Ranked No. 12 at 141 lbs in the latest InterMat poll, redshirt junior Cole Mattin is no stranger to quick victories. His defeat of Columbia’s Kai Owen on Sunday proved to be no exception. Mattin pinned Owen in 1:08, further building off wins in his previous two matches.
Buoyed by Mattin,the Michigan wrestling team led the Lions 15-0 after the first three matches, an early trend that paved the way for its eventual 38-6 win.
The Wolverines’ impressive night resulted from wins across the board, and while they dominated throughout, it was that quick start that set the tone. Sitting at 3-0, they still have plenty of time to work on continuing this success throughout the season.
Michigan coach Sean Bormet attributes this success to the team’s hard work in practice, and doesn’t see the success deterring any time soon.
“This team we have … it’s a really hard working team,” Bormet said. “They trained extremely hard with a ton of consistency this fall, and it’s a team that’s in really great shape and that hard work pays off.”
That hard work did pay off in their victory against Columbia, notching only one loss to the Lions. Columbia’s lone victory was a very close match, while Michigan’s wins were a breeze. As Mattin’s early pin in the third match set the tone for continued victories for the Wolverines, the match he followed also played a role in setting the tone.
Michigan redshirt sophomore No. 5 Dylan Ragusin defeated Columbia’s Boris Witmer at 133 pounds with multiple two point takedowns and one four point takedown. Witmer’s only points were one-point escapes, a telling sign of Ragusin’s dominance.
While Mattin’s quick pin in the match following Ragusin’s victory asserted the Wolverines’ authority, Mattin attributed some of his success to the match prior to him.
“When I follow guys like Dylan it’s kind of easy to get it going,” Mattin said. “I’m ready for a fight (even) if it ends early so it’s just (about) going out there and just (getting after it).”
Mattin also went out with a plan that allowed for his quick, successful pin. The performance prior to his created a platform for success, and his resulting performance did the same for the following matches. His mindset stepping onto the mat was clear.
“Right away I just want to get my offense going,” Mattin said. “(Owen) presented me a situation (that) I just kind of took advantage of and I wanted to end it early for the crowd (which was getting) kind of excited. It was awesome.”
Bormet was also complimentary of Mattin’s successful execution of his plan. He recognized the impact of the first two matches on the team’s energy, which only increased after Mattin’s quick pin.
“I honestly think the way those first three weights started out, they fed one right into the next,” Bormet said. “Kurt McHenry, a lot of points on the board, scoring in all positions. Dylan Ragusin, a totally dominant performance … he executed it perfectly.”
Without multiple dominant performances early on, the Wolverines wouldn’t have had such quick success in their 38-6 win over Columbia. It created confidence for the next wrestlers and put them at ease, taking off some of the inherent pressure of the match.
Although it’s still early in the season, such a win can be telling of the team’s strengths. If Michigan can build off of these strengths, it’s only going to get better as the season progresses.
And as the season progresses, quick starts will continue to be key.