OK State clinches Big 12 championship
AMES, Iowa -- Oklahoma State won its 13th Big 12 team championship and 49th conference title on Saturday at Hilton Coliseum, scoring 92 team points and going a perfect 7-0 in title matches.
The Cowboys' point total was 24 points better than second place Iowa State, and no other school had more than two champions. Oklahoma (43) and West Virginia (35) came in third and fourth, respectivey.
"Each championship, they're important," coach John Smith said. "We like winning them, and this one is as satisfying as a lot of them -- coming into tonight with seven in the finals and winning all seven. I saw some things out of my team that I haven't seen all year. You like to see that in post-season."
Individual title winners for the Cowboys included Eddie Klimara (125), Dean Heil (141), Anthony Collica (157), Alex Dieringer (165) -- also named Outstanding Wrestler at the event -- Kyle Crutchmer (174), Nolan Boyd (184) and Austin Marsden (285).
Klimara started the night with a 5-3 decision against second-seeded Zeke Moisey of West Virginia at 125 pounds. Klimara traded a takedown for a reversal in the first period, then added a late takedown in the second that made the difference in the final score. It marks Klimara's second Big 12 title, as he won the 125-pound championship in 2013 and finished runner-up in 2014.
"He's a great opponent," Klimara said. "I just had to stay solid and keep wrestling."
Heil kept the momentum going with a fall in the 141-pound bout against Iowa State's Dante Rodriguez. He scored a takedown in the first period and a quick reversal in the second. Rodriguez escaped, but Heil took him down again straight to his back and picked up the fall with 11 seconds remaining in the period. It was Heil's fourth fall of the season and his first Big 12 title in his first conference title match.
"Although it's an individual sport and you wrestle individual matches, anyone that goes out there and creates a positive chemistry for your team [has an impact]," Smith said. "A pin will do that. People get excited when you see pins."
Collica's conference championship came against second-seeded Justin DeAngelis of Oklahoma. DeAngelis scored the only point in the first two periods with an escape in the second, but Collica scored an escape of his own and followed that with a takedown in the final 30 seconds. Collica rode out the majority of the period with a last second escape by DeAngelis, making the final score 3-2 in favor of Collica. It was his second Big 12 title, as he won the 141-pound crown a year ago.
Crutchmer's win at 174 pounds could be considered the most exciting of the event, as he and Iowa State's third-seeded Tanner Weatherman took their match as far as it could go through both overtime periods. Although the only scoring came via escapes to start each period, there were several close calls both ways, and each wrestler fought hard before Crutchmer's eight-second riding time advantage in overtime gave him the 4-3 win. It was Crutchmer's first Big 12 title in his first conference championship match.
The 184-pound match was another closely fought bout, with Boyd coming out on top with a 2-1 decision. He and Iowa State's top-seeded Lelund Weatherspoon traded escapes in the final two periods, but Boyd's 1:28 riding time advantage was enough to give him the win, and also mathematically sealed OSU's team title. It marked Boyd's first Big 12 championship after finishing runner-up in 2014.
In the 165-pound match, which was moved for broadcast purposes to the slot between 184 and 197 pounds, Dieringer added another line to his impressive resume with a dominant 14-4 major decision against second-seeded Michael Moreno of Iowa State.
"I got a major decision so I can't be too mad about it, but I could have got a few more," Dieringer said. "That's the biggest thing I've got to worry about is moving my feet and hands."
It was Dieringer's third consecutive Big 12 individual title, as he won at 157 pounds each of the past two years, and improved his perfect record this season to 28-0.
Marsden wrapped up the night with another solid win, defeating West Virginia's third-seeded Anthony Vizcarrondo by a 7-0 margin. It was Marsden's second consecutive heavyweight conference title.
The Cowboys' seven champs give them 83 all-time Big 12 individual champions and 262 all-time individual conference champions.