While the most important part of the wrestling season still remains, Michigan seniors Kyle Smith and A.J. Grant made it clear yesterday that they were ready to move on to other things after the season.

“It’ll be nice to be done,” Grant said. “Everyone says, ‘We wish you would still do it’ and ‘You’re going to miss it.’ But we’ll see if I miss it or not.

“I’m not wrestling anymore. I’m done.”

Smith understands how Grant feels.

“It’s been a great experience,” the future law student said. “I’m going to miss it a lot.

“But I think I’m done wrestling. My body is a little sore.”

Although the two veterans may be worn out by a career of wrestling, they showed this weekend that they still have a little gas in the tank.

Smith, the fifth year senior, chose Senior Day to regain his All-American form, and Michigan wrestling coach Joe McFarland couldn’t be more thrilled.

“That’s the Kyle Smith I know and love,” McFarland said. “When he wrestles hard through all different positions for seven minutes, he’s really tough. I’d like to see him come out at the end of the year the way he did tonight.”

The 197-pounder started the weekend strong against Penn State’s Ryan Cummins on Saturday. All season long, McFarland had been telling Smith to be more aggressive, and against Cummins, he followed the coach’s orders.

Smith battled Cummins from the start of the first period, and when he finally got the takedown, he didn’t let up. With just six seconds left in the period, Smith got him on his back for the pin.

Yesterday, No. 17 Smith closed out his wrestling career at Cliff Keen Arena with a dominating 11-6 win over No. 8 Anton Talamantes. Smith was aggressive from the start again and scored two quick takedowns in the first period. He was feisty throughout the match, and clinched the win with a pair of takedowns in the third period.

The wrestling season can often become a grind, and at times it has appeared to be just that for Smith. He opened the season ranked as high as fourth, but has struggled since then. But he looked strong and fit this weekend, and with a good finish at Big Tens and Nationals, his rough start will be forgotten.

Grant, Michigan’s highest ranked and most consistent wrestler this season, kept his momentum going this weekend.

Grant, ranked fourth, opened up the weekend with a 12-4 major decision over Penn State’s Adam Smith at 125 pounds. Grant scored two quick takedowns in the first period and controlled the match the rest of the way.

Grant opened up the Wolverines’ match against Ohio State and appeared to be revved up after being honored for Senior Day. In a wild first period against Nathan Costello, Grant collected six takedowns and a two-point near fall. But Costello countered with a reversal and a three-point near fall to keep it close at 15-10. From then on Grant regained control and won a technical decision, 26-11.

Grant’s record is now at 28-5, and he hopes he can finish his Michigan career strong at Big Tens and Nationals.

“Everyone wants to go out with a big bang,” Grant said. “It’s nice to go out being an All-American. I got a chance. I’m up at four now. Hopefully I’ll end up at least four or higher.”

Fifth-year senior Mike Kulczycki was also honored yesterday. Kulczycki, an All-American two years ago, has been out since Feb. 1 with an ankle injury. Once Kulczycki gets healthy, he and redshirt junior Pat Owen will have a wrestle-off at 165 pounds.

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