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2013-2014 Oklahoma State Wrestling Preview

The Oklahoma State wrestling program, under the direction of head coach John Smith, will be looking to capture their 35th NCAA title in 2013-2014. Here’s everything you need to know about this year’s Cowboys.

Chris Perry celebrates after winning his first national title last year.
Chris Perry celebrates after winning his first national title last year.

The storied Oklahoma State wrestling program enters the 2013-2014 season as the defending NCAA runner-up.

The Pokes had a very successful 2012-2013 season, crowning eight Big 12 champions (Klimara, Morrison, Oliver, Dieringer, Caldwell, Perry, Chionuma, and Gelogaev) and two NCAA champions (Perry and Oliver). The team went 20-1 in duals, with their only loss coming to the Minnesota Golden Gophers in OSU’s last dual of the regular season. The Cowboys did lose a few key members from last year’s team, but do return several experienced wrestlers as well.

Two-time NCAA champion Jordan Oliver, along with Chris Chionuma and Alan Gelogaev have all graduated, leaving the 149, 184, and Heavyweight slots up for grabs, while seniors Jon Morrison, Tyler Caldwell, Chris Perry, and Blake Rosholt all return to lead the Cowboys in what looks to be another promising year.

125 – Eddie Klimara Class: Sophomore Hometown: Joliet, Illinois

Had a successful freshman campaign, going 31-17 overall and 9-9 in duals. After initially planning to take a redshirt year, the redshirt was pulled before the first Bedlam dual in Norman. Went on to win his first Big 12 title, as he went 5-0 in the tournament, thus qualifying for the NCAA tournament. Went 3-2 at the NCAA’s, picking up a major decision along the way. Look for Klimara to have a very strong 2013-2014 campaign, and go deep into the NCAA’s.

133 – Jon Morrison Class: Senior Hometown: Orland Park, Illinois

Will return as one of the Cowboys’ leaders in his final season. Went 30-8 overall last year and 13-5 in dual competition, while picking up his first Big 12 title. Earned All-American status, finishing fifth at the NCAA tournament. Won the 133 pound weight class at the Southern Scuffle, defeating Chris Dardanes 3-2. Was a staple for the Cowboys in the lower weights, as they occasionally struggled to pick up points early in duals. Look for Morrison to win his second Big 12 title and contend for his first national championship.

141 – Julian Feikert or Case Garrison Julian Feikert Class: Junior Hometown: Keokuk, Iowa

Went 22-19 overall in his sophomore campaign, also his first year as a starter for the Cowboys. Finished third at the Big 12 Championships. Qualified for the NCAA tournament, going 1-2 while picking up a win over Joseph Spisak of Virginia. If Feikert is the guy at 141 he must wrestle consistently, picking up crucial points at one of the lower weights.

Also Case Garrison Class: Redshirt Freshman Hometown: St. Paris, Ohio

Used a redshirt during the 2012-2013 season. Went 11-3 on the year, wrestling exclusively in open tournaments. Won the 141-pound weight class at the OCU Open, while finishing second at the UCM Open. Also wrestled at the Southern Scuffle as an unattached wrestler. If Garrison is the guy at 141 look for him to wrestle very aggressive, fast-paced matches in his first year as a starter for the Cowboys.

149 – Josh Kindig Class: RS Junior Hometown: Auburn, Pennsylvania

After qualifying for the NCAA tournament both his freshman and sophomore years, took a redshirt year in 2012-2013. Finished the year with a 12-1 record, wrestling exclusively in open tournaments. Won titles at the OU and OCU Opens, while finishing third at the Lindenwood Open. Has a 42-20 career record as a starter, including two third-place finishes at the Big 12 Championships. Coming off a hamstring injury might not be ready to go to begin the season, but look for Kindig to capture his first Big 12 Championship and put together a run in the NCAA Championships.

157 – Alex Dieringer Class: Sophomore Hometown: Port Washington, Wisconsin

Had an incredibly successful freshman campaign, winning his first Big 12 title and finishing third at the NCAA tournament while earning All-American status. Finished with a 35-3 overall record and 18-1 in dual competition. Was honored as the Amateur Wrestling News Freshman of the Year, as well as the Intermat Redshirt Freshman of the Year. Stayed busy over the summer, wrestling on the U.S. Junior World Team and picking up a second-place finish at the Junior World Championships. Will undoubtedly be one of the favorites to win it all at 157 this year, and will be a leader for the Cowboys all year long.

165 – Tyler Caldwell Class: Senior Hometown: Wichita, Kansas

Transferred to Oklahoma State after taking an Olympic redshirt after his sophomore season at Oklahoma. Finished with a 35-5 overall record while going 18-4 in dual competition. Won his first Big 12 Championship, thus qualifying for the NCAA tournament. Entered the NCAA’s as the 4-seed and advanced to the semi-finals before falling to eventual champion, Kyle Dake. Finished third at the NCAA’s, earning All-American status for the third time in his career. With Dake graduating, look for Caldwell to advance to the National Championship match against defending runner-up David Taylor.

174 – Chris Perry Class: Senior Hometown: Stillwater, Oklahoma

NCAA champion in 2012-2013, going 36-2 overall and 19-2 in dual competition. Defeated Matt Brown of Penn State in the finals. Won titles at the Southern Scuffle and Lindenwood Open. Picked up his third consecutive Big 12 title, defeating Tanner Weatherman of Iowa State. Like Dieringer, had a busy summer that included traveling to Armenia and Poland to compete in international tournaments. Named Academic All-Big 12 first-team member. Will be one of the favorites entering this season, along with Andrew Howe of Oklahoma (took an Olympic redshirt in 2012-2013).

184 – Kyle Crutchmer or Jordan Rogers Kyle Crutchmer Class: RS Freshman Hometown: Tulsa, Oklahoma

Took a redshirt year during the 2012-2013 season. Finished the year 15-1 while wrestling exclusively in open tournaments. Won titles at the OCU Open, Oklahoma Open, and UCM Open while finishing third at the Lindenwood Open. If Crutchmer is the guy at 184, look for a bulldog mentality and an extremely competitive wrestler. Jordan Rogers Class: Hometown: Spokane, Washington Like Crutchmer, took a redshirt year during the 2012-2013 season. Finished the year with a 10-4 record, wrestling exclusively in open tournaments. Finished second at the Oklahoma Open, third at the UCM Open, also competed at the Lindenwood Open. If Rogers is the guy at 184, look for a very talented and technical wrestler.

197 – Blake Rosholt Class: Senior Hometown: Ponca City, Oklahoma

Compiled a 17-10 overall record, while earning All-American status in the 2012-2013 season. Missed part of the year due to an injury, but managed to get back for the most important part of the season and pick up a second-place finish at the Big 12 tournament. Finished 8th at the NCAA tournament, going 3-2 in the tournament. When healthy, one of the most versatile wrestlers on the team. Look for Rosholt to win his first Big 12 championship, and compete for a spot on the podium at the NCAA’s.

HWT – Austin Marsden Class: RS Sophomore Hometown: Crystal Lake, Illinois

Got thrown into action as a freshman in 2011-2012 after an injury to Alan Gelogaev. Finished that season with a 27-5 overall record, while qualifying for the NCAA tournament. Took a redshirt year during the 2012-2013 season. Compiled an 8-1 record competing exclusively in open tournaments. Picked up a title at the Oklahoma Open while finishing second at the Lindenwood Open. Competed on the U.S. Junior World Team alongside teammate, Alex Dieringer. Marsden is an incredibly athletic big man, similar to Big Z. Look for Marsden to win his first Big 12 title, while putting together a deep run into the NCAA tournament.

Season Outlook

The Cowboys will undoubtedly have one of the toughest schedules in the country. They have regular season matchups against seven teams inside the top-25, including:

  • at Oklahoma (12/01)
  • Minnesota at home (12/08)
  • at Iowa (1/10)
  • at Pittsburgh (1/19)
  • Iowa State at home (1/24)
  • Missouri at home (1/31)
  • Oklahoma at home (2/09)
  • at Penn State (2/16).

The schedule also includes the Southern Scuffle (Chattanooga, TN), one of the toughest regular-season tournaments in the nation. Oklahoma will be much tougher than in years past, with a number of talented wrestlers returning after taking a redshirt year during the 2012-2013 season.

The Big 12 Championships will take place in Norman on March 8th, in one exciting day of wrestling. Oklahoma City hosts the NCAA Championships this season, and every Oklahoma State fan should make the trip to support the Cowboys. The Pokes have established wrestlers at 133, 157, 165, 174, and 197, but some of the other weights remain in question as we enter the season. 184 is said to be the most competitive weight class, with Jordan Rogers and Kyle Crutchmer battling it out for the right to start. I have also been told not to count out Nolan Boyd at this weight. Julian Feikert has the experience factor at 141, but Case Garrison is an extremely talented wrestler who is certainly vying for the starting spot.

The Cowboys have 5-7 guys who can realistically compete for a national title, but the lower-ranked wrestlers could be the key in capturing the program’s 35th national title. Every point counts in the NCAA tournament and the deeper those guys can advance into the tournament, the more points the team will pick up. The Pokes will be tested early in a home dual with Minnesota, and it would be huge for them to pick up a big win early. Establishing momentum as the season wears on will be critical, as wrestling your best going into the NCAA tournament is paramount. This looks to be a fun and potentially great year for OSU wrestling, but all of the uncertain elements must become strong points sooner rather than later.

There is nothing quite like a rowdy crowd inside GIA. If you have never been to a dual, the Minnesota matchup on December 8th would be a great time to change that. These OSU wrestlers work as hard as any team in any sport, they deserve our best as well. Let’s make this year a memorable one.

Go Pokes!

OSU Individual Preseason Rankings (Intermat)

  • (125) Eddie Klimara – 15th
  • (133) Jon Morrison – 5th
  • (141) Julian Feikert or Case Garrison – Unranked
  • (149) Josh Kindig – 10th
  • (157) Alex Dieringer – 2nd
  • (165) Tyler Caldwell – 2nd
  • (174) Chris Perry – 2nd
  • (184) Kyle Crutchmer or Jordan Rogers – Rogers ranked 20th
  • (197) Blake Rosholt – 7th
  • (HWT) Austin Marsden – 11th

Preseason Team Rankings (Intermat)

1. Penn State
2. Iowa
3. Minnesota
4. Oklahoma
4. Oklahoma State
6. Oregon State
7. Nebraska
8. Iowa State
9. Wisconsin
10. Edinboro
11. Cornell
12. Ohio State
13. Illinois
14. Virginia Tech
15. Michigan
16. Maryland
17. Missouri
18. Northern Iowa
19. Northwestern
20. Boise State
21. North Carolina
22. Pittsburgh & Virginia
24. North Dakota State
25. Stanford