OU Qualifies Seven Wrestlers For NCAA Championships

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
MARCH 14, 2005

This Week
The University of Oklahoma wrestling team qualified seven wrestlers for nationals and will travel to St. Louis, Mo., for the 75th NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, March 17-19 at the Savvis Center. The Gateway City becomes the first city to host the tournament in back-to-back years.

Sophomore Sam Hazewinkel, junior Teyon Ware, sophomore Matt Storniolo, senior E.K. Waldhaus, sophomore Justin Dyer, sophomore Joel Flaggert and junior Jake Hager will battle for championships at 125, 141, 149, 174, 184, 197 and HWT, respectively.

For live updates and full results go to www.ncaasports.com

NCAA History
Since 1929 OU has claimed 64 individual national champions. The most recent winners were Robbie Waller (174) and Teyon Ware (141) in 2003. The Sooners are fourth in overall team championships with seven, while the Cowboys lead with 32.

NCAA Team Championships (1928-2004)
Oklahoma State - 32
Iowa - 20
Iowa State - 8
Oklahoma - 7
Minnesota - 2
Indiana - 1
Arizona State - 1
Cornell - 1
Northern Iowa - 1
Penn State - 1
Michigan State - 1

Last Year At The NCAA Championships
The Oklahoma wrestling team concluded the 2003-04 season with a record of 14-8 with two Big 12 Champions, four All-Americans and four NCAA place winners.  The Sooners finished with two third-place finishes and two sixth-place winners. Freshman Sam Hazewinkel finished third, sophomore Teyon Ware finished sixth place, freshman Jeff Ecklof finished sixth and senior Leonce Crump finished in third place.

Hazewinkel (125) bounced back from being defeated in the semi-finals to win his match against Matt Valenti of Pennsylvania in the consolation bracket to advance to the third place match. The match was slow, Hazewinkel scored the only point in the second period off an escape.  He added riding time to win the match, 2-0, and move on to face Mario Stuart of Lehigh, who he beat in the quarterfinals, 12-5. 

Hazewinkel won the third-place match with ease against Stuart, 9-1 and scored the first six points before Stuart got an escape. Hazewinkel added three more points with riding time to claim third place in his first NCAA appearance.  Hazewinkel finished his freshman campaign with a 35-2 record. 

No. 3 seed Teyon Ware was sent to the fifth-place match after a loss to Jason Mester of Central Michigan, 3-2. Ware escaped with 1:50 left in the match to make the score 3-2.  Ware fought hard to score a point, but lost 3-2. Ware was sent to the fifth-place match against Nate Gallick, who gave Ware his only loss in the regular season. 

In the fifth-place match between Ware and Gallick there was no action in the first period. Gallick got on the board first with an escape and a takedown in the second period. Ware scored two escapes to make the score 3-2 early in the third. Gallick scored another takedown that put the match out of reach for Ware. Ware did add one more point with an escape to make the final 5-3 to give him sixth-place honors. Ware finished his injury-plagued season with a 21-5 record. 

In his first NCAA championship appearance, Waldhaus (174) won his first match in the opening round against Jon Duncombe of Minnesota by decision, 6-2, but lost his next two matches against Eric Hauan of Northern Iowa, 3-2, and Ed Pawlak of Buffalo, 4-3.

At 184 pounds Dyer lost his first two matches against Jerry Rinaldi of Cornell, 8-3, and Rudy Medini of Rutgers by a fall at the 6:06 mark.

OU finished in ninth place with 62.5 points in the final standings of the national tournament. Oklahoma State took home its 32nd national championship finishing with 123.5 points.  

The Big 12 Conference showed its dominance with four teams finishing in the top 10.  Oklahoma State finished first, Nebraska finished fifth with 74 points, Iowa State finished sixth with 70 points and Oklahoma finished ninth.  Missouri, the only Big 12 team not to place in the top 10, finished 13th with 43 points.

Four OU All-Americans were honored in the parade of All-Americans prior to the national championship matches. Sam Hazewinkel, Teyon Ware, Jeff Ecklof and Leonce Crump were all honored with All-America honors at 125, 141, 149 and HWT, respectively. 
Place     Points    Team
1            123.5      Oklahoma State
2            82.0        Iowa
3            77.5        Lehigh
3            77.5        Ohio State
5            74.0        Nebraska
6            70.0        Iowa State
7            69.5        Illinois
8            65.5        Minnesota
9            62.5        Oklahoma
10          60.5        Michigan
11          51.5        Cornell
12          46.5        Penn State
13          43.0        Missouri
14          34.0        Pennsylvania
15          33.5        Central Michigan

Storniolo’s 2004 NCAA Championship Appearance
Wrestling for Penn State, No. 8 seed Matt Storniolo got off to a great start at his first NCAA Championship in 2004 with a fall in the first period of the opening round, but fell 8-3 to David Dies of Brown in the second round. Storniolo returned in the consolation bracket with a techincal fall win against Def Young of Slippery Rock and a 5-0 shutout against Patrick Williams of Arizona State. In the All-American round Storniolo went up against Jeremy Spates of Missouri, current OU assistant coach, but Storniolo lost by a 6-5 decision and fell one win short of All-America honors.

Sooners Place Fourth At Big 12 Championships
Last week the University of Oklahoma wrestling team placed fourth at the Big 12 Championships at the Qwest Center in Omaha, Neb. The tournament positioned the top five wrestlers at each weight class against each other to determine a champion. The Sooners walked away with three individual second-place medals, while placing four wrestlers at third and one at fourth. Overall, OU qualified seven wrestlers for the NCAA Championships. Oklahoma State picked up its seventh Big 12 Championship in nine years.

The first round of competition began with the fourth and the fifth seeds battling to move up in the brackets. The Sooners had four wrestlers competing in the first round, but only redshirt-freshman Joe Comparin and sophomore Justin Dyer won their matches and moved on to the semi-finals. Comparin (133), No. 4 seed, led Jesse Sundell of Iowa State 3-1 at the end of the second period, but Sundell earned an escape and a takedown in the third to tie the match 4-4. In overtime, Comaprin scored a takedown with 40 seconds left to win the match by decision, 6-4. Dyer defeated Clay Kehrer of Oklahoma State, for the second time this season, by a 5-2 decision.

For senior Wes Roberts (165) his first match of the day was a disappointing one. Roberts led Trevor Paulson of Iowa State 2-0 at the end of the first period, but became tied 2-2 at the end of the second. With less than five seconds remaining in the third period Roberts led 5-4, but a controversial takedown call at the buzzer left Roberts with a loss by decision, 6-5.

Oklahoma wrestled eight wrestlers in the semi-final round, but only three Sooners won their matches. Top-ranked Sam Hazewinkel dominated Grant Nakamura of Iowa State and led 11-1 at the end of the second period. Hazewinkel scored a two-point nearfall with 10 seconds left to defeat Nakamura by a major decision, 18-5. At 141 pounds, Teyon Ware avenged his recent dual and 2004 Big 12 Championships loss to Matt Murray. Ware controlled the match, allowed only one escape and won by decision 7-1. Matt Storniolo faced Travis Shufelt, who is recently off the injured list for Nebraska, and defeated him by decision, 11-7.

At the end of the semi-finals Oklahoma State was in first place with a team score of 69, Nebraska trailed with 26 and OU came in third place with 25, while Missouri and Iowa State were tied for fourth with 24 points.

The consolation round started with five Sooners fighting for a chance to wrestle for third place and three of the five were victorious. With an escape and a 1:14 of riding time, Waldhaus defeated Nick Passalano of Iowa State by decision, 2-1. At 197 pounds, Flaggert defeated Foust, for the second time this season, 8-6. To end the consolation matches Hager beat Chase Wetenkamp of Missouri by decision, 8-4.

Oklahoma had five wrestlers compete for third place honors and a guaranteed spot at the 2005 NCAA Championships. OU walked away with four out of five third-place titles. Waldhaus claimed his second third-place title at the Big 12 Championships with a win over Nick Pasolano of Iowa State, 3-1. At 184 pounds, Dyer avenged his regular season major decision loss to Missouri’s Matt Pell with a takedown in the last four seconds of the match to win by decision, 4-2. Flaggert and Hager rounded out the third-place matches for the Sooners. Flaggert won a close match with Jeff Foust of Missouri by decision, 5-3, and Hager defeated Nebraska’s Jon May in sudden victory, 6-1. At 133 pounds, Comparin lost a tough match in overtime to Jesse Sudell by decision, 6-4, to place fourth.

Oklahoma brought three wrestlers into the finals to compete for the championship. The finals started at 125 pounds, which pitted defending Big 12 Champion Hazewinkel against freshman Coleman Scott of Oklahoma State. Hazewinkel scored the first point in the second period with an escape. Scott retaliated with an escape in the third and the match continued into one one-minute and two 30-second overtimes. In the last 30-second overtime Scott fought to escape from Hazewinkel to clinch the Big 12 Championship with a win by decision, 2-1.

At 141 pounds Ware’s match mirrored Hazewinkel’s and entered overtime tied at one. After two one-minute and four 30-second overtimes Ware lost to Nate Gallick of Iowa State by riding time, 2-1.

In the Sooners’ last match of the day Storniolo faced Zack Esposito of Oklahoma State. Esposito scored the first points with a takedown and Storniolo returned with an escape. With 1:54 in riding time Esposito defeated Storniolo, 11-4. This season Storniolo is 0-3 against Esposito.

Storniolo Surpasses Teammates
After returning from injury, Matt Storniolo (29-3) pinned Orlando Perez of Oregon State, Nate Gipson of Oregon and No. 15 Cody Greene of Missouri. Storniolo leads the Sooners in single-season falls with 13, and is currently tied for sixth place on the OU single-season fall list with former Sooners Leonce Crump, Jared Frayer, Dan Chaid and Joe Melchiore.

Storniolo is the first Sooner to log three consecutive pins in dual competition since Josh Lambrecht did so during the 2002-03 season.

Justin Dyer (184) is tied with former Sooners Leonce Crump, Jeff Eckloff, Andre Metzger, Edcar Thomas, Wayne Wells, John Laviolette and Danny Hodge for the 19th spot on OU’s single-season pin list with 11. Sam Hazewinkel is tied with Danny Hodge, Frank DeAngelis and Mark Tatum for the 20th spot with 10. Dyer (184) has eight pins and three technical falls on the season and Hazewinkel (125) has eight pins and two tech falls.

If The Season Ended Today...
If the season ended today, Matt Storniolo (149) would move into 17th place on OU’s single-season fall percentage with 13-of-29 and 44.8 percent. Storniolo surpassed former Sooner Josh Lambrecht (2001) and now trails Duwayne Miller (1961) with 6-of-13 and 46.1 percent.
Sooner Improvement
At 125 pounds, top-ranked Sam Hazewinkel has made impressive improvements since last season. At the end of his 2003-04 campaign, Hazewinkel had competed 40 times, acquired an overall record of 35-5 and was 17-4 in duals. During that time, Hazewinkel earned six falls, one technical fall and seven major decisions.   

This season, Hazewinkel has competed 36 times and has an undefeated 35-1 overall record and is 22-0 in duals. Currently, Hazewinkel has earned eight falls, two technical falls and nine major decisions with the NCAA Championship left in competition.

Hazewinkel Named Big 12 Wrestler of the Week
University of Oklahoma sophomore Sam Hazewinkel was named Big 12 Wrestler of the Week for his performance during the week of January 25-31. A 2004 NCAA All-American, Hazewinkel was a perfect 27-0 at 125 pounds at the time of the award, with nine of his victories coming against ranked opponents.

Ranked No. 1 in the nation, Hazewinkel defeated No. 8 Grant Nakamura of third-ranked Iowa State by decision, 7-4. Hazewinkel controlled the match, allowing only one takedown and led, 7-1, at the end of the second period.

Hazewinkel has allowed only four takedowns in dual meets, while compiling 41 against his opponents this season.

At the 2005 Cliff/NCWA National Duals, Hazewinkel came full circle during his six matches. Hazewinkel beat Adam Smith of Penn State by decision, 7-2; Luke Smith of Central Michigan by major decision, 12-4; Andrew Rizzi of Lehigh by a technical fall, 16-0; Joe Wornoff of Cleveland State by fall at the 1:20 mark; Kyle Ott of Illinois by overtime decision, 4-2; and won by forfeit against Michigan.

A Sooner had not been selected for Big 12 Wrestler of the Week since Teyon Ware’s selection in his freshman campaign during the 2002-03 season.

Oklahoma Wrestlers Win All-Star Classic
Oklahoma wrestlers won two matches at the 39th annual Marines/NWCA All-Star Classic at the campus of Southern Illinois-Edwardsville in November.

Top-ranked Sam Hazewinkel scored first with an early takedown against third-ranked Nick Simmons of Michigan State. Hazewinkel, a sophomore, came into the match with a career record of 43-5 and a season record of 8-0 to defeat Simmons by a 2-0 decision.

Third-ranked Teyon Ware was the second Sooner to take the mat, facing fourth-ranked Cory Cooperman of Lehigh at 141 pounds. The match was a tight, low-scoring event with zero takedowns. Ware came into the exhibition with a career record of 61-9 and a season record of 8-0. Ware got an escape in the second period and gave up an escape in the third to tie up the match. The match went into double overtime and with 14 seconds left Ware was able to escape to claim the title with a 2-1 victory.

OU Signs New Talent
After recruiting talent from across the nation, Sooners head coach Jack Spates returned to Oklahoma to sign Shane Vernon of Broken Arrow, Okla., to the Sooners’ 2006 recruiting class. Vernon is the lone wrestler to sign with the Sooners due to the youthful status of the program.

At 152 pounds Vernon, a high school All-American, claimed his fourth state championship in February and placed fourth at the Junior Freestyle Nationals All-American.

Fall Big 12 commissioner’s Honor Roll
Seventeen members of the 2004-05 OU wrestling team were named to the Fall 2004 Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll as announced by the conference office. Senior Randy Sulaver and sophomore Justin Dyer led the way with perfect 4.0 GPAs. Student Athletes must maintain at least a 3.00 GPA for the semester to be recognized on the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll. Other members include: Blake Allen, Joe Comparin, Austin David, Chris De Vilbiss, Seasn Glassel, Jake Hager, Sam Hazewinkel, Jake Jackson, Shane Kidd, Brad Martens, Tyler Rhodes, Matt Storniolo, Joel Tapler, Teyon Ware and Travis West.

Academic All-Big 12 Honors
The Big 12 Conference named 26 student-athletes to the 2005 Wrestling Academic All-Big 12 teams. Three Sooners were honored by being named All-Big 12 First Team and two were awarded second team. 

Sophomore Justin Dyer, sophomore Sam Hazewinkel and senior Randy Sulaver all were awarded first team honors, while redshirt freshman Joe Comparin and junior Jake Hager earned second team.

Among the honorees, Dyer was nominated with a 4.00 grade point average. It marks the second conference academic honor for the 184 pound wrestler.

The Wrestling Academic squad consisted of 21 first team members and five second team members. To qualify for first team student-athletes must maintain a 3.20 grade point average or higher, while the second team must have an average of 3.00 to 3.19.

All athletes must have participated in 60 percent of his team’s scheduled meets. Freshmen and transfers are not eligible in their first year of academic residence, but seniors who have participated for a minimum of two years and meet all the criteria except participation are eligible.

Oklahoma’s NCAA Qualifiers
125: Sam Hazewinkel (35-1)
141: Teyon Ware (28-3)
149: Matt Storniolo (29-4)
174: E.K. Waldhaus (26-8)
184: Justin Dyer (30-10)
197: Joel Flaggert (18-6)
Heavyweight: Jake Hager (25-7)








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