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College wrestling notebook: Sooners battle at 149 pounds

EDMOND — Ranking matches are held so coaches can learn a little bit about their lineup. Wednesday night, Oklahoma wrestling coach Jack Spates learned he’s got one whale of a battle going on at 149 pounds.

OU held its Red-White Classic in conjunction with Central Oklahoma at Hamilton Field House with three-time NCAA qualifier Will Rowe and junior Kyle Terry battling into multiple overtimes. Terry eventually picked up the upset win.

“As far as heart, character and technique, that was the match,” Spates said. “We knew it was going to be a great one. Kyle Terry is tough, and it wasn’t as if Will didn’t wrestle. It was just a great performance by both of them.”

The Sooners also had 174-pounder Jeff James back from a knee injury that knocked him out midway through last season. James, an El Reno product, won his match by fall.

“They expected me to go hard for three periods, and I did that,” James said. “I feel a lot more comfortable at this weight than I did last year, and my knee feels pretty good.”

The Sooners will have new starters at 133, 157,184 and 197 pounds.

“In years (past), there have been a lot of times when I didn’t think we were ready for prime time after these ranking matches, but we’re encouraged,” he said.

 

FRESH FACES

Central Oklahoma lost national champion Kyle Evans at 141 pounds, but the Bronchos have several freshmen in their lineup with state roots. Willie Gunter (125) won his math by major decision, and Matt Bryan, a two-time state champion at Broken Arrow, looked strong at 141. UCO has 19 freshmen in the practice room.

“Willie had a brilliant high school resume,” UCO coach David James said. “He’s so quick and explosive, and as a fan of wrestling, I just enjoy watching him.”

 

HEAVYWEIGHT WAIT

UCO is without heavyweight Dustin Finn, who is still playing football. Cameron Gladd could see some time at the spot until Finn is done with football in early December.

By Matt Patterson

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