STILLWATER — Save the dramatics for Saturday. Day 1 of the Big 12 wrestling championships was reserved for domination — courtesy of Oklahoma State.
The No. 2 Cowboys rolled through all three conference foes en route to a team Big 12 Championship at Gallagher-Iba Arena on Friday. It improves OSU's dual record to 20-1 this season, giving the Cowboys their fourth Big 12 championship in the past five seasons. Iowa State placed second, Oklahoma was third and West Virginia finished fourth.
“I think it was important for us,” OSU coach John Smith said. “More importantly, we won the regular-season championship. I know it's going to be a lot tougher tomorrow.”
OSU began its day with a record-setting performance, dismantling WVU 57-0. It set the program mark for largest margin of victory in a dual.
The Cowboys followed with a 28-6 victory against ISU. Between the two duals, OSU pinned five wrestlers and lost just two matches; both to the Cyclones. At 165-pounds, No. 18 Mike Moreno upset No. 3 Tyler Caldwell, 5-2, and at 197 pounds, No. 7 Kyven Gadson took down No. 11 Blake Rosholt, 4-1.
“The matches that were tough today, I thought we wrestled pretty well in,” Smith said. “We let a match get away from us at 165 against Iowa State, (but he's) a good kid. But overall, pretty good effort on our part.”
The two dual victories set up a Bedlam rematch Friday night. The Sooners split their previous duals with a 38-7 loss to ISU and a 34-9 win against WVU. But the momentum of a big win against the Mountaineers couldn't carry the Sooners past OSU. With an orange-clad GIA crowd behind them, the Cowboys rolled from the start.
“They've got a really good team,” OU coach Mark Cody said. “They don't have any weak weight classes, and that's big, especially in a dual meet like that. Hats off to them, they've done a really good job getting this program where it is right now.”
OSU breezed through the first three matches of the OU dual — a 9-3 win at 125, a forfeit win at 133 and a 4-1 win at 141. If it wasn't already over then, No. 1 Jordan Oliver put the stamp on the Cowboy victory.