COLUMBIA, Mo. - In the friendly confines of the Hearnes Center, the Missouri Tigers clinched their first Big 12 Wrestling Championship crown on Saturday night. The Tigers used a program-high 77 points and four individual Big 12 Champions to earn the Missouri athletic department’s 11th Big 12 trophy.
Oklahoma State, the league’s regular season champion, finished just four points behind MU with 73. It was the third smallest margin of victory in Big 12 history. Oklahoma was third with 60.5 points and Iowa State finished fourth with 24.
The Outstanding Wrestler of the Championship went to Oklahoma State’s Jordan Oliver, who became a three-time Big 12 champion at the 133-weight division. It is the second time the junior has won the honor as he was co-Outstanding Wrestler in 2010. Besides Oliver four other Cowboys have earned the distinction.
Missouri advanced eight of its 10 starters to the final round and held a slight 5.5 point lead heading into the evening session. Oklahoma State had six wrestlers make it to the finals, while ISU and OU each had three participants.
The finals session kicked off in the 125-pound class with Alan Waters picking up Missouri’s first Big 12 title at that weight with a 7-0 decision over OU’s Jarrod Patterson. In the 133 class, Oliver, would tally his third straight league crown with a 10-2 major decision against Missouri’s Nathan McCormick.
Sophomore Kendric Maple secured the Sooners first title of the night as he posted an 11-5 decision versus OSU’s Josh Kindig at 141. The Cowboys knotted up the team standings as 149-pounder Jamal Parks earned an 8-3 decision in his bout with Missouri’s Kyle Bradley. The Tigers answered right back in the 157-pound class with Drake Houdashelt upsetting No. 1 seed Matt Lester (OU), 3-1.
That win gave MU a 69-65 lead over OSU through half of the night’s matches. The Tigers would then put themselves even further out front as Zach Toal captured the biggest upset of the night with a 3-2 win over No. 1 seed Andrew Sorenson of Iowa State. From that point forward Missouri would not relinquinsh the lead.
OSU got wins at both the 174 and 197 pound divisions as Chris Perry and Cayle Byers recorded victories versus MU’s Dorian Henderson and Brent Haynes, 8-2 and 5-0, respectively. In between those two contests, Mike Larson (MU) slipped by Iowa State’s Boaz Beard, 5-4.
Heading to final match of the night, the Cowboys trailed Missouri by only four points, so a victory by Austin Marsden would have tied OSU with the Tigers. However, Iowa State’s Matt Gibson had other ideas and earned the only Cyclone title of the night by an 8-3 margin.
Big 12 wrestlers will next be in action for the NCAA Championship, which kicks off on March 15 and runs through March 17 in St. Louis, Mo.
125 Pounds: No. 1 Alan Waters (MU) dec. No. 2 Jarrod Patterson (OU), 7-0
133 Pounds: No. 1 Jordan Oliver (OSU) major dec. No. 2 Nathan McCormick (MU), 10-2
141 Pounds: No. 1 Kendric Maple (OU) dec. No. 2 Josh Kindig (OSU), 11-5
149 Pounds: No. 1 Jamal Parks (OSU) dec. No. 2 Kyle Bradley (MU), 8-3
157 Pounds: No. 2 Drake Houdashelt (MU) dec. No. 1 Matt Lester (OU), 3-1
165 Pounds: No. 3 Zach Toal (MU) dec. No. 1 Andrew Sorenson (ISU), 3-2
174 Pounds: No. 1 Chris Perry (OSU) dec. No. 3 Dorian Henderson (MU), 8-2
184 Pounds: No. 1 Mike Larson (MU) dec. No. 2 Boaz Beard (ISU), 5-4
197 Pounds: No. 1 Cayle Byers (OSU) dec. No. 2 Brent Haynes (MU), 5-0
Heavyweight: No. 1 Matt Gibson (ISU) dec. No. 2 Austin Marsden (OSU), 8-3
1. Missouri - 77
2. Oklahoma State - 73
3. Oklahoma - 60.5
4. Iowa State - 24
2011 Most Outstanding Wrestler: Jordan Oliver, Oklahoma State, 133
Attendance: 2,770 - 1,208 (1st Session), 1,562 (2nd Session)