NORMAN, Okla. – Kendric Maple of the 10th-ranked University of Oklahoma wrestling team has been chosen as the Big 12 Conference Wrestler of the Month, announced Wednesday by the Conference office in Irving, Texas, for his 4-0 start to the 2012-13 wrestling season. It is the fourth career honor for Maple – who was also named November’s Wrestler of the Month in 2011.
Last season, Maple became one of three Big 12 wrestlers in conference history to take home three honors in one season after being named Wrestler of the Month on top of two Wrestler of the Week selections (Jan. 30 and Jan. 2).
Maple remained undefeated in 2012-13 with a 4-0 record in dual competition when he topped Binghamton’s Dan Riggi Sunday evening with a 22-5 tech fall in 3:32 en route to an Oklahoma victory. The redshirt junior built a 17-4 lead in the first period and scored his final five points with a takedown and near fall points to take home the win.
The junior started 2012 dual competition at the Journeymen/Asics Northeastern Duals with a 3-0 slate. He began the Dual with a 7-3 decision over No. 8 141-pounder Luke Vath of Hofstra. Next, he topped Cornell’s Mike Nevinger with a 13-1 major decision and ended the competition with a 1:33 pin over Central Michigan’s Matt Lavingly.
He led Oklahoma to its 14th-straight Brockport/Oklahoma Invitational when he took home the 141-title after pinning Buffalo’s Andrew Schutt in 1:17. He began the Invitational by downing American’s Matt Dorf with a 0:13 pin – the fastest at the Invitational – then topped Army’s Tyler Rauenzahn with a 17-2 major decision. With his 3-0 mark on the weekend and fastest pin of the Invitational, he was named Most Outstanding Wrestler for the second consecutive year at the event.
Maple began 2012 at the NWCA All-Star Classic where he topped pre-season No. 5 141-pounder B.J. Futrell from Illinois, who finished fourth at last year’s NCAA Championships (133-pounds), with a 6-3 decision. For his efforts, Maple was awarded the Tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler.
The Sooners are back in action this weekend with a neutral-site match against Wyoming in Arkansas City Friday night at 7 p.m. CT. OU then returns home to McCasland Field House to face No. 3 Oklahoma State in the annual Bedlam Dual Sunday at 2 p.m. CT.
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