J'Den Cox scored a 2-1 decision over Ohio State's Nick Heflin to take the 197-pound title at the 2014 NCAA Wrestling Championships in Oklahoma City. A freshman from Columbia Hickman, Cox became only the 14th true freshman to ever become the NCAA Champion and became Missouri's youngest champ.
It was a match more full of tension than action; Heflin, the No. 1 seed, was content with dodging Cox's attacks for the most part. Both wrestlers scored points with early-round escapes, but Heflin's evasive maneuvers cost him when he was called for stalling late in the third round, giving Cox a 2-1 lead. Cox blunted most of Heflin's late attacks, but the final seconds were almost very costly; Heflin found leverage and took Cox down as time expired, but it was about a half-second too late. No takedown, no title for Heflin.
Cox was a blue-chipper when he came to Missouri. He won four straight state titles for Hickman, losing three matches in his freshman season and never losing again. Now he has a chance to pull off a similar accomplishment for Mizzou. This guy's incredible.
J'DEN COX IS THE DAMN TRUTH— Rock M Nation (@rockmnation) March 23, 2014
Way to go Jden!!! Way to put the pressure on. Great to see a ref have the balls to make the stall call.— Ben Askren (@Benaskren) March 23, 2014
And he wins! Mizzou true freshman is national champ! Congrats J'den Cox, NCAA heavyweight wrestling champ.Columbia is proud. #Mizzou— Claire McCaskill (@clairecmc) March 23, 2014