No. 1 and proving it
STILLWATER – The Oklahoma State wrestling team remained undefeated Sunday afternoon, handing third-ranked Iowa its first loss of the season in Gallagher-Iba Arena. The Cowboys prevailed, 24-11, in front of a crowd of 7,809, the largest home attendance for OSU since 2007. With the win, the Cowboys moved to 6-0 for the first time since the 2012-13 season.
"It was nice to get one in the win column for us," head coach John Smith said. "The last three years we've been beaten by them and rivalries don't exist if you don't win both ways so we turned it into a little bit more of a rivalry today."
Redshirt freshman Chandler Rogers electrified the Gallagher-Iba crowd with a first-period fall at 165 pounds, while key upsets from Kaid Brock, Anthony Collica and Austin Schafer pushed the Cowboys over the top.
The Hawkeyes struck first, as top-ranked Thomas Gilman took down redshirt freshman Nick Piccininni three times in the final period to record a 12-4 major decision. Brock then recorded the first of three consecutive OSU wins, which would put the Cowboys in control for good.
Brock came out aggressive in his match against No. 1 Cory Clark, jumping out to a 5-0 early lead with takedowns to open the first and second period. Clark would respond, converting on a couple of takedowns of his own, but Brock made the decisive escape with 20 seconds left in the match and 59 seconds of riding time in the bank for Clark to finish off a 7-6 decision.
"If you dissect (Brock's) match, it's a good win," Smith said. "It was a little bit ugly in the way he finished it up. He's wrestling a guy who is a multiple-time national finalist and someone that isn't going to drop his head when he gets down and not be there at the end. Kaid just has to recognize that there are some things that we've seen as coaches in his past that he just needs to grow through to get to another place. It was a great win though.
"Being up 5-0 and then being forced to get an escape to win at the end is just one of those things that you have to work with those guys on and get them to recognize that if you're not stretching out scores, it's usually going the other way."
Reigning national champion Dean Heil took care of business at 141 pounds, recording an 8-5 decision over 18th-ranked Topher Carton to give the Cowboys a 6-4 lead.
Senior Anthony Collica piled on to the OSU advantage, with a thrilling tiebreaker win over second-ranked Brandon Sorensen. Collica and Sorensen traded escapes in the second and third to finish regulation tied at one. As neither wrestler was able to score in sudden victory or a pair of tiebreakers, Collica was awarded the win by way of tiebreaker advantage with two seconds to his credit.
"I mean I've worked hard all offseason," Collica said. "I changed my style a little bit, but it was just to get better and stronger in those positions. I definitely got stronger in my positions that I wasn't in last year, and I felt a lot better against him honestly."
Iowa got back on the board at 157 pounds, as second-ranked Michael Kemerer edged Cowboy sophomore Joe Smith in a 4-3 decision.
Stillwater product Chandler Rogers got what was perhaps the biggest roar of the day from an excitable crowd, as he pinned Skyler St. John in 2:18 to bolster the Cowboy lead to 15-7. The fall was the fifth of the season for the redshirt sophomore and the 18th of his career.
"Going for the pin has always been my go to," Rogers said. "Growing up, we've always learned how to pin and gone to pinning camps, where we learned multiple pin combinations. When I say we, I mean Jordan (Rogers) and I. That's what has always made us pretty hard to scout because we can really pin someone from just about any position. In that match, (volunteer assistant coach Chris) Perry said I just have to keep working on this guy and the opportunity might present itself.
"I don't try to rush my pins because if I rush it then I'll end up getting pinned, and I don't want that to happen. I definitely paced myself and went with the intention of taking the guy down and scoring as many points as I can, and when the opportunity presented itself I took it."
Cowboy senior Kyle Crutchmer handled 13th-ranked Alex Meyer at 174 pounds, getting a couple of first-period takedowns that would carry him to a 5-2 decision.
Iowa refused to go away quietly as sixth-ranked Sammy Brooks turned in a 13-3 major decision over OSU senior Nolan Boyd to cut the Cowboys' lead to 18-11, but Preston Weigel and Austin Schafer put any hopes of a Hawkeye comeback to rest with a pair of wins in the 197 and heavyweight bouts.
Leading 1-0 heading to the third, Weigel used a four-point nearfall in the final frame and a couple of minutes of riding time to seal up a 6-0 victory over Cash Wilcke at 197 pounds.
Schafer made sure the Cowboys rode off on a high note with an exciting 5-4 decision over sixth-ranked Sam Stoll. Schafer recorded a takedown on the edge in the first period to open with the lead. After being whistled for a couple of stall warnings in the second, he would find himself tied with Stoll heading to the final frame. Starting down, Stoll escaped to open the period, but Schafer would score on a double-leg takedown late in the match that would give him the win.
The Cowboys will be back in Gallagher-Iba Arena next weekend when they host Big 12 foes West Virginia and South Dakota State. OSU will host the Mountaineers Friday at 7 p.m., before returning on Sunday to take on the Jackrabbits at 2 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at okstate.com/tickets.
No. 1 Oklahoma State 24, No. 3 Iowa 11Jan. 15, 2016 | Stillwater, Okla. | Gallagher-Iba Arena | Attendance: 7,809125: No. 1 Thomas Gilman (IOWA) MD No. 11 Nick Piccininni (OSU) 12-4133: No. 5 Kaid Brock (OSU) dec. No. 1 Cory Clark (IOWA) 7-6141: No. 1 Dean Heil (OSU) dec. No. 18 Topher Carton (IOWA) 8-5149: No. 3 Anthony Collica (OSU) dec. No. 2 Brandon Sorensen (IOWA) 4-3, TB2157: No. 2 Michael Kemerer (IOWA) dec. No. 6 Joe Smith (OSU) 4-3165: No. 6 Chandler Rogers (OSU) fall Skyler St. John (IOWA) 2:18174: No. 5 Kyle Crutchmer (OSU) dec. No. 13 Alex Meyer (IOWA) 5-2184: No. 5 Nolan Boyd (OSU) MD No. 6 Sammy Brooks (IOWA) 13-3197: No. 4 Preston Weigel (OSU) dec. Cash Wilcke (IOWA) 6-0HWT: No. 9 Austin Schafer (OSU) dec. No. 6 Sam Stoll (IOWA) 5-