Top-ranked Jared Frayer will lead the Sooners at the Oklahoma Gold Classic.
Nov. 8, 2001
NORMAN, Okla. - Oklahoma opens the 2001-02 campaign by traveling to the Oklahoma Gold Classic in Brockport, N.Y. This is the third consecutive year of the tournament, which is co-hosted by OU and SUNY-Brockport. The Sooners are ranked as high as second in preseason polls and look to improve on their back-to-back fourth-place NCAA finishes. OU wrestlers are ranked in the top 15 in all 10 weight classes.
Oklahoma Gold Classic The University of Oklahoma and SUNY-Brockport will co-host the Oklahoma Gold Classic for the third consecutive season. The tournament, which will be held on the SUNY-Brockport campus, will begin with preliminaries at 10 a.m. with the finals beginning at 6 p.m. In addition to OU and Brockport, Rutgers, Buffalo, Army, Cleveland State, Bloomsburg, Pitt-Johnstown and Wagner will comprise the field. The Sooners have won the previous two Oklahoma Gold Classics and crowned five champions at last year's tournament.
Projected Lineup #2/#3 Oklahoma
125 pounds: Bo Maynes, Jr. #8/#8 Matt Ridings, Sr. 133 pounds: #2/#2 Witt Durden, Jr. 141 pounds: Melvin Lofton, Sr. #12/#13 Nate Parker, Jr. 149 pounds: #1/#1 Jared Frayer, Sr. Randy Sulaver, Fr.-RS 157 pounds: NR/#12 Doug Cieleski, Sr. 165 pounds: Wes Roberts, Fr.-RS 174 pounds: #7/#8 Michael Barger, Sr. Travis Brotton, So. 184 pounds: #4/#4 Josh Lambrecht, Jr. 197 pounds: #13/#9 Tom Grossman, Jr. Josh Ferguson, Sr. Heavyweight: #4/#4 Leonce Crump, So. Gary Barber, Sr. Rankings based on Amateur Wrestling News/InterMat polls.
Frayer Opens Season Top Ranked at 149 Senior Jared Frayer opens the 2001-02 season at the nation's top-ranked 149-pounder in every major poll. It is the first that a Sooner wrestler has opened the season at No. 1 since 1997 when defending national champion John Kading was top-ranked at 190 pounds. An All-American after placing fourth at nationals last season, Frayer needs six wins to reach the century mark for his career and 15 to move into the OU all-time top 10. Currently ranked sixth in career pins, he tallied 19 last season and was named the winner of the Schalles Award, which is presented to the nation's most outstanding pinner.
Four All-Americans Return to Sooner Lineup In addition to Frayer, three other All-Americans - Witt Durden, Josh Lambrecht and Leonce Crump - return to the OU lineup this season. Durden, who placed third at 133 last season, is the highest returning place winner from 2001. Lambrecht placed seventh at last year's NCAA Championships and Crump finished fourth.
OU Ranked Second in Preseason Polls With the return of eight starters - including four All-Americans - OU debuted as high as second in the preseason polls. OU is currently ranked second by Amateur Wrestling News and third by InterMat. In addition to the four returning All-Americans, the Sooners return both Bo Maynes, who was ranked as high as third in the nation before falling out of the polls due to injury, and NCAA qualifier Matt Ridings at 125 pounds; last year's opening dual starter Mark Worthy at 157; and two-time NCAA qualifiers Robbie Waller at 165 pounds and 174-pounder Michael Barger. Two-time NCAA qualifier Tom Grossman also returns after spending last season on a religious mission at 197 pounds and spot starter Melvin Lofton will be back at 141. Added into the mix are transfers Nate Parker (141) and Doug Cieleski (157).
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 preseason polls. OU individuals are ranked as follows: 125: #8/#8 Matt Ridings 133: #2/#2 Witt Durden 141: #12/#13 Nate Parker 149: #1/#1 Jared Frayer 157: NR/#12 Doug Cieleski / #14/NR Mark Worthy 165: #6/#5 Robbie Waller 174: #7/#8 Michael Barger 184: #4/#4 Josh Lambrecht 197: #13/#9 Tom Grossman Hwt: #4/#4 Leonce Crump Rankings are based on Amateur Wrestling News and InterMat polls.
OU's All-Time Winningest Coaches Head coach Jack Spates is among the all-time leaders in career wins and winning percentage by OU coaches. The 1999 Big 12 Coach of the Year, Spates ranks third in both career wins and winning percentage. Career Wins1. Stan Abel (1973-93) 279-123-8 .690 2. Tommy Evans (1960-61, 1963-72) 140-40-2 .775 3. Jack Spates (1993-Present) 108-43-5 .708 4. Port Robertson (1947-59, 1962) 88-27-7 .750 5. Paul V. Keen (1928-39) 51-34-3 .597 Career Winning Percentage 1. Tommy Evans (1960-61, 1963-72) 140-40-2 .775 2. Port Robertson (1947-59, 1962) 88-27-7 .750 3. Jack Spates (1993-Present) 108-43-5 .708 4. Stan Abel (1973-93) 279-123-8 .690 5. James Tolbert (1924) 3-2 .600
Sooner Head Coach Jack Spates Spates came to the University of Oklahoma from Cornell, where he owned the school's highest winning percentage after compiling an impressive 74-14-1 record over five seasons. Oklahoma finished fourth at the last two NCAA Wrestling Championships, making OU one of three teams to finish in the top four in each of the last two seasons. The Sooners also crowned its second national champion in as many seasons. OU tallied a 18-5-1 dual record and climbed as high as fifth in the polls. Spates has produced 25 All-Americans while at OU, including four-time All-American and NCAA Champion John Kading at 190 pounds, undefeated NCAA Champion Byron Tucker at 174 pounds and four-time All-Amercian, four-time Big 12 Champion and undefeated national champion Michael Lightner.
Up Next Sooner wrestlers will travel to Columbia, Mo., to compete in the Missouri Open. The Missouri Open is an individual tournament and some OU wrestlers will be competing for the University while others will be competing unattached.