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Ohio Gears Up For MAC Wrestling Championships

Jeremy Johnson

March 7, 2014

ATHENS, Ohio - The Ohio University wrestling team travels to Kent, Ohio this weekend for the 2014 Mid-American Conference Wrestling Championships. Kent State University will play host to the annual event inside the M.A.C. Center.

Ohio enters the championship with 15 overall team championships, which ranks second to Central Michigan. The Bobcats' last team championship came back in 2001. Ohio was picked to win the league title in the preseason.

In addition to the league championship, 41 automatic bids to the 2014 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships will be on the line. The 41 bids to the NCAA Championships is the third highest of any Division I College Wrestling Conference. Listed below is the breakdown for automatic bids.

MAC Automatic Bids (By Weight Class)
125 - 4
133 - 5
141 - 5
149 - 4
157 - 5
165 - 3
174 - 5
184 - 5
197 - 2
285 - 3

The Bobcats enter the championship ranked third in the most recent MAC Coaches Rankings Poll. In addition, Ohio has three wrestlers that enter the championship as the No. 1 overall seed in their respective brackets. Senior Jeremy Johnson (33-4), sophomore Phil Wellington (30-3) and junior Tywan Claxton (24-6) all received No. 1 seeds.

Johnson enters the championship in search of his fourth-consecutive bid to the NCAA Championships. In 2012, he earned All-America honors as he finished seventh. He also will be in search of his second individual league title. He closed out the year by winning his final 12 bouts.

Wellington also enters this year's championship on a high note, having won each of his last 10 bouts. Wellington earned an at large bid to last year's NCAA Champsionships.

Claxton enters the championships with wins in 10 of his last 12 bouts. He opened the year on a high note as he posted an 11-1 record to start the year. This year's event will mark Claxton's first appearance in the MAC Championships.

Sophomore Cody Walters (Macedonia, Ohio) also returns to the mat for the Bobcats as he attempts to successfully defend his 2013 title at 174. Ohio has claimed the 174 title in each of the past two seasons. Former Bobcat Nick Purdue won the individual crown in 2012.

Fans can watch this year's event, which will be streamed live by Flowrestling ($20 subscription).

MAC Championships Schedule
Saturday, March 8
11:00 a.m. - Doors open to the public
11:55 a.m. - National Anthem
12:00 p.m. - Preliminary matches
12:50 p.m. - Introduction of teamsv 1:00 p.m. - Quarterfinals (2 mats)
4:00 p.m. - Consolation round (1 mat) and championship semifinals (2 mats)
5:45 p.m. - Consolation round 2 (3 mats)
6:30 p.m. - Ticket sales end

Sunday, March 9
11:00 a.m. - Doors open to public
11:55 a.m. - National Anthem
12:00 p.m. - Consolation semifinals (3 mats)
1:05 p.m. - Championship Finals parade & face off introductions
1:20 p.m. - Championship Finals, Third-Place Matches and Fifth-Place Matches (3 mats)

*NCAA Qualifying spot matche to follow if necessary