March 1, 2002
NORMAN, Okla. - On the night when it said goodbye to nine seniors, the University of Oklahoma wrestling team put in exclamation point on its regular season with a 38-3 romp over No. 21/22 Michigan State. With the win, the Sooners (19-5) tied the 1974 team, which won the National Championship, for number of victories in a season. The Spartans fell to 5-12.
Oklahoma made a statement in its very first match as seventh-ranked Josh Lambrecht dominated with a 13-0 major decision over John Wechter. After No. 12 Tom Grossman picked up a decision, heavyweight Leonce Crump, ranked No. 3/5, pinned Michael Keenan just 71 seconds into the match. The fall gave the Sooners a commanding 13-0 lead.
It was 31-0 OU before Michigan State finally won a match. Before that, Sooners picked up a forfeit victory (fourth-ranked Witt Durden) and another fall (No. 13/9 Nate Parker). Parker's pin came with one second left in the first period.
No. 9/10 Chris Williams won the Spartans' lone match at 157 over No. 12/11 Doug Cieleski but Oklahoma closed out the evening with two straight victories including ninth-ranked Robbie Waller's major decision over Anton Hall. In the finale, No. 18/20 Michael Barger escaped with one second left to gain the victory over tenth-ranked Rashad Evans at 174 pounds.
No. 5/8 Jared Frayer won his match to tie Joe Stafford (1987-90) on Oklahoma's all-time victory list with 123.
"I was impressed with our team's performance tonight. Even though it has struggled with injuries this year, Michigan State is still a very competitive team," said OU Head Coach Jack Spates. "This kind of performance is what we needed going into the Big 12 Tournament next week."
OU will host the 2002 Big 12 Wrestling Tournament on Saturday, March 9 at the Lloyd Noble Center.
Oklahoma 38, Michigan State 3
184: No. 7/7 Josh Lambrecht (28-4), OU maj. dec. Nathaniel Mesyn, MSU, 13-0 197: No. 12/12 Tom Grossman (17-11), OU dec. John Wechter, MSU, 7-5 Hwt: No. 3/5 Leonce Crump (23-3), OU fall Michael Keenan, MSU, 1:11 125: No. 6/6 Matt Ridings (24-4), OU dec. No. 13/16 Chris Williams, MSU, 6-2 133: No. 4/4 Witt Durden (28-4), OU forfeit 141: No. 13/9 Nate Parker (20-11), OU fall Charles Sageman, MSU, 2:59 149: No. 5/8 Jared Frayer (29-6), OU dec. No. 13/13 Karl Nadolsky, MSU, 4-0 157: No. 9/10 Gray Maynard, MSU, dec. Doug Cieleski (24-12), OU, 3-1 165: No. 9/9 Robbie Waller (11-7), OU maj. dec. No. 17/NR Anton Hall (15-14), MSU, 10-1 174: No. 18/20 Michael Barger (27-10), OU dec. No. 10/10 Rashad Evans (19-11), MSU, 5-4
Rankings based on Amateur Wrestling News/Intermat Poll.