The 2022 college wrestling national championships are over … but the great...
Missouri wins 2022 Big 12 Championships
TULSA, Okla. – Behind 10 podium finishes and a championship from Keegan O’Toole, the University of Missouri wrestling team won the 2022 Big 12 Championships in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with a final tally of 131.5 points Sunday evening. The Tigers took home the title in their first year following its conference championship and subsequent departure from the conference in 2012.
Following the action, head coach Brian Smith was named Big 12 Coach of the Year. Smith also won the award in 2012 following the Tigers’ first Big 12 Championship.
The Tigers outlasted Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, who finished in second and third, respectively. Following a slow start to the tournament, Mizzou gained momentum into Saturday night and finished Session II in first place with 109.5 points. The team would not give up the lead for the remainder of the tournament.
Missouri’s lone champion, Keegan O’Toole ran the 165-pound bracket after defeating West Virginia’s Peyton Hall by a 13-7 decision. O’Toole started the match off with a 5-3 advantage after the first period behind two takedowns and an escape. He put more points up on the board in the second with an additional two takedowns before finishing the match with a strong third to hold off Hall.
2021 NCAA Qualifiers/Champs/AAs: 61/2/16
2021 Team Standings: 1. Oklahoma and Oklahoma State (tie) – 124; 3. Iowa State – 117.5; 4. Wyoming – 105.5; 5. Northern Iowa – 79; 6. North Dakota State – 78; 7. Northern Colorado – 70.5; 8. South Dakota State (67.5); 9. West Virginia (57); 10. Utah Valley (55); 11. Air Force – 32.5; 12. Fresno State (31)
2021 Individual Champs/Runner-ups: 125 – Brody Teske (UNI)/Taylor Lamont (UVU); 133 – Daton Fix (OSU)/Tony Madrigal (OU); 141 – Dom Demas (OU)/Ian Parker (ISU); 149 – Boo Lewallen (OSU)/Mitch Moore (OU); 157 – David Carr (ISU)/Jared Franek (NDSU); 165 – Luke Weber (NDSU)/Cole Moody (Wyom.); 174 – Demetrius Romero (UVU)/Jackson Hemauer (No. Colo.); 184 – Parker Keckeisen (UNI)/Tate Samuelson (Wyom.); 197 – A.J. Ferrari (OSU)/Stephen Buchanan (Wyom.); Hwt – Gannon Gremmel (ISU)/Brian Andrews (Wyom.)
All-Time Team Championships (Originally MVIAA in 1924, became Big 6 in 1929, Big 7 in 1948, Big 8 in 1959 and Big 12 in 1997) – School-No.; in Big 12 (Last): Oklahoma State – 46; 18 in Big 12 (2021); Oklahoma – 24; 3 in Big 12 (2021); Iowa State – 18; 4 in Big 12 (2010); Nebraska – 4; 1 in Big 12 (2009), joined Big 10 in 2011; Kansas State – 3 (1940), dropped wrestling in 1966); Missouri – 1 (2012), rejoined Big 12 after spending last 10 years competing in the MAC).
2022 Top Storylines:
• Before A.J. Ferrari won an NCAA title at 197 pounds last March, it was his victory over Wyoming’s Stephen Buchanan that helped Oklahoma State earn at least a tie with Bedlam-rival Oklahoma in last year’s team race. With two weeks to go before the Big 12s, it was unknown if the Cowboy would return for the postseason after suffering an injury in a car crash on Jan. 24. Without the redshirt freshman, the Cowboys lost three bouts at home. Fortunately, coach John Smith (now in his 31st year at the helm) welcomes back two-time Big 12 champ Daton Fix (133).
• Without Ferrari, 197 could be the most wide open weight that features Wyoming’s Stephen Buchanan and Missouri’s Rocky Elam. The Tiger is part of a program that has been welcomed back as an associate member — joining six other schools in the Big 12 — after Missouri spent the past nine years dominating the MAC after the school joined the non-wrestling Southeastern Conference. The Tigers, who won a team title in its last Big 12 tourney in 2012, could challenge for the crown, especially with young AAs like Keegan O’Toole (165).
• Iowa State and Northern Iowa, which were to meet in a dual meet on Feb. 11, also swept duals at Oklahoma State and Oklahoma. The Cyclones may be the most improved team, and features NCAA champ David Carr (157) and a pair of foreign-born wrestlers in Russian Ramazan Attasauov (133) and Cuban-born Yonger Bastida (197). The Panthers also feature a tough All-American in Big 12 champ Parker Keckeisen (184).