and 157 pounds to build a 10-8 lead.


CMU answered with back-to-back victories at 165 and 174 pounds to take the lead for good.


Eleventh-ranked Trevor Stewart posted arguably the biggest win of his career at 165 pounds, upsetting No. 2 Eric Tannenbaum, 5-3. Tannenbaum scored an early takedown and led 2-1 after one period, but Stewart rode Tannenbaum for the entire second period. Stewart started in the down position to begin the third, and Tannenbaum allowed an uncontested escape to even the score at 2-2. Stewart took advantage, scoring a takedown later in the period to take a 4-2 lead. Tannenbaum would escape, but Stewart’s 2:06 riding time advantage was the difference in the 5-3 decision His victory put the Chippewas in front, 11-10.


The 174-pound match featured seventh-ranked Brandon Sinnott and fourth-ranked Steve Luke. Sinnott scored a takedown in the second period to take a 2-0 lead, but escapes by Luke later in the second period and early in the third evened the score at 2-2. After a scoreless first sudden victory period, both Sinnott and Luke tallied an escape in the first tiebreaker to knot the score at 3-3.


The pair again went scoreless in the second sudden victory period. Luke began the second tiebreaker in the down position and scored an escape to take a 4-3 lead. Sinnott tallied an escape in the second half of the tiebreaker to draw even at 4-4. Neither wrestler would score again, but Sinnott’s nine-second riding time advantage in the overtime periods served as the tiebreaker in a 5-4 victory.


Michigan drew back within a point, 14-13, when No. 2-ranked Tyrel Todd claimed a 6-4 decision over No. 4-ranked Christian Sinnott at 184 pounds.


A 9-1 major decision by No. 5 Wynn Michalak at 197 pounds and a 6-1 decision by No. 8 Bubba Gritter at heavyweight, however, put the match out of reach. Michalak’s victory moved him into sole possession of fifth on CMU’s career victories list; he is now 116-33 in his career.


Smith’s 19-3 technical fall, which saw him score a takedown and two nearfall points just 20 seconds into the match, and a 5-2 decision by Conor Beebe at 133 pounds gave the Chippewas an early 8-0 lead. Both Smith and Beebe amassed more than three minutes of riding time in their respective victories.


Third-ranked Kellen Russell opened the scoring for Michigan with a 3-0 decision over No. 12 Eric Kruger at 141 pounds. The match was scoreless through two periods before Russell scored an escape and a takedown in third.


Michigan’s eighth-ranked Josh Churella followed Russell with a 14-6 major decision over Nathaniel Holt at 149 pounds. Churella won on the strength of six takedowns, the final of which came just before the final buzzer to secure the major decision.


Jeff Marsh’s 3-2 decision over Tyler Grayson at 157 pounds gave the Wolverines their only lead. After a scoreless first period, Marsh opened the second period with an escape to take a 1-0 lead. Grayson countered with a takedown, but Marsh evened the score at 2-2 with another escape later in the period. Marsh started in the top position to open the third period and eventually won the match via riding time.


From there, CMU would win four of the final five bouts, including Stewart and Brandon Sinnott’s victories at 165 and 174 pounds, respectively, that had the near-sellout crowd on its feet. The win was CMU’s 36th in 41 home duals dating back to the start of the 2000-01 season; the Chippewas have won their last nine home duals.


CMU returns to action Saturday, opening the Mid-American Conference portion of the schedule at Eastern Michigan. The dual begins at 6 p.m. CMU’s next appearance at Rose Arena is Feb. 7 against Northern Illinois.


No. 9 Central Michigan 21, No. 4 Michigan 13

125: No. 14 Luke Smith (CMU) tech. fall Jason Lara (UM), 19-3 at 7:00; CMU leads 5-0

133: Conor Beebe (CMU) dec. Chris Diehl (UM), 5-2; CMU leads 8-0

141: No. 3 Kellen Russell (UM) dec. No. 12 Eric Kruger, 3-0; CMU leads 8-3

149: No. 8 Josh Churella (UM) maj. dec. Nathaniel Holt (CMU), 14-6; CMU leads 8-7

157: Jeff Marsh (UM) dec. Tyler Grayson (CMU), 3-2; Michigan leads 10-8

165: No. 11 Trevor Stewart (CMU) dec. No. 2 Eric Tannenbaum (UM), 5-3; CMU leads 11-10

174: No. 7 Brandon Sinnott (CMU) dec. No. 4 Steve Luke (UM), 5-4 TB2; CMU leads 14-10

184: No. 2 Tyrel Todd (UM) dec. No. 4 Christian Sinnott (CMU), 6-4; CMU leads 14-13

197: No. 5 Wynn Michalak (CMU) maj. dec. No. 15 Anthony Biondo (UM), 9-1; CMU leads 18-13

285:  No. 8 Bubba Gritter (CMU) dec. Eddie Phillips (UM), 6-1; CMU leads 21-13


Attendance: 4,273 (Rose Arena wrestling record)