NCAA Wrestler of the Week: Missouri's Jaydin Eierman takes honors after pinning two-time NCAA champion
With an impressive 70-percent majority from the NCAA Wrestling Twitter poll, Jaydin Eierman of the University of Missouri has been named NCAA Wrestler of the Week. The 141-pound redshirt sophomore rightly claimed this award after his second period pin of two-time NCAA champion Dean Heil. Wyoming’s Bryce Meredith claimed this award in December after defeating Heil.
On Saturday, anticipation grew as No. 3 Eierman and No. 5 Heil were set to square off in their third matchup since becoming collegiate wrestlers. In both of the previous two matchups with Eierman, Heil had come out on top. In the last meeting between the two, Heil pulled out a victory with a nail-biting 6-5 decision in the NCAA Quarterfinals, helping lead to his second-straight NCAA title.
After trailing early with an injury default loss at 125 pounds and a decision defeat at 133 pounds, the Tigers were in desperate need of a momentum swing. Eierman provided just that.
Mizzou's Jaydin Eierman is your NCAA Wrestler of the Week! pic.twitter.com/MFKKk1dpJn— NCAA Wrestling (@ncaawrestling) January 31, 2018
After a quiet first period, Heil scored with a second period reversal, but Eierman, quickly reversing back, put Heil on his back for an 8-3 lead. An escape later in the period cut the lead to 8-4. Eierman, however, managed to win an upper-body struggle and took Heil to his back again, securing a pin at 4:49 and erupting the crowd into unfathomably loud hometown cheers. Eierman’s spark lit the match for the Tigers as they went on to defeat No. 5 Oklahoma State, 21-18.
"It was unreal, but I knew what I was capable of,” Eierman told mutigers.com. “I just feel like I've put everything together this year and I didn't doubt it, but I didn't think it would happen like that."
Eierman also recorded a win over Cornell’s talented Yianni Diakomihalis in dramatic comeback fashion.
Hailing Columbia, Mo., the redshirt sophomore was a high school phenomenon. Eierman was only the second wrestler of Missouri to be a four-time state champion and remain undefeated throughout his entire career. At Tolton High School, Eierman recorded a career record of 158-0, including a 53-0 senior season. Before choosing the University of Missouri, Eierman was ranked 39th nationally by FloWrestling.
Who's your choice for NCAA Wrestler of the Week? #NCAAWrestling— NCAA Wrestling (@ncaawrestling) January 31, 2018
In his first season at Mizzou, he accomplished a highly impressive redshirt record of 22-2 at 133 pounds, placing first at three open tournaments and third at two events. In his first year as an attached wrestler, Eierman recorded a 27-9 record and earned All-American honors by finishing fifth at the NCAA Championships. In his debut at the NCAA Championships, Eierman knocked off four top-10 ranked wrestlers, including No. 3-ranked Joey McKenna (Stanford) by major decision (8-0) and No. 4-ranked Matthew Kolodzik (Princeton), 6-2. He also captured the MAC Championship and was named the MAC Freshman of the Year. Eierman lead the team with 5 dual falls and was tied for the most wins (29).
The victory over No. 5 Dean Heil improved his overall record to 22-1, standing 13-0 in duals. With victories over five ranked opponents this season, and two ranked in the top-five, the Tiger has now won 17 matches by bonus points this season, including 11 by fall, four by major decision and two by technical fall.