A disappointing session Friday morning most likely squashed any chance of Oklahoma posting a top-five finish at the NCAA Wrestling Championships, but the Sooners are in position for their best finish under coach Mark Cody.
Bolstered by three entries earning All-America honors Friday night, OU is in ninth place heading into Saturday’s two sessions at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Andrew Howe, the No. 2 seed at 174 pounds, will meet Oklahoma State’s Chris Perry in the finals Saturday night. Howe, who three years ago won a national title at Wisconsin, defeated Minnesota’s Logan Storley 6-3 in the semifinals.
Three Sooners earned All-American honors — Kendric Maple (149 pounds), 133-pounder Cody Brewer and Howe.
Brewer, the No. 13 seed who pinned OSU’s Jonathon Morrison in the second round, lost in the quarterfinals Friday morning but rebounded with a 13-2 win over Michigan’s Rosario Bruno.
Ross Larson, a redshirt freshman from Ankeny, Iowa, was unseeded but went 2-2 at nationals, including a win Friday morning over No. 14 seed Jonathan Gingrich of Penn State.
Maple, who won the 141-pound national title last year, lost 2-1 in a tiebreaker in the quarterfinals to Northwestern’s Jason Tsirtsis. Maple, though, became OU’s 25th three-time All-American with a 7-4 win over Clarion’s Justin Arthur but failed to protect a 4-1 third-period lead and lost his second match Friday night 5-4 to Michigan’s Eric Grajales.