MOUNT PLEASANT, MI – Bryan Lantry advanced to the finals of the Mid-American Conference Wrestling Championships on Sunday for the second straight season and for the second straight season faced off against Missouri's John Erneste for the 133-lb. title. Unfortunately, for the second straight season, Erneste earned the victory, a 4-2 decision. Despite the loss, Lantry still qualified for the NCAA Championships to become just the fifth wrestler in school history to qualify three times.
Jake Gunning also had an opportunity to qualify for the NCAAs as he won his first match on Sunday, a 5-2 decision over Northern Illinois' Caleb Gossett, to earn a spot in the third-place match. However, the redshirt-junior dropped a 5-1 decision to Kent State's Stephen Suglio to finish fourth. Gunning will now have to wait to see if he gains one of the wild card spots to the NCAAs.
Kyle Akins pinned Eastern Michigan's Tomas Gutierrez at the 4:36 mark to take fifth place at 125 lbs. It was Akins second pin of the tournament. Like Gunning, Akins will have to wait to see if he earns a wildcard.
At 197, Joe Ariola won his first match on Sunday, a 13-2 major decision over Ohio's Aaron Naples to advance to the third-place match. Ariola dropped a close 4-3 decision to Kent State's Kyle Conel to place fourth.
At 174, Austin Weigel won the final match of his career with a 4-0 decision over Ohio's Arsen Ashughyan to take seventh place.
Overall, the Bulls finished sixth with 81 points.
"Today's results all go back to consistency in our training," head coach John Stutzman said. "At the end of the day, we have not been consistent in our training, lifestyle and commitment to Buffalo Wrestling. Congratulations to Bryan Lantry for qualifying for the NCAAs for the third time. Jake Gunning should get a wild card and Kyle Akins has a really good chance based on his RPI and coaches ranking."
The 2018 NCAA Championships will be held in Cleveland beginning March 15.