Spartans Shut Out Olivet College on Senior Day, 40-0
Feb. 14, 2014
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State wrestling team shut out Olivet College, 40-0, Friday afternoon on Senior Day at Jenison Field House. Four Spartan seniors - Nick Kaczanowski, Brenan Lyon, Mike McClure and Bobby Nash - were recognized in a ceremony before the dual and all claimed victories in their final appearance at Jenison Field House.
"It's very important that we have this momentum," said MSU head coach Tom Minkel, as the Spartans won their second match in a row. "We're in a very important stretch. We need to use what we learn and be better. Our mission all year long was to be better this week then we were the last week. I think we were today. We wrestled aggressively and kept really good position. We'll have a good test at Central Michigan in a week but our goal is to just keep getting better, stay optimistic, stay on task and stay together as team."
Olivet College, ranked fourth in Division III, fell to 15-6 with the loss.
Lyon started the dual with a convincing 15-5 major decision over Henry McKeown at 125 pounds. Lyon recorded four takedowns in the first period, added another takedown in the second and gained a point due to stalling on McKeown, and scored on a reversal and takedown in the third. He accumulated 2:22 of riding time to finish with the 10-point victory.
Red-shirt freshman Garth Yenter tallied MSU's second straight major decision, as he defeated Michael Gancer in the133-pound match, 13-3. Yenter controlled the entire bout, collecting four takedowns, two near-fall points, and 4:52 of riding time, all without giving up a takedown.
Wrestling in his first dual of the season, sophomore Terry Turner delivered a 6-3 decision over Justin Holm, who is ranked third in Division III at 141 pounds. After a scoreless first period, Turner reversed Holm early in the second and rode him the rest of the period. Turner got Holm on his back briefly and added near-fall points with 20 seconds left to go up, 4-0.
Holm trimmed the lead to 4-3 with an escape and a takedown in the third, but Turner escaped with 30 seconds remaining and was awarded an extra point for riding time (2:01) to record the 6-3 victory.
At 149 pounds, Nick Trimble came away with a 4-2 sudden victory over seventh-ranked Gage Pederson after notching a takedown 30 seconds into the bonus period.
Roger Wildmo followed with a 10-2 major decision in the 157-pound match over Kyle Witgen to put MSU on top, 18-0.
Nash made his last match on the platform at Jenison Field House count, as he took care of Dan Fleet at 165 pounds with a 6-1 decision. Nash led the entire way, building a 5-0 lead after two periods courtesy of two takedowns and an escape. Although Fleet escaped in the third to get on the board, Nash compiled 2:34 of riding time to get the 6-1 win.
Kaczanowski continued the theme for the seniors by pinning No. 20 Nick Allen in the first period. It marked Kaczanowski's first fall of the season.
"I really tried to put it all in for that last match and it was nice to get a pin out there," said Kaczanowski. "It's always nice to have your parents there (for Senior Day) because wrestling is such a close-knit sport. My dad had to drive me all over the country to train and it's nice to be able for them to come up and be recognized.
"I think we're peaking at the right time. We've been getting better every week. We've had a tough schedule and it doesn't get any easier with the Big Ten's coming up and then the NCAA's, but I'm excited for it."
In the final match of the dual, McClure put an exclamation point on Senior Day with a pin at heavyweight. Within the first 10 seconds, McClure took down Ryan Steverson, and he quickly recorded the fall 27 seconds into the match.
McClure, ranked seventh in the nation, improved his record to 22-5 overall and was 5-1 at home this season. The fall was McClure's team-leading seventh of the year.
"That's the note that I wanted to finish up here (at home)," McClure said. "It's kind of emotional, but it hasn't set in yet that this is the last time wrestling in Jenison Field House. I've loved this experience ever since I came here. I'm sure I'm going to miss it."
"It never fails to catch me by surprise," said Minkel regarding Senior Day. "I'm announcing these guys for their last home dual of their college career and I can remember recruiting them and having them on campus and showing them around. They were young and optimistic and had no idea of what wrestling in the Big Ten is really like. It just feels like all that was just a few days ago.
"It's sad to see that come to an end, but at the same time you know that you've played a part in their development as young men, in their college experience, and in their lives. You hope this will help them become better adults and be able to cope with the challenges life throws at them after college. It's enormously rewarding."
The Spartans (7-10) will travel to Central Michigan next Saturday, Feb. 22 to take on the Chippewas at 2 p.m. in the final dual of the regular season.
Michigan State 40, Olivet College 0
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