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Missouri edges Northern Iowa to successfully defend its MAC mat title

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The original wrestling programs within the Mid-American Conference may now be wishing they hadn’t expanded.

The three programs welcomed to the MAC over the past couple years -- University of Missouri, University of Northern Iowa, and Old Dominion – took the top three places in the team standings at the 2014 MAC Wrestling Championships at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio Sunday afternoon.

Missouri, which won the 2013 MAC crown in its first year in the conference, edged out Northern Iowa in the team title race, 118.5 points to 116… with Old Dominion coming in third, with 97 points.

Two Mizzou Tigers left northeast Ohio with MAC titles: Drake Houdashelt, who successfully defended his 149-pound championship, and, at 197, J’Den Cox.

Four UNI Panthers grabbed conference crowns, including the first three to take to the mat, starting with Dylan Peters at 125, followed by Joe Colon at 133, and Joey Lazor, repeating as champ at 141… followed by Cooper Moore at 165 pounds.

Old Dominion had four finalists, but only one – Jack Dechow – was crowned champ, at 184.

Among the long-standing members of the MAC, Ohio University placed highest, coming in fourth in the team title battle, with 94.5 points. Winning individual titles for the Bobcats were Cody Walters at 174, and heavyweight Jeremy Johnson.

To the delight of the home crowd, Kent State’s Ian Miller won the 157-pound title.

The MAC has 41 automatic qualifiers for the 2014 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, which take place March 20-22 at Oklahoma City.

Match Results -- Championship Finals

  • 125: Dylan Peters (Northern Iowa) dec. Jared Germaine (Eastern Mich.), 10-7
  • 133: Joe Colon (Northern Iowa) dec. Joe Roth (Central Mich.), 10-3
  • 141: Joey Lazor (Northern Iowa) pinned Chris Mecate (Old Dominion), 3:10
  • 149: Drake Houdashelt (Missouri) dec. Alexander Richardson (Old Dominion), 3-1, SV1
  • 157: Ian Miller (Kent State) dec. Luke Smith (Central Mich.), 9-4
  • 165: Cooper Moore (Missouri) dec. Harrison Hightower (Ohio), 11-5
  • 174: Cody Walters (Ohio) dec. Billy Curling (Old Dominion), 4-2
  • 184: Jack Dechow (Old Dominion) dec. Ryan Loder (Northern Iowa), 4-2. SV1
  • 197: J’Den Fox (Missouri) maj. dec. Phillip Wellington (Ohio), 10-1
  • Hwt: Jeremy Johnson (Ohio) dec. Devin Mellon (Missouri), 8-3

Final Team Standings:

  1. Missouri, 118.5 team points
  2. Northern Iowa, 116
  3. Old Dominion, 97
  4. Ohio, 94.5
  5. Central Michigan, 85.5
  6. Kent State, 67
  7. Eastern Michigan, 57.5
  8. Northern Illinois, 50
  9. Buffalo, 12.5

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