So after covering the Mizzou/Cal Poly match here the Tigers returned to the mats later on Friday evening and then again all day Sunday for further action. Rather than going weight by weight, here are some off-the-top-of-my-head thoughts on what was a fairly mixed weekend for the Tiger grapplers.
Brad Wisdom won again, so perhaps he has overtaken Troy Dolan at 125. Nathan McCormick gave up a lot of points and lost at 133, while Todd Schavrien finished a tough day with a bit of an unexpected loss, still leading me to raise an eyebrow about the decision to have him move up to 141. The fairly gaping hole continues at 149, as the major decision loss by transfer Scott O’Donnell was not a great way to start a Tiger career. Patrick Wright had his best win of the season at 157 over the tenth ranked wrestler, and Nick Marable continued his winning ways at 165. Dorian Henderson also had a tough evening, losing a somewhat close match to the #12 wrestler, while Todd Porter continued to fill in for Max Askren at 184 and lost again. At 197, Brent Haynes lost an OT match to the #11 wrestler, and Dom Bradley closed out the dual in fine fashion with an :18 pin which actually saw Bradley takedown his opponent, let him back up, take him down again and then finish him. It all spelled out to a 19-15 loss to the unranked Boilers. The fact is that if Max Askren is wrestling here, we absolutely win, so it is what it is.
When this tournament started TEN years ago now, it drew very well from around the region. I actually watched Cael Sanderson wrestle in this tourney. Now a days, it seems the Tigers get some talent, but not nearly what they used to. However, of the wrestlers there, five of them took home titles in either the open (more experienced) or freshman/sophomore division. Brad Wisdom ran his winning streak to seven matches as he took the F/S title at 125. (and to be honest I don’t know why he wrestled there and not up, but oh well). At 141, Todd Schavrien bounced back a bit to capture his second tournament title., avenging the loss against his Purdue opponent. Nick Marable won the 165 title again, but the bigger news might have been the participation of freshman Nathan Toal who continues to really impress in the tournaments he has entered and seems to be the heir apparent to Marable at 165. Brent Haynes avenged his earlier loss to Logan Brown of Purdue to claim the title, and Dom Bradley made fairly short work of the HWY division to win it.
Nathan McCormick did a solid job of wrestling back to earn 3rd place at 133, beating MU teammate Taylor Crane. Patrick Wright took his shot against 157’s #2 Chase Pami and only lost 2-0 in the finals, taking 2nd place, while Nick Gregoris finished 6th. At 174, Dorian Henderson fell again to the same Purdue wrestler to claim 2nd place while Todd Porter took 3rd at what appears to be his actual weight.
NWCA All-Star Classic
So…one of the reasons Max Askren did not wrestle on Friday was likely to rest him because, in the end, having him healthy and going after a national title is more important than beating Cal Poly and Purdue in a team dual in November. The other reason was that Max was in California after having been selected to participate in the 44th Annual NWCA All-Star Classic. The national #1 wrestler took on #9 and All-American Josh Patterson of Binghamton and came out on top 14-7. It is the second consecutive season Mizzou has had a wrestler win at this prestigious dual, as Nick Marable defeated Mack Lewnes of Cornell last year in an early 1-2 matchup. Mark Ellis was also tabbed to participate (marking the first time Mizzou would send two wrestlers), but an injury kept him from competing.
Mizzou will head east to compete in the Nittany Lion Open in a couple of weeks before taking the rest of the semester off. They will start up again after that with two very highly competive tournaments in the Midlands in Chicago, followed by the National Duals. Right now, I see this team better suited for tourneys than duals, but a month is a long time before duals fire back up again.