Missouri Wrestling Heads to NCAA's

8 years 7 months 2 days ago Tuesday, March 15 2011 Mar 15, 2011 Tuesday, March 15, 2011 1:52:00 PM CDT March 15, 2011 in Tiger Talk
By: Steven Keers

COLUMBIA - The Missouri wrestling team will send a school record of nine grapplers to the 2011 NCAA Wrestling Championships, held in the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pa. The nine member squad consists of two Big 12 champions, four past NCAA qualifiers, five first timers, two redshirt freshmen and one true freshman. As a team, Missouri has finished in the top-15 at NCAA's in each of the last seven seasons. Last year the Tigers finished in 10th place, with
Maxwell Askren taking home the title at 184 pounds.

Seven Tigers earned automatic bids to the tournament by the amount of allotted wrestlers per conference, per weight class set before conference tournaments began by the NCAA. Freshman Alan Waters, sophomore Nathan McCormick, senior Todd Schavrien, redshirt freshman Zach Toal, junior Dorian Henderson, sophomore Brent Haynes and junior Dom Bradley picked up the auto bids with their performances at this year's Big 12's. Redshirt freshman Kyle Bradley and sophomore Mike Larson earned wild card bids. This is the ninth straight year in which Missouri has qualified five or more wrestlers to the NCAA Championships.

Schavrien and Henderson are the veterans of this year's qualifiers, as each Tiger will be making their third appearance of the NCAA Championships. Schavrien is 3-4 in his previews two tournaments while Henderson has a record of 2-4. Schavrien won his first career Big 12 title last weekend, beating top seeded Zack Bailey by a 3-2 decision in the finals.

Haynes went 3-2 last year and his first career NCAA Championships. Larson, who wrestled for Cal State Bakersfield last season, finished 0-2 at NCAA's. Waters, McCormick, Kyle Bradley, Toal and Dom Bradley are all making their first appearances. Dom Bradley won the Big 12 title last weekend, becoming the first Tiger heavyweight to win the crown.

Over the past 12 years in which Head Coach Brian Smith has been at the helm, 12 Missouri wrestlers have been crowned All-Americans with nine earning multiple honors.

Missouri has had four champions in their history, including one in each of the last two seasons. Ben Askren is the program's only repeat winner, taking the crown in both 2006 and 2007 at 174 pounds. Mark Ellis won the heavyweight title in 2009, with Max Askren finishing first at 184 pounds in 2010.

The three-day National event will be broadcast live on the ESPN network. Thursday's action will air online at ESPN3.com. On Friday, ESPNU will cover both the morning quarterfinals and consolation rounds, and the evening's semifinals. ESPNU will also show Saturday morning's medal rounds, and ESPN will take over the broadcast for the evening championships.

Thursday, March 17
Session 1 - First Round
Live on ESPN3.com - 10 a.m. CT
Session 2 - Second Round and Consolation Rounds
Live on ESPN3.com - 5:30 p.m. CT
Friday, March 18
Session 3 - Quarterfinals and Consolation Rounds
Live on ESPNU HD/ESPN3.com - 10:30 a.m. CT
Session 4 - Semifinals
Live on ESPNU HD - 6 p.m. CT
Saturday, March 19
Session 5 - Medal Rounds
Live on ESPNU HD - 10 a.m. CT
Session 6 - Finals
Live on ESPN HD/ESPN3.com (simulcast) - 6:30 p.m. CT

Here's a look at the Tigers' first round matchups and any notes regarding their opening contests.
•125: No. 10 Alan Waters vs. Anthony Zanetta (Pitt) - Zanetta is 17-10 on the season. Waters edged Zanetta by a 2-0 final at the Midlands this year.
•133: Nathan McCormick vs. No. 2 Andrew Hochstrasser (Boise State) - Hochstrasser is 23-1 this year. Hochstrasser defeated McCormick 7-2 at the NWCA National Duals in January.
•141: No. 10 Todd Schavrien vs. Trevor Melde (Rutgers) - Melde is 28-13 this season. Schavrien majored Melde twice this year, winning 9-1 at the Northeast Duals and 13-2 at Midlands.
•149: Kyle Bradley vs. No. 10 Kurt Kinser (Indiana) - Kinser is 27-8 this year and defeated Bradley by a 4-0 decision at the dual.
•165: No. 10 Zach Toal vs. Jim Resnick (Rider) - Resnick is 15-6 on the year. Toal did not face him this season.
•174: Dorian Henderson vs. Rob Morrison (Rider) - Pigtail match. Morrison is 25-6 on the year. Henderson did not face him this season. Winner gets No. 9 Ethen Lofthouse of Iowa. Lofthouse is 19-8.
•184: Mike Larson vs. No. 2 Robert Hamlin (Lehigh) - Hamlin is 24-2 on the year. Larson lost three times to Hamlin this season, falling 10-3 at the dual and twice at the Midlands by scores of 6-3 and 4-0.
•197: Brent Haynes vs. No. 4 Dustin Kilgore (Kent State) - Kilgore is 31-2 on the year. Haynes and Kilgore did not face each other this season.
•HWT: No. 5 Dom Bradley vs. J.T. Felix (Boise State) - Felix is 10-11 on the year. They did not meet this season.

Here's a look at the rest of the field and what the Tigers have done against future possible matchups.

•125: No 10. Alan Waters - 10-5 against the rest of the field. 0-2 this year against both No. 9 Jon Morrison of OSU (lost by scores of 3-1 and 3-2) and OU's Jarrod Patterson (lost 3-2 and 1-0 in tiebreakers). Split with Stanford's No. 7 Ryan Mango at Midlands, falling 7-3 in their first match before winning 3-2 to take third place. Beat the following opponents: Allen Bartelli (Boise State, 1-0), Jason Lara (Oregon State, 3-2), Steve Bonanno (Hofstra, 2-1), Tyler Iwamura (CSU-Bakersfield, 3-0), Joseph Langel (Rutgers, 5-0), No. 11 Frank Perrelli (Cornell, 3-0), No. 6 Nic Bedelyon (Kent State, 3-1), David Klingsheim (Nebraska, 5-3) and Camden Eppert (Purdue, 6-0).

•133: Nathan McCormick - 3-7 against the rest of the field. Picked up wins against Frank Cagnina (Lehigh, 11-6) and Jordan Keller (Oklahoma, 3-2). Split with Nebraska's Ridge Kiley, falling 4-0 in the duals before winning 3-2 at Big 12's. Fell to No. 1 Jordan Oliver (Oklahoma State, 12-3 and by fall), Tyler Small (Kent State, 8-6), No. 5 Lou Ruggirello (Hofstra, fall), No. 11 Scotti Sentes (Central Michigan, fall) and Bernard Futrell (Illinois, 9-3).

•141: No. 10 Todd Schavrien - 10-6 against the rest of the field. Went 2-1 against Iowa State's Chris Drouin (L, 3-2, W, 3-1, W, 6-3) and split with Oklahoma's No. 8 Zack Bailey (L, 8-6, W, 3-2) and Oklahoma State's Joshua Kindig (W, 7-2, L, 8-3). Defeated Mike Koehnlein (Nebraska, 11-1), Vicente Varela (Hofstra, 8-0), Stephen Dutton (Lehigh, 5-4 and 10-2), Levi Jones (Boise State, 11-2) and No. 11 Matt Mariacher (American, 6-5). Lost to Mike Mangrum (Oregon State, 5-4), No. 4 Jimmy Kennedy (Illinois, 6-3) and No. 7 Tyler Nauman (Pitt, 9-5).

•149: Kyle Bradley - 4-10 against the rest of the field. Wins over Donnie Corby (CMU, 8-3), Scott Sakaguchi (Oregon State, 5-3 in sudden victory) and Joseph Napoli (Lehigh, 5-3). Split with Matt Lester (OU, L, 4-2, W, 2-0). Lost to No. 8 Ganbayar Sanjaa (American, 10-3), Jamal Parks (Oklahoma State, 7-2 and 4-0), Eric Terrazas (Illinois, 7-2 and 2-0 in second sudden victory), No. 4 Kyle Dake (Cornell, 9-3), No. 11 Andrew Nadhir (Northwestern, 8-3), No. 6 Jason Chamberlain (Boise State, 10-5) and No. 7 Mario Mason (Rutgers, 10-4).

•165: No. 10 Zach Toal - 7-10 against the rest of the field. Won twice over No. 11 Aaron Janssen (Iowa, 7-3 and 8-6 in SV). Went 2-1 against No. 6 Dallas Bailey (Oklahoma State, W, 6-5, W, 3-2, L, 5-2). Beat Patrick Graham (American, 9-3), Ross Tice (Kent State, 7-4) and Brandon Hatchett (Lehigh, 3-2). Lost to No. 1 Jordan Burroughs (Nebraska, 26-11), No. 9 Justin Kreber (Cornell, 7-3), No. 8 Scott Winston (Rutgers, fall), No. 4 Josh Asper (Maryland, 8-2), No. 3 Tyler Caldwell (Oklahoma, 12-3, 1-0, 6-0), Paul Gillespie (Hofstra, 8-2) and No. 2 Andrew Howe (Wisconsin, 12-3).

•174: Dorian Henderson - 3-7 against the rest of the field. Wins over Brandon Wright (Chattanooga, 5-2), No. 11 Austin Meys (Lehigh, 3-1) and Alex Caruso (Rutgers, 6-4). Losses to No. 1 Jonathan Reader (Iowa State, 16-0), Ryan Patrovich (Hofstra, 6-1), Luke Manuel (Purdue, 2-1), No. 8 Mike Letts (Maryland, 3-0) and No. 6 Ben Bennett (Central Michigan, 4-1).

•184: Mike Larson - 5-9 against the rest of the field. Went 1-2 against OU's Erich Schmidtke (W, 2-1, L, 7-3, L, 3-1). Beat Iowa State's Cole Shafer twice in three matches (W, 8-4, W, 4-3, L, fall). Wins over No. 12 Grant Gambrall (Iowa, 3-2) and Jason McCroskey (Chattanooga, 3-2). Lost to No. 6 Ryan Loder (UNI, 3-1), No. 7 Chris Perry (Oklahoma State, 3-1 and 3-2) and Josh Ihnen (Nebraska, 2-1).

•197: Brent Haynes - 5-7 against the field. Went 1-2 against Nebraska's Andy Johnson (W, 3-2, L, 6-5, L, 5-3). Beat Jay Hahn (Bucknell, 9-6), Matt Casperson (Boise State, 13-7), Tyler Dickenson (Michigan State, 16-0) and Joe Kennedy (Lehigh, fall). Lost to No. 8 Matt Powless (Indiana, 8-5), No. 11 Jerome Ward (Iowa State, 8-3), No. 7 Zac Thomusseit (Pitt, 6-5) and twice to No. 2 Clayton Foster (Oklahoma State, 16-5 and 7-4).

•HWT: No. 5 Dom Bradley - 11-3 against the field. Losses came against No. 1 Zach Rey (Lehigh, 3-2), No. 3 Ryan Flores (American, 6-2) and No. 4 Dominick Russo (4-3). Beat Clayton Jack (Oregon State, 2-1), Christian Brantley (UNI, 5-2), Paul Snyder (Hofstra, 8-2), No. 11 Tucker Lane (Nebraska, 5-4), Brendan Barlow (Kent State, 5-3), Kyle Simonson (Iowa State, 2-1), No. 10 Nathan Fernandez (Oklahoma, 4-2 and 3-1), Spencer Myers (Maryland, 4-1) and Ricardo Alcala (Indiana, 1-0)

Earning an automatic qualification ot the NCAA's after finishing third at Big 12's, true freshman Alan Waters becomes the first Missouri true freshman since Justin Spates in 2001 to earn a bid to nationals.

Senior Todd Schavrien and junior Dom Bradley each claimed Big 12 titles in their respective weight class, as Missouri finished in second place in the team score with 60 points. Nick Gregoris and Kyle Bradley finished in second place, while five other Tigers placed earlier in the day. It was the fifth time in program history that the Tigers had four wrestlers in the championship round. Missouri earned seven automatic qualifiers to the NCAA's on the day.

Schavrien and Bradley's victories helped keep the Sooners off the top of the podium and propelled the Tigers ahead of Oklahoma in the team standings. Oklahoma State led all teams with six finalists with five taking first place. Oklahoma had five finalists but no champions, while Missouri had four finalists and two champions.

Schavrien captured his first Big 12 title, beating out top seeded Zach Bailey of Oklahoma by a 3-2 decision. Schavrien took Bailey down in the first and escaped to start the third while only giving up a pair of escapes. The Tiger avenged a 9-6 loss to Bailey back in February in the dual match and becomes just the second Big 12 Champion at 141 pounds for Missouri. Marcus Hoehn accomplished the same feat back in 2009.

Dom Bradley's takedown in the first period set the pace for the rest of the match, as he allowed only an escape while scoring one of his own to win 3-1. He becomes the first heavyweight Big 12 champion in Missouri history.

Bradley and Gregoris each finished in second place at 149 and 157 pounds, respectively. Bradley fell to No. 1 seed Jamal Parks of Oklahoma State by a 4-0 final. Gregoris was down 3-0 late in the third period to top seed Neil Erisman of OSU. He scored a reversal with 45 seconds left, but couldn't turn Erisman before time expired.

The Tigers have had at least one Big 12 champion in each of the last six years, and it's the sixth time in program history that they've had multiple Big 12 champions in the same season.

The NCAA Wrestling Championships will return to the Midwest in 2012, as the event heads back to St. Louis, Mo., after a two year hiatus. The three day tournament will run from March 15-17 and be held at the Scottrade Center.

Numerous Tigers have either already stepped into the all-time Missouri record books, or are about to do so. With his two wins at the Big 12 Championships, freshman Alan Waters is just has moved into a tie for 10th most victories in a single season at Missouri. His .883 winning percentage would be eighth all-time in a single season if the season ended today. Todd Schavrien has five technical falls this year, tying him for fourth most in a year at Missouri, and he's one major decision away from jumping into the top-10, as he currently has eight on the year.

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