Mougin falls just short of All-America honors
DES MOINES — Northern Illinois 174-pounder Matt Mougin fell just short of earning All-America honors at this weekend’s NCAA Wrestling Championships in Des Moines.
The Columbus Junction native posted a 3-2 record in Des Moines, with both losses coming to All-Americans. Mougin was the first Northern Illinois wrestler since 2008 to win three matches at the NCAA Championships.
Mougin opened the tournament with a 4-2 win over Arizona State’s Blake Stauffer, but he lost to sixth-seeded Logan Storley of Minnesota 9-1 in the second round. Storley went on to take fourth place.
On the consolation side of the bracket, Mougin won by injury default over Virginia Tech’s Austin Gabel, and then he won an 8-3 decision over Penn’s Ian Korb. But his run came to an end when he lost a 4-1 decision to eighth-seeded Nick Heflin of Ohio State.
The first period between Mougin and Heflin was mostly a war of attrition, but the Buckeye broke the deadlock with a swift takedown and then scored two nearfall points as the period came to a close. Mougin trimmed the deficit to three with an escape midway through the second period, and then started the final period on top. But Heflin held on for the win, and he went on to take fifth place.
“Heflin caught us in a takedown to a cradle for four points and that one position proved to be the difference in the match,” Northern Illinois head coach Ryan Ludwig said in a press release. “Matt worked hard for a turn in the third, but was unable to convert.”
Mougin, the son of Randall and Rebecca Mougin, finished his season with a record of 23-17.
“Matt wrestled a great tournament,” Ludwig said. “Coach [Dominick] Moyer, Coach [John] Helgerson and I are very proud of the way he competed and represented Northern Illinois. Great effort by a very persistent young man. Matt has a taste now and is hungry for more.”