Wrestling Loses Big in Finals

Saturday, Feb. 11 –

The No. 13 Missouri Tigers wrestling team traveled to Rutgers University in Piscataway, N.J., over the last week to participate in the NWCA National Duals this weekend.

The Tigers served as one of six competitors in the competition, along with Cal Poly, No. 14 Kent State, No. 11 Michigan State, No. 4 Minnesota and host Rutgers.

The Tigers made quick work of Cal Poly and No. 11 Michigan State before falling to No. 4 Minnesota in the regional finals. Cal Poly and Michigan State proved to be no match for the dominating Tigers, as they handled them in a convincing fashion, 34-6 and 21-12, respectively.

Unfortunately for Missouri, the Golden Gophers of Minnesota did not fall as easily. The Tigers faced their most embarrassing defeat of the season against the gophers, losing 26-7.

The match against the Gophers was full of firsts for the Tigers on the season. One of which included Minnesota sweeping the first four weight classes of the meet – 125, 133, 141 and 149. The four straight defeats put the Tigers on the wrong side of an virtually insurmountable 14-point lead for Minnesota.

Missouri proved to be resilient, however, and rebounded in the 157-pound weight class. Redshirt freshman Drake Houdashelt was the first Tiger to get Missouri on the board, defeating his Minnesotan counterpart, Daniel Zilverberg, by a 6-4 score.

The loss at 157 was nothing more than a lone dark spot on the Golden Gophers’ day. Minnesota rattled off three straight wins in the 165, 174 and 184 classes to put the proverbial nail in Missouri’s coffin as they led 23-3 after eight contests.

With all chances of a comeback out of reach, junior Brent Haynes got a major defeat, 10-0, over Minnesota’s Sonny Yohn in the 197-pound set. Haynes’ victory served as nothing more than a moral win for the Tigers, unfortunately, as Minnesota won the final set to close out the match and beat the Tigers, 26-7.

The Tigers will enjoy a two-week rest before heading down to Stillwater, Okla., for the team’s final dual competition of the season. Missouri will kick off the action on Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. CT.

– Ben Yarrington
23 Sports
Staff Writer