Monday, March 7, 2016

Wrestling: OU's Cody Brewer, Ryan Millhof Claim Big 12 Titles

OU’s one-two punch of Ryan Millhof (125) and Cody Brewer (133 pounds) each grabbed a conference crown at the Big 12 Championship finals on Sunday afternoon. Aditionally, Brewer was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler of the championship. The two-day tournament was held at the Sprint Center.

Six Sooners punched their ticket to the NCAA Championships in Millhof (125 pounds), Brewer (133 pounds), Davion Jeffries (149 pounds), Clark Glass (165 pounds), Matt Reed (174 pounds) and Ross Larson (285 pounds).

OU placed seven wrestlers overall to lead the team to a second-place finish with 100 points. Oklahoma State won the tournament with 161 points, and Iowa State took third place with 87.

"It wasn't a shock to me to have all those guys on the medal stand," OU head coach Mark Cody said. "To go into the Big 12s and score 100 points, especially with all the new teams is great. All these teams have great coaches. It's amazing to me the quality of coaching we have in the Big 12 right now, and I think this is exciting for our conference and our sport. It was a special event. It felt like a mini NCAAs."

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Millhof earned his first Big 12 crown after downing Oklahoma State’s Eddie Klimara, 5-4, in TB2. The sophomore took a 2-0 lead after two periods but Klimara escaped to start the third and gained a stall point. The match remained tied after sudden victory one, but Millhof escaped for a 3-2 lead entering TB2. Klimara started on bottom and got a reversal before Millhof got a late reversal of his own for the win.

At 133 pounds, redshirt senior Brewer became the back-to-back Big 12 champion at 133 pounds, defeating Iowa State’s Earl Hall, 12-7. Hall struck first with a takedown five seconds into the bout, but Brewer escaped and posted a takedown and a 4-point nearfall for a 7-2 advantage after the opening frame. The Kansas City, Mo., native escaped to start the second period, but Hall tallied a takedown and Brewer held a 9-4 lead entering the final period. Each wrestler earned a takedown and an escape in the third period and Brewer kept his edge to become the second Sooner of the afternoon to earn a title.

"Cody (Brewer) and Ryan (Millhof) have been great for us," Cody said. "They've both been steadily improving. They're workout partners and they hold each other accountable, which is something I want to see throughout our whole team. Their relationship on and off the mat is great, and I know they picked each other's brains coming in and it helps them have success. That whole relationship they have is what's helped."

Freshman Davion Jeffries was the Big 12 runner-up at 149 pounds, dropping an 11-3 major decision to OSU’s Anthony Collica. Jeffries went 2-1 in the tournament, including a fall over SDSU’s Alex Kocer in the semifinals.

Three Sooners took third place in Sunday’s morning session in Clark Glass (165 pounds), Matt Reed (174 pounds) and Ross Larson (HWT).

Glass downed Connor Flynn of WVU in the third-place match, 5-0. The redshirt junior took an early lead after tallying a takedown in the first and extended his lead to 4-0 entering the final period after recording a reversal in the second. Glass secured the riding-time point for the win. In consolation semis, Glass defeated SDSU’s Luke Zilverberg, 7-2, after posting two takedowns and a reversal in the contest.

David Kocer of SDSU medical forfeited in the third-place bout and Matt Reed got the win to take third place at 174 pounds. The redshirt junior beat Ross Taylor of Utah Valley in his first match of the day, 6-4. Reed grabbed an early takedown and led 2-1 after the opening frame. After escaping to begin the second and tacking on another takedown, he earned a stall point in the third for the win.

Ross Larson showed dominance in both of his Sunday matches. Larson tallied a takedown eight seconds into the bout and continued with four 4-point nearfalls for an 18-0 technical fall over Utah Valley’s Dustin Dennison in 1:40. The redshirt junior pinned North Dakota State’s Ben Tynan in 1:49 in the consolation semifinals earlier in the session.

Wyoming’s Bryce Meredith recorded a win by fall over sophomore Trae Blackwell in 29 seconds in the 141-pound consolation semifinals. Blackwell, who entered the tournament as a No. 6 seed, finished in fourth place in the championship.

The Sooners will return to the mat on March 17-19 inside Madison Square Garden in New York City to wrap up the 2015-16 season at the NCAA Championships. 

///SoonerSports PR

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