Oklahoma wrestling: Sooners fourth after first day of NCAA Championships

by Michael Baldwin Published: March 20, 2014

“In this tournament there are always so many ups and downs,” said OU coach Mark Cody. “With Brewer’s pin over Morrison that was such a big high. Brewer finally wrestled like he’s capable, but then you have the low when Rutt loses. But overall we’re pleased with the first day. We gained some momentum. Now we just have to keep it going.”


Friday morning’s quarterfinals could have a huge impact on where OU finishes. Brewer faces Wisconsin’s Tyler Graff (a No. 5 seed); Howe faces Pittsburgh’s Tyler Wilps (a No. 7 seed); Maple meets Northwestern’s Jason Tsirtsis (a No. 5 seed); and Patterson faces Penn State’s Nicholas Megaludis a (No. 3 seed).

Brewer was leading his match, a high scoring first-period, then ended it with a dramatic fall.

“I knew it would be a scrap because he’s beaten me six times before,” Brewer said. “After I got a takedown I knew I had to get out in front. Once I got the cradle I was trying to end it as quickly as I could because I knew he’s a good wrestler and would wrestle hard the whole time.”

Maple, who won the 141 national title last year, noticed his teammate running through the entryway as he was entering the arena for his second-round match.

“He was so happy, it got me pumped up,” Maple said. “I love it for him because I really love that kid. It’s momentum for the whole team. Cody is fun. We just want to keep that momentum going.”

Maple defeated non-seeded Twan Claxton in his morning match but looked more like a national title contender in his win over Grothus.

“Most wrestlers would agree that first match is the toughest,” Maple said. “You have to get past the nerves, get your lungs blown out. It was a tough match. I just needed to get past that first one. I’m where I want to be. Win three more and you’re the national champ.”

by Michael Baldwin
Mike Baldwin has been a sports reporter for The Oklahoman since 1982. Mike graduated from Okmulgee High School in 1974 and attended Oklahoma Christian University, graduating with a journalism degree in 1978. Mike's first job was sports editor...
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