Nov. 18, 2013
COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Missouri Wrestling program saw 13 grapplers make the podium in two separate open tournaments this past weekend, including three champions. Freshman Joey Lavallee surprised many after wrestling his way to the 157-pound title at the Harold Nichols Cyclone Open in Ames, Iowa, while teammates Zach Synon and Ty Prazma claimed titles at the UCM Open in Warrensburg, Mo.
Lavallee, a freshman out of Reno, Nev., won his first collegiate tournament in only his second attempt. After a fourth place finish at the Warren Williams/Daktronics Open in South Dakota, Lavallee rolled through the bottom half of a tough 157-pound bracket at the Harold Nichols Open, taking five straight matches and the title. Lavallee only needed 2:15 to get through his first match, pinning Justin Head of Northwest Missouri. He would then add a major decision over Clint Poster of St. Cloud State, setting up a matchup with 2013 NCAA qualifier Cody Pack of South Dakota State. The Tiger freshman dismissed Pack in a close 2-1 decision, and would then seal his spot in the championship bout with another 2-1 victory that needed overtime to determine a winner. Lavallee won the final by medical forfeit over Iowa State's John Nicholson.
Redshirt freshman Zach Synon collected his first open tournament championship this season in the 125-pound bracket at the UCM Open after defeating Oklahoma State's Connor Cline in the final, 5-0. Synon had his defense working on Sunday afternoon, surrendering only three points through five victories. He picked up four more wins by decision to increase his total to seven on the season, and also added his first fall of the year at 6:33 against Kodi Byrd of Maryville.
Junior Ty Prazma rounded out the weekend's champions with a win at 174-pounds in the UCM Open. Prazma proved to be a scoring machine in his first two matches, dismissing Central Missouri's Michael Boyd by a technical fall of 17-0 before scoring 11 points on Brock Warren of Northeast Oklahoma A&M. In the finals, Prazma squeaked by in a close battle over Maryville's Zeb Wahle, 2-1.
In addition to the three champions, the Tigers put 10 more on the podium, including six other freshmen. Lavion Mayes and Matt Manley both finished runner-up in their respective brackets, with Mayes competing at the UCM Open and Manley at Iowa State's Harold Nichols Open. Senior Eric Wilson finished in 3rd place at 133-pounds, and Tony DeAngelo and Cody Johnston took fourth in Ames, Iowa, at 141 and 174 pounds, respectively. True freshman Robbie Mathers took fourth at the UCM Open, and senior Jordan Gagliano won his fifth-place match at 165 pounds by medical forfeit in the Cyclone Open. Sophomore Patrick Whitener and freshmen James Krischke and Nick Boone all took home sixth-place finishes at Central Missouri.
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.
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