Sooner Wrestling Sends Seven To NCAA Championships

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
MARCH 19, 2003

March 19, 2003

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The fifth-ranked Oklahoma Wrestling team will send seven wrestlers to the NCAA Championships in Kansas City, Mo., at Kemper Arena, March 20-22. Oklahoma's contingent of seven will include 2003 Big 12 Champions Bo Maynes (125 pounds) and Teyon Ware (141 pounds), as well as Witt Durden (133 pounds), Rafael Maturino (157 pounds), Robbie Waller (174 pounds), Josh Lambrecht (184 pounds) and Tom Grossman (197 pounds).

Oklahoma took third place at last year's NCAA Tournament with a score of 101.5 and had six All-Americans (Durden, Nate Parker, Jared Frayer, Waller, Michael Barger and Lambrecht).

OU Claims Two Big 12 Titles & Outstanding Wrestler

Senior Bo Maynes and true freshman Teyon Ware both claimed 2003 Big 12 titles in Columbia, Mo., on March 8 in their first appearance in the conference tournament.

Maynes defeated Oklahoma State's Skyler Holman, 4-1, for his victory. This marked the first 125-pound title for the Sooners since three-time All-American Shane Valdez recorded the honor in 1999.

Ware claimed his 141-pound title by defeating Oklahoma State's Zack Esposito, 5-2. Ware follows in the footsteps of Sooner great Michael Lightner, who is the only Sooner to ever win four conference titles. Ware also claimed Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament with his win over second-ranked Esposito. Ware left his redshirt-season in January to compete for the Sooners.

National Duals

The Sooner wrestling team (9-4) made an amazing run at the 2003 Cliff Keen/NWCA National duals held in Columbus, Ohio. Oklahoma, who entered the duals unseeded, defeated second-ranked Iowa (18-18) by criteria as well as sixth seeded West Virginia (20-18) and Iowa State (19-15) before losing a close battle to in-state rival Oklahoma State (27-6) in the finals.

Sooners Barely Miss Record

The Oklahoma wrestling team beat Missouri Valley by a score of 50-3, posting the second-highest point total in school history. The Sooners recorded six falls, one technical fall, one decision and a forfeit. The record stands at 52 set in 1922 against Kansas. Oklahoma's 47-point margin of victory ranks third on the all-time list.

Maynes Delivers In His Final Season

Senior Bo Maynes has spent the last three years in the reserve position at 125 pounds, but has now emerged as one of the stabilizing factors for the Sooners. Last season Maynes recorded an 18-3 record with all three losses coming at the hands of then starter Matt Ridings.

This season Maynes has stepped up to the competition and garnered the Big 12 Championship in his first conference tournament. Maynes is currently tied for first in the NCAA in the category and currently ranks sixth in the nation.

Sooners Pin Competition

Oklahoma seniors Robbie Waller (174 pounds), Josh Lambrecht (184 pounds) and freshman Teyon Ware (141 pounds) are all in the top 10 of the NCAA pin category. Lambrecht comes in at second with nine pins, while Waller ranks 10th with five, just eight shy of the top spot. Ware rates 10th with eight falls.

Ware Gains National Attention

Oklahoma freshman Teyon Ware earned his second Big 12 Wrestler of the Week honors by defeating defending NCAA Champions Aaron Holker of Iowa State for the second time this season. Ware, an Edmond, Okla., native, was ranked 16th nationally at 141-pounds entering the National Duals. Despite leaving his redshirt season at the beginning of January, he currently holds a 25-4 overall record and was flawless in Big 12 action at 5-0.

Ware displayed his talent earlier this season with an outstanding upset of top-ranked Holker in a 3-1 decision at the National Duals. Among Ware's feats of that weekend was a double overtime win, 5-5, over then second-ranked Zack Esposito of Oklahoma State. Also falling to the true freshman this season were West Virginia's 12th-ranked Shane Cunanan, 7-4, and Iowa's Luke Moffitt by fall at 6:48.

The Streak Continues

Oklahoma freshman Teyon Ware has an impressive 15-match win streak entering the NCAA Championships. Ware has outscored opponents in this streak 104-39. Ware's streak includes two wins over previously top-ranked Aaron Holker (Iowa State) and three over second-ranked Zack Esposito (Oklahoma State). Ware has also totaled two falls, a technical fall and a major decision during his current stretch of wins.

Durden Reaches 100 Wins and Earns Conference Honor

Oklahoma's Witt Durden scored his 100th career win against Missouri and in the process earned Big 12 Wrestler of the Week for the week of Jan. 28. The senior from Dublin, Ga., scored the victory with a 23-8 technical fall over Missouri's Chris McCormick. Durden also recorded a 19-6 major decision against Oregon State's Tim Norman.

Durden took third place at the NCAA Championships last year. He follows freshman Teyon Ware as the second Sooner to receive Big 12 Wrestler of the Week honors this year.

Waller Nears Milestone

Senior Robbie Waller, who garnered All-American honors last year, is just two wins shy of the 100 mark for his career. Waller's career record stands at 98-30. Waller finished sixth at the 2002 NCAA Tournament. Waller is currently third on the team in the wins category with a 26-7 record and holds the 2003 Oklahoma Open title. When Waller surpasses this mark he will join Witt Durden and Sooner greats Michael Lightner and Jared Frayer in the 100 win club.

Seniors Attend NWCA All-Star Classic

Oklahoma seniors Bo Maynes and Witt Durden competed in the NWCA All-Star Classic on Feb. 3, hosted by the University of Delaware at the Bob Carpenter Center. This was Maynes' first trip to this prestigious event and Durden's second.

Maynes defeated Chris Rodriguez of North Carolina, 8-0. Maynes held 2:38 in riding time at the end of the first period.

Durden lost in sudden victory to Josh Moore of Penn State, 5-4. Last year, Durden fell to Bedlam rival Johnny Thompson, 4-2.

Sooners Named To Academic All-Big 12 Team

The Oklahoma wrestling team had three wrestlers selected to the Academic All-Big 12 first team, while two were named to the second team. Seniors Witt Durden and Robbie Waller and Sophomore Wes Roberts earned first team honors, by maintaining a 3.2 GPA and competing in at least 60 percent of the matches. Senior Brad Knecht and sophomore Danny Rubenstein were second team members, who compiled a 3.0 GPA or better.

Oklahoma tied in-state rival Oklahoma State for the most first team members with three.



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