Michigan State Wrestlers Gets First Big Ten Win

Michigan State’s wrestling team got their first Big Ten victory in the last conference match of the year against the Indiana Hoosiers on Sunday.

This is was a huge win for the Spartans and head coach Tom Minkel who have strived for their first Big Ten victory all year. Both squads were searching for the elusive Big Ten win going into the dual.

The match started off at 141 pounds with Brian Gibbs (MSU) against Trevor Moody (IU). Gibbs got a takedown in the first period to start the match off with a 2-0 lead.

Gibbs started the second period down and was ridden out by Moody for the entire period. The match was called for blood time in the third with Moody sporting the mummy wrap on his forehead. Moody got an escape point and a takedown in the third period with over a minute of riding time to net the 4-2 victory and put IU up by three.

At 149 pounds, Nick Trimble (MSU) went up against Eric Roach (Indiana). Trimble fought back from a 4-3 deficit to put the Spartans on the board with a 6-5 decision after Roach continued to shoot throughout the entirety of the third period after Trimble got a third period takedown. Indiana got a pin at 157 from No. 4 Taylor Walsh (IU) over Roger Wildmo (MSU).

Then at 165 pounds, Ryan LeBlanc (IU) wrestled against  Bobby Nash (MSU). Nash lost by a score of 16-5 for an Indiana major decision. LeBlanc was on a takedown tear, letting Nash gain escape points multiple times throughout the match while searching for the technical fall.

The match score was 13-3 after the 165 pound match.

Next up at 174 pounds was Nick Kaczanowski (MSU) versus Matt Irick (IU). The first period came and went without much action aside from a waived off Irick takedown. Irick chose to start the second period on bottom and got an escape point while Kaczanowski got 1:11 in riding time. Kaczanowski got a reversal after starting the third period on bottom and fought for a 2-1 lead over Irick. Kaczanowski got the win thanks to his riding time with a 3-2 decision.

Indiana led 13-6 at that point in the match.

The 184 pound match featured No. 24 John Rizqallah (MSU) against Luke Sheridan (IU). The first period was scoreless and led to Sheridan electing to start the second period on bottom. Sheridan slipped out for an escape point after only 11 seconds in the second period. Rizqallah started the third period on bottom and slipped out for an escape point of his own to knot the match up at 1-1. Rizqallah got a takedown with 30 seconds left to win the match with a 3-1 decision.

The match score was 13-9 Indiana.

The 197 pound match featured Michigan State’s Nick McDiarmid battling against Cheney Dale (IU). The first period was a scoreless one with a pair of stalling warnings for both wrestlers. The second began with McDiarmid on top and continued that way with McDiarmid riding Dale out for the entire second period. McDiarmid started the third period on bottom and got an escape point followed up by a quick takedown. The match ended with a McDiarmid 4-0 victory with over a minute riding time, making the match score 13-12 Indiana.

In the marquee match of the meet, No. 6 Mike McClure (MSU) squared off once again against No. 4 Adam Chalfant (IU).

Chalfant started the match off with a bang getting a double leg takedown which fired the Hoosier faithful up. McClure escaped in the second period which led to a 2-1 score. Both wrestlers were shooting and working for the takedown. Chalfant started the third period on bottom and quickly got an escape point of his own. He then got a third period takedown which led to the 5-1 decision victory.

These two wrestlers had squared off previously at the MSU Open with Chalfant fighting his way to a 5-3 victory over McClure.

The match score was 16-12 Indiana at this point.

The 125 pound match had Brenan Lyon (MSU) eyeballing Alonzo Shepherd (Indiana). Lyon got a first period takedown after a lengthy scramble to put himself up by a score of 2-0. Lyon rode for 1:05 and started the second period on bottom. Shepherd rode too high and Lyon popped out for a two point reversal. The third period consisted of little action which led to Lyon winning the match by a score of 5-0 with over a minute of riding time.

The score was 16-15 Indiana at this point.

The last match of the evening was at 133 pounds with the dual’s result hinging on one wrestler’s tenacity and desire to win. Garth Yenter (MSU) and Chris Caton (IU) came out focused on securing a victory for their squads. Caton was the aggressor in the first period, but gained no takedown or points leading to Yenter starting the second period on bottom. Yenter slipped out for a quick escape followed by a takedown to put himselfup  by a score of 3-0. Yenter then got a two point nearfall to put himself up a score of 5-0. Caton fought back with a reversal by way of a switch and ended the second period down 5-2. Caton started the third on bottom and got an escape point, but Yenter secured the match with a cradle to pull away by a final score of 10-3.

MSU secured their victory by a score of 18-16. The Spartans look to continue their winning ways Friday against Olivet College at Jenison Field House.

Nick Carver is the host of Pinned Down for Impact Sports.

Photo: Jonathan Yales/Impact Sports