Mizzou Wrestling Finishes Season with Five All-Americans
DES MOINES, IA - The Mizzou Wrestling program's season came to an official close Saturday with five All-American Tigers being recognized in front of 16,131 fans at Wells FargoArena. Missouri capped off 2013 with a seventh-place finish at Nationals after accumulating 56.5 team points. Alan Waters, Nathan McCormick, Drake Houdashelt, Mike Larson, and Dom Bradley received medals this year at the 2013 NCAA Championships. The five total All-Americans ties the program's mark set in 2009 in St. Louis.
Junior Alan Waters gained All-American status for the first time in his career after taking fourth in this year's field. Waters lost for the first time in 2013 during the NCAA Semifinals to Penn State's Nico Megaludis. The match was decided by 18 seconds of ride time in the second set of tiebreakers. Waters path to becoming an All-American included wins over Minnesota All-American David Thorn and No. 8 Matthew Snyder of Virginia.
Compiling a record of 33-2 in his third year at 125 pounds, Waters moves into fourth-place all-time in winning percentage (.943) in a single season. He collected his 100th win Friday against Snyder in only 111 matches.
Senior-captain Nathan McCormick joined his brother Tyler on Mizzou's list of All-Americans with a pin against Northern Iowa's Levi Wolfensperger. McCormick made his third NCAA appearance at 133 pounds this season, finishing in eighth after dropping his final two matches. He leaves Mizzou with a 91-46 record and a career-best 34-7 mark this season.
Drake Houdashelt shocked many at the Championships with two upsets over No. 11 Andrew Alton (Penn State) and No. 6 Dylan Ness (Minnesota). A win over Kevin Tao of American in the quarterfinals solidified his spot on the podium at 149 pounds this year. The sophomore fell in a couple of tight matches in the final rounds to higher-ranked opponents and claimed sixth place in his first year at 149 pounds.
Houdashelt finishes 2013 with a 31-12 record. Of his 31 victories, 12 came via major decision, tying the program record set by Wes Roper and Raymond Jordan. He was last year's Marshell Esteppe Most Outstanding Freshman.
184-pounder Mike Larson rode three straight wins in the wrestleback bracket to claim his first All-American honor as a senior. The California native qualified for NCAAs in every year as an attached collegiate wrestler. This year he finished in eighth place despite coming in seeded No. 11.
Larson transferred from Cal State Bakersfield to Mizzou after his redshirt freshman year. He, too, eclipsed the 100-win plateau in his career after defeating Daniel Rinaldi of Rutgers.
Redshirt senior Dom Bradley was named an All-American for the second time in his career in 2013 with a fourth-place finish at heavyweight. Another senior-captain, Bradley had an incredible campaign after taking an Olympic redshirt in 2012, finishing the year with a 39-3 record. His .929 winning percentage is fifth all-time in asingle season, and his 39 wins fits in at eighth place all time. He's the 14th grappler to be a repeat All-American at Mizzou.
After six years, Bradley ends his tenure with 105 wins to just 15 losses. His wrestling career isn't over just yet, as the Blue Springs, Mo., native hopes to qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
With Brian Smith at the helm, 19 All-Americans have now come through Columbia, Mo, claiming 31 total medals. The five from this season make it 53 total placers at the NCAA Championships since the programs beginning in 1923. Smith's squads have had 12 consecutive winning seasons after posting a 16-3 dual record in 2012-13.