Monarch Wrestling Earns 500th Program Win
The Monarchs earned their 500th program win, and head coach Steve Martin became Old Dominion’s second winningest coach with an electrifying 20-19 criteria win over Northern Illinois Friday night.
Starting off the night at 133 Northern Illinois won the first match with a 15-4 major decision over ODU’s Josh Markham, but the Monarch’s No. 16 Chris Mecate responded with an impressive 2-0 victory over No. 15 Steve Bleise. No. 8 Alexander Richardson followed with an 11-5 decision to put the monarchs up 6-4.
“I felt good on my feet, I had a lot of good motion… [This win] showed me that I can compete for the whole seven minutes,” Richardson said. “I’m feeling great, and just training for that national title.”
At 157 the Huskies scored a decision, but freshman Seldon Wright regained the Monarch’s lead with a 7-6 decision, putting ODU up 9-7. After the Huskies scored a pin at 174, ODU’s No. 11 Jack Dechow rallied for a 10-2 major decision giving the Monarchs the bonus points needed to tie the match at 13-13.
“He, for the first time, looked ‘on’,” Martin said of Dechow. “He had a lot of good motion… He’s getting his riding time down, which is what cost him a placing and winning a national title last year, and he’s figured that part out.”
NIU’s No. 17 Shawn Scott responded with a third period pin at 197 giving the Huskies a 6-point lead going into the final two matches. Austin Coburn, who is now 5-1 since bumping up to the heavyweight division, scored a first period takedown and put the Monarchs in a position to win with a 4-2 decision over NIU’s Arthur Bunce.
“I’m having fun at heavyweight, and these guys that are bigger than me I’m able to move faster than them,” Coburn said. “I got the [takedown] and rode him out for a minute, and that was all I needed.”
Brandon Jeske’s takedown in the final seconds of the match gave him a 3-1 win and secured a Monarch victory.
The win was ODU’s first MAC win of the year, their 500th program win, which moved Martin into second on the all-time wins list for coaches, but Martin wasn’t concerned with any of that.
“I guess that’s alright for the media or whatever,” Martin said of the milestones. “I’m glad, more so, that in our performance tonight we had people who wrestled the whole time. That’s what you have to do at the end of the year. The conference tournament in two weeks and national tournament in five weeks is really what my goals have been set on the whole year.”
For the full wrestling schedule, visit the ODU athletics website.
Old Dominion 20, Northern Illinois 19
133: Austin Eicher (NIU) maj. Josh Markham (ODU), 15-4
141: #16 Chris Mecate (ODU) dec. #15 Steve Bleise (NIU), 2-0
149: #8 Alexander Richardson (ODU) dec. Gabe Morse (NIU), 11-5
157: Andrew Morse (NIU) dec. Austin Eads (ODU), 3-0
165: Seldon Wright (ODU) dec. Shaun’Qae McMurtry (NIU), 7-6
174: Trace Engelkes (NIU) pin Terrell Forbes (ODU), 6:15
184: #11 Jack Dechow (ODU) maj. Quinton Rosser (NIU), 10-2
197: #17 Shawn Scott (NIU) pin Kaleab Fetahi (ODU) 6:21
285: Austin Coburn (ODU) dec. Arthur Bunce (NIU), 4-2
125: Brandon Jeske (ODU) dec. Alijah Jeffery (NIU), 3-1