OSU surprises Iowa State for Big 12 wrestling title

By Matt Patterson, Staff Writer, mpatterson@opubco.com Published: March 7, 2010
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NORMAN — Oklahoma State came into the Big 12 Championships hoping to keep close to Iowa State.

The Cowboys did that and more, stunning the favored Cyclones to capture their first tournament championship since 2006.

OSU finished with 70.5 team points. Iowa State was second with 69.

OSU had three champions, including first-timer Clayton Foster, who upset top-seed Max Askren of Missouri 10-6 in the 184-pound finals. Foster had lost to Askren in all four of their previous meetings. His win sealed the team race.

"I knew it was big,” Foster said. "I just put it away and went out and wrestled. I had more heart this time than any other time. I didn’t make stupid mistakes.”

Foster’s win didn’t surprise OSU coach John Smith, who knew the Cowboys might be heading for a big night after freshman Jordan Oliver beat defending champion Nick Fanthorpe of Iowa State in the 133-pound finals.

Sophomore Jamal Parks won at 141 pounds, beating OU’s Zack Bailey 3-2.

"I think we had some ups and downs throughout the tournament, but in the end it took a couple of sophomores and a junior to put us over the top,” Smith said. "Clayton sealing the deal there was a special win for him.”

For Oliver, beating a defending champion in his first year was an enormous stride even though he came in as the top seed.

"Watching it last year I was anxious to get on the mat,” Oliver said. "I wanted to leave my mark in the first year of competing in the Big 12.