College Wrestling News

#11 Michigan Seeks In-State Supremacy Against Central Michigan and Michigan State

Michigan vs. Central Michigan and Michigan State

That’s what they’re singing in Ann Arbor and throughout Cliff Keen Arena as Joe McFarland’s team has won three consecutive duals, including two against ranked opponents, capped by an upset of sixth-ranked Lehigh on Sunday afternoon.

The victories have moved Michigan all the way up to number 11 in the latest team rankings and the Wolverines seem to be hitting their stride at the right time as we edge nearer to the conference and NCAA tournaments in March.

Last Friday night Michigan picked up a 19-13 victory over visiting conference foe, Rutgers. It then followed that up with a comprehensive team performance to top the Mountain Hawks, 24-13, including big upsets by Sal Profaci at 141 and Malik Amine at 149 over ranked wrestlers Randy Cruz and Laike Gardner.

McFarland’s Wolverines now head on the road for a big weekend. They won’t stray far from home, however,  as Michigan travels to Mount Pleasant on Thursday to take on the 18th-ranked Chippewas of Central Michigan and then heads to East Lansing to square off with Michigan State as the Spartans attempt to turn their fortunes around.

The dual against the Chips should be a doozy and starts off with a highly anticipated contest of ranked wrestlers at 125. Following a string of injuries at 125, including one to starter Austin Assad, Michigan has dusted off redshirt senior Connor Youtsey and the two-time All-American has performed dutifully. Youtsey is 2-1 on the year, ranked 17th, and most recently wrestled fifth-ranked Darian Cruz (Lehigh) to a 4-2 loss.

He’ll square off with 19th-ranked Brent Fleetwood of Central Michigan. Fleetwood is 16-7 in his junior season and holds a recent victory over previously ranked Barlow McGhee (Missouri). Fleetwood and Youtsey should whet the appetite of what will surely be a lively Chippewas crowd and if Fleetwood could pull the upset it would serve notice to a Wolverines team that is wrestling as well as any in the country that they are in for a fight.

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