NORMAN — Four matches into Sunday’s dual, Oklahoma State already had a win from one of only two unranked wrestlers it brought to Norman, as well as a major upset victory from a freshman over Oklahoma’s No. 1-ranked defending national champion.
It’s all over, right? Hardly so in an event that regularly seems to live up to its name of Bedlam.
The Sooners rallied to capture the final four matches of the day and escape with a 16-15 victory against the Cowboys in front of a standing-room only crowd at McCasland Field House.
“It really helps us long-term going forward,” said OU Coach Mark Cody of the win for his fourth-ranked Sooners. “We are doing a lot of things right and it’s really starting to show.”
It’s a huge turnaround from last March, when the Cowboys knocked off an injury-depleted Sooner squad 40-3 in the Big 12 Dual Championships.
“That match was one of the most embarrassing days of my coaching career,” Cody admitted.
Things seemed to be headed that way Sunday as the No. 5 Cowboys captured five of the first six matches to take a 15-3 advantage.
The momentum actually started to turn in the final two of those matches. The Cowboys sent out a pair of wrestlers ranked No. 2 at their weights — Alex Dieringer at 157 and Tyler Caldwell at 165. But each only managed to score decision victories against their Sooner
counterparts, Justin DeAngelis and Clark Glass, keeping a shot at a rally in sight.
“You go out there and wrestle hard and you’re not going to get major decisioned, or a tech fall against you,” Cody said. “(DeAngelis and Glass) both fought hard and kept us in this dual.”
While those matches were going on, Cody sent Sooner Assistant Coach Michael Lightner to the locker room to make sure his finishing quartet of big men were ready to roll in what was the first Bedlam dual for each.