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Oklahoma State wins 2014 Big 12; Perry beats Howe to win fourth conference title

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Oklahoma State wrestling won its 12th Big 12 conference championship – and 48th conference crown – at McCasland Field House at University of Oklahoma in Norman on Saturday night.

The Cowboys’ second-seeded Chris Perry won his fourth Big 12 title by defeating top-seeded Andrew Howe of the Sooners in the 174-pound finals.

Taking a cue from last year’s NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships which saved the 165-pound match between eventual four-time champ Kyle Dake of Cornell and Penn State’s David Taylor for last, Big 12 officials made the 174 title bout the end-of-the-evening main event.

In describing the Perry-Howe bout, about all their schools’ websites could agree on was that it was controversial.

“In a bout filled with controversy, No. 2 Chris Perry defeated No. 1 Howe by decision, 3-2,” wrote the Oklahoma Sooner wrestling website. “The referees awarded Howe a couple of takedowns before reversing the calls following review. The loss was Howe’s first of the season. On Dec. 1, Howe handed Perry his only loss of the season.”

“Several controversial and reviewed calls created an intense atmosphere as the two battled it out to be the Big 12's best,” according to the official Oklahoma State wrestling website. “Perry snagged two escapes, while Howe picked up the bout's only takedown, but it was Perry's riding time advantage that secured the Cowboy's fourth Big 12 title.”

Perry was named the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler.

The Cowboys had a wrestler in all but one of the finals matches… with Oklahoma State coming out on top in six of the nine. In addition to Perry, other Cowboy conference champs include Jon Morrison at 133 pounds, Anthony Collica at 141, Alex Dieringer at 157, Tyler Caldwell at 165, and, at heavyweight, Austin Marsden.

The one title match that didn’t have an Oklahoma State wrestler was at 197, between defending champ Kyven Gadson of Iowa State, and Travis Rutt of Oklahoma.

“The 197-pound match was one of the most intense of the night as it took several tiebreaker periods to decide a winner,” according to the Sooner wrestling website. “The bout was tied at 1 following three periods, and Gadson went on to take the title after having five seconds of riding time to win by a 4-3 decision in TB-2.”

Here’s how the official Iowa State wrestling website described the match: “Gadson’s match with Rutt was tactical from start to finish in regulation, as both wrestlers exchanged tieups, feeling each other out, looking for opportunities to score. Entering the second tiebreak, the match was tied at two. While both wrestlers were able to notch escapes in the second tiebreaker period, Gadson held a 9 second ride time advantage over Rutt, pushing him to the 4-3 win.”

Gadson wasn’t the only Cyclone to leave Norman with a conference title. Just minutes earlier, teammate Lelund Weatherspoon claimed the 184-pound championship.

Host school Oklahoma also had two individual champs in 125-pounder Jarrod Patterson, and Kendric Maple at 149.

West Virginia, which joined the Big 12 last season, did not have a single conference champ this year. However, for the first time, the Mountaineers had a finalist in A.J. Vizcarrondo at heavyweight.

The Big 12 has 24 automatic qualifier allocations for the 2014 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, which take place March 20-22 just north of Norman, in Oklahoma City.

Match Results – Championship Matches

  • 125: No. 1 Jarrod Patterson (OU) dec. No. 2 Eddie Klimara (OSU), 4-3
  • 133: No. 1 Jon Morrison (OSU) dec. No. 2 Cody Brewer (OU), 8-1
  • 141: No. 2 Anthony Collica (OSU) dec. No. 4 Gabe Moreno (ISU), 4-2
  • 149: No. 1 Kendric Maple (OU) dec. No. 2 Josh Kindig (OSU), 6-3
  • 157: No. 1 Alex Dieringer (OSU) dec. No. 2 Justin DeAngelis (OU), 8-3
  • 165: No. 1 Tyler Caldwell (OSU) MD No. 2 Michael Moreno (ISU), 12-1
  • 174: No. 2 Chris Perry (OSU) dec. No. 1 Andrew Howe (OU), 3-2
  • 184: No. 3 Lelund Weatherspoon (ISU) dec. No. 1 Nolan Boyd (OSU), 4-3
  • 197: No. 1 Kyven Gadson (ISU) dec. No. 2 Travis Rutt (OU), 3-3 TB2 (on criteria)
  • Hwt: No. 1 Austin Marsden (OSU) dec. No. 2 A.J. Vizcarrondo (WVU), 5-2

Team Standings:

  1. Oklahoma State, 98.5 team points
  2. Oklahoma, 63.5
  3. Iowa State, 45.5
  4. West Virginia, 26

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