Special to The Sun
HAYS, Kan. —
Casy Rowell and Cody Dauphin captured individual championships to lead a trio of Central Oklahoma placers at the Bob Smith Open here Saturday.
Rowell took the 133-pound title and Dauphin earned the crown at heavyweight for the No. 3-ranked Bronchos who also got a third-place showing from Trison Graham at 133.
UCO took 18 individuals to the rugged one-day event hosted by Fort Hays State, leaving behind several starters who continue to nurse nagging injuries.
“Casy just looked outstanding and Cody did a great job, especially for his first time out this year,” UCO coach David James said. “Those two guys really stepped up and Trison also had a good tournament, he wrestled hard.
“We had a few other guys who won some matches and got some, but we need for them to break through and get into the placement round. We were missing quite a few guys today and hopefully we can get some of them back next week.”
Rowell was named Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association Wrestler of the Week for his performance at the event.
The junior All-American from Duncan dropped to 133 this season after finishing fifth nationally at 141 last year.
Rowell capped a five-match run to the gold medal with a 10-2 finals thumping of Air Force’s Greg Rinker.
The No. 2 seed in the 42-wrestler bracket, Rowell followed a first-round bye with a second-period pin and 15-0 technical fall before claiming a 7-3 win in the quarterfinals. He beat third-seeded Eric Hughes of Labette Community College 8-6 in the semis and then ended the day with the easy win over Rinker.
Dauphin also had a stellar outing while making his season debut, having missed the first month of the season to injury. The No. 2 seed in the tourney, he opened with an easy 9-2 win and then registered consecutive falls to make the semifinals.
Dauphin advance to the finals with a tight 3-1 triumph over Labette’s Trey Page 3-1 and the junior ended his perfect 5-0 day with a 3-1 victory over Nebraska’s Nick Bauman.
Graham, an All-American two years ago who missed most of last season to injury, entered as the fourth seed and started the tournament with back-to-back falls. He followed with an easy 10-3 win and edged Rory Wilkinson of Fort Hays State 2-0 in the quarterfinals before falling to Rinker 5-3 in the semis.
Graham bounced back with two consolation wins to claim the bronze medal, pulling out a tough 3-2 decision over Chris Caton of Air Force in the semifinals before ending the day with a second-period pin of Labette’s Eric Hughes.
Znick Ferrell had four wins on the day at 197, claiming a 6-0 shutout in the first round before losing a 3-2 decision and then coming back with three consolation victories — two by one point — before being ousted.
Austin Quinton won three matches at 141, including a pair of major decisions, while Zach Aylor earned three wins at 165. All-American Tanner Keck was the top seed at 184 and opened with two wins before being upset in the quarterfinals, coming back to win his first consolation match before being eliminated.
The Bronchos open the dual season and make their home debut Friday, hosting Fort Hays State at 7 p.m.