Oklahoma Head Coach Jack Spates and the Sooners will compete in the NCAA National Championships from March 21-23 in Albany, New York.
March 18, 2002
The Sooners will end their 2001-02 season with a date in the NCAA National Championships. The tournament will take place on March 21-23 in Albany, New York. Oklahoma, ranked sixth in the nation, looks to improve on last year's fourth-place finish in the finals.
THE SOONERS AND THE BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIPS
The Oklahoma wrestling team won its first conference title since 1999 with a more-than-stellar performance last Saturday in front of 3,367 fans at the Lloyd Noble Center. The Sooners crowned three individual champions (Jared Frayer at 149, Josh Lambrecht at 184, and heavyweight Leonce Crump) as well as three runner-ups (Matt Ridings, Witt Durden, and Michael Barger) and four third-place finishers. Crump won the conference heavyweight division for the second conecutive year. Oklahoma did not have a wrestler finish below third place. OU totaled 87 points for the tournament, followed by Oklahoma State (73), Iowa State (63.5), Nebraska (32.5) and Missouri (26.5). The key to the tournament may have been the consolation finals (third place). OU went 4-0 while the Cowboys lost all three.
100 PERCENT QUALIFICATION
Under the NCAA National Championship rules, the Sooners qualified a wrester at every weight class. OU was the only school in the Big 12 Conference to do so.
TWO MARKS IN ONE DAY
Jared Frayer's Big 12 Championship was his first as a Sooner after two second-place finishes. The senior from Clearwater, Fla. also tallied two wins to move into fourth place all alone on OU's all-time victory list with 125. Frayer's pin gave him 47 for his career, second best in school history.
Not only did every weight classes qualify, but nine out of the 10 wrestlers have advanced to the NCAA National Championships before. Two Sooners, Jared Frayer and Doug Cieleski, have qualified for the finals for the fourth consecutive year.
Josh Lambrecht has the team's longest win streak, currently at nine. The junior from Brandon, Fla. has not lost since the National Duals and, in the current streak, has tallied three major decisions, two technical falls and a fall.
SEASON RECORD MARK
OU's victory over Michigan State in its regular season finale was its 19th win on the season. That total tied the 1974 team for number of victories in a regular season. The '74 squad went on to win the National Championship, the last title the Sooners have won.
OU WRESTLERS RANKED AT ALL TEN WEIGHT CLASSES
OU's team balance is best illustrated by the fact that Sooner wrestlers are ranked in all 10 weight classes in current polls including eight in the top 10.
OU may be on its way to establishing a pin record for a single season. With 72 falls this year, OU is only 10 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.
#6/#6 Oklahoma (19-5) 125 pounds: #7/#6 Matt Ridings, Sr. (25-5) 133 pounds: #4/#3 Witt Durden, Jr. (29-5) 141 pounds: #14/#9 Nate Parker, Jr. (23-12) 149 pounds: #5/#5 Jared Frayer, Sr. (31-6) 157 pounds: #14/#14 Doug Cieleski, Sr. (26-13) 165 pounds: #9/#8 Robbie Waller, Jr. (12-8) 174 pounds: #17/#18 Michael Barger, Sr. (28-11) 184 pounds: #6/#5 Josh Lambrecht, Jr. (30-4) 197 pounds: #10/#9 Tom Grossman, Jr. (19-12) Heavyweight: #3/#4 Leonce Crump, So. (25-3)
Rankings based on Amateur Wrestling News/InterMat polls.