Ninth ranked Oklahoma took six wrestlers into the second round of the NCAA Championships only to have three advances to the quarterfinals. The Sooners dropped to ninth place tied with Cornell after two sessions of competition with 20 team points.
“It was a bitter sweet round,“ Oklahoma head coach Jack Spates said. “We lost a lot of close ones. Jeff I’m told lost a very close one, E.K. lost a tough battle and wrestled pretty well. He was a second away from beating a number five seed.”
Freshman Sam Hazewinkel started off competition for the Sooners once again at 125 pounds. Hazewinkel wrestled a close match against Efren Ceballos of Cal State Bakersfield. The match went back and forth with Ceballos leading after the first period and Hazewinkel leading after the second period. At the end of the third period the score was tied at six apiece. Hazewinkel had 2:48 of riding time to win the match by a 7-6 decision.
Mimi Miller lost a tough match to second seeded Mark Jayne of Illinois at 133 pounds. Jayne lead 3-0 after two periods. Miller fought to even the score in the third period, but gave up four points and only scored three. At the end of the match the score read 7-3, but was closer than it appears.
Teyon Ware bounced out of his slump to return to his old self. Ware pinned Jesse Brock of Boise State at the 6:18 mark. Ware scored a takedown at 1:28 and held on to score the fall with 42 seconds left.
“Teyon showed some character and bounced back strong,” Spates said.
For the last time coach Spates watched his son, Jeremy of Missouri, battle Oklahoma at 149 pounds. The younger Spates wrestled Jeff Ecklof for the second time this year. The last meeting saw Ecklof defeat Spates in the Big12 Championships. This time around Spates got the better of Ecklof winning by a 3-2 decision.
At 174 pounds E.K. Waldhaus wrestled his another seeded opponent of the tournament. After Waldhaus scored an escape with 1:53 left in the match, the score was 3-2. Waldhaus fought hard with the crowd behind him trying to win it with a takedown. Waldhaus almost pulled it out in the last seconds, but time ran out.
Senior Leonce Crump wasted no time in his heavyweight match with Jeremiah Beltran of Ohio. Crump scored the first points with a takedown at 2:55 and never let up. Crump almost scored his second fall of the tournament in the first period, but settled for a near fall. Crump had the pressure on the whole match trying to get the pin. Crump rode out 4:21 of riding time to control the match and pick up the win, 11-2.
”Leonce looked dominate,” Spates said. “Now it’s gut check time. Cole Konrad is a step up. Now we will see what Leonce is made off.”
The lone wrestler in the wrestlebacks consolation bracket in the first round was Justin Dyer. Dyer ended his tournament run in a tough loss to Rudy Medini of Rutgers. The match was close throughout with both wrestlers going at each other. At the end of two periods Medini was leading 7-5. Medini did not allow Dyer to score again and pinned Dyer at the 6:06 mark.
“We are still having a good tournament,” Spates said. “This next round is going to be crucial. We will see how bad we want it.”
Oklahoma will return to action for the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championships on Friday at 10 a.m.
For live updates and full results go to www.ncaasports.com.
125 Sam Hazewinkel (OU) dec. Efren Ceballos (Cal State Bakersfield) 7-6
133 Mark Jayne (Illinois) dec. Mimi Miller (OU) 7-3
141 Teyon Ware (OU) fall Jesse Brock (Boise State) 6:18
149 Jeremy Spates (Missouri) dec. Jeff Ecklof (OU) 3-2
174 Eric Hauan (Northern Iowa) dec. E.K. Waldhaus (OU) 3-2
HWT Leonce Crump (OU) maj. dec. Jeremiah Beltran (Ohio) 11-2
184 Rudy Medini (Rutgers) fall Justin Dyer (OU) 6:06