Missouri wrestling captures MAC title

COLUMBIA — It’s a year of firsts for the Mid-American Conference when it comes to wrestling.

In the league for the first time, the Missouri Tigers captured their first MAC title Sunday.

And it marked the first time since 2001 the Central Michigan Chippewas were not the champions of the MAC.

Missouri racked up 136 points to claim the title, as Central Michigan was next with 88. They were followed by Northern Iowa (83), Kent State (82), Northern Illinois and Ohio (63.5), Buffalo (51.5) and Eastern Michigan (44.5).

Six Missouri starters advanced to the championship round in their respective weight classes, with four claiming conference titles, tying the record of four set last season at the Big 12 Championships.

Winning titles for the Tigers were Alan Waters (125 pounds), Nathan McCormick (133), Drake Houdashelt (157) and Dom Bradley (hwt.).

Missouri took second place at 157 with Kyle Bradley and at 197 pounds with Brent Haynes.

Four other Tigers advanced to third-place matches, with Nicholas Hucke (141), Todd Porter (174) and Mike Larson (184) all winning. Zach Toal (165) lost to take fourth.

After Sunday’s action, the Tigers have qualified eight of their 10 starters for the NCAA Championships. The remaining two, Hucke and Toal, have a chance to qualify through a wildcard selection. Last season, Missouri was the only program in the nation to qualify all 10 of its starters for nationals.

The Championships run March 21-23 in Des Moines, Iowa. The wildcard qualifiers, along with seedings and brackets, will be announced this wee.

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