By Steven McGarvie
The Cleveland State wrestling team had a successful weekend on Jan. 27 and 28, as they went 1-1 in their dual meets.
Nationals will be held here in Cleveland at Quicken Loans Arena from March 15-17.
On Jan. 27, Cleveland State opened their Eastern Wrestling League (EWL) schedule with a dual at home against George Mason.
The Vikings came out victorious with a 29-18 win to pick up their third dual-meet win of the season.
Leading the way for the Vikings were Andrew Coghill, Georgio Poullas and Nick Corba, who each recorded a fall to get the Vikings six team points apiece. Corba’s fall sealed the dual for Cleveland State.
Sophomore Collin Kelly credits the Vikings’ will to win for their victory.
“We wanted to win, and it was ours to take 100 percent,” Kelly said. “We know how important a fall is, and we try and take those opportunities as much as we can.”
The following day, Cleveland State traveled to Clarion University for an EWL matchup with the Golden Eagles.
The Vikings came out on the losing end of a 20-12 score.
Evan Cheek and Ryan Ford pulled the Vikings within one point at 7-6 following 149 lbs. with each of their decisions, but Cleveland State was never able to take the lead.
The dual came down to heavyweight, as Kelly matched up against former Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) State Champion Toby Cahill. Cahill won by major decision to seal the dual at 20-12 for Clarion.
Assistant coach, Josh Moore, believes that the Vikings are headed in the right direction as the EWL tournament approaches within the next month.
“As a whole, we are starting to prepare our starters by putting them in pressure situations to make them produce,” Moore said.
With the NCAA Division I Championships being held here in Cleveland, coach Moore said it’s a positive as “we get to showcase the city of Cleveland and show them what a great place it has become.”
“It is a rare opportunity to be able to compete at an even this big in your home, and wrestling in our home city is very important to us,” Kelly said.
Cleveland State finishes the season with duals against Bloomsburg, nationally ranked Edinboro and Lock Haven before heading into the postseason.