Northern Iowa takes day one lead at MAC Championships

By Kyle Bratke | March 08, 2014, 9:38 p.m. (ET)
 UNI's Joe Colon advances to the 133 pound finals of
the 2014 MAC Championships. Mark Lundy Photo.

The fifth ranked team in the nation, Northern Iowa Panthers stormed out to a day one lead at the 2014 MAC Championships in Kent, Ohio.

Northern Iowa accumulated 97 points to lead second place Missouri by 9.5 points heading into the second stanza of the MAC Championships on Sunday.

Five wrestlers paved their way to the finals for UNI as Dylan Peters (125 lbs.), Joe Colon (133 lbs.), Joey Lazor (141 lbs.), Cooper Moore (165 lbs.), and Ryan Loder (184 lbs.) all earned semi-final victories Saturday evening.

 In one of the most exciting matches of the day Joey Lazor upset Central Michigan’s No. 2 seed Zach Horan 8-6 in the 141 pound semi-finals. Lazor will face Chris Mecate of Old Dominion for the MAC crown.

Currently in third place in the team race, Ohio placed four wrestlers in the finals. Harrison Hightower (165 lbs.), Cody Walters (174 lbs.), Phil Wellington (197 lbs.), and Jeremy Johnson (285 lbs.), all reached the finals for the bobcats. Walters avenged a loss from earlier in the year when he defeated Central Michigans Mike Ottinger 3-2 in TB 2. 

Also sending four wrestlers to the finals was the fourth place squad from Old Dominion. Chris Mecate (141 lbs.), Alexander Richards (149 lbs.), Billy Curling (174 lbs.), and Jack Dechow (184 lbs.) reached the finals for the Monarchs. For the second time this year Alexander Richardson defeated No. 1 seed Tywan Claxton of Ohio to reach the finals to set up a showdown with the nation’s top ranked 149 pound wrestler Drake Houdashelt of Missouri. 

Missouri boasts three finalists in the 2014 MAC Championships in Drake Houdashelt (149 lbs.) J'Den Cox (197 lbs.), and Devin Mellon (285 lbs.). With Cox’s 11-1 major decision semi-final win over Shawn Scott of Northern Illinois, the grudge match is set with Ohio's Phil Wellington who defeated the freshman phenom back in December. 

Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Kent State, Northern Illinois, Buffalo round out 5th through 9th. 

Action gets back underway tomorrow at 12:00 p.m. EST with the consolation semis. The championship finals begin at 1:20 p.m. EST.

Updated brackets and results can be found on

Team Standings
1. Northern Iowa 97.0
2. Missouri 89.5
3. Ohio 81
4. Old Dominion 79
5. Central Michigan 65.5
6. Eastern Michigan 50
7. Kent State 48
8. Northern Illinois 31.5
9. Buffalo 10.5

Finals Matchups

125 lbs.
Dylan Peters (Northern Iowa) vs. Jared Germaine (Eastern Michigan

133 lbs.
Joe Colon (Northern Iowa) vs. Joe Roth (Central Michigan)

141 lbs.
Chris Mecate (Old Dominion) vs. Joey Lazor (Northern Iowa)

149 lbs.
Alexander Richardson (Old Dominion) vs. Drake Houdashelt (Missouri)

157 lbs.
Ian Miller (Kent State) vs. Luke Smith (Central Michigan)

165 lbs.
Cooper Moore (Northern Iowa) vs. Harrison Hightower (Ohio)

174 lbs.
Billy Curling (Old Dominion) vs. Cody Walters (Ohio)

184 lbs.
Jack Dechow (Old Dominion) vs. Ryan Loder (Northern Iowa)

197 lbs.
Phillip Wellington (Ohio) vs. J’Den Cox (Missouri)

285 lbs.
Jeremy Johnson (Ohio) vs. Devin Mellon (Missouri)

Semi-Final Results

125 lbs.
Dylan Peters (Northern Iowa) dec Corey Keener (Central Michigan) 11-6 SV1
Jared Germaine (Eastern Michigan) fall Brandon Jeske (Old Dominion) 3:47

133 lbs.
Joe Colon (Northern Iowa) maj dec Matt Manley (Missouri) 13-5
Joe Roth (Central Michigan) maj dec Vincent Pizzuto (Eastern Michigan) 8-3

141 lbs.
Chris Mecate (Old Dominion) dec Lavion Mayes (Missouri) 4-3
Joey Lazor (Northern Iowa) dec Zach Horan (Central Michigan) 8-6

149 lbs.
Alexander Richardson (Old Dominion) dec Tywon Claxton (Ohio) 5-3
Drake Houdashelt (Missouri) maj dec Michael Depalma (Kent State) 8-0

157 lbs.
Ian Miller (Kent State) dec Tristan Warner (Old Dominion) 8-2
Luke Smith (Central Michigan) dec Joseph LaValle (Missouri)

165 lbs.
Cooper Moore (Northern Iowa) maj dec Nick Becker (Central Michigan) 11-2
Harrison Hightower (Ohio) fall Shaun’Qae McMurtry (Northern Illinois) 4:36

174 lbs.
Billy Curling (Old Dominion) dec Cody Caldwell (Northern Iowa) 6-1
Cody Walters (Ohio) dec Mike Ottinger (Central Michigan) 3-2 SV1

184 lbs.
Jack Dechow (Old Dominion) dec Cody Johnston (Missouri) 8-3
Ryan Loder (Northern Iowa) maj dec Philip Joseph (Eastern Michigan) 12-3

197 lbs.
Phillip Wellington (Ohio) dec Cole Baxter (Kent State) 8-4
J’Den Cox (Missouri) maj dec Shawn Scott (Northern Illinois) 11-1

285 lbs.
Jeremy Johnson (Ohio) dec Blaize Cabell (Northern Iowa) 3-2
Devin Mellon (Missouri) dec Matt Tourdot (Old Dominion) 4-1