Excellent dual meet next Friday in St. Louis

St. Louis sports fans will want to mark next Friday, November 21st on your calendars. A dual meet between #9 ranked Missouri and #1 ranked Oklahoma State will be held at Hazelwood Central High School in St. Louis at 7 pm. This will mark Missouri's first dual of the season, and it will be held in the same city that plays host to the 2004 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, March 18-20.

The Missouri wrestling team is among the elite programs in the nation this year. They'll get their chance to compete against the best of the best in Oklahoma State next week.

Of the 20 wrestlers expected to compete, 18 are among the top 20 in the nation, with 16 among the top 10.

Several of the matches will be highly contested including the battle at 165-pounds. Senior three time All-American and Big 12 Champion (2001 at 174) No. 2 Tyrone Lewis of OSU will go head-to-head with All-American and Big 12 Champion (2003 at 165) junior Tyron Woodley. In their last meeting (Dec. 1, in Stillwater, Okla.), Lewis defeated Woodley with a 12-4 major decision. Since then, Woodley went on to claim the Big 12 Championship and finish eighth at the 2003 NCAA Championships, while Lewis finished in fifth.

Also of interest will be the competition at 133-pounds. Two-time NCAA Champion Johnny Thompson of OSU will meet up with junior transfer Paul Collum of Missouri. Thompson, ranked No. 1 in the nation, has claimed several honors throughout his four year career with the Cowboys. The three-time Big 12 Champion and three-time All-American should find a challenge in No. 10 Collum. Collum enters the season with a 2003 133-pound title at the Junior College National Championships and is a two-time All-American at the JUCO level. Having wrestled several Division I athletes in his career, the matchup between Collum and Thompson promises to be exciting.

One final match of interest can be found at 174-pounds as the Cowboy's No. 2 Chris Pendleton will match up with No. 10 redshirt freshmen Ben Askren of Missouri. The junior Big 12 Champion and All-American of OSU will have his first chance of the season to square off with the younger Askren, a Tiger that was one step shy of earning a berth on the USA World Wrestling Team, and defeated eventual National Champion Robbie Waller at the Missouri Valley College Open on Feb. 1.

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