March 17, 2012
ST. LOUIS -- Oklahoma redshirt sophomores Kendric Maple and Nick Lester finished fourth and eighth, respectively, at the 2012 NCAA Championships after going 1-2 Friday morning inside the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo.
“I’m proud of my two All-Americans,” Mark Cody said. “We have a lot of work to do going forward, but I am proud of their effort. It is tough to put into words what these guys are feeling right now.
“Overall, I think a lot of positive things happened over the weekend. This is where you find out what kind of a team you have and we found out what adjustments we need to make moving forward.”
Entering the Championship's final session, Oklahoma stands in 12th place with 38 points. Penn State clinched their second-straight team title with 128.5 points.
Maple (32-3) concluded NCAA action going 1-1 on the final day to finish fourth in the 141 pound division. The Wichita, Kan., native opened the day with a fall in 4:09 over Oregon State’s Michael Mangrum, the No. 4 seed. Prior to the fall, Maple held a 5-1 lead off a takedown, near fall and escape.
In his final match of the tournament, Maple fell to Cal Poly’s Borislav Novachkov after the second overtime tiebreaker due to a 0:09 riding time advantage.
“We couldn’t be any prouder of Maple,” Cody explained. “He has done a great job the whole year. As a coach I feel blessed to have him, because he just does everything you ask of him. He is a coach’s dream.
“I think in both matches the same thing happened in that he didn’t give himself the benefit of how good he was on his feet and didn’t get on the attack enough. If he did, I think we wouldn’t even be in this third or fourth place match. The good thing is he learned from this and has been in that pressure situation.”
Lester (23-13) earned eighth place after he dropped a 1-0 contest to Oregon State’s Scott Sakaguchi. Neither wrestler scored a point, but the Beaver held a 2:00 advantage of riding time to secure the win and a seventh place finish.
“Lester has had this kind of potential all year long and it’s nice that we finally see it at the NCAA tournament,” Cody said.
The finals begin at 6:30 p.m. Saturday and can be seen live on ESPN and ESPN3.com. For the latest in OU wrestling news and updates be sure to follow @OUWrestling on twitter.
|| Session V Third Place Results
141: No. 6 Borislav Novachkov (CAL POLY) dec. No. 2 Kendric Maple (OU), 4-3 (2OT)
|| Session V Wrestlebacks Semifinal Results
141: No. 2 Kendric Maple (OU) fall No. 4 Michael Mangrum (ORST), 4:09
|| Session V Seventh Place Results
149: Scott Sakaguchi (ORST) dec. Nick Lester (OU), 1-0
|| Team Leaders Entering the Finals
1. Penn State (128.5)
2. Minnesota (113.5)
3. Iowa (103.5)
4. Cornell (90.5)
5. Oklahoma St. (66)
6. Ohio St. (64.5)
7. Illinois (62)
8. Lehigh (61)
9. Northwestern (41.5)
10. Oregon St. (40.5)
11. Virginia Tech (39)
12. Oklahoma (38)