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Ohio Wrestling Picked to Win MAC Title

Jeremy Johnson

Oct. 10, 2013

ATHENS, Ohio - The Ohio University wrestling team was selected as the 2013-14 Mid-American Conference Preseason favorite. The MAC preseason rankings were released today by the league office.

Ohio received the league's top team honor as it returns five NCAA qualifiers, including MAC Freshman of the Year Cody Walters.

Three Bobcats were voted first in their respected weight classes. Senior Jeremy Johnson (Broadview Heights, Ohio) earned the top ranking in the heavyweight class, while sophomores Cody Walters (Macedonia, Ohio) and Phil Wellington (Euclid, Ohio) were named top wrestlers in the 174 and 197 weight classes, respectively.

The trio of Spartak Chino (Wheaton, Ill.), Harrison Hightower (Strongsville, Ohio) and KeVon Powell (Romeoville, Ill.) represented the Bobcats in the top three of the individual rankings as well.

The preseason individual rankings were voted on by the conference's head coaches in an open forum. The team rankings were compiled based on the individual rankings. A first-place vote was worth four team points; a second-place vote earned three team points; third-seeded votes were worth two team points, while a fourth-place tally earned one point in the team ranking system.

Monthly ranking updates will be announced on the second Tuesday of each month, including an additional ranking update (two total) in both January and February.

Kent State will host the 2014 MAC Wrestling Championships on March 8-9.

Ohio will begin its season in East Lansing, Mich. at the Michigan State Open on Nov. 9.

2013-14 MAC Weight Class Rankings:
125 - 1. Jerome Robinson (Old Dominion, Junior); 2. Max Soria (Buffalo, Junior); 3. KeVon Powell (Ohio, Sophomore); t4. Jared Germaine (Eastern Michigan, Senior); t4. Dylan Peters (Northern Iowa, Freshman).
133 - 1. Levi Wolfensperger (Northern Iowa, Junior); 2. Joe Roth (Central Michigan, Senior); 3. Scott Festejo (Old Dominion, Senior); 4. Mac McGuire (Kent State, Sophomore).
141 - 1. Joey Lazor (Northern Iowa, Senior); 2. Tyler Small (Kent State, Junior); 3. Chris Mecate (Old Dominion, Sophomore); 4. Kevin Fanta (Northern Illinois, Senior).
149 - 1. Drake Houdashelt (Missouri, Junior); 2. Alexander Richardson (Old Dominion, Sophomore); 3. Scott Mattingly (Central Michigan, Senior); 4. Mike DePalma (Kent State, Sophomore).
157 - 1. Kyle Bradley (Missouri, Senior); 2. Ian Miller (Kent State, Sophomore); 3. Spartak Chino (Ohio, Sophomore); 4. Lucas Smith (Central Michigan, Sophomore).
165 - 1. Zach Toal (Missouri, Senior); 2. Harrison Hightower (Ohio, Junior); 3. Devin Geoghegan (Old Dominion, Sophomore); 4. Sam Bennett (Northern Illinois, Junior).
174 - 1. Cody Walters (Ohio, Sophomore); 2. Mike Ottinger (Central Michigan, Junior); 3. Matt Mougin (Northern Illinois, Senior); 4. Billy Curling (Old Dominion, Senior).
184 - 1. Ryan Loder (Northern Iowa, Senior); 2. Sam Wheeler (Kent State, Sophomore); 3. Phillip Joseph (Eastern Michigan, Senior); 4. Craig Kelliher (Central Michigan, Senior).
197 - 1. Phil Wellington (Ohio, Sophomore); 2. Nick Whitenburg (Eastern Michigan, Senior); 3. Kevin Beazley (Old Dominion, Freshman); 4. Cole Baxter (Kent State, Sophomore).
HWT - 1. Jeremy Johnson (Ohio, Senior); 2. Devin Mellon (Missouri, Junior); 3. Jared Torrence (Northern Illinois, Senior); 4. Matt Tourdot (Old Dominion, Junior).

2013-14 MAC Preseason Poll:
1. Ohio (19.0)
2. Old Dominion (17.0)
3. Missouri (15.0)
4. Northern Iowa (12.5)
5. Kent State (12.0)
6. Central Michigan (10.0)
7. Northern Illinois (6.0)
8. Eastern Michigan (5.5)
9. Buffalo (3.0)