Three All-Americans help Mizzou wrestling tie for seventh in NCAA championships

Eric Blum
Columbia Daily Tribune

Missouri wrestling finished tied for seventh place as a team in the NCAA championships over the three-day event at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis.  

This marks the Tigers’ sixth consecutive finish in the top 10 and ninth under head coach Brian Smith.

Three Missouri grapplers earned All-American honors. Freshman Keegan O’Toole took third place at 165 pounds, while Columbia native and junior Brock Mauller joined freshman Rocky Elam in taking fifth at 149 and 197, respectively.

"Overall, I'm so proud of this team," Smith said Friday night. "It's a young team. They showed their youth at times in matches. And they showed that we had experience, but we lost a heart-breaker in the semifinals, losing on a ride out. It's a tough way to lose, and I know Brock's heartbroken. But he's going to battle back for us.

Missouri's Brock Mauller wrestles Virginia Tech's Bryce Andonian in the 149-pound weight class during the quarterfinals of the NCAA championships Friday at Enterprise Center in St. Louis.

"... This team shows up and competes at a high level every time we step on the mat. I'm always going to love them, always going to be proud of them. Are they crushed? Yes. They're in a back room right now, a lot of them in tears, feeling like they let the program down. But they didn't. They didn't. It's just a tough day Friday when you don't get through the people you want to get in the finals. And this is a tough job coaching in this national tournament."

More:Where Mizzou basketball program stands after another early NCAA Tournament exit

Mauller represented the program's longest stay in the championship side of the bracket, making it to the semifinals and losing 3-2 to eventual national champion Austin O'Connor of North Carolina.

O'Toole posted the program's best record in St. Louis, going 6-1, losing only in the quarterfinals to eventual national runner-up Jake Wentzel of Pittsburgh. 

Elam was the only Tiger wrestler besides O'Toole to win five straight matches at the national tournament, losing his NCAA opener to Oklahoma's Jake Woodley, then pulling off his quintet of victories. Elam avenged his loss to Woodley to end the tournament with a 9-3 decision to claim fifth place.

Columbia natives Jarrett Jacques and Jeremiah Kent combined to go 5-4 for Missouri in the NCAA Tournament at 157 and 184, respectively. 

"We only have three All-Americans. We wanted more than that," Smith said. "And it's the would-of, should-of, could-of's now and you're going to kick yourself a little at matches we lost and maybe mistakes we made, even as coaches that made mistakes this weekend. But I always know when we step on the mat our guys compete and I love them for it.

"We have the same team together for a couple more years that people have to be excited about this program and what it's about, what it stands for."

Former Missouri standout and current Iowa 141-pound wrestler Jaydin Eierman reached his first national championship match in his fourth NCAA Tournament.

The Columbia native and four-time undefeated high school champion at Tolton lost 4-2 to Penn State's Nick Lee in the finals. Eierman will go for another national title next season with one year of eligibility remaining.

Below is a breakdown of Missouri’s individual results: 

125 Pounds ­– Sophomore No. 18 Noah Surtin – Tournament Record: 1-2  

First round vs. No. 15 Patrick McKee (MINN) ­– L, 15-8 Decision 

Cons. round 1 vs. Jonathan Trope (RID) – W, Fall  

Cons. round 2 vs. Killian Cardinale (WVU) – L, 9-4 Decision 

133 Pounds – RS Junior No. 6 Matt Schmitt – Tournament Record: 2-2 

First round vs. No. 27 Jacob Allen (NAVY) – W, 4-1 Decision 

Second round vs. No. 22 Mario Guillen (OHIO) – W, 9-0 Major Decision 

Quarterfinal vs. No. 3 Korbin Myers (VT) – L, 1-0 Decision 

Cons. round 4 vs. Michael McGee (ASU) – L  

141 Pounds – RS Junior No. 6 Allan Hart – Tournament Record: 2-2 

First round vs. No. 27 Angelo Martinoni (CSUB) – W, 9-2 Decision 

Second round vs. No. 11 Cody Trybus (NAVY) – W, 4-1 Decision 

Quarterfinal vs. No. 3 Sebastian Rivera (Rutgers) – L, 7-3 Decision 

Cons. round 4 vs. Chad Red (NEB) – L, 8-7 Decision 

149 Pounds ­– Junior No. 3 Brock Mauller – Tournament Record: 3-1 – Fifth Place (All-American) 

First round vs. No. 30 Marcus Robinson (CSU) – W, 12-1 Major Decision 

Second round vs. No. 14 Michael Blockus (MINN) – W, 4-2 Decision 

Quarterfinal vs. No. 6 Bryce Andonian (VT) – W, 8-3 Decision 

Semifinal vs. Austin O’Connor (UNC) – L, 2-1 (TB) 

Cons. semifinal vs. Yahya Thomas (NW) – L, 7-4 Decision 

Fifth place match vs. Kyle Parco (FS) – W, 8-5 Decision 

157 Pounds – Junior No. 7 Jarrett Jacques – Tournament Record: 3-2 

First round vs. No. 27 Johnny Lovett (CMU) – L, 3-2 Decision 

Cons. round 1 vs. Justin Thomas (OU) – W, 3-1 Decision 

Cons. round 2 vs. Kendall Coleman (PUR) – W, Injury Forfeit 

Cons. round 3 vs. Requir van der Merwe (STAN) – W, 11-3 Major Decision  

Cons. round 4 vs. Brayton Lee (MINN) – L, 4-1 Decision 

167 Pounds – Freshman No. 6 Keegan O’Toole – Tournament Record: 6-1 – Third Place (All-American) 

First round vs. No. 27 Jake Silverstein (RID) – W, Fall (4:10) 

Second round vs. No. 11 Cameron Amine (MICH) – W, 5-2 Decision 

Quarterfinal vs. Jake Wentzel (PITT) – L, 9-6 Decision 

Cons. round 4 vs. Luke Weber (NDSU) ­W, 5-1 

Cons. round 5 vs. Anthony Valencia (ASU) – W, 16-1 Technical Fall 

Cons. semifinal vs. Zach Hartman (BUCK) – W, 17-4 Major Decision 

Third place match vs. Travis Wittlake (OKST) – W, 4-3 Decision 

174 Pounds – RS Sophomore No. 10 Peyton Mocco – Tournament Record: 2-2 

First round vs. No. 23 Anthony Mantanona (OU) – W, 12-2 Major Decision 

Second round vs. No. 7 Kaleb Romero (OHST) – L, 5-1 Decision 

Cons. round 2 vs. Jake Allar (MINN) – W, Fall (6:25) 

Cons. round 3 vs. Clay Lautt (UNC) – L, Fall (0:37) 

184 Pounds – RS Sophomore No. 9 Jeremiah Kent – Tournament Record: 2-2 

First round vs. No. 24 Rocky Jordan (OHST) – W, Fall (2:15) 

Second round vs. No. 8 Taylor Venz (NEB) – L, 10-4 Decision 

Cons. round 2vs. Tate Samuelson (WYO) – W, 6-1 Decision 

Cons. round 3 vs.  Owen Webster (MINN) – L, Fall (2:32) 

197 Pounds – Freshman No. 7 Rocky Elam – Tournament Record: 6-2 – Fifth Place (All-American) 

First round vs. Jake Woodley (OU) – L, 3-1 Decision 

Cons. round 1 vs. Bryan McLaughlin (DREX) – W, 16-6 Major Decision 

Cons. round 2 vs. Noah Adams (WVU) – W, 4-3 Decision 

Cons. round 3 vs. Eric Schultz (NEB) – W, 11-3 Major Decision 

Cons. round 4 vs. Kordell Norfleet (ASU) – W, 9-1 Major Decision 

Cons. round 5 vs. Michael Beard (PSU) – W, 5-0 Decision 

Cons. semifinal vs. Myles Amine (MICH) – L, 8-6 (SV2) 

Fifth place match vs. Jake Woodley (OU) – W, 9-3 Decision 

HWT – RS Sophomore No. 11 Zach Elam – Tournament Record: 2-2  

First round vs. No. 22 Brandon Metz (NDSU) – W, 11-0 Major Decision 

Second round vs. No. 6 Gannon Gremmel (ISU) – L, 3-1 Decision 

Cons. round 2 vs. Christian Lance (NEB) – W, 3-1 Decision (SV) 

Cons. round 3 vs. Austin Harris (OKST) – L, Fall (3:58) 

Contact Eric Blum at eblum@columbiatribune.com. Follow @ByEricBlum on Twitter.

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