Nov. 4, 2013
COLUMBIA, Mo. - The No.16-ranked Missouri Tigers placed 23 wrestlers out of 34 entrants at the 21st Annual Warren Williamson/Daktronics Open on Sunday, Nov. 3.
Missouri opened the weekend with their first victory of the season 23-9 over North Dakota State. The team traveled to South Dakota State the following day, where six grapplers took first place in their respective weight classes.
Freshman J'den Cox (Columbia, Mo.) dominated throughout his five tournament matches to win the 197-pound championship. Cox earned three major decisions and technical fall on Sunday and tallied 61 points in the bracket overall. Cox took down Northern Illinois wrestler Shawn Scott 14-4 in the championship bout.
Matt Manley (Perry, Okla.) became the second freshman to win when he captured the 133-pound championship. In six matches throughout the day, Manley held his opponents to a total of one point, including a pin over SMSU's Justin Stevens. Manley defeated Northern Illinois' Jordan Northrup for the tournament championship 3-0.
Sophomore Trevor Jauch (Crystal Lake, Ill.) pinned a pair of opponents in the first period of the opening matches at 141 pounds. Jauch became the second Tiger to take home hardware when he defeated Nebraska's Anthony Abidin 5-3 in the title match.
Junior Drake Houdashelt (O'Fallon, Mo.), a 2013 All-American, cruised to a first-place victory at 149 pounds. Houdashelt faced six opponents and recorded two technical falls, two pins and a major decision victory on the day. He clinched the tournament championship with a 9-3 victory over Nebraska's Jake Sueflohn.
Senior Zach Toal (Sidney, Ohio) opened with a 11-3 major decision victory over Jesse Punchochar in the second round of 165 pounds. Toal notched two more wins before defeating teammate Jordan Gagliano in the championship match 15-3. It was the only weight class that featured Tiger wrestlers in the top two of their weight class.
Junior Johnny Eblen
(Kansas City, Mo.) held his opponents to two points on the day in the 184-pound category. Eblen recorded four decision victories and one technical fall. He defeated Minnesota's Brett Pfarr in the championship bout by decision, 7-0.
Three other Tiger wrestlers were finalists in their weight classes. Aside from Gagliano, heavyweight Devin Mellon and 174-pounder Mike England took second place.
The Tigers are next slated to head to the Joe Parisi Open, hosted by Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo., on November 23. For news, pictures, interviews, and plenty more behind the scenes content from Tiger Style wrestling, follow us on Twitter (@MizzouWrestling), like us on Facebook and check out @MizzouTigerStyle on Instagram. Fans can also join the conversation by using the hashtag #TigerStyle all season long.