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Wyoming’s Bryce Meredith ends Oklahoma State’s Dean Heil’s 55-match win streak

The two-time NCAA defending champion drops his first match against Meredith.

Oklahoma State’s Dean Heil, left, wrestles Wyoming’s Bryce Meredith on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017, at Storey Gym in Cheyenne, Wyo.

Oklahoma State’s Dean Heil’s 55-match win streak came to an end Tuesday, when he lost 2-1 in the first sudden victory period to Wyoming’s Bryce Meredith at 141 pounds at Storey Gym in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Heil’s win streak is tied with Johny Hendricks, a two-time NCAA champion, for the eighth-longest such streak in OSU program history. Heil tied Hendricks’ mark Monday night, when he pinned Northern Colorado’s Ben Polkowske in 1 minute, 14 seconds.

After the first period ended 0-0, No. 1-ranked Heil took a 1-0 lead on an escape from bottom position. No. 3 Meredith then answered with an escape of his own in the third period after the pair traded stall warnings to send the match to overtime at 1-1.

In the first sudden victory period, both wrestlers were engaged in a long scramble but no points were scored. Meredith rode out Heil in the first 30-second overtime period, then escaped in the second and held off two shot attempts from Heil for the win in front of his hometown crowd.

It was the first loss for Heil against Meredith.

Heil had won the previously four meetings — two each in the last two seasons — against Meredith.

The OSU redshirt senior took the first match 5-4 in Laramie, Wyoming, in a 2015 regular-season dual before winning his first NCAA national championship with a 3-2 decision over Meredith the following spring. Heil came away with a 7-5 win in last season’s dual in Stillwater before a 10-7 decision in the Big 12 Championships at BOK Center in Tulsa.

Meredith will likely take over the No. 1 spot at 141 when rankings are released next week. He defeated Heil, No. 2 Kevin Jack of North Carolina State and No. 5 Jaydin Eierman of Missouri all in the span of a week. Cornell freshman Yianni Diakomihalis, who is currently ranked No. 3, does hold a win over Meredith at Cliff Kean Invitational earlier this season.