Mizzou Wrestling for a Title Tomorrow

All told, a pretty positive night for the wrestling Tigers, as they will finish the season with a team record five All-Americans and very likely a top-7 finish nationally.  The wrestle-back finals will be tomorrow around noon on ESPN, and Mizzou will have four wrestlers participating, while Mark Ellis will close down the Championship round later on ESPN.  Seeing as I leave for Mexico in about 8 hours and feel bad I wont be able to cover the finals, here is a run down of today's action for each wrestler and what they have left.

Mike Chandler - 157 - #6 seed

Chandler started the day with a hard-fought loss to #3 seed and returning Champion Jordan Leen from Cornell.  Needing to win his next match to secure an All-American standing, he defeated Jonny Bonilla-Bowman from Hofstra 6-4.  He scored 5 points in the 2nd period and added riding time to seal the win.  He then moved on to face Tyler Safratrovich of Minnesota and scored a major decision, winning 13-2.  This means he will face #4 Gregor Gillespe (who lost in the semis to #1 Jordan Burroughs of NU by the score of 12-4).  If Chandler is victorious, he would potentially face Leen again for 3rd, as Leen lost to #2 seed Mike Poeta of Illinois).  If he loses to Gillespe, he will wrestle for 5th place.

Nick Marable - 165 - #5 seed

A really nice effort by Nick Marable to earn his 2nd All-American status.  After losing his first match of the tourney, Marable needed to win his next four in a row to get back and he did just that.  Today, he would pick up a quick 6-1 win over Rick Schmelyn of  Bloomsberg 4-1 before moving on to face conference foe Stephen Dwyer of Nebraska, the #7 seed.  A wild match saw it go to double OT when Marable would earn a reversal and two back points in Top/Bottom OT to win the match and keep the hoping of earning his AA status alive.  Moving on to tonight, Marable would beat Ryan Patrovich (who took down the #1 seed earlier in the tourney) on a reversal and riding time for a 3-2 score.  He would take on #4 seed Moza Fay of Northern Iowa and lose that match 3-2, relegating him to the 7th place match against Tyler Sherfrey of Boise State.

Raymond Jordan - 174 -#5 seed

Jordan wrestled the first semi-final of the night for the Tigers, but not before scoring a solid upset over Iowa's Jay Borschel in the quarterfinals, avenging a loss he had against him at the Midlands Tournament.  Jordan walked off the mat a 3-2 winner and moved on to face #1 seed Steve Luke of Michigan.  Each wrestler would quickly escape one another in the 2nd and 3rd periods, setting up OT.  Neither would score in sudden victory, so they moved on to Top/Bottom.  Jordan would escape to earn the point, but Luke took him down in that same period.  Jordan would need to take Luke down in the opposite period, but could not, losing the match 4-2.  Jordan becomes the 2nd Mizzou wrestler ever to make AA at two weights (174, 184), joining Matt Pell who did it at 184 and 165 (around Askren at 174).  Ray will face #11 seed Quintin Wright of Penn State, and if he wins that, he will move on to wrestle for 3rd place against either #3 seed Brandon Browne of NU (who he has defeated this season) or #6 Steve Anceravage of Cornell (who he has also defeated)

Max Askren - 197 - #6 seed

Max started his day by following Jordan's upset with one of his own, defeating #3 seed Brent Chriswell of Boise St. 3-0.  This would return Askren to AA status, his 2nd of his career.  Moving on to the semis, he had the tough draw of Jake Varner of Iowa State.  Varner dominated the match, ending it with a final score of 8-3.  This sets up Askren for his match tomorrow against #10 seed Hudson Taylor of Maryland, who he defeated earlier in the year by the score of 9-4.  A win there earns him a chance at 3rd against either Chriswell again or #4 seed Tyrel Todd of Michigan, who lost to NU's #1 seed Craig Brester 7-2 in the other semi.

Mark Ellis - HWY - #2 seed

Ellis wrestled a wild match to start his day, coming out with a 6-5 win over #7 seed Daniel Ereckson of Iowa.  Ellis was in control most of the match, but gave up a late takedown to tie the score at 5.  However, Ellis would escape with under 10 seconds to go to make it 6-5 and earn the spot in the semis.  He would face #3 seed Jermail Porter of Kent State, who is the tallest wrestler in the tourney at 6'8 (to Ellis' maybe 6'2).  Ellis did well to size up and get control of his opponent, though he was taken down before reversing Porter and ending the 1st period tied at 2.  In the 2nd, Ellis would escape and be given a penalty point to make it 4-2.  Porter would start on bottom in the 3rd and Ellis would ride him long enough to earn the riding time point.  Porter would escape towards the end of the period, but it did not matter, as the extra point gave Ellis a 5-3 win and a ticket to the finals against....#5 Konrad Dudziak of Duke, who upset #1 seed David Zabriskie in the other semi.  Zabriskie had been wrestling on the edge all tournament, and it finally caught up to him, as Dudziak scored a late takedown and staved one off himself for the 3-2 win.  That match will finish the tournament tomorrow night.

Team

I really have little idea how the team scoring works, but here is how they stack up tomorrow: click here for the standings I was too lazy to cut and paste

As you can see, there is a comfortable distance between us and Illinois, and we have two more wrestlers going.  As you can also see, there is some ground to make up between us and Cornell in 6th, but we also have one more wrestler going.  (and two more than Edinboro who is a half point ahead).  If we have a good day and they do not, I can see us moving up to maybe grab the #5 spot, which I believe would be a tremendous achievement for the program and a great next step.  Will see how it turns out tomorrow.

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