Championships Homepage | Championships Pre-Seeds
CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Cleveland State University wrestling team will look to put all the pieces together this weekend as the squad heads to the Eastern Wrestling League Championships.
The day-long event will take place this Saturday, March 4, at Bloomsburg's Nelson Field House. The opening session will begin at 10:00 a.m. while the finals session will commence at 6:00 p.m. Live video of the finals session will be available for free via Bloomsburg's BUTV. Live results of the entire competition will be available via TrackWrestling. Links to the championships homepage and the championships pre-seeds are located at the top of this article.
The champion of each weight class will automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships later this month. The EWL also secured seven additional automatic qualifying spots based on its athletes' regular-season performance. The top three finishers at 125 pounds at Saturday's Championships will qualify for NCAA's while the League has two automatic qualifying spots at the following weights: 133, 141, 149, 165 and 285.
Sophomore Evan Cheek and redshirt junior Nick Corba enter the event with what appear to be the Vikings' best shot, based on the pre-seeds, to bring an individual EWL title back to Cleveland for a third consecutive season.
Cheek owns a team-leading 24 wins, all at 141 pounds, and also leads the squad in a variety of other categories, including dual wins (9), dual points earned (39) and technical falls (7). Cheek posted a team-leading 5-1 record in EWL action, the best mark by a Viking this season. He also is 12-0 this season in matches ending in falls or technical falls. At last year's EWL Championships, Cheek went 3-1 and twice upset the No. 2 seed to finish in third place at 133 pounds.
Corba has racked up 21 wins on the campaign, all at 184 pounds, and has notched 13 bonus-point victories this season. Corba recently moved into Intermat's Top 20 at his weight class and also sits 19th in the latest RPI rankings released by the NCAA. He has won nine of his past 10 matches, all coming against Division I foes, a stretch that included a win over Gardner-Webb's Hunter Gamble, who was ranked 16th in the latest RPI. Corba did not compete at last year's EWL meet as he was redshirting, but he owns four victories over two League Championship meets.
Redshirt junior John Martin will bring a veteran presence to the mat for the Vikings. He has served as CSU's starter at 125 pounds for the second half of the season and competed in every EWL dual this season. Martin has competed at the EWL Championships in two of the prior three seasons and scored 27 points in his pair of bouts in last year's event.
All seven remaining Vikings projected to enter the event will be competing at it for the first time, including three true freshmen and a redshirt freshman.
Redshirt sophomore Andrew Coghill (133) and sophomores Sam Matzek (149) and John Vaughn (165) all had a year of collegiate action prior to the current season. Coghill and Matzek both moved into the Cleveland State lineup recently while Vaughn has competed in every dual this season at his weight class and owns 11 wins on the campaign.
Similar to Coghill and Matzek, redshirt freshman Ryan Montgomery just recently moved into the lineup at 157 pounds and looks likely to compete there this weekend.
On the other hand, true freshmen Michael Furbee (285), Collin Kelly (197) and Devon Pingel (174) have each been starters throughout this entire season for the Vikings. Pingel leads all rookies in wins, and is third on the team overall, with 17 victories this season. He is tied for the team lead with six pins and also owns the quickest pin on the season (0:10).
Cleveland State has finished fourth at the League Championships in each of the past two seasons. CSU had a champion, two runners-up, two third-place finishers and a fourth-place finisher at last year's event, helping the Vikings post 55 points overall.