Big 12 wrestling: Cowboys win Big 12 Wrestling Championship

Of the 10 championship bouts, No. 2 OSU won eight matches and placed second and third in two others. The Cowboys scored 118.5 team points, easily beating Iowa State (74), Oklahoma (58) and West Virginia (28).
BY KYLE FREDRICKSON, For The Oklahoman Published: March 9, 2013
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photo - Oklahoma State wrestler Jordan Oliver was named the outstanding wrestler of the Big 12 tournament after winning his 149 pound weight class on March 9, 2013. KT King/For the Tulsa World
Oklahoma State wrestler Jordan Oliver was named the outstanding wrestler of the Big 12 tournament after winning his 149 pound weight class on March 9, 2013. KT King/For the Tulsa World

And then there are OSU's Jon Morrison and Alan Gelogaev. Both had decorated careers before Saturday, but one thing had been missing — an individual Big 12 title. Over the past few seasons, injuries delayed that goal. But not on Saturday.

Morrison defeated OU's Cody Brewer 6-2 at 133 pounds. Gelogaev pinned ISU's Matt Gibson at 285 pounds in just 58 seconds.

“I had some bad luck with injuries the past couple years,” Morrison said. “The Big 12 title is a big steppingstone, but more than anything, I'm just really grateful that I'm going into nationals healthy this year.”

When Chris Chionuma, a 184-pound senior, got the 5-3 upset win against ISU's Boaz Beard for a Big 12 title, he tore off his headgear and let out a roar. It was the former NAIA national champion's first appearance in the Big 12 Tournament finals, an experience he won't soon forget.

“A huge one for me,” Chionuma said. “My last match here at Gallagher, my mom and brother are here … everything just built up to that.”

Oklahoma notched a title at 141 pounds, with Kendric Maple earning a major decision victory against ISU's Luke Goettl, 13-3. It was bittersweet for Maple, being the only Sooner champion at the event, but he understands the nature of collegiate wrestling.

“It's an individual sport,” Maple said. “You've got to go out there and do what you can for your team, but you've got to worry about yourself most of all; because (an NCAA Championship) is the final goal.”

Now it's time for the wrestlers to focus on the ultimate goal — especially for Oliver.

After coming up short in last year's NCAA final, he had distinct parting words.

“I've got some unfinished business to take care of,” Oliver said.


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