By Andrew Glover
STILLWATER, Okla. —
The second-ranked Oklahoma State University wrestling team played against some of the best teams in the nation in last week’s Southern Scuffle. On Sunday, they face another top 10 foe as No. 4 Iowa visits Gallagher-Iba Arena at 2 p.m.
“Finishing second isn’t ideal,” coach John Smith said. “I was pleased with our effort and performance. Anytime you have 10 guys wrestle there are going to be some things you don’t like. There was definitely more things I liked than didn’t.”
The Cowboys finished second with Jon Morrison, Jordan Oliver and Chris Perry winning individual titles. Jon Morrison, who wrestles in the 133-pound weight class, thought the Southern Scuffle went well.
“Our goal is always to win the tournament especially since we are shooting for a national championship,” Morrison said. “I would have liked to beat Penn State. For a tournament at the beginning of January, I thought we wrestled good and beat tough teams. It lets us know where we are at and what we have to work on.”
Chris Chionuma agreed with Morrison adding there was some things they could work on.
“The week before the tournament was the first time we worked on wrestling on top,” Chionuma said. “We went out there and did well. We still have some areas to work on but that’s what we are taking care of now.”
Smith said being able to wrestle on top is key to winning matches.
“If someone is trying to get up and get an escape or a reverse and you’re denying them of that, you are taking some wind out of them,” Smith said. “If you can ride for minute on anybody, you put yourself in position to win.”
Morrison said he’s excited about facing Iowa.
“It’s a huge rivalry and that brings a lot of excitement,” Morrison said. “They’re fourth and we’re second. It will be exciting to try and knock them off. Me in particular, my guy is ranked second. I’m really excited for that. Just to go out there compete and scrap and see what happens.”
Morrison will face Tony Ramos. The junior said he doesn’t have a specific game plan for the match.
“I don’t change anything,” Morrison said. “I just go into every match the same. Just stick to my game plan and my strength. Wrestle hard and just get into my offense.”
The Hawkeyes have an undefeated dual record at 12-0. Chionuma said there will be no easy match.
“Everybody has tough matches,” Chionuma said. “We are paired off perfectly. Every high-ranked person has a high-ranked person. ... I see it’s highly in our favor. We are ready. We’ve been through tough matches before.”
Smith said his team will have to wrestle well to come out on top.
“It takes tough people to win,” Smith said. “It’s a dual meet that has always been highly competitive and tense. Bottom line is we’ve won a lot of them. The ones we’ve won we were tough.”