Wrestling OU: No. 21 Sooners host No. 10 Iowa State in Norman – ‘They’ll be a nice challenge’ | Sports
No. 21 Oklahoma (6-3, 2-2 Big 12) will meet his second top-10 opponent in three games when the Sooners take on No. 10 Big 12 Iowa State (9-1, 2-0 Big 12) Friday.
Two duels at home = 𝙙𝙤𝙪𝙗𝙡𝙚 fun! 🤼♂️ | #10 State of Iowa📅 | Fri. January 28⏰ | 7:00 p.m. TST🤼♂️ | Northern Iowa📅 | Sun. January 30⏰ | 2:00 p.m. CT🏟️ | McCasland Country House📺 | @SoonerSportsTV pic.twitter.com/BfAQTb4HfL
— Oklahoma Wrestling (@OU_Wrestling) January 25, 2022
After falling to No. 9 Missouri 23-14 in a hard-fought duel last Thursday, OU is still looking for its first ranked win of the season. In their three ranked matchups, the Sooners fell to No. 7 Arizona State, No. 4 Oklahoma State and No. 9 Missouri.
Oklahoma’s fight against Iowa State features six scheduled matchups between ranked wrestlers. OU has wrestlers ranked in nine of 10 weight classes, compared to seven wrestlers from Iowa State who claim InterMat top 33 spots.
Only eight of the Sooners’ ranked wrestlers are competing due to an injury to 149-pound senior Mitch Moore that ruled him out of the Sooners’ previous seven duels.
Joey Prata, ranked No. 32, will meet Kysen Terukina, ranked No. 19, in the 125-pound class to start Friday’s event. Terukina is yet to lose a game this season and enters the game with a 14-0 record. Prata rebounded from a loss to Missouri with a victory in Oklahoma’s matchup with Northern Illinois on Sunday, raising the senior redshirt season record to 9-5.
The 133-pound class plans another ranked matchup as No. 14 Tony Madrigal takes on No. 33 Ramazan Attasauov of Iowa State. Madrigal, a senior from Oak Park, Illinois, is 8-3 this season and has won his last two games after returning from an injury that kept him out of three events. Conversely, Attasauov was defeated in the Cyclones’ previous duel against North Dakota State.
Redshirt junior Jacob Butler takes the mat against Iowa State after a two-game skid in the 141-pound class. Butler is set to face No. 11 Ian Parker, who has suffered just one loss this season. The redshirted junior has led the 141-pound class for the Sooners for most of the season, but could soon see competition for the starting spot.
According to Sooners coach Lou Rosselli, Moore will return to the OU starting lineup next week, which will relegate current 149-pound Dom Demas to the 141-pound class, where the redshirt senior won two conference titles.
“We have to get everyone healthy,” Rosselli said. “Our best composition is Dom at 141 and Mitch at 149.”
Redshirt senior Justin Thomas is tasked with battling the reigning Big 12 and National Champion David Carr. Carr, ranked No. 1, was undefeated in the 157-pound class last season, compiling 20 wins en route to a national championship win. Thomas, however, is on a five-fight winning streak and is yet to be defeated in 2022.
“Justin Thomas can compete with him no problem,” Rosselli said. “He just has to limit his mistakes and come out really confident with an attitude that he’s winning today.”
In the 165-pound category, junior Troy Mantanona or redshirt senior Joe Grello will take the mat for the Sooners. Grello, ranked No. 29, was unable to wrestle in the Sooners’ final two meetings due to health and safety protocols. Despite his ranking, Rutgers’ transfer has struggled this season, currently at 3-5.
At 174 pounds, senior redshirt Anthony Mantanona has been nothing short of dominant in 2022. Mantanona jumped 10 spots to No. 22 in the 174-pound rankings after three pins and two more wins in January. On Friday, he will face No. 18 Joel Devine.
“When he’s confident in his conditioning and confident he can beat a guy, I think you see a better version of him, when he’s in control of his emotions,” Rosselli said. “What you see is a little snippet of it all together.
“I think he’s excited about it, I think he’s gaining confidence. When Anthony is confident, I think he’s a problem.
No. 27 Darrien Roberts will step onto the mat for the first time since the Sooners’ loss to Missouri at ISU. The junior picked up a forfeit win over Northern Illinois to improve it to 13-6 on the season.
All eyes will be on the 197-pound class as No. 14 Jake Woodley takes on No. 16 Yonger Bastida. Bastida enters the game with just two losses to Woodley’s five. Woodley, however, has faced a gauntlet this year, already facing two nationally top-5 ranked wrestlers.
The 197-pound class is sure to be one of the most intriguing weight classes at the Big 12 Championships later this year. The Big 12 includes nine representatives in the national 197-pound rankings. Oklahoma State’s No. 1 AJ Ferrari, Wyoming‘s No. 5 Stephen Buchanan and Missouri’s No. 9 Rocky Elam are the headliners of the competition Woodley must go through to claim a championship title. conference.
Friday’s duel will end with another ranked match, pitting No. 28 Josh Heindselman against No. 21 Sam Schuyler at heavyweight. A win would award the sophomore redshirt his first ranked win of the season. Heindselman is looking to snap a two-game losing streak against Big 12 opponents and bring his conference record to 2-3.
The Sooners meet the Cyclones on the mat at 7 p.m. CT Friday at McCasland Fieldhouse in Norman. The duel will also be televised on Sooner Sports TV.
“It will be a nice challenge,” Rosselli said. “I’m convinced that if we fight to the best of our abilities, we can beat them.”