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Olivet College’s Owen Guilford named MIAA Most Valuable Wrestler

Portland High School graduate and Olivet College junior Owen Guilford has been named the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) Most Valuable Wrestler for the 2022 season.

Guilford, a two-time All-MIAA selection, wrestled at 174 pounds for the Comets. He posted a combined a 6-0 record at the MIAA Individual and Dual Meet Championships. Five of Guilford’s wins scored bonus points, as he pinned Jonathan Ibarra from Trine in 58 seconds and William Vernier from Alma in 43 seconds, won two technical falls over John Browning from Trine (16-0 and 18-3), and recorded a 9-0 major decision victory over Owen Conklin from Trine. His lone non-bonus point win was a 4-3 decision over Derrick Top from Adrian.

“Owen brought a new mentality to the mat this year,” said Olivet head coach Brandon Brissette. “One that is both relentless and one that is refocused in every little position when something goes amiss. Owen refocuses and he re-attacks. And those bursts of energy and those attacks to re-attacks have just opened so many options and now we are finishing most matches with bonus points whether it has been tech fall or pin. He had wins against guys who have beaten the best at other weights. Those are things which made him impressive to all the league coaches.”

Guilford has a 19-4 record this season. Of the 19 wins, 16 were bonus-point victories – seven pins, five technical falls, two major decisions and two medical forfeits. Two of Guilford’s losses were against the then No. 4-ranked wrestler (Ben Sarasin from Chicago) and No. 1-ranked wrestler (Zane Mulder from Wartburg). A third loss was to Nate Jimenez from Michigan State University, and the fourth loss was an 11-9 decision.

Guilford is back in action Friday and Saturday, February 25-26, at the 2022 NCAA Division III Regional Meet, hosted by Adrian. The top three wrestlers in each weight class will advance to the 2022 NCAA Division III Championship March 11-12 at the US Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

About the MIAA

Founded on March 24, 1888, the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) is America’s first collegiate athletic conference. Current members include Adrian College, Albion College, Calvin University, Hope College, Kalamazoo College, Olivet College, St. Mary's College, and Trine University.

Photos courtesy of Olivet College Athletics.


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