STILLWATER — Two undefeated teams with 13 combined wrestlers ranked in the top-ten and 57 combined national championships came together at Gallagher-Iba Arena, and the dual was just as good as advertised.
No. 2 Oklahoma State hosted No. 4 Iowa on Sunday, and though the Cowboys fell behind early, they eventually clawed their way back in to win an electrifying 18-12 dual over their rival.
“It's fun,” OSU's Chris Perry said. “It's the biggest rivalry in college wrestling, the whole week you're amped up.”
Iowa jumped out to a 9-0 lead after grabbing three victories, fueled by wins from top-ranked Matt McDonough and second-ranked Tony Ramos, but the Cowboys finally got a foothold when No. 1 Jordan Oliver dominated at 149 pounds with a 10-4 victory, trimming the deficit to 9-3.
The Hawkeyes' Derek St. John then grabbed an 8-4 victory over Alex Dieringer, but the Pokes answered quickly with a 3-2 win by Tyler Caldwell. That narrowed the gap to 12-6, priming the Cowboys for the comeback that would ensue.
At that point, OSU's Chris Chionuma came to the mat knowing he had to get a victory.
No. 15 Chionuma faced No. 10 Ethen Lofthouse in the pivotal match. After a scoreless first period and a Chionuma escape in the second, he scored a takedown with just a minute remaining in the third to win 3-2, sending Gallagher-Iba Arena into a frenzy.