By Andrew Glover
STILLWATER, Okla. — The last time Oklahoma State University junior Blake Rosholt stepped onto the wrestling mat was the Dec. 9 Bedlam Dual.
The 197-pounder stepped back onto the mat during Sunday's dual with Iowa with the two teams tied in team points. With a takedown in the third period, Rosholt delivered in his return and helped the second-ranked Cowboys to an 18-12 victory over the No. 4 Iowa Hawkeyes.
“My conditioning feels good,” said Rosholt, who faced Iowa freshman Nathan Burak. “I felt a little bit sloppy. My stuff wasn’t clear cut like it should be. When that stuff happens, you got to find a way to win.”
In the first period, neither wrestler scored. Rosholt grabbed the lead with an escape in the second, but Burak recorded an escape in the third to even the score at 1. The junior from Ponca City recorded a takedown on Burak to grab a 3-1 lead. Burak recorded another escape but couldn’t tie the score, giving the victory to Rosholt and a 15-12 lead to Oklahoma State.
Before Rosholt’s match, Chris Chinouma, who is ranked 15th in the 184-pound weight class, upset No. 10 Ethen Lofthouse with a 3-2 decision to tie the match at 12. Chionuma grabbed the lead in the second period with an escape. Lofthouse evened the match with an escape. Chionuma took the lead for good with a takedown.
Coach John Smith said he was happy with both Chionuma and Rosholt’s victories.
“First time I felt good about winning a dual meet was when (Chionuma) did win,” Smith said. “Rosholt hasn’t wrestled in awhile. ... You don’t know what was going to happen in that match.”
Chionuma said it was a breakthrough victory.
“This was the best match for it,” Chionuma said. “It’s against Iowa. It’s here. It’s really going to make a big push towards the end of the year.”
The Hawkeyes (12-1) grabbed the lead early, holding a 12-3 lead after the 157-pound bout. No. 1-ranked Matt McDonough defeated OSU’s Eddie Klimara in the 125-pound bout in a 10-4 decision. Jon Morrison, who is ranked fifth in the 133-pound weight class, lost to second-ranked Tony Ramos by decision. Jordan Oliver, the top wrestler in the 149-pound weight class, kept his undefeated season alive with a 10-4 decision victory over Iowa’s Michael Kelly.
Tyler Caldwell, ranked third in the 165-pound weight class, started the Cowboys’ rally with a 3-2 decision victory over Iowa’s Nick Moore, who is ranked 18th. Caldwell took the lead with an escape in the second. Moore tied the score with an escape. Caldwell recorded a takedown near the edge of the circle but Moore was able to escape near the boundary. The last points were a hot discussion between Smith and Iowa’s coach Tom Brands.
“(The point of contention) was about the escape, then it became about the takedown,” Smith said. “I was like ‘wait a minute, we don’t need to go back that far. You can look at the escape.’ I didn’t think (Moore) broke away. You got to have a clean break.”
In a top five matchup, Chris Perry, the top-ranked 174-pound wrestler, pulled out a 4-3 victory by decision over Iowa’s Mike Evans, who was ranked fourth. Perry scored a takedown halfway through the first period. Evans cut the lead in half on an escape in the second period. Perry expanded his lead to 3-1 with an escape in the third. With nine seconds remaining, Perry gave up a takedown to tie the match at 3. Perry’s 1:19 riding time scored him the winning point. Smith said Perry getting the bonus point for riding time wasn’t good enough.
“We got to get tougher and get better,” Smith said. “These are tough matches. Sometimes its hard to hold a guy down.”
Heavyweight Alan Gelogaev clinched the match for the Pokes with a 7-3 decision victory over Iowa’s Bobby Telford. Smith said every match was a battle.
“We did what we needed to do,” Smith said. “ ... It was a tough classic match. A lot of those matches were won by a takedown. Sometimes that’s what it is, battling until you score your one takedown.”