There were rumors the dual might not go off because of weather, but I guess they got it in. I am going to go somewhat live on this based on the alerts from IntermatWrestl, so it may read a little strange. Should be a good one, Mizzou needs a little bit of luck to pull it off. Will they be able to? Let's see how it all went down.
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John Olanowski started off the action for the Tigers against now #15 Tyler Clark, who is a true frosh for the Clones. Clark had a couple of early shots on Olanowski, and finally finished the deal with a take down with about a minute to go in the first. Olanowski would start the 2nd choosing down after Clark defered, and would escape quickly to get it back to 2-1. Another takedown for Clark would make it 4-1 and give him a strong riding time advantage going into the third, where he started down. Olanowski rode hard for the first minute, but gave up a reversal with less than a minute to go to make it 6-1. John continued to fight hard, getting a reversal of his own with :13 to go, and with riding time, came out on the short end of a 7-3 defeat, giving ISU an early 3-0 lead.
What should be one of the better matches of the day, with Tyler McCormick who seems to be rounding into shape fairly quickly against #7 Nick Fanthorpe. For Mizzou to have a shot in this, they will likely need a win from Tyler. Fanthorpe would take an early advantage with a take down with about a minute to go to score 2-0, and rides it out. McCormick takes down to start the 2nd, and escapes about a minute in, getting a point back 2-1, but facing a tough riding time number to overcome. The third starts with Fanthorpe down with over 2 minutes of riding time, and escaping about 30 seconds in to make it 3-1. Fanthorpe stays aggressive and takes McCormick down again with less than a minute to go making it 5-1. McCormick does escape to get it back to 5-2 with about 30 seconds to go. With riding time, McCormick finishes with a 6-2 loss, putting Mizzou down 6-0 on the day.
Up next would be Marcus Hoehn against #14 Nick Gallick, who has been a bit up and down on the season. A scoreless first period would bring them to the 2nd where Hoehn would take down. Gallick rode hard, keeping Hoehn down for the first 1:30 before Hoehn would escape to get it to 1-0. The third would start with Gallick starting down and Hoehn needing to ride for at least 31 seconds to get riding time down below 1 minute. Unfortunately, Gallick would escape 10 seconds in, tying the match but with Gallick keeping the riding time advantage. Gallick got in on a shot and stalemated the action with 11 seconds to go. Hoehn was not able to get any more points, losing a really tough 2-1 match, putting Mizzou down 9-0.
Josh Wagner's match against an unranked Mitch Mueller now became really important, as Mizzou would really need some bonus points to get back into the team match. Wagner would get off to a great start, scoring a take down just over a minute in to get it to 2-0 and get Mizzou their first take down on the afternoon. Mueller would escape after just under a minute, and would chose down to start the 2nd period with Wagner leading 2-1. Wagner would ride hard through the first minute, taking a nice riding time advatage. Mueller would finally escape with less than :30 to go, evening the match at 2-2, but with Wagner holding almost 2 and a half minutes of riding time. Wagner takes down and Mueller cuts him, giving Wagner a 3-2 lead, and making it such that Mueller would need a takedown to even up the score. Mueller gets the takedown quickly, and has to cut Wagner again, evening the score at 4, but with Wagner holding a big advantage in riding. Some late scrambling for Mueller as Wagner has riding time salted away, and Wagner hangs on for the 5-4 win, to put Mizzou back in it at 9-3.
Another big time match on the day, with #8 Cyler Sanderson taking on Mike Chandler. Chandler can lock up a #1 seed at the Big XII Tournament with a win this afternoon. The two would wrestle to a stalemate the first half of the first period and would go that way the entire time. Sanderson would take down to start the 2nd period, where some crazy action would ensue. First, Chandler would lock his hands on top, giving Sanderson a point. Sanderson would reverse to get 2, but then Chandler would reverse back and put Sanderson on his back for 3 more, taking a 5-3 lead with a 1:29 of riding time into the third. Chandler would start down and reverse Sanderson to take a 7-3 lead. A point for stalling would give Chandler another point before a late escape by Sanderson made it 8-4. Another takedown by Chandler and a late escape by Sanderson, plus heavy riding time would give Chandler a VERY impressive 11-5 win and put Mizzou back closer at 9-6. Congrats to Chandler, that is a hell of a win.
#2 Nick Marable would take the mat against freshman #7 Jon Reader, who was upset last weekend against Az St. Another tough first period would see the wrestlers scoreless throughout. The 2nd period would start with Marable taking down and reversing Reader 50 seconds into the 2nd to make it 2-0. Reader would escape after about 20 seconds, making the match 2-1 late in the 2nd. Reader takes down in the 3rd with about 25 seconds of riding time, and escapes quickly to tie it at 2-2, and with riding time not being close to an advantage for either wrestler. The two continued to battle into the last minute, but Marable gets a takedown out of a scramble with 30 seconds to go to take a 4-2 lead. Marable is warned for stalling with :19 to go, and Reader sneaks out with :09 to go, down 4-3. Marable keeps the lead and takes ANOTHER win over a top 20 opponent, 4-3. This gives Marable the #1 seed in the Big XII Tourney and evens the score on the afternoon at 9-9.
Could possibly be the swing match, as this weight has neither James Williamson (and not Brock Wittmeyer) or Aron Scott ranked on the season. The two wrestled scoreless through the first, with Scott defering and Williamson taking down to start the 2nd period. Williamson with an escape less than 30 seconds in, keeping riding time out of the equation. A second stall warning (after a double warning earlier) on Williamson gives Scott the tying point, and Scott chooses down to start the 3rd. Scott gets out 20 seconds in, so riding time is at 8 seconds for the match. His move gives him a 2-1 lead in the 3rd. Williamson gives up another point for fleeing the mat and Scott finishes with a 3-1 lead, putting Iowa State back in the lead 12-9 before the biggest match of the afternoon.
Jake Varner is #1 on the year and undefeated. Raymond Jordan has only one less and owns two wins over Varner from last season. Another scoreless first period saw Jordan start the 2nd period on bottom and getting out less than 10 seconds in for a 1-0 lead. A takedown late in the 2nd by Varner gives him a 2-1 lead heading to the 3rd where Varner would take down to start. He would get out in 6 seconds, leading 3-1 with riding time at no advantage for either wrestler at less than 20 seconds. A late scramble for Jordan does not get the two, and he falls 3-1 in a very tough match. Iowa State now leads 15-9, and Mizzou will need something extra from Max in the next match.
Max Askren would take on #19 senior David Bertolino, who could clinch the match with a win for Iowa State. Bertolino would take the early lead just under a minute in as he countered a shot for the takedown of Askren. A caution on Bertolino with just over a minute to go as he continued to ride Askren strong early. Askren comes out of nowhere though on a defensive roll, catching Bertolino and sticking him at the 2:29 mark of the first, giving Mizzou six big points and evening the dual at 15-15. Askren will also take a #1 seed into the Big XII tournament and continues to wrestle strong to the finish.
#6 David Zabriskie against #14 Mark Ellis for all the marbles...does not get much more even than that. An early scramble resulted in no points for either wrestler a minute into the 1st. The fight would continue scoreless through the first, with Ellis taking down to start the 2nd. An escape after :23 would give Ellis his first point and keep riding time out. Zabriskie would get a takedown to make it 2-1, but Ellis with a quick escape to tie it at 2, as Zabriskie still with only 34 seconds of riding time. The third starts with Zabriskie down with the same riding time advantage, Ellis could ride out for the win. Zabriskie escapes 13 seconds in for a 3-2 lead, meaning Ellis would need a takedown for a win right now. Zabriskie would get a spinning takedown with about a minute to go to give himself a big 5-2 lead and Ellis would get out with :49 to go to get it to 5-3. Riding time was still not in play, so Ellis could get a late takedown for the tie, but it was Zabriskie doing that with :13 to go, salting away the win, which finished at 7-3 and with Iowa State winning the day 18-15, taking 6 of 10 matches.
This thing read as a tremendous match and some good results for sure for the Tigers. Congrats to Mike Chandler, Nick Marable and Max Askren for coming through the conference season undefeated. I look forward to Varner and Jordan meeting again in the Big XII finals, and hopefully Tyler McCormick will continue to regain his form to get him back to the NCAA Tourmanemt in the hopes of getting a 3rd AA honor. The Big XII Tourney will be in three weeks, March 4th. I will do my best to preview and predict the action once the brackets come out in the coming weeks.