Wrestling will have two weeks off to prepare for the Big Ten Championships following the dual.


EAST LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan State wrestling team travels to No. 25 Central Michigan for its last dual contest of the season on Thursday, Feb. 16. The Spartans will face a ranked opponent for the seventh consecutive dual match. Following the dual the Spartans will have two weeks to prepare for the Big Ten Championships in West Lafayette, Ind.

“Our mission this week is that we need to continue to improve,” head coach Tom Minkel said. “I really feel that we have improved every week this year. We have run into a lot of tough competition but regardless we have wrested a little better each week and we need to continue that.”

Central Michigan enters the dual with a 13-8 overall record after dropping two matches in the NWCA National duals in Sunday, Feb. 12 in Ithaca, N.Y. The Chippewas fell to Purdue, 27-9, and to American, 25-16. Central Michigan started the season 12-2 but have won just one of their last seven dual matches.

“I have a lot of ties to Central,” Minkel said. “I went to school there, I wrestled there, I coached there; both as an assistant coach and a head coach. Nevertheless this is about our wrestling dual meet. I’ll enjoy seeing those people but us and this team. It’s important that we wrestle well as we continue into the Big Ten’s.”

Last season Michigan State fell to then- No. 21 Central Michigan, 19-18, in a highly competitive dual match at Jenison Field House. The Spartans fell behind 19-6 after the 174-pound match, but claimed victories in the final three matches to nearly pull off the comeback win.

Next up the Spartans will prepare for competition in the Big ten Championships on March 3-4 at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Ind.