The 2022-23 college wrestling season has come and gone in a quick five months. Mizzou opened the season with a bang and finished just shy of a louder one. They once again went another year with a winning record in dual meet competitions going 8-3 (7-1 Big 12) and took home multiple honors in tournaments they competed in. Fans stood by and watched Coach Smith rightfully earn a contract extension, multiple wrestlers hit career milestones, another conference championship, and also let’s not forget the crowning of a National Champion in back-to-back seasons.
While the team itself has several individuals who deserve praise and acknowledgment, here we will go through this year’s starters looking over the past season. We begin at the 125lb weight class and move up accordingly with final statistics at the end.
125lbs - Noah Surtin (So.) - Record: 17-7
After a strong finish to his 2022 season, Noah Surtin jumped right into the new year picking up exactly where he left off with a pivotal role inside the starting lineup. In dual meets, he was responsible for twenty-nine total team points which put him at 4th most on the team. Noah Surtin also collected fourteen bonus wins this season, including a team-leading seven by way of fall.
Surtin controlled a majority of his bouts from the top position, collecting a total of ninety in-match points by near-fall (9-2NF & 18-4NF). Surtin finished the season on top of the team’s leaderboard in both near-fall categories and outscored his competition 176 to 64 putting him in second among starters.
Reaching the NCAA Championship for the second time in his career, Surtin was cut short of the main goal. After reaching the Blood Round in the prior season, he was eliminated in just three matches in this year. Battling against injury, Surtin gritted out to the end of his bout ultimately falling one point shy of advancing to the next round.
133lbs - Connor Brown (Sr.) - Record: 11-11
The final review for Connor Brown, the early journeyman, from Jackrabbit to Badger to Tiger. Connor Brown spent four seasons, two as a starter, with Mizzou. In that time, Brown collected a 33-23 overall record keeping him above the .500 mark during his Mizzou career. Over the past season, Brown struggled to find success on his feet but where he did capitalize was in the top position. Brown led the team with a total of sixteen reversals while also collecting ten four-point near-falls, which put him in second among starters.
After receiving an at-large bid, Connor Brown returned to the NCAA Championships for the first time during his Tiger career. Although he went two and out, Brown put in work and took care of his business this season. He may have had a bumpy Tiger Style career but he can always hang his hat on wrestling for the black and gold at the end of the day.
141lbs - Allan Hart (Sr.) - Record: 16-7
Senior Allan Hart spent six seasons on the mats for the Tigers. During that time, Hart kept his loss total in the single digits each year, collecting an overall record of 98-36 (.731). Out of his ninety-eight victories, fifty-two of them came by way of bonus victories. He finishes the season tied for third among starters in takedowns this season with a total of fifty-five.
Hart leaves the Tigers with big shoes to fill for the coming season and will be heavily missed inside the Tiger Style walls. He hangs up the shoes as a 3x NCAA qualifier for the Tigers reaching as far as the Blood Round twice during his career. He is a 2x Big 12 finalist and 1x MAC finalist. His final run in the black and gold fell short of a podium finish as he was knocked out of the NCAA Championships during Consolation Round 4 bout by Clay Carlson of South Dakota State.
149lbs - Brock Mauller (Jr.) - Record: 20-4
The awaited return of Brock Mauller did not disappoint over the past season. Although Mauller didn’t light up the stat sheet for the Tigers, he did make his presence felt in the starting lineup. This season Mizzou fans saw him go 10-1 in dual meets while collecting thirty-eight team points putting him third overall among starters. Mauller was also tied for third on the wins list with a final tally of twenty.
He ended his season with just four losses. Each loss came from an opponent ranked inside the top fifteen within his weight division. He capped his win total off with a team-leading fifteen wins by decision, picking up five bonus wins as well. He outpaced his competition by a score of 151 to 66.
Brock Mauller reached the NCAA Championships for the third time during his Tiger Style career but finished with the lowest place over that time. In previous years, he has a fifth and sixth place finish which stands ahead of his current medal, seventh. Mauller’s path to a higher podium finish was shot down in the final seconds of a quarterfinals bout against eventual 149lbs All-American Kyle Parco of Arizona State.
157lbs - Jarrett Jacques (Sr.) - Record: 18-8
Jarrett Jacques was one of the unsung heroes of the Mizzou lineup over the past and current seasons. After returning back to the mats, Jacques proved his value to this Tiger Style squad. During his season, he outpaced his opponents on the mat 182-83 putting him third on the team among starters. He also set in third among starters in the takedown category with a total of fifty-five.
Jarrett Jacques successfully reached the NCAA Championships every season he competed for the Tigers. Unfortunately, he fell just shy of a medal on multiple occasions. Jacques was an overlooked wrestler during his time as a Tiger Style wrestler. He finished his career with a 104-40 record, never falling below .500 during any year.
During his time with the Tigers, Jacques accounted for a total of thirty-eight bonus wins. He accumulated a 45-19 overall dual record while tacking on one hundred sixty-four total team points. He has been an instrumental building block to the success of Tiger Style and did it all right in his own backyard!
165lbs - Keegan O’Toole (So.) - Record: 20-2
Keegan O’Toole continues to write history in the Mizzou Wrestling books. Now a 2x NCAA Champion in back-to-back seasons, O’Toole has put himself in elite company for the Tigers joining both Ben Askren and J’den Cox as the only multi-champ while at Mizzou. He finished his season with two losses which he avenged in the NCAA Finals against Iowa States David Carr in a dominating fashion.
O’Toole finishes the season with a team-leading seventy-nine total takedowns while only giving up seven. He outscored his opponents by a score of two-hundred thirty-five to seventy-eight with fifty-nine of those points coming via escapes. O’Toole has not only become a staple on the Mizzou roster but has become a national wrestling icon among the nation. The best part of it all, Tiger fans still have multiple years left of watching him dominate in the black and gold!
174lbs - Peyton Mocco (Jr.) - Record: 23-7
Peyton Mocco has just capped off the best season of his Mizzou career. He stands inside the tops statistically in multiple categories, including number one in match points scored with two-hundred and forty-one and dual team points with forty-three. Mocco led the team in total victories this season as well. Out of the seven losses on Mocco’s resume, only one of them came to a wrestler who wasn’t an All-American this season.
After reaching the NCAA Championship for the third time during his Mizzou career, Peyton Mocco finally reached the podium after falling just shy in the previous two seasons. He opened his tournament knocking off back-to-back opponents before reaching the quarterfinals where he was defeated by eventual finalist Mikey Labriola of Nebraska. Mocco continued his postseason run into the consolation side where he finished with an eight-place medal.
184lbs - Colton Hawks (So.) - Record: 18-12
While setting in rotation to start the season, we saw a wrestler come into his own during the latter half of the season. Mizzou fans watched Hawks go from an unranked wrestler entering the season to climbing inside the top twenty and reaching the NCAA Championships for the first time. Still, in the early portions of his Mizzou career, Hawks is still growing on the collegiate stage.
Reaching the NCAA Championships, Hawks opened up his tournament with an early upset victory over the 11th-seed wrestler out of North Carolina. Following the opening round, he proceed to go 1-2 being dropped out in the third-round consolation match to eventual All-American out of Clarion. Over the course of his final matches, Hawks took on some of the nation’s top wrestlers including a Big 12 contest 7-5 loss to NCAA Finalist Parker Keckheisen of Northern Iowa.
The upper weights at Mizzou are about to get interesting moving into next season and the competition inside the wrestling room is going to be fun to watch unfold. Hawks has put himself on the right path to grow and become a mainstay inside the starting lineup.
197lbs - Rocky Elam (So.) - Record: 15-2
Rocky Elam was one of the most impressive wrestlers to watch this season for the Tigers. While he finished the season with the lowest match total of his collegiate career, Rocky was still able to showcase his talents on the mat. Standing in for seventeen total bouts, Rocky outpaced his opponents only allowing three takedowns while collecting thirty-six of his own.
Rocky entered the NCAA Championships as a top contender inside his weight bracket looking to cap his season on top. Reaching the semifinals bout, he was faced with a Big 12 finals rematch against Tanner Sloan (SDSU) but this time the results weren’t as favorable. After being bounced to the consolations, Tigers fans witnessed the grit and mentality it takes to rebound from heartbreak. He capped off his season run with a third-place finish and became a 3x All-American.
Rocky has now slowly worked his way up the charts when reaching the NCAA Championships with a 5th in 2021, 4th in 2022, and now a 3rd in 2023. All that's left to do is reach the finals stage, bypass that second-place medal, and win the whole damn thing!
285lbs - Zach Elam (Jr.) - Record: 22-6
Since stepping into Columbia, Zach Elam has been running the show for Tiger Style in the 285 weight class. While stepping on the mat as an undersized heavyweight, Elam continues to show his abilities. This season Zach Elam was the riding time king for Mizzou as he collected a total of fifteen points. Elam also came in second in total wins among starters.
Now having reached the NCAA Championship for the fourth time during his collegiate career, Elam finally capped it off by standing on the podium. In previous years, Mizzou fans watched him fall out of the tournament a victory shy of a medal on multiple occasions. Now receiving All-American status, Zach Elam has now added his name among two other heavyweights in Tiger history, Dom Bradley and Mark Ellis.
For those interested in a more detailed view of season-long statistics feel free to go to the link above to view all wrestlers. As always, it’s both stressful and rewarding following Tiger Style. The future of this program continues to trend upward and the excitement will always keep fans coming back. Brian Smith and company run a hell of a program and any recruit looking to make their own path and join a winning culture needs to take a look at Mizzou. I look forward to many more victories and the opportunity to watch this team defend the home state of Missouri when they take the floor in Kansas City for the big dance!