Wrestling still undefeated after narrow 21-19 victory over Oklahoma State

The team’s toughest match of the season ended in victory after help from Eierman and Leeth.
Missouri 125-pounder Barlow McGhee attempts to defend from a single-leg takedown by Oklahoma Sooner Ryan Millhof during a dual Jan. 30, 2016 in Hearnes Center. Maneater File Photo

An injury default after a hard hit in the first period of the first match is rare in wrestling. The rest of the Missouri wrestling team’s dual against Oklahoma State was no different.

Missouri ultimately won 21-19 after a back-and-forth dual. The two teams were tied at two different points. OSU took the lead after four matches. Mizzou secured its lead after the seventh match of the dual — and was in danger of losing that in the final match.

“Any time you go down to Stillwater and wrestle Oklahoma State, it’s a big challenge,” head coach Brian Smith said in an interview on Jan. 24. “How you can wrestle down there is important, so I’m really looking forward to taking the team in there and see how they battle.”

Redshirt sophomore and No. 3-ranked 141-pounder Jaydin Eierman changed the tone of the night early in the dual. Even before the team arrived in Oklahoma, Smith said that it was a much anticipated match.

“This is somebody he lost to twice last year, so I know Jaydin is a big-time competitor,” Smith said. “He’s looking forward to this matchup.”

Mizzou was down 9-0 after only two matches, but Eierman pinned his opponent, No. 5 Dean Heil, in the second period to lessen OSU’s lead to 9-6.

"It was unreal, but I knew what I was capable of,” Eierman said in a press release after the win. “We've worked all season, all summer, working at everything. I just feel like I've put everything together this year and I didn't doubt it, but I didn't think it would happen like that."

After Eierman’s match, redshirt junior 149-pounder Grant Leeth tied the score at nine with a key 8-4 victory. No. 3 Leeth is now 17-2 on the season.

The team’s first of four losses came in the 125-pound match, when redshirt senior Barlow McGhee lost due to the injury default. No. 3 133-pounder John Erneste, a redshirt junior, suffered only his second loss of the season. Then redshirt sophomore 165-pounder Connor Flynn lost in the second period by fall, and heavyweight redshirt freshman Wyatt Koelling lost big time, 17-4, in his match.

“Everybody fought hard,” Smith said in the press release. “It took a team to win tonight, because things did not go our way. But we found a way to get through it."

Koelling lost by a major decision, which gave OSU four team points but the Tigers still secured a 21-19 victory.

The team, still undefeated at 16-0, has three matches left before heading back to Michigan for the MAC Championships, which start March 3.

Edited by Joe Noser | jnoser@themaneater.com

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