KENT, Ohio – UNI wrestling grabbed two more spots at the NCAA national tournament en route to a second-place team finish in the final day of the Mid-American Conference Championships.
UNI will take seven wrestlers, which is the most since 2007-08. Six Panthers qualified in 2008-09.
The Panthers led by 7.5 the team standings starting the final day of the tournament. Missouri closed the gap to just four points at the start of the medal rounds, and surged ahead in the finals to win the title for the second year in a row. Mizzou edged out UNI by 2.5 points, winning 118.5-116.
UNI crowned four champions in Dylan Peters (125 pounds), Joe Colon (133 pounds), Joey Lazor (141 pounds) and Cooper Moore (165 pounds). Three more medaled. Final places:
Peters led through the first, but Jared Germaine of Eastern Michigan tied it up in the second. Peters’ reversal in the third got him back on top, and he went on to win 10-7 for his first MAC title.
Colon showed his dominance in the third and worked on last-second back points, which went to review. However, he had to settle for the decision when they went unawarded. He beat Joe Roth of Central Michigan 10-3.
At 141 pounds, Lazor avenged a loss from earlier in the season against No. 4 Chris Mecate of Old Dominion. Mecate handed Lazor his only MAC dual loss of the season. Lazor got the fall in 3 minutes, 10 seconds.
Moore led 2-1 heading into the second period. He fought off a near fall midway to the second and tied up the match 4-4 with a reversal. He would go on to earn a point for riding time and win 11-5.
Caldwell closed the gap on an opponent who beat him by a major decision earlier in the season. Caldwell took Mike Ottinger of Central Michigan into overtime, but wasn’t able to pull out the win. Ottinger got a takedown to win 3-1.
Ryan Loder lost to Jack DeChow of Old Dominion for the second time this season. DeChow is the only wrestler to hand Loder a dual loss since the 2011-12 season. Loder took DeChow to overtime, but a takedown secure the 4-2 decision for ODU.
Blaize Cabell was looking to widen the gap on Matt Tourdot of Old Dominion after beating him 7-4 at the Panthers’ last dual. He earned another decision, winning 8-3. His third-place finish made him the seventh Panther to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.