STILLWATER — The format might have changed, but the results remained the same. After running through the competition Friday for the Big 12 dual title, Oklahoma State won the 2013 Big 12 Wrestling Championship at Gallagher-Iba Arena on Saturday.
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).
The top two wrestlers in each weight bracket — excluding 125, 133 and 165 — received automatic bids to the NCAA Championships in Des Moines, on March 21-23. At 125 and 133, only the champion gets the automatic bid. At 165, the top three finishers get their postseason tickets punched.
The common response among most champions on Saturday was simple: on to nationals. But there was still a great deal of pride that went along with each winner.
Twelve of the Cowboys' 20 matches came with bonus points attached. It's a statistic that proves OSU coach John Smith's team was hungry to earn the title.
“They hear how important it is for us to perform in Gallagher; this is our home, this is our place,” Smith said. “We all feel it's a privilege to be a part of this tradition.”
The Cowboys had plenty of success narratives unfold.
There was the freshman and the senior: Eddie Kilmara and Jordan Oliver. Kilmara, a 125-pound freshman, captured his first career Big 12 title with a 15-5 major-decision win against ISU's Ryak Finch.
Oliver, a senior, took home his fourth career Big 12 crown in four years, this time at 149 pounds. The No. 1 wrestler in the nation for his class put on a clinic, pinning ISU's Max Mayfield with 1:41 left in the first period. He finished the two-day championship with four pins and a technical fall. He was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament.
“It means a lot,” Oliver said. “Just to end it here in Gallagher-Iba Arena, right where it started is an awesome feeling.”
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