Chris Perry’s amateur wrestling career all comes down to this: A nationally televised, primetime championship bout against Bedlam rival Andrew Howe a little less than 70 miles from home.
Perry rallied past Iowa’s Michael Evans 3-2 in tiebreaker one in Friday night’s semifinal, giving the senior an opportunity to defend his 174-pound individual national championship Saturday night against Oklahoma’s Howe. The rivals split their two meetings this season, with Perry taking the Big 12 championship final a few weeks ago.
“This is what I wanted,” Perry said. “I didn’t want anybody else. Nothing like that. I just know this is the guy people think is better than me.
“Hands down, people believe this guy’s way better than me, and they think I stole one in Norman. I want to go out tomorrow and prove that I can beat him twice.”
For Perry, a four-time state champion at Stillwater High School and the latest in a long line of enormously successful wrestlers from his family, the opportunity to end his collegiate career like this is perfect.
Perry is the nephew of legendary wrestler and OSU coach John Smith, the son of OSU All-American Mark Perry and the younger brother of two-time Iowa national champion Mark Perry Jr.
Howe beat Chris Perry in the season’s first meeting, which the Sooners won as a team in December. But Perry rebounded by taking the rematch in the Big 12 championship earlier this month.
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