Special to The Sun
Central Oklahoma crowned five individual champions and finished a close runner-up to Nebraska-Kearney in the 2013 Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association Wrestling Championships Sunday afternoon at Hamilton Field House.
The No. 3-ranked Bronchos got titles from 133 Casy Rowell, 141 Trison Graham, 157 Cory Dauphin, 197 Znick Ferrell and heavyweight Cody Dauphin, while 149 Jordan Basks, 165 Chris Watson and 174 Kelly Henderson all took second and 125 Ryan Brooks third.
UCO ended the one-day, six-team tourney with 102 points, just seven behind champion Nebraska-Kearney, and the Lopers had the other five individual winners. Central Missouri was third with 47 points, followed by Fort Hays State (42), Lindenwood (21) and Truman State (12).
Rowell, Ferrell and Cody Dauphin all prevailed in close finals bouts — with Rowell and Ferrell both pulling out last-second victories — while Graham and Cory Dauphin each coasted to easy gold-medal wins.
“We had a pretty good tournament, but it’s disappointing we didn’t do enough to win it,” UCO coach David James said. “We won a couple of tough matches in the finals and also lost a couple that could have gone either way.
“We’re making progress and headed in the right direction, but we still have a lot of work to do to get where we want to be.”
Rowell stretched his winning streak to 23 in a row, following a first-round bye with a 9-1 major decision before trimming UNK’s Daniel DeShazer 6-4 in a tense finals bout.
The hard-fought match was close throughout and Rowell finally prevailed when he came out on top in a wild scramble for the winning takedown with 21 seconds left in the second sudden-victory period.
Graham won UCO’s second title at 141, avenging an earlier loss this season to UCM’s Eric Mateo with an 8-0 major decision to cap a 3-0 day.
Graham opened with a 10-0 major decision and then knocked off fifth-ranked C.J. Napier of FHSU 5-2 in the semifinals before coasting past Mateo with three takedowns, an escape and riding time point.
Cory Dauphin had a semifinal fall and then rebounded from a dual loss to UNK’s Chase White with a 12-6 finals triumph. Dauphin had a first-period takedown and three-point near-fall to take an early 5-0 lead before fending off White’s comeback try with two third-period takedowns.
Ferrell had an opening bye and 3-0 semifinal victory to make the finals, where he rallied past UNK’s Romero Cotton 7-6. Cotton had two first-period takedowns in taking a 4-2 lead, but Ferrell came back to tie it at 5-5 early in the third period with a takedown.
Cotton escaped with 45 seconds remaining to go on top 6-5, but the Ferrell won a mad scramble down the stretch to score the winning takedown just two ticks ahead of the final buzzer.
Cody Dauphin earned UCO’s fifth crown with a 3-2 finals victory. Dauphin followed a first-round bye with an 8-2 semifinal rout before using a riding time point to clip UNK’s Nick Bauman for the title.
Basks and Henderson both lost heartbreaking finals decisions. Basks gave up a takedown midway through the first sudden victory period in a 6-4 loss to UNK’s Raufeon Stots and Henderson was taken down with 15 seconds remaining in a 4-3 setback to Paul Martinez of UNK.
Watson had 11-2 and 8-3 wins in making the finals before falling to UNK’s Chase Nelson 10-3.
Brooks had an 8-0 major decision in the first round before dropping a tough 7-5 semifinal decision, though he rebounded with a 17-2 technical fall and 6-2 victory to take third.
Rowell was named the MIAA Wrestler of the Year after the tournament and James took MIAA Coach of the Year honors after leading the Bronchos to the dual conference title.
UCO wraps up the regular season next Saturday, hosting Newman for a 2 p.m. dual.