Mizzou Upsets OSU For Conference Wrestling Title

COLUMBIA, Mo. - The No. 3-ranked Oklahoma State wrestling team completed a runner-up finish at the 2012 Big 12 Championships Saturday night, scoring 74 points behind individual championship performances from Jordan Oliver, Jamal Parks, Chris Perry and Cayle Byers.

In a tight race, OSU finished just four points - or one finals win - behind first-place Missouri's 77 points, while Oklahoma (60.5 points) and Iowa State (24 points) rounded out the field in third and fourth, respectively.

Oliver got things going for the Cowboys in the finals with a 10-2 major decision over No. 10 Nathan McCormick of Missouri. Oliver, a junior from Easton, Pa., has now won the 133-pound Big 12 title three times in three attempts.

The reigning national champion scored a pair of takedowns and a three-point nearfall in the opening period and later added an escape and stalling point to earn his 23rd{}bonus-point win of the year.

Oliver was also recognized as the Outstanding Wrestler of the Big 12 Championships for his performance, his second time to receive the recognition as he also won it in 2010.

Parks, a senior from Tulsa, Okla., became OSU's second champ on the day and earned his third career Big 12 title when he knocked off Missouri's No. 13 Kyle Bradley, 8-3. The second-ranked Cowboy improved his perfect record to 30-0 with the win and now ranks 14th all-time at OSU in career wins with 119.

OSU's third title came at 174 pounds, where Perry defeated No. 15 Dorian Henderson of Missouri, 8-2, to pick up his second career Big 12 title in as many tries. The sophomore from Stillwater improved his perfect record to 26-0 with win.

Byers added another individual title to the Cowboys' score when he defeated Missouri's No. 5 Brent Haynes, 5-0, at 197 pounds. Byers, a senior-transfer from Chugiak, Alaska, moved to 23-3 with the win. He also won a conference title while he wrestled at George Mason.

Josh Kindig and Austin Marsden also made it to the finals for the Cowboys, but neither managed a victory as Kindig fell to No. 2 Kendric Maple of OU, 11-5, and Marsden dropped his bout to No. 9 Matt Gibson of Iowa State at heavyweight, 8-3.

Coach John Smith has now coached 74 individual conference champions in his 21-year career and the Cowboys have finished either first or second in the conference meet 16 times in 19 eligible years.

Oklahoma State now has 238 individual conference titles, including 63 in the Big 12 era.

Kendric Maple earned an individual title for the Sooners at 141 pounds as 12th-ranked Oklahoma finished third.Additionally, Jarrod Patterson (125 pounds) and Matt Lester (157) claimed silver medals after falling to Missouri's Alan Waters and Drake Houdashelt, respectively.

After Saturday's competition, the Cowboys are assured nine spots in the NCAA Championships later this month, as Morrison, Oliver, Kindig, Parks, White, Bailey, Perry, Byers and Marsden have earned a right to compete due to the conference's assured spots in the tournament.

The NCAA Championships are set for March 15-17 in St. Louis, Mo.