Sooners Win Fifth Consecutive Brockport/Oklahoma Gold Classic
The 10th ranked University of Oklahoma wrestling team captured its fifth consecutive team title at the Brockport/Oklahoma Gold Classic with a score of 178.5 on Saturday. Sam Hazewinkel (125) and Brandon Hardy (133) won individual championships in their respective weights classes. In addition to the two individual titles and four runner-ups, Oklahoma also placed 11 wrestlers in nine different weight classes. Freshman Standouts Win Championships
Sam Hazewinkel and Brandon Hardy both took home titles in their different weight classes. Hazewinkel beat fellow sooner Mimi Miller, who wrestled unattached, in the finals of the 125 pound weight class by a 3-2 decision. Hardy decisioned Bernard Gardner of Army 5-2 to capture the 133 pound crown. Hazewinkel won all four matches with a pin in his first match at the 4:07 mark. Hardy also won all four of his matches with a 2:07 pin in his first match.
OU Ranked No. 10, No. 17 in Preseason Polls
Preseason polls by Amatuer Wrestling News and Intermat rank the Sooners No. 10 and No. 17, respectively. All five Big 12 Conference schools with wrestling programs are ranked in the top-20 by both polls.
Defending NCAA Champion Oklahoma State is ranked No. 1 in both polls, while Iowa State is sixth in the Intermat poll and No. 16 in the Amateur Wrestling News poll. Nebraska is ranked eighth by Intermat and 13th by Amateur Wrestling News, and Missouri is No. 9 in the Intermat poll and No. 12 in the Amateur Wrestling News poll.
Ware Tops Individual Preseason Polls
Defending 141-pound NCAA champion Teyon Ware is ranked No. 1 by both the Amateur Wrestling News and Intermat polls. Senior Leonce Crump is ranked No. 3 among heavyweights in the Amateur Wrestling News poll and fourth in the Intermat poll. At 174-pounds, junior E.K. Waldhaus is ranked No. 13 by Amateur Wrestling News and 14th by Intermat. Redshirt freshman Justin Dyer sits at No. 14 at 184 pounds in the Intermat poll.
Ware To Defend Championships
Teyon Ware returns for his sophomore campaign after becoming the first true freshman since 1990 to win an individual NCAA championship. Ware also claimed a Big 12 title at the 141 weight class and was named Outstanding Wrestler at the Big 12 Championships. He brings a 20-match winning streak into the 2003-04 season.
Crump, Grice Return
Senior Leonce Crump (Hwt.), a former All-American and NCAA qualifier, returns to the Sooners this season after being declared academically ineligible in January and sitting out the spring meets. Junior Matt Grice (149) also returns for the Sooners after missing most of last season with a shoulder injury.
This year’s freshman class is ranked No. 3 in the nation by Amateur Wrestling News. Oklahoma adds 13 newcomers to its team this season, including 11 freshmen. The freshman class includes a host of proven winners, including five two-time state champions and one three-time state champion.
Schedule Includes Nation’s Best
Oklahoma’s schedule includes seven duals against ranked opponents. The Sooners face No. 1 Oklahoma State December 7 in Stillwater and February 8 in Norman. All five Big 12 teams are ranked in the top 20 by both the Intermat and Amateur Wrestling News polls. Other ranked opponents for the Sooners include Cal Poly (No. 20-Amatuer Wrestling News) and Arizona State (No. 17-Amateur Wrestling News, No. 20-Intermat).
Crump Moving Up Career Pin List
Leonce Crump moved into a tie for eighth on the all-time pin list with two pins at the Brockport/Oklahoma Gold Classic. Crump currently has 28 pins, 30 short of Dan Chaid who is first on the list.
Spates Closing In On Evans
Sooner coach Jack Spates is one win short of tying Tommy Evans for second place on the Sooners’ list of all-time coaching wins. Spates, with 139 career wins, is currently No. 3 on the list behind Evans and Stan Abel, who compiled 274 wins during his 21-year Sooner career.
Sooner Head Coach Jack Spates
Jack Spates enters his 11th season as the head wrestling coach at the University of Oklahoma. He became the program’s 12th head coach in 1993 and inherited a proud but struggling program. OU's average finish at the NCAA championships was 23rd in the three years prior to Spates’ arrival. Spates’ Sooner teams have placed in the nation’s top six in each of the past six seasons. The Sooners have also been in the top four each of the past four years, while placing third at both the 2002 and 2003 NCAA Championships. The 2003 season was especially impressive as the Sooners lost four starters and two All-Americans, yet still finished second in the National Dual Meet Championships along with their third place showing at the NCAA Championships. Spates’ teams have also won the Big 12 Championship two of the past five years. Their 1999 title was the Sooners’ first in more than a decade (1985). They also were crowned champions in 2002. Both times Spates was honored as Big 12 Coach of the Year.
During his tenure as Sooner head coach, Spates has developed 20 All-America wrestlers who have earned the prestigious honor a total of 34 times. Included among that list are four-time All-Americans and national champions John Kading and Michael Lightner. Spates has also coached undefeated national champions in Lightner and Byron Tucker. Current OU assistant coach Rodney Jones and Shane Valdez were three-time All-Americans under Spates. Spates coached two national champions in 2003, freshman Teyon Ware and senior Robbie Waller.-