March 6, 2010
March 6, 2010
NORMAN, Okla. - The No. 4 Oklahoma State wrestling team crowned three individual champions in winning its ninth Big 12 team title and its 43rd overall conference title Saturday at McCasland Fieldhouse in Norman.
OSU 133-pounder Jordan Oliver, 141-pounder Jamal Parks and 184-pounder Clayton Foster were all crowned as Big 12 individual champions at the event, with 157-pounder Neil Erisman, 174-pounder Mike Benefiel and heavyweight Jared Rosholt placing second at their respective weight classes.
The Cowboys finished with 70.5 team points. No. 2 Iowa State took second with 69 points and No. 8 Oklahoma was third with 64 points. Missouri (33 points) and Nebraska (32 points) rounded out the team leader board.
The title was the 11th of coach John Smith's career, as the Cowboy mentor owns two Big Eight titles to go with his nine Big 12 crowns. Oliver and Oklahoma 125-pounder Jarrod Patterson were recognized with co-outstanding wrestler honors.
Perhaps the defining moment of the championship round came when 184-pounder Clayton Foster topped No. 3 Max Askren of Missouri by a 10-6 decision. After surrendering the first takedown of the bout in the first period, Foster recovered to score a reversal of his own before yielding an Askren escape. Foster started the second period in the top position and scored a key two-point nearfall to go up, 4-3. An Askren escape brought the score to 4-4. The third period was all Foster, as the Cowboy junior got things going with an escape, then bagged two takedowns and added a riding time point to seal his win. The win was Foster's first in five career tries against Askren and all but clinched the Big 12 title for the Cowboys.
Oliver got things going strong for OSU in the championship round when he hit a five-point move in the second period to fuel his 6-2 win over No. 7 Nick Fanthorpe of Iowa State. Fanthorpe got in on Oliver's left ankle, but Oliver wrapped his right leg over the top of Fanthorpe to score a takedown of his own and quickly turn him to his back for a three-point nearfall.
Parks kept things going with his 3-2 win over Zack Bailey. Ranked No. 3 in the country, Bailey is the highest-ranked wrestler Parks has beaten in his OSU career. The two wrestlers traded escapes to start the second and third periods, respectively, but the deciding moment came when Parks bagged the winning takedown with 15 seconds left in the third period. Bailey escaped with one second left, but it was too late. The win was Parks' third in four career bouts against Bailey.
With 70.5 team points, OSU improved on last year's team total at the Big 12 Championships by 30.5 points, making it the largest one-year improvement in conference history.
Neil Erisman, the third of OSU's six finalists, lost a tough 6-5 decision to No. 12 Shane Vernon of Oklahoma at 157 pounds. Both wrestlers scored a takedown and recorded an escape in the first period, then traded escapes to start the second and third periods, respectively. A Vernon takedown with 56 seconds remaining proved the difference in the bout, as Erisman was unable to answer after posting an escape.
OSU had three wrestlers compete in third-place bouts, with 125-pounder Chris Notte claiming a 6-4 victory over Nebraska's David Klingsheim in a heated bout that saw both wrestlers get slapped with unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. At 149 pounds, Luke Silver lost a wild 9-6 decision to Missouri's Nick Hucke in which there was only one takedown the entire bout. OSU 165-pounder Alex Meade was upset in his third-place bout by Oklahoma's Tyler Caldwell, who pitched a 5-0 shutout against the Cowboy redshirt freshman.
Perhaps the most exciting bout of the semifinal round was won by Foster, who escaped in the tiebreak period then rode Iowa State's Jerome Ward out to claim a 6-5 win.
Parks also won an exciting semifinal bout, taking Missouri's Todd Schavrien down with 14 seconds left on the clock to snare a 7-6 victory. Things weren't nearly as difficult for Oliver, who stormed to a 10-2 major decision win over Missouri's Nathan McCormick. Erisman, seeded third at the championships by the Big 12 coaches, pulled an upset by scoring a comfortable 8-2 victory over 15th-ranked and second-seeded Andrew Sorenson of Iowa State.
Only one Cowboy wrestler competed in the pigtail round, with 197-pounder Alan Gelogaev losing a 6-5 decision to Missouri's Brent Haynes. A technical violation by Gelogaev proved costly in his defeat.
Notte and Silver were both bonus-point winners in the consolation round, with Notte storming to a 16-2 major decision win over Missouri's Eric Wilson and Silver pinning Nebraska's Dustin Payne just one minute into their bout. Meade was an 11-4 winner over Nebraska's James Nakashima. The lone Cowboy to go down in the consolation bouts was Gelogaev, who dropped a 4-1 decision to Eric Lapotsky of Oklahoma.
The Cowboys compete at the NCAA Championships from March 18-20 at the Qwest Center in Omaha, Neb.
Final Team Standings
OSU Individual Results
OSU Consolation Round Results
OSU Third-Place Bout Results