December 22, 2009

Wrestling To Participate In Midlands Invitational

Dec. 22, 2009

Contact: Renee Adam

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SETTING THE SCENE: The Vikings will take part in their last competition before the new year when they travel to Evanston, Ill. for the Midlands Invitational on Tuesday, December 29 and Wednesday, December 30 with action taking place throughout both days.

REVIEWING LAST WEEK: The Vikings had their last dual meet before the new year when they hosted Northwestern on Thursday (Dec. 17). Following is a recap of the action.

Northwestern 42, CSU 6: Mike Mencini and Rob Michaels posted the lone victories for the Vikings against Northwestern, with Mencini's coming in the 141 pound weight class and Michaels' in the 165 class. Mencini recorded a 7-1 decision over Robert Joyce and Michaels had a 12-5 victory against Robert Kellogg.

PREVIEWING THE VIKINGS: CSU is led by senior Marcus Effner, junior Rob Michaels and sophomore Jordan Keller, who have combined for 21 victories this season. Also coming on strong for the Vikings this season is sophomore Corey Carlo with six wins and junior Dan Castillo who has recorded three victories. The highlights of the season so far are the 31-13 victory over John Carroll on Nov. 24, the 28-20 victory over Appalachian State on Dec. 4 and Keller's Michigan State Open title in the 125 pound weight class (Nov. 15).

VIKINGS REACH 20: Rob Michaels' 12-5 victory against Northwestern (Dec. 17) marked the 20th individual win for CSU in dual meets this season. Marcus Effner was the first Viking to post a dual meet victory this season when he recorded a 3-1 decision against Eastern Michigan (Nov. 19).

MENCINI MAKES HIS MOVE: After sitting out the first four dual meets, sophomore Mike Mencini is beginning to settle in at the 141 pound weight class, winning three out of his five matches this season. One of those wins came by a pin, making Mencini one of six Viking wrestlers to record a pin this year. His 4:00 pin is also the second fastest of the season, behind Rob Michaels' 29 second fall.

MICHAELS GETS 50 + 1: Junior Rob Michaels improved his career winning total last Thursday (Dec. 17) when he recorded a 12-5 decision over Robert Kellogg from Northwestern. The victory marked the 51st of his career, after recording his 50th win at the Bobcat Duals (Dec. 4). As a freshman, he recorded 23 wins, won 18 as a sophomore and has recorded 10 through seven events this season. He is one of only two current Vikings to reach 50 victories and the only junior.

...FIVE MATCH WIN STREAK: Rob Michaels is undefeated in dual meet action this season, riding a five match win streak going into the Midlands Invitational. This is following his victory against Northwestern, his three Bobcat Dual victories, and his win against John Carroll in November. Michaels recorded a three match dual meet win streak, stretching from December 19 against Wagner to January 11 at Eastern Michigan last season.

WINNING-BY-PINNING: The Vikings have pinned their opponents six times already this season, with all six pins coming from six different wrestlers. This is compared to last year when CSU had posted only two pins up to this point in the season and had just seven wrestlers post pins throughout the entire year.

UPPERCLASSMEN LEADERSHIP: The senior and junior classes have combined for 21 wins this season, half of the overall victories for the squad. The senior trio of Dan Castillo, Marcus Effner and Jeff Schuller have accounted for 11 wins, while Rob Michaels has posted 10 wins as the lone junior.

QUICK PIN: Rob Michaels recorded the fastest pin of the season against John Carroll's Andrew Shafer (Nov. 24), when he ended the match in just 29 seconds. The pin bested Michaels' previous record of 41 seconds, and is also the fastest pin in the past two seasons.

TEAM LEADERS: Rob Michaels and Jordan Keller are the lone returners that led the squad last season in statistical categories. Michaels led the Vikings with five pins, and was also fourth with 18 wins. Keller was first on the squad with 11 major decisions and second behind Rashard Goff with 23 wins. This season Michaels leads the team in wins and is tied for first in pins while Keller is tied for second in major decisions and is fourth in wins.

TEN IN EWL RANKINGS: In the December 8 Eastern Wrestling League rankings, the Vikings have placed a wrestler in the top seven in each weight class. Jordan Keller is the highest placer for CSU, ranked second in the 125 pound weight class, while Marcus Effner is fourth in the 174 pound class. Zech Huff (133), Mike Mencini (141), Dan Castillo (149), Corey Carlo (157), Rob Michaels (165), Nick Anthony (184), Jeff Schuller (197) and Chris Weber (HWT) all earned honorable mention accolades in the current rankings.

MIDLANDS 2008: The highlight of last season's Midlands Invitational was Rashard Goff placing sixth in the heavyweight class, becoming the first Viking in six years to place. Goff had an overall record of 3-3 in Evanston, while Rob Michaels (2-2) and Jordan Keller (2-1) also posted victories during the invitational.

NEXT UP: The Vikings will open the 2010 calendar year when they travel to Kent State for the first dual of the year on Tuesday, January 5 with action beginning at 7:00 p.m.

THE HEAD COACH
Ben Stehura (Lockhaven '00)
AT CSU: 6-19 (2nd year)
OVERALL: 32-69-1 (6th year)

THE STEHURA FILE: Ben Stehura is in his second season as the head coach of the Cleveland State wrestling program. Stehura returns after leading a young Viking team to a 4-13 record during his first season at the helm. Stehura continued the trend of coaching a wrestler to the NCAA Championships last season, and for the 48th straight year a Viking wrestler advanced to the NCAA Championship with Rashard Goff representing CSU in 2009. Stehura also coached Goff to an EWL Heavyweight championship, the first league champion for CSU since the 2006 season. Stehura will use his experience with coaching a young program and lead the Vikings during the 2009-10 season, working to improve in the EWL and continuing the history and tradition of CSU wrestling.

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