First off I've been remiss in keeping C@C Machine updated on the status of OU wrestling this season and offer my apologies. I just came back from a long trip to the Philippines a few days ago. Loved the Sugar Bowl, btw, it was great seeing OU playing with passion out there against a great Alabama team. Without further ado I'll fill you guys in on what's been happening with OU wrestling this season.
Mark Cody's Sooners are off to a great start this season and are currently ranked #5 by Intermat in the team rankings. The starting wrestlers and their records (and rankings) are below:
125 Jarrod Patterson 12-1 #5
133 Cody Brewer 10-2 #9
141 Nick Lester 11-4 #13
149 Kendrick Maple 11-2 #4
157 Justin Deangelis 10-3 unranked
165 Clark Glass 9-5 unranked
174 Andrew Howe 12-0 #1
184 Danny Chaid 9-4
197 Travis Rutt 13-0 #4
HWT Ross Larson 13-3 #14
Now a summary of major events for the Sooners.
The Sooners won the Brockport Open, but the biggest news from the event was that Kendrick Maple, who went undefeated last year en route to an NCAA title, lost in the finals to Bryce Busler from Bloomsburg (say that 3 times fast!!). Maple followed this up with a loss to Josh Kindig from OSU. Maple seemed moribund after his thrilling OT loss to Stieber from Ohio State in the All Star Classic and paid for it with 2 upset losses early this season.
The next big event for the Sooners was a dual with Oklahoma State at OU. The Sooners fell behind early, 15-3, as Kendrick Maple was upset by Josh Kindig at 149 pounds and Nick Lester was upset as well. Cody Brewer was widely expected to give Jon Morrison all he could handle at 133, but Morrison dominated with an 8-2 victory. Things looked grim for the Sooners, but the upper weights started a rally for the Sooners. Andrew Howe defeated last years NCAA champ at 174 pounds Chris Perry 4-2, and was followed by an exciting win by Danny Chaid who scored 5 points in the waning seconds of his match to defeat Kyle Crutchmer 7-3. For those who recognize the name Dan Chaid this is indeed the son of former wrestling great Dan Chaid who was a 4 time All American and 2 time National Champ for the Sooners back in the 1980s. The score at this point was 15-9 and Travis Rutt dominated his opponent to score a major decision which added another 4 points to the Sooner tally, to make the score 15-13. It all came down to the final match of the night (as it should!) as Ross Larson faced highly ranked Austin Marsden. In an exciting match the much lighter Larson used his speed and aggressiveness to defeat Marsden to allow OU to escape with a 16-15 victory in the dual, the first time in several years that OU has beaten the Cowboys. This was one of the most exciting duals I've ever seen and the pluck shown by BOTH teams was outstanding. OSU pulled off a couple major upsets, but OU's big men brought the Sooners the victory.
OU's next major event was the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational. The Sooners finished the tournament in first place easily outpacing several other tough squads, including #7 Nebraska, #10 Ohio State, #9 Northern Iowa and #6 Cornell (among others). The Sooners finished over 20 points ahead of runnerup Nebraska and had several placers.
125 Patterson 2nd
133 Brewer 2nd
141 Lester 3rd (who avenged an earlier loss to Vaith from Hofstra, beating him twice in the tourney)
149 Maple 1st
157 Justin DeAngelis (failed to place, went 2-2)
165 Clark Glass (failed to place, went 3-2)
174 Howe 1st
184 Chaid (failed to place 0-2)
197 Rutt 1st
HWT Larson 5th
The Sooners haven't seen any team action in almost a month, so they should be healthy entering the 2nd half of the season. About the wrestling rankings...OU is ranked 5th and Oklahoma State is ranked #3. Yes, OU beat OSU in the dual but wrestling rankings are based on how the wrestlers are projected to perform at the NCAA tournament in March based on their rankings. OSU is projected to do a little better at NCAAs than OU. But the Sooners have shown great improvement under Coach Cody and will be a force to be reckoned with at NCAAs with legitimate title threats at 3 weights (149 Maple, 174 Howe, 197 Rutt) and with several others (Patterson, Brewer, Lester and Larson) as threats to become All Americans. DeAngelis isn't far off and if he shows improvement could possibly be a low AA (7-8th place) this season as well. Clark Glass is showing improvement and may surprise, but I think Danny Chaid is still a couple years from contention (but there is no doubting his bloodline).
Again my apologies for not staying on top of Sooner wrestling this season but I've had a very full plate and haven't been able to write any lengthy articles for awhile. Hope you guys enjoyed the status update. The Sooners are BACK in wrestling and with a few upsets at the NCAA tourney have a real shot to bring home a trophy from the NCAA tournament this year. If you guys can possibly make it to McCasland Field House for some of OU's home wrestling duals this year I highly recommend it....the atmosphere at a top notch wrestling school during a dual meet is completely unlike anything you've ever seen before. Support our Sooners, we have a great team this year and a great coach in Mark Cody.