November 5, 2016

Three Claim Eastern Michigan Open Titles


Nov. 5, 2016

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YPSILANTI, Mich. — The 2016-17 Ohio State wrestling season is underway, and already Micah Jordan, Kollin Moore and Luke Pletcher appear to be in midseason form. Jordan, Pletcher and Moore took home titles at the Eastern Michigan Open on Saturday afternoon in Ypsilanti, Mich. In all, six different Buckeyes finished in the top three of their respective weight classes.

Champions: Jordan (149), Pletcher (133), Moore (197)
Second Place: Fitzgerald (133)
Third Place: Burcher (165), Rozema (184)
Sixth Place: Kresevic (165)
Eighth Place: Williams (174), Traub (285)

Jordan, who had just one loss last year during the regular season last year and was one match short of earning All-America honors, moved up from 141 to 149 pounds this year and didn’t miss a beat in his first time out. He racked up 79 points in his first fourth matches — all technical fall wins — to advance to the finals. That included wins of 23-6, 22-4, 16-0 and 18-3. In the finals, Jordan won by decision over returning All-American Justin Oliver of Central Michigan, 15-7. On the day, Jordan averaged 18.8 points per match.

Wrestling unattached, Pletcher, the nation’s No. 2 ranked recruit at 132 lbs. from Greater Latrobe High School in Pennsylvania, started off strong with a 20-7 major decision over Cory Lester of Michigan in the second round (he received a first-round bye). Next, he dispatched of Mike Labry of Ashland in the quarterfinals, 10-3, and then punched his ticket to the finals with a 4-1 decision over Mario Guillen of Ohio in the semifinals. Pletcher won by medical forfeit over classmate Brenden Fitzgerald in the finals.

Also wrestling unattached, three of Fitzgerald’s four wins came via falls. In the opening round, it took him 3:16 to pin Corey Keener of Central Michigan. He then followed that up with a hard-fought 6-4 decision over Giuseppe Penzone of Tiffin in the next round and then needed just 59 seconds to pin Matt Santos of Michigan State in the quarterfinals. Fitzgerald completed his day by winning in 1:06 by fall over Stevan Micic of Michigan in the semifinals.

Coming off a summer that saw him make the Junior World Team, Moore rolled to the 197 lb. title thanks to four wins in which he should double digit points. In started with a 21-5 technical fall over Landon Pelham of Central Michigan and then a 15-7 major decision against Jake Kleimola on Indiana. In the semifinals, he topped CMU’s Austin Severn (12-6) before finishing his day off with an 11-6 win over Riley Lefever of Wabash. Moore in ranked No. 16 nationally by InterMat.

Two Buckeyes recovered from tough semifinal losses to take third place — Jack Rozema (184 lbs.) and Cody Burcher (165 lbs.). Burcher was 3-1 on the day with two pins while Rozema was also 3-1, winning all three of his bouts by decision.

Ohio State sent 25 wrestlers to the EMU Open, won 47 matches and 28 of those were by bonus points (59 percent). That included 10 pins, three of which came from Fitzgerald, tied for the most of anyone at the open.

Ohio State will compete next weekend in the ASICS/Journeymen Classic in Troy, N.Y. at Hudson Valley Community College.