March 22, 2003
KANSAS CITY, Mo., - The University of Oklahoma wrestling team took third place at the 73rd annual NCAA Wrestling Championships in Kansas City, Mo., today at Kemper Arena. Senior Robbie Waller (174 pounds) and true freshman Teyon Ware (141 pounds) both recorded their first individual national titles. This marks the first time that the Sooners have recorded more than one individual title since 1985 when Dan Chaid and Melvin Douglas both claimed titles. Oklahoma's last individual national title came in 2001, when Michael Lightner claimed the 141-pound title.
"I am so proud of our kids," said head coach Jack Spates. "This team never quit and that it something that I am very pleased with. Everyone had counted us out of this tournament and didn't even have us close to where we finished. I am very proud of Robbie Waller and Teyon Ware for claiming their individual titles."
Ware (32-4) garnered the 141-pound title with a 6-4 sudden victory over third-seeded Dylan Long of Northern Iowa. Long scored the early takedown, but Ware tied the match up, 3-3, entering the second period. Ware forced the overtime period when he scored a takedown late in the final period. In sudden victory Ware was able to score the takedown and secure the 141-pound NCAA title by a score of 6-4. Ware is the first true freshman to claim an NCAA title since Oklahoma State's Pat Smith claimed the title in 1990.
Waller, who eclipsed the century mark, claimed the 174-pound national title in his last appearance as a collegiate wrestler. Waller (31-7) defeated unseeded Carl Fronhofer of Pittsburgh in a 7-2 decision on the raised stage. Waller trailed Fronhofer going into the second period 2-1, when he recorded a takedown and started to accumulate riding time. Waller scored two takedowns, while only allowing Fronhofer a single takedown at the beginning of the match.
Lambrecht, who also surpassed the 100-career win mark during the tournament, claimed the third place title at 184 pounds by defeating top-seeded Jessman Smith of Iowa by a score 5-2. Lambrecht (23-4) made it to the consolation championships by defeating Northern Illinois' Ben Heizer.