Spartans Rally to Defeat Cleveland State as Minkel Wins Final Career Dual
Pins by Mitch Rogaliner and Javier Gasca spark victory over the Vikings.
CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Michigan State wrestling team rallied from an 11-3 deficit to defeat Cleveland State Friday night at Woodling Gym, 21-17, in the final dual of MSU head coach Tom Minkel’s career. Minkel, who is in his 25th year at the helm of the program, is retiring following the 2015-16 season.
“It was a pretty emotional win for us as a team,” said Minkel. “I know going into the dual our guys very much wanted to get a win and to wrestle well, and it was evident both before and during the dual they were all pretty pumped up to get the win. I know they knew that it meant a lot to me, and it meant a lot to them I think to go out with a win in my last dual as their coach. It was a tough dual – Cleveland State has a pretty tough team – but they got it done, and I’m enormously proud of them. It was a great way to wrap up the dual meet season.”
Each team won five matches in the back-and-forth dual, but pins by 125-pounder Mitch Rogaliner and 141-pounder Javier Gasca proved to be the difference. With the Spartans trailing 11-3 after the first four bouts, Rogaliner’s fall in just 1:03 against John Martin sparked the Spartan comeback.
Garth Yenter held off Alfredo Gray in the final seconds at 133 pounds to record an 8-7 decision, followed by Gasca’s first-period pin (2:44) over Mike Carlone that put MSU on top, 18-11. Gasca improved to 19-5 on the season and finished 9-2 in dual meets.
“Mitch and Javier both just went out on a mission,” remarked Minkel. “There was no, ‘just win the match first,’ they went out to get a fall. Those two falls were huge – we don’t win the dual without them. They really stepped it up.”
The Vikings (7-8) trimmed their deficit to 18-14 with two matches to go following Nick Montgomery’s 6-2 decision against Kaelan Richards at 149 pounds, but Mark Bozzo clinched the victory for the Spartans (2-14) with a 4-1 triumph over Chas Busz at 157.
CSU’s Nathan Wynkoop closed the dual with a 6-1 win over Dean Vettese at 165 pounds.
Red-shirt freshman Shwan Shadaia also picked up three points for MSU with his 3-1 decision in the 184-pound match against Xavier Dye.
With the dual season now complete, the Spartans will now train for the upcoming Big Ten Championships, which are being held in Iowa City on March 5-6.
Michigan State 21, Cleveland State 17
174: Gabe Stark (CSU) dec. Travis Curley (MSU), 7-2. CSU, 3-0
184: Shwan Shadaia (MSU) dec. Xavier Dye (CSU), 3-1. Tied, 3-3
197: Sam Wheeler (CSU) major dec. Jacob Cooper (MSU), 13-5. CSU, 7-3
HWT: Riley Shaw (CSU) major dec. Dimitrus Renfroe (MSU), 13-2. CSU, 11-3
125: Mitch Rogaliner (MSU) pinned John Martin (CSU), 1:03. CSU, 11-9
133: Garth Yenter (MSU) dec. Alfredo Gray (CSU), 8-7. MSU, 12-11
141: Javier Gasca (MSU) pinned Mike Carlone (CSU), 2:44. MSU, 18-11
149: Nick Montgomery (CSU) dec. Kaelan Richards (MSU), 6-2. MSU, 18-14
157: Mark Bozzo (MSU) dec. Chas Busz (CSU), 4-1. MSU, 21-14
165: Nathan Wynkoop (CSU) dec. Dean Vettese (MSU), 6-1. MSU wins, 21-17