The No. 17 Sooners return home this Friday, Feb. 15, at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman when they host the Cal Poly Mustangs (5-6) at 7 p.m., in the first annual “Beauty and the Beast” event.
The squad will share the floor with the OU women’s gymnastics team who will simultaneously compete against Big 12 rival Iowa State in the dual-team event.
OU wrestlers (12-5, 0-4 in Big 12) are coming off a tough 21-9 defeat in Lincoln last Sunday against No. 2 Nebraska. All was not lost versus the Huskers, as freshman Joey Fio uspet No. 4 ranked and defending national champion Paul Donahoe. Fio was awarded Big 12 Wrestler of the Week, his first career conference award and the first freshman to receive the honor this season.
“Despite losses, I think our team can use last weekend’s duals as building blocks for the rest of the season,” head coach Jack Spates said. “I was pleased with our fight and aggressiveness versus Nebraska. Our team needs to step up this Friday and get a victory.”
This is the 34th meeting between the two schools, with OU leading the all-time series by a 28-3-2 margin. Last season, Oklahoma prevailed on Dec. 9, 2006, by a 31-7 final in San Luis Obispo, Calif. Only two current Sooners (Will Rowe and Joshua Weitzel) recorded individual wins in the victory versus the Mustangs.
Oklahoma has six nationally ranked wrestlers heading into the Friday showdown, including No. 17 Joey Fio at 125 pounds, his first career national ranking. Zack Bailey and Chad Terry are ranked No. 16 at 141 and 157 pounds respectively, and Will Rowe is No. 17 at 149 pounds. Seniors Joshua Weitzel (No. 6) and Joel Flaggert (No. 9) remain in the Top 10 at 184 and 197 pounds.
Cal Poly is headed by No. 1 ranked and undefeated Chad Mendes at 141 pounds (21-0), along with Chase Pami who is No. 14 at 157 pounds.
“This is going to be a great event for Oklahoma fans,” Spates said. “We encourage all Sooners to come out and support these two premiere programs in their respective sports.”
The first 500 fans arriving Friday will receive an event T-shirt, and raffle prizes will be awarded throughout the evening.
Both teams will also take part in an autograph session at the conclusion of the event. Tickets are $5 for children and $7 for adults. Admission is free for OU students with a valid student I.D.
The match versus the Mustangs is the final non-conference dual for the Sooners this season. Oklahoma will resume Big 12 conference competition when it hosts arch-rival Oklahoma State next Thursday, Feb. 21, at the Howard McCasland Field House at 7 p.m.