Junior Nate Parker tallied an upset victory on his way to the quarterfinals and help OU take the lead after the first day of the finals.
March 21, 2002
ALBANY, N.Y. - The OU wrestling team finds itself in the lead after the first day of the 2002 NCAA National Championships held at the Pepsi Center in Albany, New York. The Sooners, who have six wrestlers advancing to the quarterfinals, are in first with 37.5 points. Minnesota, ranked number one in the country, is a close second with 35.5. OU and the Golden Gophers were the lone teams to have all 10 weight classes represented in the finals. Minnesota has seven wrestlers moving on to the third round.
Barger's fall got OU rolling into the first round of the tournament where it won nine on nine matches. Seven of those victories were by bonus that included two falls (Nate Parker and Josh Lambrecht), a technical fall (Witt Durden) and four major decisions. Oklahoma's first round success helped it take the lead after the opening session.
The Sooners saw their ten-match win streak come to an end in the first match of the second round when Cornell's Travis Lee stunned Matt Ridings by pinning him with just eight seconds left in the match. Lee had been clinging to a one-point lead before the fall. However, Oklahoma bounced back with four straight wins including Durden's and Waller's major decision and Parker's upset of Virginia Tech's Sean Gray, 6-3. Gray is ranked No. 3/2 by the latest Amateur Wrestling News and Intermat Polls.
The streak was snapped when West Virginia's Greg Jones, ranked second in the country, defeated Barger, 8-3, at 174 pounds. In the 184-pound match, Lambrecht improved his win streak to 11 with a major decision over Nebraska's Travis Pascoe, 9-0. At 197, Tommy Grossman lost in a tiebreaker the Huskers' Justin Ruiz, 5-4 and Crump picked up OU's fourth fall of the day against Brown's Bronson Lingamfelter (4:39).
Meanwhile, in the consolation bracket, Cieleski remained alive and picked up valuable points for the Sooners with a pair of decision victories.
"We wrestled hard and aggressive and that's why we were so successful this first day," said Oklahoma Head Coach Jack Spates. "There were a couple of heartbreaking losses (Ridings and Barger, for example) but, overall, I can't be more impressed with today's peformance. Nate (Parker) really stepped up. His victory over (Sean) Gray was outstanding. To come back after being three points down and take it shows he really dug deep to pull out the win."
The tournament resumes Friday at 10 a.m.
2002 NCAA Championships Results
Wrestleback Round 157: Jeremiah Jarvis, UC Davis dec. No. 14/14 Doug Cieleski (26-14), OU, 7-4 174: No. 17/18 Michael Barger (29-11), OU fall Brady Reinke, Wisconsin, 0:49
First Round 125: No. 7/6 Matt Ridings (26-5), OU dec. Jerold Limongelli, Rider, 10-4 133: No. 4/3 Witt Durden (30-5), OU tech. fall Cory Ace, Edinboro, 18-3 (7:00) 141: No. 14/9 Nate Parker (24-12), OU fall Brad Metzler, Stanford, 0:57 149: No. 5/5 Jared Frayer (32-6), OU maj. dec. Jon Garvin, Northern Iowa, 12-1 165: No. 9/9 Robbie Waller (13-8), OU dec. Nate Lawrenz, Northern Iowa, 8-5 174: No. 17/18 Michael Barger (30-11), OU maj. dec. Eric Hauan, Northern Iowa, 10-1 184: No. 6/5 Josh Lambrecht (31-4), OU fall Jeffrey Moskyok, Duquesne, 1:30 197: No. 10/9 Tom Grossman (20-12), OU maj. dec. Austin David, Tennessee-Chattanooga, 12-3 Hwt: No. 3/4 Leonce Crump (26-3), OU maj. dec. Ryan Kehler, West Virginia, 12-0
Second Round 125: Travis Lee, Cornell fall No. 7/6 Matt Ridings (26-6), OU, 6:52 133: No. 4/3 Witt Durden (31-5), OU maj. dec. Urijah Fabler, UC Davis, 14-3 141: No. 14/9 Nate Parker (25-12), OU dec. Sean Gray, Virginia Tech, 6-3 149: No. 5/5 Jared Frayer (33-6), OU dec. Collin Robertson, Boise State, 6-2 165: No. 9/9 Robbie Waller (14-8), OU maj.dec. Johnny Clark, Ohio State, 15-6 174: Greg Jones, West Virginia dec. No. 17/18 Michael Barger (30-12), OU, 8-3 184: No. 6/5 Josh Lambrecht (32-4), OU maj. dec. Travis Pascoe, Nebraska, 9-0 197: Justin Ruiz, Nebraska, dec. No. 10/9 Tom Grossman (20-13), OU, 5-4 (TB) Hwt: No. 3/4 Leonce Crump (27-3), OU fall Bronson Lingamfelter, Brown, 4:39
Consolation (Wrestleback) 157: No. 14/9 Doug Cieleski (27-14), OU dec. Zachariah Doll, Pitt, 7-3
Consolation (First Round) 157: No. 14/9 Doug Cieleski (28-14), OU dec. Dave Bolyard, Central Michigan, 7-6
Rankings based on Amateur Wrestling News/Intermat Poll.