Mizzou's Cox, Houdashelt Guaranteed All-American Honors

MUTIGERS.COM Lavallee could join Cox as the youngest Tiger to All-American in Mizzou Wrestling history
Lavallee could join Cox as the youngest Tiger to All-American in Mizzou Wrestling history

March 21, 2014

OKLAHOMA CITY - Two Mizzou Tigers have claimed All-American status with wins in the NCAA Quarterfinals Friday morning at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City. Top-seeded Drake Houdashelt and two-seed J'den Cox both picked up decisions in the quarters, winning 3-1 and 5-1 respectively.

Houdashelt climbed out to an early 2-0 lead with a takedown at 1:28 over nine-seed Eric Grajales (Michigan), which proved to be all the Mizzou junior would need. Grajales finally got on the board with a third period escape after an illegal hold gave Houdashelt a 3-0 advantage. Houdashelt's 3-1 decision locks up All-American status and sends him to the semifinals Friday night versus Jason Tsirtsis, a freshman from Northwestern. Tsirtsis is seeded No. 5 at 149 pounds.

Cox made Mizzou history Friday with a 5-1 decision over Duke's Conner Hartmann, becoming the youngest wrestler to All-American while sporting the Mizzou singlet. Cox struck with a double leg takedown as time expired in the first period, and would add insurance points late in the third with another.

The Columbia, Mo.-native could continue to etch his name in the Mizzou record books and become the first freshman in Mizzou Wrestling history to win a national title. He first needs to get through the semifinals tonight, where he will face No. 14 Chris Penny (VT).

The semifinals begin tonight at 7 p.m. CT and will be broadcast live on ESPN and through the WatchESPN app.

True freshman Joey Lavallee (157) is the only other Tiger still alive in this year's field. Lavallee cruised to a 22-7 technical fall victory over Johnny Greisheimer (Edinboro) and picked up his second bonus point victory of afternoon, a 14-4 major over Paul Hancock (Army). Lavallee, also a true freshman, could join Cox as the youngest All-American in Tiger Style history with a win in his next bout. He will have his hands full Friday evening when he faces No. 1 James Green (Nebraska) in the All-American round.



Redshirt freshmen Matt Manley (133) and Lavion Mayes (141) were eliminated Friday afternoon. Manley fell 3-0 to Cornell's Mark Grey, and Mayes lost his second match of the day to No. 8 Luke Vaith of Hofstra after topping Laike Gardner (Lehigh) 9-5 in the second round of consolation matches.

The Tigers sit in 11th place with 28.5 team points at the halfway point of the Championships. A top-10 finish would mark the fifth time in eight years that Brian Smith's squad has finished in the top-10 in the nation.

Session IV of the 2014 NCAA Championships kicks off at 7 p.m. tonight from Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City. Saturday morning will feature the third, fifth, and seventh place matches, followed by the Championship Finals Saturday evening at 7 p.m. For more news and notes on the Tigers in Oklahoma City, follow the squad on Facebook and Twitter.


133 - Matt Manley
Champ. Round 1: Matt Manley decision over Mack McGuire (Kent State) in sudden victory 2, 7-5.
Champ. Round 2: No. 1 Joe Colon (UNI) decision over Matt Manley, 5-1.
Cons. Round 2: Mark Grey (Cornell) decision over Matt Manley, 3-0.

141 - Lavion Mayes
Champ. Round 1: No. 2 Logan Stieber (Ohio State) fall over Lavion Mayes at 2:48.
Cons. Round 1: Lavion Mayes major decision over Avery Garner (Utah Valley), 15-5.
Cons. Round 2: Lavion Mayes decision over Laike Gardner (Lehigh), 9-5.
Cons. Round 3: Luke Vaith (Hofstra) decision over Lavion Mayes, 6-2.

149 - No. 1 Drake Houdashelt - GUARANTEED ALL-AMERICAN
Champ. Round 1: No. 1 Drake Houdashelt major decision over Alex Kocer (SDSU), 12-3.
Champ. Round 2: No. 1 Drake Houdashelt major decision over No. 16 Alex Richardson (ODU), 13-0.
Quarterfinals: No. 1 Drake Houdashelt decision over No. 9 Eric Grajales (Michigan), 3-1.

157 - No. 14 Joey Lavallee
Champ. Round 1: No. 14 Joey Lavallee decision over Immanuel Kerr-Brown (Duke), 10-3.
Champ. Round 2: No. 3 Alex Dieringer (OSU) fall over No. 14 Joey Lavallee at 1:38.
Cons. Round 2: No. 14 Joey Lavallee technical fall over Johnny Greisheimer (Edinboro), 22-7.
Cons. Round 3: No. 14 Joey Lavallee major decision over Paul Hancock (Army), 14-4.

165 - Zach Toal
Champ. Round 1: No. 7 Pierce Harger (Northwestern) fall over Zach Toal at 3:31.
Cons. Round 1: Austin Wilson (Nebraska) decision over Zach Toal, 6-1.

174 - Mikey England
Champ. Round 1: No. 2 Andrew Howe (Oklahoma) technical fall over Mikey England, 19-4 in 5:58.
Cons. Round 1: Shane Hughes (Columbia) fall over Mikey England at 3:00.

Champ. Round 1: No. 2 J'den Cox decision over Mario Gonzalez (Illinois), 10-4.
Champ. Round 2: No. 2 J'den Cox major decision over No. 15 Braden Atwood (Purdue), 19-6.
Quarterfinals: No. 2 J'den Cox decision over Conner Hartmann (Duke), 5-1.

HWT - Devin Mellon
Champ. Round 1: No. 9 Connor Medberry (Wisconsin) major decision over Devin Mellon, 11-2.
Cons. Round 1: Ty Walz (Virginia Tech) decision over Devin Mellon in sudden victory 1, 6-4.


149: (Champ. Semifinals) No. 1 Drake Houdashelt vs. No. 5 Jason Tsirtsis (Northwestern)
157: (Cons. Round 4) No. 14 Joey Lavallee vs. No. 1 James Green (Nebraska)
197: (Champ. Semifinals) No. 2 J'den Cox vs. No. 14 Chris Penny (Virginia Tech)


1. Penn State - 61.0 pts.
2. Minnesota - 59.0 pts.
3. Oklahoma State - 56.0 pts.
4. Iowa - 42.5 pts.
5. Cornell - 39.5 pts.
6. Ohio State - 38.0 pts.
7. Edinboro - 30.5 pts.
7. Virginia Tech - 30.5 pts.
9. Oklahoma - 30.0 pts.
9. Illinois - 30.0 pts.
11. MISSOURI - 28.5 pts.

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