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NCAA Wrestling Championships: Cowboys remain in title chase

Penn State (91 points), Minnesota (90.5 points) and Oklahoma State (87.5) pulled away from the field to make for a tight competition entering Saturday’s final rounds at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
by Trent Shadid Published: March 21, 2014

When the action got underway at Chesapeake Energy Arena on Friday morning, the NCAA Wrestling Championships were a five-team race.

Now, it’s down to three.

Penn State (91 points), Minnesota (90.5 points) and Oklahoma State (87.5 points) pulled away from the field to make for a tight competition between the three schools heading into Saturday’s medal-round competition.

OSU advanced the most wrestlers into the finals by winning four in a row from 149 to 174 pounds during Friday night’s championship semifinals. Penn State and Minnesota advanced two to the championship finals, but those schools were more productive in the wrestleback rounds with seven All-Americans each to the Cowboys’ five.

“It’s great for the fans to have a close team competition like this,” said Minnesota coach J Robinson. “I mean, that’s what they want. Every match counts, and that’s what gets people excited and brings intensity to the whole thing. And I think that’s what we want to do to grow the sport. It’s fun, because no one knows what’s going to happen.”

Penn State, the favorite entering the tournament, saw past champions David Taylor (165 pounds) and Ed Ruth (184 pounds) reach the finals. But the three-time defending team champion failed to advance any surprises into the finals, which Minnesota and OSU both did to close the gap.

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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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