COLUMBIA, Mo. – Missouri grappler Nathan McCormick led a group of 11 Missouri wrestlers at the 2012 ASICS University Nationals this past weekend, winning the 63 kg Freestyle championship. In all, seven Tigers claimed top-eight finishes in Freestyle, while two others placed in Greco Roman over the four day tournament.
McCormick opened the tournament with back-to-back pins, sticking Kody Young in 1:03 in his opening match before winning with a second period fall over Brandon Nelson. McCormick moved in to the Final Four with a 2-2, 4-1 decision over Camryn Jackson and knocked off Daryl Thomas, 2-0, 1-0, in the semifinals. In the title bout, McCormick trailed Joe Colon by a 3-0 score in the first period but hit a three point takedown to even the score and give him the period. A 1-1 score in the second period clinched the match and the championship.
At 120 kg, Dom Bradley earned a runner-up finish, falling to 2012 NCAA Champion Tony Nelson in the finals. Bradley pinned two of his first three opponents and advanced to the championship with a 3-0, 2-1 win over Matthew Meuleners. Bradley fell to Nelson by a 1-1, 0-2 decision, as Nelson successfully defended the clinch in the second period.
Mizzou 149 pounder Kyle Bradley picked up a fourth place finish at 70 kg, as he won seven matches over the course of two days. He opened the tournament with a win via technical fall and another by pin, before being bumped to the consolation bracket with a 2-2, 1-0 loss to Kyle Borshoff. Bradley bounced back, pinning his next opponent before rallying off four straight decisions to move in to the third place match. Bradley was bested again by Borshoff, who defeated the Tiger 2-1, 0-1, 2-1.
Earning fifth place finishes were junior Alan Waters and sophomore Drake Houdashelt. Waters, wrestling at 60 kg, overcame a loss in his first match and won six straight in the wrestlebacks before falling in the consolation semifinals. Waters defeated Shelton Mack, 0-1, 4-1, 7-3, to place fifth.
Houdashelt dominated his first three matches, winning two by technical fall and one via pin, before falling to the consolation bracket. He won his next two matches by decision but was pinned by Cole VonOhlen to fall to the fifth place match, where Houdashelt defeated Ian Paddock 4-0, 2-3, 2-0.
Finishing in seventh at 79 kg was Todd Porter, who went 6-2 in the tournament with six decisions. Porter was knocked out of the championship bracket with a technical fall loss to Jordan Blanton in the third round, but bounced back later with a 1-0, 3-1 decision over Blanton in the seventh place bout.
Johnny Eblen picked up an eighth place finish at 84 kg, winning four matches in his weight class. After being pinned by Ryan Loder, Eblen rallied back with three straight victories to guarantee himself a top-eight finish. Loder bested Eblen again in the seventh place match, winning by a 3-1, 2-1 decision.
Earlier in the weekend, Waters and Mike Larson competed in the Greco Roman tournament, with both wrestlers earning top-three finishes. Waters defeated Dmitry Ryabchinskiy by a 2-0, 5-3 decision to move in to the finals, where he fell by a 3-2, 0-1, 0-1 score to Paul Tellgren to take runner-up honors
Larson opened his tournament with a 1-0, 5-0 win against Robert Greg Isley but dropped his next match, 1-3, 1-0, 0-1, to Mark Stenberg. Larson wrestled back to a third place finish, defeating Terrence Zaleski, 4-2, 3-0, and Adam Carey, 1-0, 6-2, in his next two bouts.