Friday, March 16-
The Missouri Tigers had high hopes heading into the NCAA wrestling championships after sending a school record ten wrestlers. After Thursday’s first two sessions, the Tigers only had seven wrestlers still alive in competition.
After the first session of the day Friday morning, that number dropped to only three: No. 3 Alan Waters(125), Mike Larson(184) and Brent Haynes(197). All three wrestlers had been knocked out of the championship bracket but were still one win away in the consolation round from guaranteeing a spot in the All-American round.
Kyle Bradley(149) started the day off strong, defeating Bryce Busler of Bloomsburg and was one win away from continuing his season. Unfortunately, he dropped his next match 5-4 after suffering a late takedown to Steve Santos of Columbia.
Senior Dorian Henderson(174) followed a similar path as Bradley as he won his first match 6-3 over Greg Zanetti of Rutgers after being down 3-0 early. But once again, Henderson was defeated in his second match. Peter Huntley of Navy defeated him 3-1 and put an end to Henderson’s career as a Missouri Tiger. His final record was 88-56.
Nathan McCormick(133)lost his first match of the day to Shelton Mack of Pittsburgh 6-2, ending his season. Nicholas Hucke(141) was also eliminated after losing his first match of the day 6-2 to Justin LaVelle of Old Dominion.
Waters won his first two matches of the day, defeating Garret Frey of Princeton by technical fall and No. 11 Matthew Snyder of Virginia. However, in his final match of the day, he was defeated 5-2 by No. 4 Jesse Delgado of Illinois. It was Waters’ fourth loss of his sophomore season.
Larson had a very interesting day with two matches that came down to the wire. With victories in both, he was able to have one more shot at the All-American round. He defeated No.11 Ben Clymer of Hofstra on a defensive fall late in the second period. Next up he defeated Grant Gambrall of Iowa 5-3 in a match that was decided in overtime. Taking on No. 5 Kevin Steinhaus of Minnesota, Larson seemed to be no match for Steinhaus. Larson was defeated 17-2 on a technical fall, bringing his junior season to an end.
Haynes was Missouri’s last hope at an All-American. Unfortunately after reaching the quarterfinals in the championship round and being defeated by No. 3 Matthew Wilps of Pittsburgh, Haynes wasn’t able to find his groove again. He was defeated by No. 12 Joseph Kennedy of Lehigh 10-3. The defeat ended Haynes’ season and left Missouri without an All-American for the first time since 2001.
As a team, the Tigers finished with 20 points, which currently places them in 23rd place. This year was the first time the Tigers sent 10 wrestlers, but it will also be the first time in a decade that Missouri wont finish in the top-20.
- Walt Scher