Wrestling Claims Nine Open Titles
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri wrestling team sent 34 of their grapplers to the Maryville Kaufman-Brand Open in St. Louis on Sunday, with 25 of those wrestlers finishing in the top-six of their respective weight classes. Of the 25 placers for Missouri, nine of them took home first place.
At 125 pounds, sophomore Alan Waters and freshman Boomer Boyd finished 1-2 in the standings. Waters advanced to the finals with four straight first period falls, the fastest coming in 34 seconds, while Boyd moved into the championship with decisions of 6-2, 4-3 and 7-0. In the finals, Waters defeated Boyd by a 22-6 technical fall. Waters is now 7-0 on the season with all seven victories by fall or technical fall.
Junior Nathan McCormick took home the championship at 133 pounds, pinning his way to the title. After a first round bye, McCormick pinned Brian Bitney (Missouri Valley) in 3:28, Allen Gassman (Baker) in 2:44 and Ryan Banning (Truman) in 6:22 to move into the finals, where he pinned Willie Essex (Missouri Valley) in 3:23. Eric Wilson finished in third in the class, bouncing back from a second round loss to win six straight contests in the wrestlebacks - one by major decision, one by medical forfeit, two by fall and one by technical fall.
The 141 pound weight class was the only one that didn't feature a Missouri champion, but junior Nicholas Hucke and senior Brandon Wiest finished third and fourth, respectively. Both wrestlers made it to the semifinals, but Hucke lost his match by a 10-3 decision, while Wiest fell 5-3. In the third place match, Hucke pulled out the 3-1 victory over his counterpart.
Sophomore Kyle Bradley rolled to first place at 149 pounds, securing the title with a pin in the finals in 6:43. He opened his day the same way, pinning his first round opponent in 2:30, and then followed with a 16-4 major decision. After pulling out a 7-6 decision over Corey Duncan of Lindenwood, Bradley defeated Jarell Price of Baker, 8-3, to move into the finals. Also placing for Mizzou was Kellen Bounous, who took fourth place. Bounous lost his second match of the day to fall into the consolation bracket but bounced back with five straight wins to move into the third place match, which he dropped by a tight 5-4 score to Derrick Weller of Lindenwood.
At 157, redshirt freshman Drake Houdashelt went 5-0 on the day to finish in first place, winning four of those contests with bonus points. He won 19-4 for a technical fall in his first match and then pinned his second opponent in 3:14. He scored another technical fall, winning 22-7, to move into the semis, where he pulled out a 6-2 decision over Maryville's Joey Moorehouse. In the finals, Houdashelt scored a 15-2 major over Lindenwood's Sam Schmitz. Fellow redshirt freshman Austin Lindsay finished in third place, going 4-1 on the day. He advanced to the semifinals with pins in each of his first two matches, but dropped his contest against Schmitz by a 4-3 decision. He came back and defeated Purdue's Patrick Robinson, 3-1, in his first wrestleback contest, and then pinned his opponent in 1:23 in the third place match.
Missouri finished 1-2-3 at 165 pounds, with sophomore Zach Toal finishing in first place. After his first round bye, Toal pinned his first opponent in just 16 seconds to start his day. He scored a pin in 2:58 in his next match, and then majored two straight teammates to claim the title. He first defeated Ty Prazma by a 12-3 major in the semifinals before beating Jordan Gagliano, 13-3, in the championship. Gagliano reached the finals with a 19-3 technical fall in his first match, a 3-2 decision over Purdue's Chad Welch, and an 8-0 major decision. Prazma ended up finishing in third, winning both of his wrestleback contests by decision.
All five Missouri grapplers at 174 pounds placed in the class, as the Tigers went 1-2-3-4-6 to dominate the weight. Senior Dorian Henderson led the way by finishing in first place, winning three of his four contests over fellow Tigers. After winning 11-6 in his first match, Henderson beat Dustin Williams, 8-6, Cody Johnston by a 15-5 major and Patrick Wright, 3-2, in the finals. Wright advanced to the finals by pinning his first two opponents in the first period and then majoring his next foe, 13-1. He defeated teammate Todd Porter, 3-1, in the semifinals before falling to Henderson. Porter finished in third place after majoring Williams 8-0 and Johnston 12-4 in the wrestlebacks. Johnston placed fourth, going 4-2 on the day. Williams won two of his wrestleback contests before falling to the fifth place match after his loss to Porter.
The Tigers finished in first and second again at 184 pounds, with Mike Larson earning the win by medical forfeit over Johnny Eblen in the finals. Larson won his first three matches by decisions to move into the championship, while Eblen opened with a 19-3 technical fall before winning his next two contests by decision. Junior Clarence Neely lost his first match of the day but won his first four wrestleback contests on his way to a fourth place finish.
Junior Brent Haynes coasted to the title at 197 pounds, winning his first two matches by fall and his next two contests by technical fall. His first fall came in 3:55, while his second pin came in 2:08. He then defeated Purdue's Preston Quam by a 16-0 technical fall in the semifinals before beating Matt Baker of Maryville, 17-0, in the championship. Freshman Justin Heberlie finished in third, exacting revenge on a second round loss to Jesse Alter of Missouri Valley, who pinned Heberlie in just one minute. Heberlie scored a 12-3 major and a fall in 4:24 in his first two wrestleback matches before edging Quam by a 3-2 score. In the third place match, Heberlie defeated Alter by a 7-6 decision.
At heavyweight, redshirt freshman Devin Mellon scored two decisions, two majors and a fall on his way to the 285 pound title. He opened with an 18-6 decision, and then beat David Devine of SIUE by a 7-3 score. After majoring his next opponent 13-4, he punched his ticket to the finals with a pin of Dylan Berg (Baker) in 6:12. He knocked off Brandon Gebhardt, also of Baker, by an 11-4 score to take first. Jake Glore dropped his first match but wrestled back with five consecutive wins, including an 8-0 major and a 4-3 win in double overtime to move into the third place contest. He dropped a tight match to Devine, 9-7.
Missouri returns to dual action this Friday against No. 20 Kent State (2-2) at 6:05 P.M. CT