Oct. 27, 2011
COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Missouri wrestling squad kicks off the 2011-12 season with their annual black and gold wrestle-offs, held this Sunday, Oct. 30 at 9 a.m. CT in the Hearnes Center. The event is expanded for this season, as there will be two mats of action going on at the same time, resulting in 24 matches being wrestled. There will be no team scoring due to the amount of matches. The event is free and open to the public.
Nearly every wrestler on the team will have at least one match on Sunday, with the exception of sophomore James Houchins, redshirt freshman Johnny Eblen and freshman Trevor Jauch, who will sit out with minor injuries. The winner of each weight class will be in consideration for the starting spot when the season starts on Nov. 13 against Purdue at home.
At 125 pounds, sophomore Alan Waters will go up against freshman Boomer Boyd. Waters was one of the top 125 pounders last year and qualified for NCAA's as a true freshman. There will be six matches at 133 pounds, starting with junior Nathan McCormick vs. redshirt freshman Mike Schmidt. Redshirt sophomore Eric Wilson will face off against redshirt freshman Simon Kitzis, while freshman Denny Kleinschrodt will take on sophomore Taylor Ronan. The winner of the McCormick/Schmidt and Wilson/Kitzis matches will face each other later, as will the loser of those two first round matches.
Senior Brandon Wiest and junior Nicholas Hucke will go at it in a highly-anticipated match at 141 pounds. On the other mat, freshmen Brandon Rice and Harold Ritchie will compete at the same class, with the winner facing Jake Cyr later in the morning. Sophomore Kyle Bradley, a 2011 NCAA qualifier, and Kellen Bounous highlight the 149 pound weight class, while Trevor Wiest and freshman Espen Conley and Gary Lindsay and TJ Parker will also get matches at the weight.
Last year's starter at 157, junior Nick Gregoris, will wrestle two matches on the day, opening up with Austin Lindsay before going on to face redshirt freshman Drake Houdashelt in what should be an exciting matchup later on. Houdashelt and Lindsay will wrestle each other later in the day. At 165, sophomores Zach Toal and Jordan Gagliano will go head-to-head, as will Jacob Guerrant and Joshua Cyr. Freshman Cody Johnston and redshirt freshman Ty Prazma will wrestle in a battle between 165 and 174 pounders. Seniors Dorian Henderson and Patrick Wright will compete at 174 pounds in a familiar matchup, while Todd Porter and Dustin Williams will wrestle at the same weight in the other class.
Juniors Clarence Neely and Mike Larson, a two-time NCAA qualifier, will be the lone match at 184 pounds, while Ryan Robinson and freshman Justin Heberlie will battle at 197, with the winner facing Brent Haynes. Closing out the weight classes is the heavyweight matchup between redshirt freshman Devin Mellon and junior Jake Glore.
Live results for the event will be tweeted from the official Mizzou Wrestling Twitter page and posted to the team's Facebook.