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Takeaways from Gallagher-Iba: Oklahoma State’s impromptu dual with Columbia

Pictured: Oklahoma State’s Trevor Mastrogiovanni  (125) celebrates after defeating then-No. 5 Pat McKee in November 2021 in Maturi Pavilion on the campus of University of Minnesota. Photo courtesy of Oklahoma State Athletics. 

Props to Columbia and Coach Zach Tanelli

John Smith and the Oklahoma State wrestling team were mere hours away Friday from flying to Morgantown, West Virginia, before a phone call canceled the trip because of COVID precautions within the WVU program.

The fourth-ranked Cowboys were scheduled for two duals on Sunday—a Big 12 matchup against the Mountaineers and their first-ever meeting against Columbia. The latter still got to happen, but over 1,000 miles away in Stillwater in a dual that was free to the public because of the two-day notice.

After OSU beat Columbia 35-6 on Sunday, Smith credited Columbia coach Zach Tanelli during his post-match press conference.

“I knew we couldn’t go a weekend without wrestling,” Smith said. “I’d much rather have gotten two dual meets in, but you just got to make best with your opportunities that you have. …

“Getting with the coach from Columbia, there was no doubt in his mind that (Tanelli) wanted to wrestle Oklahoma State. And he was willing to come here. He’s the one that made it happen.”

The bout set up the first meeting between two of the most historic programs in college wrestling. OSU is known as a “Dynasty Defined,” with more national championships than any other sports program, while Columbia competed against Yale in the first intercollegiate dual in American history in 1903.

It was also a treat for the OSU faithful, who have only seen the Cowboys wrestle in famed Gallagher-Iba Arena once this season (Nov. 28 against Drexel). Sunday was just their second home dual of the 2021-2022 campaign.

Mastrogiovanni Continues Streak

OSU’s 125-pound sophomore Trevor Mastrogiovanni started the dual with an 8-0 major-decision over a previously ranked Joe Manchio. The win extended Mastrogiovanni’s winning streak to nine matches and garnered even more respect from his coach.  

“I thought Mastrogiovanni did a really good job of separating the score against a guy. Kind of sending a message out there that if you’re ranked No. 20 in the country, then you’re not wrestling with me,” Smith said. “Maybe a little bit of a slow start with the takedown coming late in the first period, and then I think he realized he could take him down and ended up getting a takedown in each period. That’s big.”

Mastrogiovanni, ranked No. 8 by TOM, is 9-0 this season after posting a 15-6 record as a freshman. His second victory of the season was a 10-6 upset of then-No. 5 Patrick McKee of Minnesota in a dual at Minnesota.

Had OSU wrestled WVU, Mastrogiovanni would have gotten a shot against Killian Cardinale, who is also undefeated at 6-0, and beat Mastrogiovanni 7-1 at last year’s Big 12 Championships.

Mastrogiovanni’s next matchup will be against a ranked Jaret Lane of Lehigh at Sunday’s dual. Beyond that, most of Mastrogiovanni’s upcoming bouts will be against opponents who are currently (or have been) ranked by TOM at 125 pounds this season.

Young Squanders Opportunity against Ranked Opponent 

OSU 141-pound freshman Carter Young had a chance to notch the first win over a ranked opponent of his young career on Sunday, but instead lost to  Matt Kazimir, 6-1.

The match started with a quick Kazimir takedown before Young escaped to make the score 2-1 after one period. Kazimir then rode Young the entire second period before taking control in the third, escaping after starting the period down and scoring another takedown.

Young, who is ranked 20th, entered the bout with a 5-1 record against nothing but unranked foes. Young was also riding a hot streak, having won five straight after losing his collegiate debut to Minnesota’s Jake Bergeland, who currently sits 19th.

The blessing (or curse) of OSU’s schedule, though, is Young will get plenty more chances against quality opponents before the NCAA Tournament. In two weeks, on Jan. 29, Young will face off against No. 8 Andrew Alirez in a home dual against Northern Iowa. Young will get a tough Ian Parker of Iowa State the next day. That weekend will start a run of numerous currently ranked opponents for Young.

This stretch will by no means be Young’s first quality competition, though. Young placed third at the 2021 Senior World Team Trials in September, beating two former national champions along the way. That included a 15-12 decision against Seth Gross for a bronze medal. That’s why Young is expected to win matches like Sunday’s against Kazimir, even as a freshman.

Bout-by-bout Results

No. 4 Oklahoma State 35, Columbia 6
Jan. 16, 2022  |  Gallagher-Iba Arena  |  Stillwater, Okla. 
125: No. 6 Trevor Mastrogiovanni (OSU) MD No. 20 Joe Manchio (COL), 8-0
133: No. 2 Daton Fix (OSU) MD Angelo Rini (COL), 13-4
141: No. 19 Matt Kazimir (COL) dec. No. 18 Carter Young (OSU), 6-1
149: No. 14 Kaden Gfeller (OSU) TF Danny Fongaro (COL), 17-2, 5:32
157: No. 13 Wyatt Sheets (OSU) dec. Andrew Garr (COL), 8-5
165: No. 22 Josh Ogunsanya (COL) dec. Jalin Harper (OSU), 5-2
174: No. 8 Dustin Plott (OSU) dec. Nick Fine (COL), 4-3
184: No. 10 Dakota Geer (OSU) MD Brian Bonino (COL), 17-3
197: No. 1 AJ Ferrari (OSU) fall Sam Wustefeld (COL), 6:01
HWT: No. 30 Luke Surber (OSU) MD Jalen Stephens (COL), 0:58

Dekota Gregory (@dekotagregory) with be assisting  The Open Mat as our Big 12 / Oklahoma State correspondent. 

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