Wrestling Hosts The Big 12 Championships Saturday :: No. 6 Sooners have a ranked wrestler competing at every weight class. Wrestling Hosts The Big 12 Championships Saturday




Head Coach Jack Spates and his sixth-ranked OU Sooners host the 2002 Big 12 Championships at the Lloyd Noble Center Saturday.

March 7, 2002

The Sooners
The Oklahoma wrestling team will play host to the 2002 Big 12 Tournament on Saturday, March 9, at the Lloyd Noble Center. The conference includes five teams (Iowa State, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State) with four being ranked in the top 10. As for the tournament, the first round starts at 11 a.m. while the semifinals will take place at noon and the championship matches at 7 p.m.

Wraping Up Michigan State
As it said goodbye to nine seniors, Oklahoma tuned up for the Big 12 Tournament with a 38-3 rout of Michigan State in its regular season finale. The Sooners were led by two pins (Leonce Crump and Nate Parker) and a forfeit (Witt Durden) en route to the win. OU also said goodbye to four starters: Matt Ridings, Jared Frayer, Doug Cieleski, and Michael Barger.

The Big 12
The Sooners, ranked sixth in the country, will be up against three teams that are ranked in the top 10: Oklahoma State (5th, Intermat), Iowa State (7th) and Missouri (9th). OU finished the season 4-2 in the Big 12 with both its losses coming to the Cowboys. Last year, the Sooners finished second at the Big 12 Championships in Stillwater, Okla.

Regular Season Mark
With their victory over the Spartans, the Sooners tied the 1974 for the number of wins in a single season with 19. That '74 went on to win the NCAA Championship.

Frayer Ties Another One
Frayer's win over Karl Nadolsy Friday night tied the senior from Clearwater, Fla. for fourth-place on time on OU's win list with Joe Stafford (1987-90). Both wrestlers have 123 wins. Frayer is five wins away from third place and is currently second in time in career falls.

Twice as Nice
Crump is lone Sooner to win an individual championship last season at the Big 12 Tournament. Crump defeated Huml, 3-2, in the 2001 conference finals and beat the heavyweight from Oklahoma State twice this season.

On fire
Josh Lambrecht extended his winning to seven matches in his win over the Spartans. Lambrecht, who hasn't lost since the National Duals, has three major decisions and two falls during the streak.

The Last Time
The last time Oklahoma hosted the Big 12 Championship was during the 1997-98 season. That year, the Sooners finished second to Oklahoma State and had one individiual champion: Michael Lightner. The title would be the first of four for Lightner.

Television
The championship round will be televised by FOX. It will be shown in tape delay on March 14. Please check your local listings for time and channel.

OU Wrestlers Ranked at all 10 Weights
OU's team balance is best illustrated by the fact that Sooner wrestlers are ranked in all 10 weight classes in current polls.

Pin Parade
OU is well on its way to establishing a new pin record for a single-season. With 68 falls this year, OU is only 14 off the record, set last year (82).

OU Stresses Bonus Wins
OU coaches stress the importance of winning matches by bonus points and, so far this season, Sooner grapplers have won 130 of 284 matches (46 percent of its wins this season) by major decision or better.

Up Next
More than likely, the Sooners will be competing in the 2002 NCAA National Championships on March 21-23 in Albany, New York.

Projected Lineup

#6/#6 Oklahoma (19-5)
125 pounds:  #6/#6 Matt Ridings, Sr. (24-4)
133 pounds:  #4/#4 Witt Durden, Jr. (28-4)
141 pounds:  #11/#13 Nate Parker, Jr. (21-11)
149 pounds:  #5/#8 Jared Frayer, Sr. (29-6)
157 pounds:  #15/#14 Doug Cieleski, Sr. (24-12)
165 pounds:  #9/#8 Robbie Waller, Jr. (11-7)
174 pounds:  #18/#20 Michael Barger, Sr. (27-10)
184 pounds:  #7/#7 Josh Lambrecht, Jr. (28-4)
197 pounds:  #12/#12 Tom Grossman, Jr. (17-11)
Heavyweight: #4/#3 Leonce Crump, So. (23-3)

Rankings based on Amateur Wrestling News/InterMat polls.