Stillwater News Press

Columns

February 20, 2012

Day: New format good for National Duals

STILLWATER, Okla. — How do you measure success?

Positive comments from coaches.

Thousands of fans creating a deafening din with victory on the line.

By both measuring sticks, the new look NWCA Cliff Keen National Duals were a hit.

This season, the National Duals switched from a one-location tournament to a campus-based tournament. The 24 teams were divided among four regional sites. All four regionals were held on college campuses.

The regional winners wrestled a week later to be National Duals champion. One of the regionals and the finals were held at Oklahoma State University in Gallagher-Iba Arena.

Minnesota wrestling coach J Robinson liked the idea of Mat Mayhem and the Final Four competing for a team championship. The Oklahoma State alum said this National Duals format crowns a team champion because all 10 weight classes are represented.

“You have 10 guys in one. You might qualify seven for the other. Is that a team? No,” Robinson said.

Minnesota 125-pounder Zach Sanders said Minnesota students didn’t understand the importance of the National Duals until this season when he could tell them his team was going to wrestling’s Final Four.

“It’s like the NCAA basketball tournament. It’s more exciting,” Sanders said.

Oklahoma State’s semifinals dual against Illinois came down to the heavyweight bout.

True freshman Austin Marsden faced Illinois junior Pat Walker with a berth in the National Duals championship on the line.

Marsden held a 1-0 lead as the third period started. Walker tied the score with an escape early in the final period. The crowd of 4,453 mostly Oklahoma State fans cheered raucously as Marsden took a shot with 16 seconds left and scored a takedown for a 3-1 lead. He let Walker escape with 2 seconds left to make the final score 3-2.

Illinois coach Jim Heffernan asked reporters if there would be that eruption of cheering at the NCAA wrestling championships in March. Heffernan didn’t wait for an answer. He answered it himself, “No!”

“You don’t get the reaction at the national championships with wrestlers on four mats,” Heffernan said.

Oklahoma State wrestling coach John Smith has been a longtime proponent of campus-based regionals and finals.

Sunday’s second-place finish didn’t change his mind.

“It’s good. It would be silly to not continue with it. There was a lot of good action,” Smith said.

Wrestling and wrestling coaches are reluctant to change, Smith said, but the regionals and finals worked out great.

“We need to make sure we keep it on campuses somewhere,” Smith said.

Day is sports editor for the Stillwater NewsPress.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
Buy & Share Photos
NewsPress e-Edition
NewsPress Specials
AP Video
Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands
Stocks
NDN Video
Bill Murray Continues To Be Just Bill Murray By Eating Some Free Bill Murray Ice Cream Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl
Must Read