Big 12 wrestling notebook: Two Sooners win titles, seven qualify for national tournament

With the Sooners finishing in second place with 63.5 points, seven Oklahoma wrestlers punched their ticket to the NCAA tournament during Saturday’s Big 12 Championships.
by Trent Shadid Published: March 8, 2014
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After piling up two minutes of riding time in the second period, Perry held off a relentless third-period effort from Howe to secure a 3-2 victory.

“I knew I could ride him and I made some adjustments on my feet that helped,” Perry said. “I’ve scouted him pretty hard, but it’s just another match right now. Win or lose, we’re both going into the national tournament No. 1 and No. 2, so it was just another match. It means something, because I love winning, but when it’s all said and done whoever wins (at the NCAA tournament) is what counts. No one is going to remember the Big 12 championship.”

Trailing 1-0 in the final period, Howe initially scored takedowns three separate times against Perry, but two of which were overturned after OSU coaches asked for an official review.

Perry narrowly fought off another promising takedown attempt by Howe over the match’s final 30 seconds to earn the one-point win thanks to his riding-time advantage.

IOWA STATE QUALIFIES FIVE, WEST VIRGINIA FOUR

Iowa State finished third in the team race and qualified five wrestlers for the NCAA tournament on Saturday, while West Virginia finished last and qualified four individuals.

With the Big 12 receiving four NCAA bids at 174 pounds, Iowa State’s Tanner Weatherman and West Virginia’s Bubba Scheffel had already secured spots before the conference tournament. Scheffel did not wrestle on Saturday, injury defaulting to Howe in the semifinals and Weatherman in the third-place match.

Cory Stainbrook (125 pounds), Mike Morales (149 pounds), and A.J. Vizcarrondo (285 pounds) were the other automatic NCAA qualifiers for the Mountaineers.

Lelund Weatherspoon (184 pounds) and top-ranked Kyven Gadson (197 pounds) took home conference titles for the Cyclones.

Iowa State brothers Gabe (141 pounds) and Michael Moreno (165 pounds) also secured spots in the NCAA tournament with second-place finishes.

QUOTABLE

Maple on teammate Howe’s loss to Perry:

“I can’t wait to see Andrew (at the NCAA tournament). That might’ve been the worst thing that could’ve happened (for his opponents), because Andrew’s going to come back so aggressive now. It’s going to be great.”

by Trent Shadid
Copy Editor
Trent Shadid is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. He was born and raised in Weatherford, Okla., and attended Weatherford High School. Before joining The Oklahoman, he spent two seasons as an assistant wrestling coach at Weatherford High...
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