DES MOINES, Iowa — The 2013 NCAA Wrestling Championships are less than 24 hours away.
Central Michigan’s eight wrestlers and coaching staff arrived in Des Moines Tuesday night and made its first appearance in Wells Fargo Arena Wednesday afternoon. The Chippewas worked out for about 90 minutes before returning to the team’s headquarters.
“Our guys are ready to go,” head coach Tom Borrelli said. “This is another opportunity in their minds. We weren’t too happy about how things went at the MAC Tournament and some guys have an opportunity to redeem themselves. We’re going to have to wrestle well and have some major upsets. Our guys are capable of it and I don’t think there is anyone at the tournament that is better than us if we wrestle up to our potential.”
Three seniors lead the Chippewas as returning All-Americans in Ben Bennett (184 pounds), Scotti Sentes (133 pounds) and Jarod Trice (heavyweight). Senior Donnie Corby (149 pounds) will be making his third appearance, while sophomore Mike Ottinger is appearing in his second-straight tournament.
“It was nice to get a hard drill in and get the bus ride out of me,” Ottinger said. “I’m looking forward to getting out there and wrestling and making sure I’m ready to go. I’m focused on one match at a time.”
A trio of wrestlers will be making their first NCAA Championships appearance in senior Christian Cullinan (125 pounds), junior Craig Kelliher (174 pounds) and redshirt freshman Lucas Smith (157 pounds).
The first round of competition beings at noon Eastern Time on Thursday. ESPN3.com will stream both the afternoon and evening sessions of competition on Thursday.
The official CMU Wrestling Facebook and Twitter pages will be updated continuously throughout the tournament, and complete recaps and interviews will be posted on CMUChippewas.com following each session.