ST. LOUIS, Mo. The 75th Annual Division I NCAA Championships completed the first round of competition at the Savvis Center in St. Louis, Mo, Thursday morning. Seventh-ranked Oklahoma qualified seven wrestlers for the competition. Six out of seven advanced to the second round, with continued hopes of a national title. At the end of the morning competition OU tied for ninth-place with Michigan, Hofstra and Indiana with 12 points. Five out of seven wrestlers entered the day as top seeds and six of seven Sooners faced their opponent for the first time this season.
“It was a real strong round for the Sooners,” said OU head coach Jack Spates. “We won six out of seven matches.”
No. 1 seed Sam Hazewinkel (125) started the Sooners out strong with a win against Obe Blanc of Lock Haven by a fall at the 2:01 mark. This was Hazewinkel’s ninth pin of the season. In his second match of the morning Hazewinkel dominated Jeff Schell of Brown University by major decision, 13-3.
No. 2 seed Teyon Ware (141) took control of the match and led 14-2 at the end of the second period. Ware defeated Jeff Bristol of UC Davis by technical fall at the 6:57 mark.
Matt Storniolo (149), No. 4 seed, continued the Sooners’ winning streak with a fall over Daniel Elliott of Gardner-Webb at the 6:40 mark. Storniolo leads the Sooners in single-season falls with 14, and moved up to fifth-place on the OU single-season fall list one behind former Sooner Danny Hodge.
No. 10 seed E.K. Waldhaus (174) defeated Nick Roy of Michigan for the second time this season. After a slow first period Waldhaus kick up the pace and beat Roy by decision, 6-1.
Justin Dyer (184), No. 11 seed, fought to keep Alex Lammers of Central Michigan down. At the end of the first period Dyer led 3-2. After an escape at the beginning of the third it was a one-point match with Dyer in the lead, 4-3. Dyer took control and scored a takedown with 30 seconds left, but Lammers was not done and scored and escape with less than 15 seconds to go. Dyer walked away with the win by decision, 6-4.
At 197 pounds, sophomore Joel Flaggert lost to No. 5 seed Sean Stender of Northern Iowa by decision, 13-6. Flaggert kept the match close and ended the first period tied at three. At the end of the second the match was still close with Stender in the lead 6-4, but in the third Stender scored seven points to take the win.
At heavyweight Jake Hager earned the first upset for the Sooners with a win over No. 11 seed Bode Ogunwole of Harvard. Hager controlled the pace of the match and allowed Ogunwole to score only one point in the third period. Hager defeated Ogunwole by decision, 3-1.
“Jake Hager beat the No. 11 seed at heavyweight and we had two pins, a technical fall and a major, which are real important,” added Spates. “Overall we wrestled strong, now we have to come back and continue it.”
Oklahoma will return to action for the second round of the NCAA Championships Thursday night at 6 p.m.
ESPNU will broadcast the quarterfinals live from the Savvis Center Friday, March 18, at 10 a.m. and ESPN will broadcast live coverage of the semifinals Friday at 6 p.m. and the finals Saturday, March 19, at 4 p.m.
For live updates and full results go to www.ncaasports.com.
Thursday Morning First Round Results
125: Sam Hazewinkel (OU) fall Obe Blanc (Lock Haven) 2:01
Sam Hazewinkel (OU) maj. dec Jeff Schell (Brown) 13-3
141: Teyon Ware (OU) tech. fall Jeff Bristol (UC Davis) 19-2 (6:57)
149: Mat Storniolo (OU) fall Daniel Elliott (Gardner-Webb) 6:40
174: E.K. Waldhaus (OU) dec. Nick Roy (Michigan) 6-1
184: Justin Dyer (OU) dec. Alex Lammers (Central Michigan) 6-4
197: Sean Stender (Northern Iowa) dec. Joel Flaggert (OU) 13-6
HWT: Jake Hager (OU) dec. Bode Ogunwole (Harvard) 3-1