What the heck...we'll pull a little double duty this morning and review two sports who competed last night, as the #17 wrestling team (per InterMat) traveled east to take on perennial power Hofstra, while the #14 gymnastics team hosted the annual Pink-Out against conference foe and #17 Iowa State. Both teams would be victorious on the evening in pretty impressive fashion. Let's dig into both contests just a little bit and see what we find.
Over the past few years, the Pride of Hofstra have developed the reputation in NCAA wrestling of being a giant killer. On a number of a occasions, they upset top-ranked teams, including even beating the #1 a time or two. This season, they have been decimated by injury and red-shirt and Mizzou took full advantage of that last night, winning eight matches of ten on the evening and dominating for a 34-7 win. Dom Bradley would start the evening off in the best way possible, earning six points via forfeit, and Hofstra would never be closer than that. Coming around to 125, true frosh Eric Wilson earned his first dual win with a solid 3-0 win. Then an interesting thing happened at 133...the Tigers saw the return of another true freshman in Brad Wisdom. Wisdom, who Intermat still has ranked at #17 at 125, scored a major decision win of 13-5, and now I honestly have no idea what is going on with the Tigers at the light weights, but it will be interesting to keep tabs on that story moving forward.
With Mizzou already up 13-0, #19 ranked Todd Schavrien saw action at 141 and matched the major decision of Wisdom with a 14-3 win of his own. The Tigers would make it five straight wins, as Scott O'Donnell got the start at 149 and won a rare match for Mizzou at that weight by a 5-2 score, giving the Tigers a 20 point lead in the dual. The match of the night would be next, pitting #17 Jonny Bonilla-Bowman against a now unranked Patrick Wright. Wright announced his arrival last year with a win of JBB as a freshman, and the two put on quite the show last night. With 31 total points scored, JBB ended up avenging the loss with a 21-10 win, the third straight match has has scored over 20 points. Putting Hofstra on the board at 20-4, the action moved to 165 where #6 Nick Marable won a workmanlike 7-4 decision. 174 saw some fireworks as #10 Dorian Henderson totally dominated his way to a 19-2 tech fall at the start of the third period, giving Mizzou five more points and putting them up 28-4. 184 would be the only other loss for the Tigers, as #3 Max Askren would give up his start to Todd Porter, who fell in a close 4-3 match. #17 Brent Haynes would close out the action in style for the Tigers, scoring a 1st round pin and making the final score 34-7.
Mizzou has two more duals coming up later today against George Mason and Drexel, neither of whom is ranked. Drexel sports the lone ranked wrestler the Tigers will see with the #13 133 pounder. Who he wrestles from the Tigers is anyone's guess at this point. Mizzou did even their dual record at 4-4 and this action will be their last before heading to Lincoln next Friday night for a tussle against the Huskers.
For the sixth time, the #13 Mizzou Gymnastics team held their annual Pink-Out to raise money for Breast Cancer, and hosted a wonderful dual against conference foe in the #17 Iowa State Cyclones. The Tigers entered the evening undefeated to this point, having scored 195.625 in beating three teams last weekend out in Las Vegas. Mizzou would greatly improve upon that already fine score, as the Clones and Tigers battled until the end, with Mizzou pulling out an impressive 196.400-196.000 win, with a score which is sure to raise their ranking this week. In fact, the 196.400 score would be the third highest score in the country (through last week) and if all other rankings remained the same (which obviously they won't), the Tigers would rise to #8 in the nation based on their current average.
Mizzou had only five performances out of 30 which scored lower than 9.750 (with three on the beam, which is typically the toughest event). Mizzou got off to a good start for the evening on the vault, putting up a very impressive 49.125 (anything above 49 is considered solid since 49's across the board lead to a team score of 196 which is also considered very solid). On the vault, the score which was dropped (as six compete, but only the top five scores are taken) was a perfectly decent 9.700 by freshman Tori Howard. Senior All-American Sarah Shire would win the event on the night with a 9.875, while freshman Lauren Swankoski would be right behind at 9.850. Moving to the uneven bars with the .2 lead over Iowa State, the Tigers would extend that with a 49.075. Swankoski's 9.700 would be dropped, and Shire, along with sophomore Mary Burke would take home the event win with matching 9.875's, which is right at Burke's average as she ranks 7th in the nation in this event. Halfway home and Mizzou lead by .4 over Iowa State
The one hiccup Mizzou would have would be on the four-inch wide balance beam, as senior beam specialist Brooke Boehmer must have fallen and scored a 9.100. While that score would be dropped, the rest of the team did not quite pick her up, as Swankoski put up an only OK 9.650 and senior Danielle Guider scored 9.675. In the end, Mizzou only score 48.750, though Shire would win another event with an amazing 9.900 score. Currently 2nd in the nation on the event, this matched her high score for the season and will inch up her 9.887 average. Iowa State would put up an impressive 49.100 on the floor, and they pulled within .05 of Mizzou going into the last event. Mizzou would really shine on the floor to close out the win, scoring a tremendous 49.400 which saw the 9.750 score of junior Alex Gold be dropped as the lowest. Guider and Swankoski bounced back from their beam routines to score 9.875 and 9.850 respectively, and Burke dazzled with a 9.900. The event, and the night however, belonged to Sarah Shire, as she would win her fourth and final event with a 9.950 score, which ties her for the highest score in the country so far. Her 39.600 score in the All-Around not only won the event, but represents the 2nd highest total in the nation (just shy of Susan Jackson's 39.6225 which was done against Mizzou last weekend). Burke was 2nd in the All-Around with a perfectly impressive 39.375 which will help raise her average as she currently sits #7 in the nation. Swankoski's score of 39.050 is exciting, as she and Burke represent a VERY solid future for Mizzou.
Mizzou will next travel up to Lincoln to take on a Nebraska team who is currently ranked 9th (though they still have to face #15 Michigan yet this weekend). They are a team Mizzou has not beaten in gymnastics since 1995. With this impressive output against Iowa State, I would say the time has never looked better for them to do so. They have a great mix of senior experience and young talent. In truth, a clean rotation at the beam for Mizzou would have put them at around 196.600, which would have tied UCLA for the highest score in the nation to this point. Burke and Shire likely represent the best pair of All-Around'ers this side of #3 Alabama. With only five seniors or juniors, Rob Drass appears to have stepped his game up another notch.