Kent State wrestling opened Mid-American Conference competition with a tri-meet against Southern Illinois-Edwardsville and Clarion University on Saturday. The Flashes handled SIUE in the first dual 25-15 but lost to Clarion 30-10, evening up their season record at 3-3.
Juniors Colin McCracken and Kody Komara both won major decisions in the first dual, with McKracken getting a pin at 197 to increase Kent’s lead to 25-11. Komara won a tight match over Edwardsville 6-5 and later beat Clarion junior Seth Koleno by a 5-4 decision, bouncing back from a tough Wednesday night meet.
“I thought in the first match we came out and wrestled really well, we went out and attacked all positions,” coach Jim Andrassy said. “The second match - we just didn’t go at them like we did in the first match, so it’s something we’ve got to get better at.”
Senior Jake Ferri continued to prove why he is the Flashes’ leader, winning his sixth and seventh straight matches Saturday, 15-5 and 16-7, respectively. The Flashes led 8-0 two matches into the dual against Clarion, but the Golden Eagles stormed back to win the last five consecutive matches.
Andrew McNally had to forfeit against Clarion due to an injury he suffered 14 seconds into the match. The loss of the senior proved to be a turning point in the meet.
“Our score looks a little bit lopsided because of that,” Andrassy said. “Anytime McNally doesn’t win it’s going to be hard for our team to win.”
Among other players, sophomore Patrick Gould stood out on Saturday, taking both of his matches, 13-5 and one by forfeit. Redshirt sophomore Tyler Bates split his contests at 174. McCracken fought hard against nationally ranked Clarion junior Greg Bulsak, despite dropping the match 9-5.
“He did a really good job,” Andrassy said. “It’s probably a ten point match normally if McNally doesn’t get hurt, but that’s part of wrestling.”
The Flashes will return home to face Missouri at the Kent State Fieldhouse on Jan. 31 at noon. The Tigers are undefeated throughout seven meets so far this season.
Mason is a sports reporter. Contact him at email@example.com.