Sunday, March 14, 2010

Elyria’s Danny Mitcheff makes his mark at KSU

Elyria’s Danny Mitcheff has put a stamp on his college wrestling career — becoming the winningest wrestler at Kent State.

Mitcheff surpassed former all-time leader Alex Camargo last weekend, and is now the Golden Flashes all-time wins leader, as he defeated Central Michigan’s Scotti Sentes in the Mid-American Conference Championships for his 127th win.

"This lets me know that all the hard work that I put into the sport has paid off," said Mitcheff, who is currently 30-3. "I’ve been wrestling since I was 5 years old. I’m proud of myself and I’m glad I was able to break the record. It’s cool. As a freshman, it never crossed my mind. It was never a goal of mine, it just came along the way."

Mitcheff will now get his fourth shot at a national championship when he wrestles in the Division I tournament at Omaha’s Qwest Center March 16-18. The national tournament will be his fourth-straight appearance, and he has a goal of being an All-American, which is finishing in the Top 8 in the nation — something he has yet to accomplish.

"When I made it my freshman year, I went 2-2 and that gave me a lot of encouragement going into my next year." Mitcheff said. "My next year, I obviously wanted to do better each time. I didn’t get to All-American status my sophomore or junior year, but I just kept working hard. Now that it’s my senior year, I got the sixth seed and it’s definitely helped just to have been there three previous years. I don’t think I’ll be as nervous as I was in the past. I’m real excited and ready to get it on."

Mitcheff, who was also named Kent State Athlete of the Week for his performance, scored an impressive win over Sentes, avenging an earlier-season defeat. After falling to Sentes three weeks prior, Mitcheff scored single and double leg takedowns to give Mitcheff a 4-1 lead after the first period. Mitcheff began the second period with a quick escape of Sentes and countered with a takedown, giving him a 7-1 lead en route to a 8-2 win.

"I went out there knowing he’d be a tough opponent, the record wasn’t on my mind," Mitcheff said. "I was focused on winning and wrestling hard. I just wanted to work on things that me and my coaches have been working on."

The MAC Championship was his second-straight 133-pound title. He was also named the tournament’s Most Valuable Wrestler for the second-straight season.

As a junior, Mitcheff finished 2-2 at the NCAA Championships, one win away from All-American status. He finished the season with a 23-8 record, including finishing second at the Oklahoma Gold and at the Body Bar before a fourth-place finish at the Southern Scuffle.

His sophomore season, he was given an at-large bid to the NCAA Championships for the second straight year and finished with a 30-9 record.

As a red-shirt freshman, he qualified for the NCAA Tournament at 133 where he went 2-2. He posted a record of 22-15, including 3-1 at the MAC Tournament to earn a second place finish and a wild card to the NCAA Tournament.

He was red-shirted his true freshman season and wrestled unattached, posting a 18-8 record.

At Elyria High School, he won a state title his senior year and was a three-time state qualifier wrestling under legendary coach Erik Burnett. He had a career record of 123-13, including a 38-1 mark as a senior.

"I’m proud of my career," Mitcheff said. "I didn’t accomplish everything, but I know I still have a chance this year to do some damage at the tournament. My goal was always to be a national champion and that’s what I’m working for. We’ll see how it turns out at the tournament."

Mitcheff will graduate in the spring with a degree in Human Movement Studies. He then plans to go to graduate school to get his masters degree in physical education. He also would love to coach wrestling someday, either at the high school or college level.

"I want to thank God first of all, my family for getting me through everything, and every coach that I’ve had — they’ve all played an important role."

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home