While Mizzou didn’t break the attendance record this time around, this was one of the most electric duals I’ve been to at Hearnes in a long time. Mizzou dropped the first three matches and were down 12-0 before recovering to win five of the next six matches. Both teams were missing two of their starters, with #9 Allan Hart and #9 Peyton Mocco out for Mizzou. While Mizzou did not wrestle a perfect dual, they gutted out a win against one of the best programs in the country.
The dual started at 141lbs, and with Allan Hart out, Connor Brown bumped up another weight class and was able to keep the match close and not give up bonus points. Brown started at 125lbs last season, but bumped up to 133lbs this season. Josh Edmond was in a tied match and wrestling well but got pinned on the edge with nine seconds left. Jarrett Jacques was the aggressor for most of his match but lost by a point when he was unable to escape from bottom.
Keegan O’Toole made his return and had a familiar opponent in Travis Wittlake, a rematch of last year’s 3rd place match at NCAA’s that Keegan won 4-3. In another tight match, Keegan managed to score the match’s only takedown and get Mizzou on the board. Sean Harman continued his hot streak at 174lbs in place of Peyton Mocco, and has now beaten three ranked wrestlers in a row. He stayed aggressive through the match and scored a takedown in the final period to get the win over a top ten opponent.
At 184lbs, Jeremiah Kent came close to big points himself in the second period with what appeared to be a powerful turn, but he then gave up a reversal and struggled to get off the bottom in the final period. Rocky Elam came out aggressive throughout the match and was clearly looking for a big turn to get Mizzou some momentum back. He had to settle for a regular decision by the end however, one point away from a major decision win.
At this point, the team score was 9 to 15 in favor of Oklahoma State and the Cowboys still had two-time national finalist Daton Fix left to wrestle. I was not feeling optimistic about Mizzou’s chances as they likely needed big bonus points in the next two matches to come back and win. Zach Elam’s opponent was coming off a win over the South Dakota State wrestler that had just beaten Zach in January. However, Zach was ready to fight and after giving up the first takedown he scored a huge pin to put fans on their feet and tie the team score, 15 to 15.
Not to be outdone, Noah Surtin came out incredibly aggressive against his opponent who was making his first career start in place of OSU’s injured normal starter. Surtin went for big moves multiple times, and after building a nine-point lead he managed to get the pin and essentially lock up the dual in Mizzou’s favor.
In the last match, Trey Crawford wrestled the aforementioned Daton Fix and gave it everything he had before losing by technical fall late. If Crawford had been pinned, it would have tied the team score at 21-21. However, with the way wrestling criteria works to break team score ties, Mizzou still would have won based on the individual match points.
The team showed a lot of toughness after a rough start and showcased how important depth is. Once they get back to full strength, this young team will look to make noise for years to come. Mizzou isn’t done yet, as they’ll have two more top ten duals to finish out the season. First they’ll head to Arizona State on February 12th, then conference opponent Iowa State comes to Hearnes on February 16th for one last dual before conference. The Iowa State dual will be the last dual at Hearnes this season, so if you have been waiting to see the Tigers in person, that is the time to do it.
Final: Mizzou 21 Oklahoma State 20
- 141: Carter Young (OKST) over Connor Brown (MIZZ) (Dec 7-4)
- 149: Kaden Gfeller (OKST) over Josh Edmond (MIZZ) (Fall 4:51)
- 157: Wyatt Sheets (OKST) over Jarrett Jacques (MIZZ) (Dec 2-1)
- 165: Keegan O`Toole (MIZZ) over Travis Wittlake (OKST) (Dec 3-2)
- 174: Sean Harman (MIZZ) over Dustin Plott (OKST) (Dec 5-4)
- 184: Dakota Geer (OKST) over Jeremiah Kent (MIZZ) (Dec 2-0)
- 197: Rocky Elam (MIZZ) over Gavin Stika (OKST) (Dec 10-3)
- 285: Zach Elam (MIZZ) over Luke Surber (OKST) (Fall 2:25)
- 125: Noah Surtin (MIZZ) over Alexander Yokubaitis (OKST) (Fall 5:58)
- 133: Daton Fix (OKST) over Trey Crawford (MIZZ) (TF 22-7 6:36)