West Virginia Wrestling

Mountaineers Take Fourth at Big 12 Championship


AMES, Iowa (March 7, 2015) – Five Mountaineers reached the podium as the West Virginia University wrestling team took fourth place at the 2015 Big 12 Championship at the Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa, on Saturday.

The Mountaineers used runner-up finishes by Zeke Moisey (125), Roman Perryman (149), Jake A. Smith (197) and A.J. Vizcarrondo (HWT) and a third-place finish by Bubba Scheffel (184) to accrue 35 team points. Oklahoma State won the team title with 92 points, while Iowa State took second with 68 points. Oklahoma finished third with 45 team points.

West Virginia had its best-ever showing at the tournament since joining the league at the start of the 2012-13 season. Four Mountaineers wrestled for Big 12 titles, marking the first time in program history WVU has sent multiple competitors to the finals. Vizcarrondo became the school’s first-ever two-time Big 12 finalist.

“I’m incredibly proud of our guys and the fight they showed this weekend,” said coach Sammie Henson. “In the Big 12 there is now easy route to success. They left it on the mat and that something we can build upon. We look forward to preparing NCAA qualifiers as a family.”

No. 2 seed Moisey gave Oklahoma State’s Eddie Klimara, the No. 1 seed and the No. 9 wrestler in the country, a tough battle before ultimately losing a 5-3 decision. Klimara scored first on a takedown with thirty seconds remaining in the first before Moisey registered a reversal to tie the score 2-2. Moisey won choice in the second, starting on bottom and recording an early escape for a 3-2 lead. However, Klimara closed the period with a takedown to lead 4-3 entering the third. Klimara started the third period on bottom, escaping eight seconds in, to push his lead to 5-3 where it would stay.

Entering the tournament as the No. 4 seed, Perryman lost a heartbreaker to No. 3 seed Shayne Tucker of Oklahoma, dropping an 8-6 decision. Perryman took a 2-0 lead with a takedown forty seconds into the first period. He rode Tucker for more than two minutes, before Tucker escaped in the closing seconds. Leading 2-1, Perryman started the second on bottom before scoring a reversal to take a 4-1 advantage. Tucker countered with a reversal of his own a minute later to make it a 4-3 match, and Perryman closed the period with an escape to push his lead to 5-3. Tucker started the third on bottom, scoring an escape then a takedown for a 6-5 lead before adding a pair of nearfall points. Perryman would claim a point for riding time, but it wasn’t enough.

The first West Virginia native to reach the finals for WVU, No. 2 seed Smith dropped a 10-2 major decision to No. 2 seed Kyven Gadson of Iowa State in the finals. Gadson, the No. 2 wrestler in the nation, took a 2-0 lead midway through the first period before Smith got on the board with an escape to trail 2-1. Gadson started on bottom in the second, registering an escape and a penalty point as Smith was called for stalling to take a 4-1 advantage before adding a takedown to make it 6-1. Smith was credited with an escape to start the third, trailing 6-2, but was called for stalling again to give Gadson a 7-2 lead. Gadson added another takedown, in addition to a point for riding time, in earning the major decision.

Facing the No. 1 seed and the No. 5 heavyweight in the country in Oklahoma State’s Austin Marsden, Vizcarrondo dropped a 7-0 decision to take the runner-up spot. Marsden scored two on a first-period takedown to lead 2-0 after three minutes. He then registered four points in the second, recording an escape to start before adding a takedown and a penalty point for stalling in earning a 6-0 advantage. Trailing 6-0 entering the third, Vizcarrondo held his own but couldn’t put points on the board. Marsden tacked on a point for riding time in taking the Big 12 title.

Moisey won a 5-0 decision over Oklahoma’s Ryan Millhof to qualify for the 125-pound finals. After an injury to Millhof, Moisey started on bottom with thirty seconds to go in the first, recording an escape to take a 1-0 lead into the second period. Moisey again started on bottom, registering another escape before sending Millhof to the mat with twenty-five seconds remaining in the second. With a 4-0 lead to start the third, Moisey started on top and rode Millhoff out for the period tacking on an extra point for riding time in the 5-0 victory.

Perryman was set to face No. 1 seed Josh Kindig in the 149-pound quarterfinals. Kindig, ranked No. 6 in the nation, injury defaulted two seconds into the bout to send Perryman into the finals.

At 197 pounds, Smith was the third Mountaineer to qualify for the finals with a 2-1 decision over Austin Schafer of Oklahoma State in the semifinals. Smith took a 1-0 lead on a penalty point after an illegal move by Schafer, though Schafer tied it up with an escape in the second. Smith started on bottom in the third period, recording an escape to break the tie and earn the win.

Vizcarrondo pulled the upset of the day, pinning No. 2 seed Ross Larson, the No. 13 wrestler in the nation, in the second period of the heavyweight semifinals to advance to his second straight championship match. Larson, ranked 13th in the nation, scored a takedown at the end of the first period to lead 2-0. Starting on bottom in the second, Vizcarrondo scored a reversal that put Larson’s back to the mat in a dangerous position with 1:04 to go in the second, and got the fall soon after to advance to the finals.

As the Big 12 tournament is no longer considered a qualifying tournament, the Mountaineers will find out NCAA qualifiers on March 12. Selections will be made based on RPI and the Coaches’ Panel Index.

125 pounds
No. 2 Zeke Moisey (WVU) dec. No. 3 Ryan Millhof (OU), 5-0
No. 1 Eddie Klimara (OSU) dec. No. 2 Zeke Moisey (WVU), 5-3

133 pounds
No. 1 Earl Hall (ISU) dec. No. 4 Cory Stainbrook (WVU), 11-5
No. 3 Wayne Harding (OSU) dec. No. 4 Cory Stainbrook (WVU), 4-0

141 pounds
No. 2 Dante Rodriguez (ISU) pinned No. 3 Michael Morales (WVU), 1:35
No. 4 Trae Blackwell (OU) dec. No. 3 Michael Morales (WVU), 6-3

149 pounds
No. 4 Roman Perryman (WVU) wins by injury default over No. 1 Josh Kindig (OSU)
No. 3 Shayne Tucker (OU) dec. No. 4 Roman Perryman (WVU), 8-6

157 pounds

No. 1 Anthony Collica (OSU) dec. No. 4 Brutus Scheffel (WVU), 15-9

No. 3 Luke Goettl (ISU) pinned No. 4 Brutus Scheffel (WVU), 0:27

165 pounds
No. 1 Alex Dieringer (OSU) pinned Ross Renzi (WVU), 2:16.
No. 3 Clark Glass (OU) dec. Ross Renzi (WVU), 3-1

174 pounds
No. 1 Kyle Crutchmer (OSU) pinned Parker VonEgidy (WVU), 1:15
No. 2 Matt Reed (OU) dec. No. 4 Parker VonEgidy (WVU), 12-6

184 pounds
No. 2 Nolan Boyd (OSU) dec. No. 3 Bubba Scheffel (WVU), 4-0
No. 3 Bubba Scheffel (WVU) dec. No. 4 Brooks Climmons (OU), 4-2 SV-1

197 pounds
No. 2 Jake A. Smith (WVU) dec. No. 3 Austin Schafer (OSU), 2-1
No. 1 Kyven Gadson (ISU) major dec. No. 2 Jake A. Smith (WVU), 10-2

No. 3 A.J. Vizcarrondo pinned No. 2 Ross Larson (OU), 4:13
No. 1 Austin Marsden dec. No. 3 A.J. Vizcarrondo (WVU), 7-0

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