Cowboys Win Big 12 Wrestling Title

OMAHA, Neb. -  Oklahoma State took home its third consecutive Big 12 title by placing eight wrestlers in the finals and winning seven individual titles. OSU finished the tournament with 95.5 points, ahead of second-place Iowa State who had 47 points. Nebraska, Oklahoma and Nebraska finished third, fourth and fifth, respectively.

"It was very rewarding to see us come out and wrestle well," head coach John Smith said. "It was good to see our guys who were on the bubble have a good tournament. We just need to take advantage of our momentum going into our workouts next week."

It was the seventh Big 12 Championship for Oklahoma State in the last nine years, and the 40th conference championship in school history.

The Cowboys sent eight wrestlers to the finals and came away with seven Big 12 champions. Coleman Scott defeated previously unbeaten and top-ranked Sam Hazewinkel in the championship bout. Kevin Ward was a surprise champion coming through the bracket as the No. 4 seed to claim the title at 157. Scott earned Outstanding Wrestler for his performance.

"I just wanted to wrestle hard, and do what I could to keep moving," Scott said after defeating No. 1 Hazewinkel. "I wanted to win, you have to have that mentality."

"I wrestled hard the whole time," Ward said after winning his first Big 12 title. "It was good to come back and beat two guys who had beat me before. This gives me lots of confidence and gets me excited to wrestle."

OSU only had three wrestlers to wrestle in the first round with Daniel Frishkorn and Ward. The Cowboys flexed their muscles in the semifinals, winning eight of their nine matches.

Scott was the first Cowboy to take the mat in the semifinals. Eighth-ranked Matt Keller got the first takedown, and Scott turned his knee in the process. Scott took over from there. Scott came right back with a takedown of his own to take the lead in the match, and he never looked back. Scott took Keller to his back in the third period and ended the match with a fall in 6:21.

Nathan Morgan and Zack Esposito both advanced to the finals as the top seed at 133 and 149, respectively.

Fourth-seeded Ward took the mat with the top seed and fifth-ranked Trent Paulson of Iowa State. Paulson recorded the first takedown, but the match was tied heading into the third period. Ward was awarded a point for a technical violation to take a lead. Ward maintained control, and with less than a minute to go he took Paulson to his back for a five count to take a 6-2 lead. Ward held on for the upset with a 7-4 decision.

Johny Hendricks had a dramatic victory coming from behind to defeat Jacob Klein in the second sudden victory period. Klein got a takedown in the tiebreaker session, but Hendricks tied it with a takedown of his own to send it into the second sudden victory period. Hendricks recorded the takedown on the edge of the mat to win the match.

Chris Pendleton, Jake Rosholt and Steve Mocco all recorded major decisions in the semifinals to reach the finals.

In the consolation bracket, Daniel Frishkorn qualified for the national tournament by defeating fourth-ranked Matt Murray for third-place.

The Cowboys sent eight wrestlers to the final round of the Big 12 Championships. Scott took the mat first in the 125-pound final against top-ranked Hazewinkel of Oklahoma. The match went scoreless through the first period. Each wrestler earned a point to send the match into overtime. Scott rode Hazewinkel for the entire 30 second period, and escaped with 12 seconds left in his turn on bottom to earn the victory.

Nathan Morgan won his first Big 12 Championship with a major decision over Dominick Moyer, and Zack Esposito successfully defended his title against Oklahoma's Matt Storniolo.

Ward avenged a loss to Missouri's Brad Cieleski earlier in the season, and won his first Big 12 Championship. Hendricks defeated another Missouri Tiger when he had a decision over Tyron Woodley in the finals.

Pendleton became the third Cowboy to beat a Missouri wrestler in the finals when he defeated Ben Askren, 12-8.

OSU qualified nine wrestlers for the national tournament which begins March 17 at the Savvis Center in St. Louis, Mo.

Team Standings
1. Oklahoma State 95.5
4. Iowa State 49
3. Nebraska 47.5
2. Oklahoma 45
5. Missouri 35

125- Coleman Scott (OSU) dec.Sam Hazewinkel (OU), 2-1 tb
133- Nathan Morgan (OSU) maj. dec. Dominick Moyer (NU), 14-6
141- Nate Gallick (ISU) dec. Teyon Ware (OU), 4-3 tb2
149- Zack Esposito (OSU) dec. Matt Storniolo (OU), 10-4
157- Kevin Ward (OSU) dec. Brad Cieleski (MU), 6-4
165- Johny Hendricks (OSU) dec. Tyron Woodley (MU), 4-1
174- Chris Pendleton (OSU) dec. Ben Askren (MU), 12-8
184- Kurt Backes (ISU) Fall Travis Pascoe (NU), 2:13
197- B.J. Padden dec. Jake Rosholt (OSU), 6-2
285- Steve Mocco (OSU) dec. Scott Coleman (ISU), 9-4

125- Matt Keller (NU) dec. Grant Nakamura (ISU), 6-3
133- Jesse Sundell (ISU) dec. Joe Comparin (OU), 6-4 sv
141- Daniel Frishkorn (OSU) dec. Matt Murray (NU), 8-1
149- Cody Greene (MU) Fall Travis Shufelt (NU), 5:17
157- Trent Paulson (ISU) maj. dec. B.J. Wright (NU), 12-4
165- Jacob Klein (NU) dec. Travis Paulson (ISU), 3-1
174- E.K. Waldhaus (OU) dec.Nick Passolano (ISU), 3-1
184- Justin Dyer (OU) dec. Matt Pell (MU), 4-2
197- Joel Flaggert (OU) dec. Jeff Foust (MU), 5-3
285- Jake Hager (OU) dec. Jon May (NU), 3-1 sv

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