Mizzou wrestling wins sixth straight conference title

Mizzou wrestling wins sixth straight conference title

Photo courtesy of The Maneater

Mitchell Soell, 23 Sports Reporter

Mizzou wrestling team won their sixth consecutive conference championship at the MAC Wrestling Championships in Cedar Falls, Iowa on Sunday. The Tigers set a new MAC Tournament record by scoring 154.5 team points in their victory, surpassing their 2015 total which was 139.5 points.

That was not the only accolade the team received from the conference. Senior 197-pounder J’den Cox was named the 2017 MAC Most Outstanding Wrestler. Cox won the title against Old Dominion’s Kevin Beazley. With that victory in the conference championship, Cox became the second four-time conference champion in Mizzou history. Coach Brian Smith commented that Cox is “a special young man.”

“I’ve known him since he was four, and it is kind of a sad thing that his time is coming to an end,” Smith said.

Mizzou had six conference champions after all was said and done. Along with Cox, redshirt sophomore 133-pounder John Erneste, redshirt freshman 141-pounder Jaydin Eierman, redshirt senior 149-pounder Lavion Mayes, redshirt junior 157-pounder Joey Lavallee and redshirt sophomore 165-pounder Daniel Lewis all took home titles. That total is the most in Mizzou’s history.

Mizzou finished 48 points ahead of Northern Iowa, who ended in second place. That margin is the widest in MAC Championships history.

Cox entered the tournament as the second seed and twelfth in the national rankings according to Win Magazine. After two falls in Saturday’s competition, Cox ended with an 8-2 victory against Old Dominion’s Beazley.

After being tied at two with Buffalo’s Bryan Lantry, Erneste needed overtime to break the tie as Erneste rolled through a takedown attempt and returned the favor with a takedown, adding two points to win the title.

Eierman recorded his second bonus point win when he captured his title as he defeated Ohio’s Noah Forrider by a score of 10-1.

Because of this championship weekend, eight Tigers wrestlers earned their automatic bid for the NCAA Wrestling Championships held March 16-18 in St. Louis. Redshirt freshmen 184-pounder Matt Lemanowicz and 174-pounder Dylan Wisman, who finished fourth and sixth, respectively, will wait and see if they receive a wild card bid from the committee, which will be announced later this week.