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Oklahoma State captures team title at Reno Tournament of Champions

Oklahoma State captures team title at Reno Tournament of Champions
Roger Moore For TheMat.com

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RENO, Nev. – Oklahoma State crowned just one champion – 285-pounder Jared Rosholt - but had enough to hold off Edinboro for the team title at the 14th Reno Tournament of Champions on Thursday.

The Cowboys totaled 146.5 points, placing eight among the top six, outdistancing the Fighting Scots by 14 points. Edinboro had three champions and eight among the top six.

North Carolina (94), Bakersfield (87.5) and Navy (79) rounded out the top five in the 30-team field.

“With this team, any win is a good win,? said O-State head coach John Smith. “It’s been a long week for us, a lot of traveling. We had some guys have pretty good tournaments. At the end of the day it isn’t what I was hoping for.

“Conditioning-wise, we aren’t where we need to be, but some of that probably has to do with the travel.?

The Cowboys beat Cal Poly on Tuesday night in San Luis Obispo before showing up in Reno on Wednesday afternoon.

Rosholt, the No. 1-ranked heavyweight in the country, survived a major scare in the finals against Duke’s Konrad Dudziak. The Cowboy junior appeared to be in control, taking a 4-0 lead into the final two minutes. But Dudziak scored a takedown, received a stalling point and nearly had a takedown at the edge of the mat as the final buzzer sounded in a 5-4 match.

Four Oklahoma State wrestlers lost in the finals, including Obe Blanc, who fell to top-seeded Anthony Robles of Arizona State in the 125-pound finals. Robles, named the Outstanding Wrestler, had two technical falls, a pin, a major and a 9-2 decision of Blanc in the finals.

“Obe is tough, I have a lot of respect for him,? said Robles, who was a win away from being an All-American in 2008. “I knew I had to go tough for seven minutes because he is a former All-American and those are the guys I have to beat to reach my goals.?

Arizona State also crowned Chris Drouin, who beat Oklahoma State’s Jamal Parks in the 141-pound finale. Parks appeared to have a victory with a third-period takedown, but Drouin scored with a double-leg attack in the final 10 seconds to force overtime where he scored with another double-leg shot for a 7-5 victory.

Edinboro had a solid day, crowning Gregor Gillespie (157), Jared King (165) and Chris Honeycutt (184).

Gillespie, a three-time All-American and national champ two seasons ago, beat O-State’s Neil Erisman, 8-0, in his finals bout.

A handful of teams sat out many starters, including Edinboro.

“I don’t know why guys wouldn’t come to this tournament … maybe they want an early Christmas break,? said Gillespie, who survived a scare from North Carolina’s Thomas Scotton in the quarterfinals. “I’d rather be here, you have to make weight one time so that can’t be it.

“I underestimated (Scotton). Sometimes it’s hard for me to get going, but our new coach (Kyle Cerminara) really gets me going.?

King, the top seed at 165, handled O-State’s Brandon Mason, 4-2, in his finals match.

Honeycutt was never really challenged all day, beating Wyoming freshman Joe LeBlanc, 4-1, in the finals.

The top seed won seven of the weight classes.

O-State’s Clayton Foster, the top seed at 197, lost a heartbreaker to California-Bakersfield’s Brandon Halsey. Foster scored a takedown in the final 15 seconds for a 7-6 lead, but Halsey, who beat Rosholt in the 215-pound Junior freestyle finals in Fargo in 2004, turned Foster’s cheap-tilt attempt into a headlock for a reversal and three near-fall points. Riding time gave Halsey a 12-7 victory.

Halsey, ineligible a year ago, made it stand up with three more wins and the title. He beat Stanford’s Luke Feist, 6-3, in the finals.
Another unseeded wrestler, Nebraska-Kearney’s Kamarudeen Usman, upset No. 1 seed Austin Trotman of Appalachian State in the 174-pound semifinals. However, Usman lost to Navy’s Luke Rebertus in the finals.

The Midshipmen also saw top-seeded Bryce Saddoris win a title, beating unseeded Nick Stabile of North Carolina, 7-4, in the finals at 149.
California-Fullerton’s TJ Dillashaw, seeded No. 1 at 133, survived three close matches on his way to a title. He beat Edinboro’s Ricky Deubel, 3-1, in the finals.

OSU’s Foster defaulted out of the tournament after his loss to Halsey. Kevin Wainscott, an unattached entry at 174 for Smith, also defaulted out of the tournament and Cody Hill, OSU’s entry at 174, battled an injury in his final match in the consolations.

Newly McSpadden, the starter at 157, lost to Cal Poly’s Chase Pami on Tuesday. Neither competed on Thursday.

“There is some concern right now with some of the injuries,? Smith said.

The iron-man award goes to OSU’s Jared Shelton. The 184-pound senior was pinned in his first match but won seven straight to take third.

Teammate Chris McNeil, unattached at 184, hammered Liberty’s Chris Daggett in the first round then proceeded to reach the semifinals before falling to LeBlanc. McNeil was fifth.

OSU’s Chris Notte took Dillishaw to the wire in the semifinals before losing a 7-5 match. He came back to beat Bakersfield’s Thomas Kimbrell for third.

“I liked what Chris Notte did, he had a good tournament,? said Smith. “For Jared (Shelton) to come back the way he did is good and Chris (McNeil) had a good showing.?