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Wrestling preview: No. 4 Oklahoma State hosts Stanford

Top-ranked Dean Heil (141) looks for his second win this season over No. 2 Joey McKenna.

When the fourth-ranked Oklahoma State wrestling team faces Stanford on Sunday afternoon at Gallagher Iba Arena, it will be much more than a dual meet to top-ranked Dean Heil.

For Heil, it'll be a No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup against Joey McKenna at 141 pounds. The duo wrestled several times during their junior careers, and Heil won their lone bout in high school. The 22-0 Oklahoma State sophomore also won their conversional matchup in early January at the Southern Scuffle.

McKenna, who was one of the most sought after recruits in his class out of national powerhouse Blair Academy in Blairstown, N.J., lone loss this season is to Heil. The match came down to a tiebreaker and two stall calls against McKenna.

via GIPHY

Last time out

The Cowboys (11-2, 6-0 in Big 12) won nine of 10 matches in a 36-3 rout over Army on Friday for its ninth-consecutive dual win.

Stanford (10-3, 2-2 in Pac 12) have won two straight duals and nine of their last 10. They hold wins over Big 12 teams Utah Valley and Air Force, both of whom OSU will not face in a dual this season. The two teams do have one common opponent in West Virginia. The Cardinal beat the Mountaineers 20-15, while the Cowboys won 38-3.

In the rankings

Oklahoma State enters the weekend No. 4 in the USA Today/NWCA/Division I Coaches Poll and No. 2 in Intermat rankings. Once again, the Cowboys are the top Big 12 team in both polls. Eight Cowboy wrestlers rank among the top 20 in the nation at their respective weight classes. Two-time national champion Alex Dieringer (165) and returning All-American Dean Heil (141) hold No. 1 rankings. Four other Cowboys are ranked in the top-8: Eddie Klimara (125), Joe Smith (157), Kyle Crutchmer (174) and Austin Marsden (285).

Stanford brings in four ranked wrestlers: McKenna, No. 15 Connor Schram (125), No. 18 Jim Wilson (165) and No. 20 Nathan Butler (285).

Dieringer Streak

Two-time defending national champion Dieringer extended his win streak to 71 with a fall in the final second against Andrew Mendel of Army. The fall was Dieringer's 22nd bonus-point victory this season as he continues to make his case for at the Hodge Trophy.

100-win club draws near

Kilmara notched his 99th career victory with a 15-0 technical fall against Army. A win over Schram would put him in the 100-win club alongside Dieringer. Marsden's victory against Army puts him at 98 career wins.

Cowboys out

Sixth-ranked Crutchmer and eighth-ranked Smith will be out of the lineup. Crutchmer injured his right ankle or foot in the third period against Oklahoma's Matt Reed last weekend. He was seen on the sidelines against Army in a walking boot and crutches. Smith will be held out due to the flu.

Ranked vs. ranked

There are four bouts featuring two ranked wrestlers with Heil and Marsden both holding a 1-0 series lead against their opponents. Klimara and Schram as well as Dieringer and Wiilson have never met.

PROJECTED LINEUP

125: No. 6 Eddie Klimara (OSU) vs. No. 15 Connor Schram

133: Gary Wayne Harding (OSU) vs. Brian Rossi

141: No. 1 Dean Heil (OSU) vs. No. 2 Joey McKenna

149: No. 13 Anthony Collica (OSU) vs. Tommy Pawelski

157: Ryan Blees (OSU) vs. Nainoa Calvo

165: No. 1 Alex Dieringer (OSU) vs. No. 18 Jim Wilson

174: Chandler Rogers (OSU) vs. Keaton Subjeeck

184: No. 14 Nolan Boyd (OSU) vs. Garet Krohn

197: Preston Weigel (OSU) vs. Michael Sojka or Zach Nevills

285: No. 5 Austin Marsden (OSU) vs. No. 20 Nathan Butler

*Intermat rankings

HOW TO WATCH

What: No. 4 OSU vs. Stanford

When: 2 p.m. Sunday

Where: Gallagher-Iba Arena

Stats: trackwrestling.com

Streamflowrestling.org

Listen: 93.7 KSPI-FM or okstate.com