MOUNT PLEASANT, MI – Bryan Lantry won his first two matches to advance tomorrow's championship bout to highlight the opening day of action for the University at Buffalo wrestling team at the Mid-American Conference Championships hosted by Central Michigan on Saturday.
Lantry pinned Old Dominion's Caleb Richardson in the third period to win his opening bout and advance to the semifinals. In the semifinals, Lantry faced Cameron Kelly – an opponent he had never beaten before in his career (0-5 all time). This time is was all Lantry as the redshirt-junior cruised to a 15-3 major decision for the second straight year. In tomorrow's final, Lantry will have a rematch with Missouri's John Erneste whom he lost to in the finals a season ago.
At 125, Kyle Akins got off to a great start with a third-period pin of Kent State's Jake Ferri in his first match in the day. However, Akins dropped a 3-1 decision to NIU's Brock Hudkins in the semifinals.
It was a disappointing day for heavyweight Jake Gunning. The defending MAC Champion was able to win his opening match over Missouri's Wyatt Koelling in overtime to advance to the semifinals. However, in the semis, Gunning dropped a 2-1 overtime decision to Central Michigan's Matt Stencel. With three allotments, Gunning will have to take third place tomorrow to return to the NCAA Tournament.
At 141, Jason Estevez lost his opening match, a 3-1 decision, to Central Michigan's Mason Smith. But the senior rebounded to win his first match in the wrestlebacks with a pin of Old Dominion's Alex Madrigal.
At 165, Noah Grover dropped his opening bout to Eastern Michigan's Zachary Carson, 5-2. However, the UB freshman earned a 10-4 decision over NIU's Andrew Scott to advance to Sunday.
Brett Perry also advanced to Sunday at 184 lbs. The redshirt-junior lost a 12-10 decision in his first match to Northern Illinois' Bryce Gorman. In his first match in the wrestlebacks, Perry defeated Kent State's Colin McCracken – an 8-1 decision.
At 197, Joe Ariola lost his opening match to Eastern Michigan's Derek Hillman, 11-5. However, the senior earned a 5-3 decision over Old Dominion's Noah Bushman in his first match of the wrestlebacks to advance to Sunday.
Sunday's action starts at 11:30 am with the consolation semifinals.