Wrestling gives Coach Smith 200th victory in Saturday sweep

Joey Gjata, 23 Sports

Sunday, Nov. 16–

It was nothing short of a historic night for Mizzou athletics as head coach Brian Smith recorded his 200th victory in the team’s dual matchup against Truman State and Missouri Baptist. The Tigers emphatically knocked off the Bulldogs 54-0 and did more of the same against the Spartans 43-3.

Sophomore  Matt Manley (1:23), redshirt junior Le’Roy Barnes(1:25), redshirt sophomore Blake Pepper (1:59), redshirt senior  Mikey England (2:16), and redshirt freshman  Willie Miklus(4:05) all pinned their opponents in their matches against Truman State. Manley, England and Miklus all came off of 1st place finishes at the Cyclone Invitational last weekend in their competitive weight classes of 133, 174, 184 pounds, respectively.

The Tigers’ 54 point margin of victory is the second largest in school history just behind the 56-0 whopping of Shippensburg State during the 1980-81 season. This victory also stands as the most points scored by the Black and Gold since 2004-05 against SIUE where they notched 55.

Less than an hour later, the second contest of the evening saw Mizzou take home nine wins out of ten against Missouri Baptist. The Tigers lost only a single individual match on the night combined. Another easy team victory was highlighted by Manley (2:37), Barnes (1:51), redshirt senior Ty Prazma (3:54), and Miklus (4:04) as each recorded falls in their respected matchups.

Highly regarded 4th ranked wrestler J’den Cox also won a pair of matches in his 197 class leaving where he left off with his 1st place finish at the Cyclone Invitational. Redshirt sophomore Lavion Mayes and Redshirt senior  Johnny Eblen were among two other grapplers who participated in both competitions as well.

Mayes recorded one technical fall win against Truman State’s Henrio Thelemaque (17-2) and a major decision victory over Missouri Baptist’s Will Upson (10-1). Eblen tallied a couple of technical falls in his two pairings with a 20-5 win over Truman State’s Ryan Ward and an 18-1 victory over Missouri Baptist’s Jeff Brock.

Mizzou as a team came in ranked tenth in the nation, but will definitely look to rise as the Tigers have yet to play the number of matches of other teams in the top ten.

The team’s next dual match marks the team’s MAC opener at Old Dominion next Sunday at 1 p.m. The Tigers will not be in action at home until Dec. 19 when they take on South Dakota State, followed by SIUE and against Kent State, which will be the third conference event of the season for Mizzou.