ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- In front of a crowd of 16, 014, the University of Oklahoma wrestling team advanced Teyon Ware to the finals of the 75th Annual Division I NCAA Championships at the Savvis Center in St. Louis, Mo., Friday. The Sooners ended the night in sixth-place with 61 points and four All-Americans.
OU entered the tonight’s matches with all seven NCAA qualifiers left in competition. Sam Hazewinkel (125) and Teyon Ware (141) competed in the semifinal round, while Matt Storniolo (149), E.K. Waldhaus (174), Justin Dyer (184), Joel Flaggert (197) and Jake Hager (HWT) wrestled in the consolation brackets.
After Teyon Ware (141) failed to defend his 2003 National Championship last season he came out looking for a chance at a second title. Ware dominated in his semifinal match against Michael Keefe of Chattanooga and scored nine points in the first period. He earned a reversal and two more takedowns in the second period to lead 15-3. A three-point nearfall 40 seconds into the third period ended the bout. Ware won by a technical fall, 18-3, at the 5:40 mark.
“I know I had to go out and earn respect,” said sophomore Teyon Ware. “I had to go out and work on my offensive and keep my defense up.”
In the finals Ware will face Nate Gallick of Iowa State. Ware has a career record of 0-4 against Gallick and is 0-2 this season.
“Gallick is up on me. He is hungry for a championship. It depends on who wants it the most,” added Ware. “He’s hungry looking for his first title, but I’m looking for my second.”
At 125 pounds the Sooners suffered a heartbreaking loss as No. 1 seed Sam Hazewinkel was defeated by No. 5 seed Joe Dubuque of Indiana by decision, 3-1. After a scoreless first period, Dubuque chose down and got on the board with an escape and a takedown. Hazewinkel scored an escape in the third, but it was not enough to win the match. Hazewinkel will move to the consolation bracket and compete for third place. This was Hazewinkel’s second loss and the first time he wrestled Dubuque this season.
“This was obviously a tough round, but that’s what makes it a national tournament,” said OU head coach Jack Spates. “To get five guys in the All-American round and two guys in the semis was huge. We took some lumps this round. Sam’s loss was heartbreaking, but he wrestled hard. Teyon obviously did a fabulous job.”
Matt Storniolo (149) returned to the mat after a loss in the semifinals to defeated Patrick Williams of Arizona State by an impressive 12-2 major decision, but lost the next match to Jon Masa of Hofstra, 11-3. Sophomore Joel Flaggert (197) beat Matt Delguyd of Northwestern by decision, 7-4, and defeated Ryan Flaherty of Wisconsin, 13-8.
Third Sooners suffered their second losses of the tournament. Senior Waldhaus lost to Daniel Waters of American by decision, 7-3. Ben Wissel of Purdue defeated Dyer by decision, 3-1, with a takedown in the last five seconds of the match and Jake Hager lost to Greg Wagner of Michigan, 11-2.
At the end of the night OU walked away with four All-Americans: Hazewinkel, Ware, Storniolo and Flaggert. This is Ware’s third, Hazewinkel’s second and Storniolo’s and Flaggert’s first time to be name an All-American.
“The guys that fell a little short of being All-American’s wasn’t for a lack of effort and I’m really proud of their battling,” added Spates. “Joel and Matt really stepped it up big time. Joel has really found himself. He has struggled, but he has really put it together and done a fabulous job. I’m really proud of him.”
Oklahoma will return to action for the final day of the NCAA Championships Saturday at 9:30 a.m. ESPN will broadcast live coverage of the finals Saturday, March 19, at 4 p.m.
For live updates and full results go to www.ncaasports.com.
125: Joe Dubuque (Indiana) dec. Sam Hazewinkel (OU) 3-1
141: Teyon Ware (OU) tech. fall Michael Keefe (Chattanooga) 19-3 (5:40)
Friday Evening Consolation Bracket Results
149: Matt Storniolo (OU) maj. dec Patrick Williams (Arizona St.) 12-2
Jon Masa (Hofstra) maj. dec Matt Storniolo (OU) 11-3
174: Daniel Waters (American) dec. E.K. Waldhaus (OU) 7-3
184: Ben Wissel (Purdue) dec. Justin Dyer (OU) 3-1
197: Joel Flaggert (OU) dec. Matt Delguyd (Northwestern) 7-4
Joel Flaggert (OU) Ryan Flaherty (Wisconsin) 13-8
HWT: Greg Wagner (Michigan) maj. dec Jake Hager (OU) 11-2