24 grapplers earn top-six finishes on the afternoon
2012-13: Cody Johnston was as impressive as any redshirt freshman in 2012-13, ultimately claiming the "Most Improved Freshman" postseason honor. Competing in six tournaments for the Tigers as a redshirt freshman, Johnston captured first place three times. Grappling at 174 pounds, Johnston's first championship came at the Kaufman-Brand Open. He opened up his first four matches with two falls, one decision, and one major before going on to face his teammate Jordan Gagliano in the championship bout. Johnston topped his teammate, 3-1, with a sudden victory win after the two had beat out third-place finisher Kristopher Klapprodt of Iowa. Johnston shined again at the Roger Denker Open, where he tallied two falls and a decision en-route to the championship. Again, Johnston faced Gagliano in the finals, and again, he was able to grab another first place for the Tigers with an 8-4 decision. Johnston finished off the 2012-2013 season with one more championship at the Grand View Open. Johnston went undefeated through four bouts adding three decisions and a fall to his season totals. Johnston compiled a record of 19-6 with seven decisions, two majors, one technical fall and one overtime victory. Johnston was tied for a team-high nine falls with fellow redshirt freshman, Trevor Jauch.
2011-12: Using a redshirt in his first year at Missouri, the 174 pounder captured two open titles and placed in four of the five tournaments he competed in. He opened the season by finishing fourth at the UCM Open, winning six matches on the day. After dropping his opening bout, Johnston won six in a row before falling to teammate Patrick Wright, 3-1, in the third place match. Johnston again took fourth, this coming at the Kaufman-Brand Open in early December. He won his first three matches by fall and scored a decision in the wrestlebacks. His two losses came again to teammates, falling to Dorian Henderson and Todd Porter. He finally captured his first tournament title in January, winning the Roger Denker Open on Jan. 15. He won by technical fall in his first match, majored his opponent in the semifinals and defeated teammate James Houchins, 6-4, in the finals. Johnston closed out his season by taking first again, winning the Missouri Valley College Open. He scored bonus points in all three victories, including a first round pin in just 1:17. By winning his last seven matches of the season, Johnston finished with a record of 21-6. His 21 wins were most amongst redshirting freshmen, with 13 of his victories coming with bonus points.
High School: Wrestling for the Warrensburg Tigers in high school, Johnston finished off his career by placing in the top-three individually during each of his last two years while helping his team to four top-10 state finishes over the course of his career. As a junior, Johnston took third at 171 pounds with a 48-2 record, accumulating 33 wins by fall and wrestling his way to a sixth place finish nationally. He topped that as a senior, going 53-2 at 189 pounds, finishing second in the state and fourth nationally while pinning 43 opponents. For his career, he finished with a record of 167-17 and won 122 matches by pin in high school. The four-time All-American is also a three-time Freestyle State Champion and a four-time Greco State Champion. In 2011, he took second at the FILA Junior Nationals in Greco.
Personal: Cody was born on June 29, 1992 in Kansas City, Mo., to parents Scott and Sheila Johnston. He has one sister, Kirshten. Cody chose Mizzou over Virginia Tech, Columbia and Penn. He is undecided on his major, but wants to be a college wrestling coach after graduation.