So far, the Michigan wrestling team’s season could simply be described as dominant, emerging from its first three duals with a combined score of 87-24.
As they often have this season, the Wolverines took the lead early and never looked back. And this time, Michigan did so against ranked competition.
On Friday night, No. 5 Michigan (4-0 overall) soundly defeated No. 25 Cal Poly (3-4), 30-11, winning seven of the 10 matches to mark the Wolverines’ largest margin of victory against a ranked opponent this season.
“The west coast trip was a good opportunity to get back into competition,” Michigan coach Sean Bormet said. “We’re just looking to build week to week … (And continuing) to build and improve.”
And Michigan’s success wouldn’t have been possible without a strong start in its first two matches.
At 125 pounds, graduate Jack Medley opened the night with a tight 3-2 decision victory for the Wolverines after a late takedown in the first period that put him up 2-1. He then broke free for an impressive escape point in the second to extend his lead, and in the third, he relied upon his takedown defense to earn the win for Michigan, putting it up 3-0 in the meet.
At 133 pounds, No. 5 redshirt sophomore Dylan Ragusin extended the lead to 9-0. After a fast-paced opening two minutes where Ragusin managed two takedowns. Countering his opponent’s takedown attempt, he quickly pinned his shoulders to the mat for the six-point score. In under 10 minutes, the Wolverines had climbed out to a significant lead.
“The energy and intensity we start the dual with is always important (to) get that momentum,” Bormet said. “And … just keep that momentum rolling from weight to weight.”
No. 20 149-pound redshirt freshman Chance Lamer was unable to gain a similar advantage, though. Lamer trailed after a takedown and a reversal by No. 18 Dom Demas, putting him down 4-2 heading into the second period.
And in that period, Lamer showed his grit.
The redshirt freshman utilized an escape to narrow his opponent’s lead to one before a harsh takedown deemed his opponent unable to continue. Lamer was crowned the winner by injury default and continued Michigan’s strong slew of performances.
“He’s having an outstanding freshman season,” Bormet said. “He’s a great competitor … He’s great in all positions (and) really capable of scoring a lot of points.”
The Wolverines’ night wasn’t flawless, however. No. 20 141-pound redshirt junior Cole Mattin and 174-pound redshirt sophomore Joseph Walker both fell for the first time in dual competition this season due to decision losses. 197-pound redshirt sophomore Brendan Yatooma was dominated en route to a technical fall loss. In those contests, the absences of graduated wrestlers Stevan Micic, Logan Massa and Pat Brucki were evident, with the younger talents still attempting to fill the role left behind by their former teammates.
But in the meet’s final bout, the Wolverines found their identity again. At heavyweight, No. 2 fifth-year senior Mason Parris dominated Trevor Tinker, scoring two takedowns and pinning him before the first period was over, securing the final six points toward the Michigan victory. In the victory, Parris scored his seventh pin and 14th-straight win to begin the season.
“From freshman year on, (Mason) has been a great competitor and leader,” Bormet said. “He’s always a guy just really focused on bonus points and team points. He’s got a great team mindset.”
And ahead of Big Ten competition starting next weekend, Parris’s point-getting performances and the team’s overall dominance are just what the Wolverines need.