The Kent State wrestling team is in first place in the Mid-America Conference after defeating Central Michigan 22-13 Sunday afternoon at the M.A.C. Center.


The win puts the Golden Flashes in position to take the MAC regular season title with its first home victory over the Chippewas since 1996. Central has won 70 of its last 73 conference dual matches.


One of the heroes for the Golden Flashes was Keith Witt. The junior defeated Chad Friend 3-1 with a last-second takedown in the 197-pound match, with Kent leading 16-13.


“I never want to take down to the last second. But that’s the way it’s happened to me since I bumped up to 197. That’s my best shot, so I was pretty confident in it,” Witt said.


The final match of the day needed two sudden victory periods and two tiebreaker go-arounds before senior heavyweight Brendan Barlow earned a 5-second riding time advantage over Peter Sturgeon for a 4-3 victory.


“I thought Brendan was the more aggressive wrestler today and he deserved to win,” said Kent coach Jim Andrassy, who had just his second victory over CMU in nine seasons as head coach.


The first four matches were taken by Kent State, as Nic Bedelyon won at 125 pounds 4-2; Steve Mitcheff fought hard to win a 10-9 victory at 133; Tyler Small won 6-0 at 141; and Ian Miller won by major decision, 13-5, in the 149-pound match.


The other winner for Kent State was Brandonn Johnson who was 3-1 in the 174-pound weight class.


The Golden Flashes return to the mat in MAC action Friday at Buffalo.


— Staff report