Five Mizzou wrestlers earn All-American honors at NCAA championships.
Story and photos by Shane Epping Published March 25, 2013
All 10 members of the University of Missouri wrestling team qualified to compete in the 2013 NCAA Wrestling Championships in Des Moines over the weekend. At the conclusion of the three-day tournament, half of Mizzou’s wrestlers had earned spots on the All-American podium for a top-eight finish. Only Oklahoma State and Minnesota had more All-Americans. Mizzou finished seventh in the tournament.
MU Senior Mike Larson defeats Pittsburgh's Max Thomusseit 4-2 to secure All-American status in the 184-pound weight class. All 10 Mizzou wrestlers competed in the 2013 NCAA Wrestling Championships, and five earned All-American honors.
A crowd of 16,131 fans fill Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa, Saturday morning to watch the consolation championship matches. during which wrestlers battle for an All-American finish between third place and eighth place. Five Mizzou wrestlers placed in the top eight. Only Minnesota and Oklahoma State had more top-eight wrestlers.
Senior Nathan McCormick celebrates after defeating Northern Iowa's Levi Wolfensperger and earning All-American recognition in the 133-pound division.
Junior Alan Waters holds Penn State's Nicholas Megaludis to the mat in the semi-final match of the 125-pound division. Undefeated all season, Waters lost for the first time by only one-point, 3-2.
Head coach Brian Smith watches No. 1-seeded senior Dom Bradley battle for a takedown against Northwestern's No. 5-seeded Michael McMullan in the heavyweight semi-final match.
Bradley escapes from McMullan's grasp.
McMullan celebrates after defeating Bradley 3-1 and earning himself a spot in the championship finals. In only his second loss all season, Bradley dropped to the wrestlebacks bracket, from which he would fight his way back to the consolation finals.
MU head coach Brian Smith takes a moment to consider Bradley's loss in the semi-final match. Smith has coached 19 All-Americans at the University of Missouri. He's had 12 consecutive winning seasons, and he posted a 16-3 dual record in 2012-13.
Junior Alan Waters throws North Dakota State's Trent Sprenkle to the mat with a headlock and pins him at 1:59 in the first period. Waters' win advanced him to the consolation finals.
With only two losses all season, junior Alan Waters finishes fourth in the tournament. He'll be back next year.
Sophomore Drake Houdashelt takes on Minnesota's sixth-seeded Dylan Ness in the 149-pound weight class.
Although Houdashelt defeated Ness earlier in the tournament, Houdashelt loses 4-2 against him in their re-match.
Head assistant coach Sammie Henson jumps out of his chair in a close match between Houdashelt and Ness. Henson is a two-time NCAA champion, a 1998 World Champion and a 2000 Olympic silver medalist.
Senior Dom Bradley slaps the hand of former teammate and heavyweight champion Mark Ellis before stepping on the mat against Central Michigan's Jarod Trice. Ellis is a volunteer assistant coach for Mizzou.
Bradley fights for hand and head position against Trice.
Bradley takes down Trice on the edge of the mat and wins 5-2, advancing to the consolation finals. He then lost to Oklahoma State's Alan Gelovaev and finished fourth in the tournament.
Cornell's Nahshon Garrett lifts Alan Waters off the mat in the 125-pound consolation match and wins 6-1 against Waters.
A member of the NCAA officials' staff grimaces when Waters and Garrett collide with a table off the mat.
In a high scoring match, Nathan McCormick and Oklahoma's Cody Brewer compete for control. McCormick lost 15-10 and earned eighth place in the tournament.
Senior Mike Larson throws Northern Iowa's Ryan Loder back to the mat in his last match of the tournament. Seeded eleventh, Larson exceeded expectations for an eighth-place All-American finish.
Sophomore Drake Houdashelt walks off the mat. An unseeded wrestler, Houdashelt upset some higher-ranked wrestlers and earned a sixth-place All-American finish in a 33-man bracket.
125 Junior Alan Waters – 4th
133 Senior Nathan McCormick – 8th
149 Sophomore Drake Houdashelt – 6th
184 Senior Mike Larson – 8th
HWT Senior Dom Bradley – 4th