Missouri wrestling remains undefeated, shuts out three opponents in quad meet

In a record-breaking team performance, the Tigers remain undefeated on the season.
Maneater File Photo

No. 5 Missouri wrestling looked in midseason form on Sunday afternoon’s quad meet shutting out Missouri Valley, Truman State and Central Missouri at Hearnes Center.

After an electric start to the season last Saturday with a win over Illinois at the Mizzou Softball Stadium, Missouri kept its foot on the gas Sunday as the team won all three of its duals with a combined score of 166-0.

In the first dual, the Tigers squared off against Missouri Valley. The Tigers dominated the dual with unmatched speed and strength as the team combined for five pins, three technical falls and 52 team points in the Tigers’ first shutout since Nov. 15, 2014 against Truman State.

As for the second dual, the Tigers didn’t take too long to get another shutout as they gave Truman State some deja vu with a 58-0 victory, the largest margin of victory in program history.

Against Truman State, the Tigers combined for six first-period falls that occurred in a total of five minutes and eleven seconds. One of those pins, recorded by Austin Myers, was only two seconds shy of tying the team record for quickest pin fall in a match, a record of 13 seconds set by Rick Romeo during the 1981-82 season.

Finally, following over an hour of waiting for the Central Missouri-Missouri Valley dual to end, the Tigers went up against their final opponent of the day, Central Missouri.

While the Tigers didn’t come out with as much energy as in the two previous duals, the result was no different. Each wrestler for the Tigers took care of his opponent as Missouri captured its fourth win of the season by a score of 56 to -1. The negative point for Central Missouri came from a point deduction given out by the official for excessive arguing from the bench.

The Tigers combined for 17 pins, five technical falls, four major decisions and 166 team points on the day.

This record-breaking Missouri team is off to a hot start, which may come as a surprise after the Tigers lost one of the best wrestlers in the program’s history to graduation, Olympic bronze medalist and three-time national champion J’den Cox.

Cox, who is working as a volunteer assistant with the team this season, experienced tremendous individual and team success during his time at Mizzou, but thinks that this team may have more talent than any of his teams ever did. After Smith was asked about the talent of this year’s team in comparison to the teams the last four years, Cox answered for him.

“This team is way better,” Cox said.

One wrestler who was particularly dominant in his matches was redshirt sophomore Daniel Lewis.

Lewis improved his dual record to 4-0 on the season after recording three falls in the meet. The two-time All-American was in total control of his three matches, which gave him a chance to work on his technique, tricks and fundamentals.

“I know I can ride people, and I know I can turn people but getting takedowns is always something I can improve on,” he said after the meet.

Lewis also mentioned he would like to work on his energy, his footwork and his ability to create scoring opportunities.

Missouri’s victory against Truman State marked head coach Brian Smith’s 250th win as head coach of the Tigers. However, coach Smith was adamant about the fact that he is not the one to give credit to for this achievement.

“I didn’t win 250 matches,” Smith said, “There are a lot of young men who won 250 matches. I just sit back and enjoy it.”

The Tigers will have plenty of opportunities to let Smith enjoy dual and match victories. While the Tigers won’t be back in Columbia until Dec. 2, they will compete in the Lindenwood Open on Saturday, Nov. 18, followed by duals with Virginia Tech and Virginia the following weekend.

Edited by Eli Lederman | elederman@themaneater.com

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