By Jason Elmquist
STILLWATER, Okla. —
With six bouts featuring higher ranking wrestlers, it appeared second-ranked Oklahoma State would have a cakewalk with No. 20 Wyoming.
There was little drama when it came to the team score between OSU and Wyoming Saturday at Gallagher-Iba Arena. While OSU rolled to a 31-8 victory, there was some drama in the 141-pound match between a pair of unranked wrestlers in OSU’s Julian Feikert and McCade Ford.
With Oklahoma State trailing early in the team score, 5-3, Wyoming challenged a last-second score by Feikert on the edge of the mat. The referee reviewed the takedown by Feikert that gave him a 4-3 lead with 30 seconds left in the match, and it was confirmed that he scored the takedown on the edge of the mat. The OSU wrestler held on for the final 30 to claim the 4-3 decision and give OSU a 6-5 edge in the team score.
“I was just thinking that if this got overturned then I’m going to have to come out ready and get another. So I was ready to come out and take him down again if I had to,” Feikert said. “... I knew I needed a takedown in order to win, so I just kept putting pressure on him.”
The momentum was huge for OSU, as a loss would have put it in an 8-3 hole in the team score.
Wyoming got out to an early lead with a technical fall for Tyler Cox over OSU’s Tyler Dorrell at 125 pounds. No. 8-ranked Jon Morrison cut into the Wyoming lead with an 8-2 decision over Kasey Garnhart at 133 to set up the drama at 141.
Following Feikert’s victory, Jordan Oliver earned a fall in 3:26 over Brandon Richardson to give OSU a 12-5 team lead.
There was little drama at 157 pounds, the only bout between ranked opponents.
OSU’s Alex Dieringer, ranked No. 14, scored two takedowns and a nearfall to take an early 6-4 lead over No. 12-ranked Andy McCulley after the opening period. In the second period, Dieringer logged two more takedowns and another nearfall to improve his lead to 12-5, and got an escape in the third period to earn a 14-5 major decision win.
Tyler Caldwell (No. 3 in 165) kept OSU’s winning ways rolling with a 15-2 major decision victory over Dakota Friesth. Oklahoma State won its sixth-straight bout when Chris Perry, ranked No. 1 at 174, earned a 15-3 major decision over Wyoming’s L.J. Helbig, which gave OSU a 24-5 team score.
Oklahoma State picked up a seventh-consecutive win with the 184-pound bout between Chris Chionuma and Shane Woods. Chionuma, wrestling with just one contact lens in for most of the match after one popped out early in the opening period, won by major decision, 13-4.
“I guess you only need one eye to see the leg,” Oklahoma State assistant coach Zack Esposito joked. “As they said in Rocky, hit the one in the middle. Just shoot for the one in the middle.”
Freshman Austin Schafer, a graduate of Edmond North, nearly pulled an upset against senior Alfonso Hernandez, ranked No. 3 at 197 pounds. After coming out quick with a 3-0 lead in the first period, Hernandez flipped the tide late in the second period and won a 14-7 decision to end OSU’s streak of bout wins.
“I think that was just a case where experience takes over and Alfonso is a returning All-American, so there’s where the experience takes over,” Esposito said. “As a freshman to come out and do what he did is great. I’m proud of the way Austin wrestled, because he showed the guy no (fear), even though he beat some guys even on our team last year.”
Alan Gelogaev, the second-ranked heavyweight, capped OSU’s dual win with an 8-5 decision victory over Wyoming’s Tanner Harms to give Oklahoma State its final 31-8 score.
Oklahoma State gets little time to recover from the dual. The Cowboys will travel to Norman for a 2 p.m. dual against Bedlam rival Oklahoma, which lost to Wyoming, on Friday.