ISU Take 3 Titles In Big 12 Championships

Iowa State crowned three champions and finished fourth at the Big 12 Championships.

"I'm never going to be happy until we win. I'm disappointed in the results, but I'm not disappointed in the performance. We brought a lot of fight. We were out talented in some weight classes and out experienced, but I'm proud of the way our guys fought," commented head coach Bobby Douglas Saturday night.


The Cyclones came away with three Champions, one- third place winner and three wrestlers took 4th. Out of the seven place winners, Iowa State was able to qualify 5 for the NCAA Championships that begin next week.


The tournament went much like the regular season for the 11-7 Cyclones. Much like the regular season, Iowa State's Abig guns" pulled through but the rest of the team seemed to struggle.


The most anticipated match of the night came to fruition in the 141 pound title match between Nate Gallick and Teyon Ware of Oklahoma. The match was everything that everyone anticipated and much more.


Gallick and Ware played mind games with each other in the first period and tried to see if either one of them would open up. At the end of the first period the score was tied at 0-0 with Ware choosing down. Ware escaped in the second period and took a 1-0 lead into the third period. Gallick chose down and would not let anything get in the way of his ability to escape from Ware. After the Gallick escape tied it at 1-1, an overtime looked inevitable. Neither wrestler was able to gain an advantage, and the two went to a one minute sudden-victory overtime.


Neither Gallick nor Ware was able to gain any sort of leverage as they battled in the first overtime, and the score remained tied into the second overtime. These two wrestlers know each other so well. Any slight opening was going to change the advantage in the match.


Ware chose down in the first criteria of the second overtime. He escaped from Gallick's grasp and took a 2-1 lead into the second criteria of the second overtime. Gallick quickly escaped and tied it back up at 2-2 to send it into the third overtime. The third overtime looked much like the first overtime and the score remained tied into the fourth overtime. Gallick promptly escaped and aggressively battled Ware in order to gain any kind of advantage. With no time left in the first criteria of the fourth overtime Gallick saw his opportunity and snatched a quick inside single to take a 5-2 advantage. Ware escaped with 20 second left in the second criteria but was not able to take down Gallick in the final seconds and fell at the hands of Gallick 5-3 for the seventh time in Ware's career.


"He has everything I have to offer and maybe more, so he (Ware) really challenged me a lot. When we got to our feet I wanted to make something happen and I did. I took a chance and it worked out for me," commented Gallick after his third Big 12 Championship. "I don't think there is anybody in the country that I can't take down if I had to."


"It was just like last year. It was something stupid. I got taken down at the last second, supposedly but you have to wrestle seven minutes. I took a break with like a second left and that's what cost me," said Ware after his third loss of the season (all at the hand of Gallick).


Kurt Backes is peaking at the right time in a wide open weight class.


"Backers has been making progress all year long. He's on schedule. I hope he continues the way he's going and I think he has a chance to win," said coach Douglas after Backes captured his second Big 12 Title.


Backes breezed through the opening round and won a tough match against Raymond Jordan of Missouri to win the title.


"I still have a lot to learn, a lot to open up to and I still believe that I'm not at my full potential and Nationals will show it. It's a wide open weight but I believe I'll win it," said a confident Backes after his championship match.


Trent Paulson had an opening round scare in a tight 3-2 win over Michael Chandler of Missouri but was able to keep the momentum rolling in the championship match with a 2-0 decision over Kevin Ward of Oklahoma State.


"I've got to take this in stride and not let it go to my head. Kevin Ward is a great wrestler and I have to be ready to face him again at the NCAA meet," commented Paulson after his victory over Ward.


Iowa State seemed to never be able to recover from their rough team record of only 4-7 in the first round. Nate Gallick, Trent Paulson and Kurt Backes were the only Cyclone that were able to clear the first round. Richard Schopf won his pigtail match but was quickly eliminated from championship contention by Steve Mocco.


Schopf and the rest of the Cyclones were left to battle for third place and Travis Paulson was the only Cyclone to come through the losers bracket with a third place finish.


Nevertheless the coaches recognized Jesse Sundell's late-season surge and awarded his hard work with a wild card birth into the NCAA Championships. Sundell wrestled tough throughout the tournament and had a chance to win in the closing seconds of his first round loss to Tyler McCormick of Missouri and in his third place match in a loss to Patrick Aleksanyan of Nebraska, losing 7-4 and 10-9 respectively.


Iowa State's five NCAA qualifiers will have to go deep into the tournament if the Cyclones are to finish well as a team at the NCAA Championships. If all five wrestle like they did on Saturday, Iowa State has a chance to achieve this.


125 - Paul Donahoe (Nebraska) maj. dec.
Ben Hanisch (ISU), 14-4
133 -
Jesse Sundell (ISU) dec. Joe Comparin (Oklahoma), 4-0
149 -
Jason Knipp (ISU) pinned Josh Wagner (Missouri), 3:59
165 -
Travis Paulson (ISU) dec. Jarrod King (Oklahoma), 11-4
174 - Brandon Mason (Oklahoma State) dec.
David Bertolino (ISU), 5-2
197 - Joel Flaggert (Oklahoma) maj. dec.
Joe Curran (ISU), 10-2

Third-Place Bouts
133 - Patrick Aleksanyan (Nebraska) dec.
Jesse Sundell (ISU), 10-9
149 - Robert Sanders (Nebraska) dec.
Jason Knipp (ISU), 6-3
165 -
Travis Paulson (ISU) dec. Marc Harwood (Missouri), 4-1
HWT - Jon May (Nebraska) dec.
Richard Schopf (ISU), 5-2

Finals Results
125 - Sam Hazewinkel (Oklahoma) dec. Coleman Scott (Oklahoma State), 2-1
133 - Nathan Morgan (Oklahoma State) dec. Tyler McCormick (Missouri), 5-1
141 -
Nate Gallick (Iowa State) dec. Teyon Ware (Oklahoma), 5-3 SV2
149 - Zack Esposito (Oklahoma State) dec. Matt Storniolo (Oklahoma), 12-8
157 -
Trent Paulson (Iowa State) dec. Kevin Ward (Oklahoma State), 2-0
165 - Johny Hendricks (Oklahoma State) dec. Matt Pell (Missouri), 2-1 TB1
174 - Ben Askren (Missouri) maj. dec. Jacob Klein (Nebraska), 17-6
184 -
Kurt Backes (Iowa State) dec. Raymond Jordan (Missouri), 4-2
197 - B.J. Padden (Nebraska) dec. Jake Rosholt (Oklahoma State), 4-0
HWT - Steve Mocco (Oklahoma State) dec. Jake Hager (Oklahoma), 4-1

Team Scoring
Oklahoma State - 80
Oklahoma - 52.5
Nebraska - 52
Iowa State - 47.5
Missouri - 42

Iowa State's Three-Time Big 12 Champions
Ron Gray (1957-59)
Dan Gable (1968-70)
Pete Galea (1973-76)
Al Nacin (1973-75)
Mike Land (1977-79)
Tim Krieger (1987-89)
Eric Voelker (1987-89)
Eric Akin (1992-94)
Dwight Hinson (1996-98)
Cael Sanderson (1999-2002)
Nate Gallick (2004-06)

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