Chris Brannick, Director of Sports Media Relations
EDMOND – The University of Central Oklahoma wrestling team beat Fort Hays State 30-9 Sunday to finish the 2016-17 season 18-0, marking the first time in school history the Bronchos have went undefeated, and pushing Central’s school-record win streak to 25.
UCO also wrapped up the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association dual championship with the win. It’s the second MIAA title for the Bronchos in five years in the league.
“I’m very happy for these kids,” UCO head coach Todd Steidley said. “They deserve it. And they weren’t going to be denied that 18-0.”
The Bronchos had to work for it Sunday. UCO was down 3-0, and 6-3, before reeling off six-straight wins to take the match.
Fort Hays State (5-5, 2-2) picked up a win at 125 pounds when Conrad Cole earned the 3-2 decision over Zac D’Amico. Blake Dauphin leveled the match with a 6-1 decision over Wyatt Alvis at 133 pounds.
A marquee matchup awaited at 141. Joshua Ailey, with 16 falls this season, faced off with 10th-ranked Brandon Ball.
The first period ended 2-2 after Ailey scored a takedown and Ball scored a reversal. The second period ended with the match 8-8 after Ailey scored a takedown and a near fall, while Ball scored on two escapes, a takedown, and a near fall of his own.
In the third period, Ball got a takedown and then held on for a riding time point. Ball edged Ailey in the high-scoring affair 11-8.
Then it was time for UCO’s run.
Will Steltzlen pinned William Homalon in 1:59 at 149 pounds to give UCO a 9-6 lead. Bryan Dutton beat Greg Tooley 6-3 at 157 pounds to make it 12-6, and Dakota Head scored the Bronchos’ second fall of the match at 165 pounds with a 1:24 pin of Kyler Mick to push the lead to 18-6.
Miguel Barreras took a Fort Hays State forfeit for six points and suddenly the Bronchos led 24-6.
Fort Hays State was going to have to earn a fall in each of the final three matches just to tie the score. UCO wasn’t ready to let that happen.
Caleb Hawes beat Rakim Dean at 184 pounds with an 11-5 decision to seal Central Oklahoma’s first undefeated season.
At 197 pounds, Greg Wilson was going to let up.
Wilson is ranked third in the country at 197. The guy right in front of him, who also beat him on Nov. 6, literally stood right in front of him.
Wilson faced off with second-ranked Jon Inman in a match that would have no bearing on the outcome of Sunday’s dual.
Neither wrestler scored in the first period. Inman chose to start the second period down, quickly escaped and took a 1-0 lead, and held onto that for the remainder of the period.
Then Wilson, down to start the third, escaped to even the score 1-1. It appeared the match would be heading to sudden victory with neither wrestler able to get anything going and time running out.
But with 13 seconds left, Wilson shot in and scored a takedown to take a 3-1 lead in the match. The buzzer sounded moments later and Wilson held his hands up as the victor.
Steidley chose to send senior Evan McGee out for the heavyweight bout against Fort Hays State’s ninth-ranked Christian Lance. Lance won 4-3 after two rounds of sudden victory overtime.
The postseason arrives for the Bronchos. UCO will travel to Kearney, Neb. for the MIAA Championships next Sunday, Feb. 12.
No. 7 CENTRAL OKLAHOMA 30
No. 16 FORT HAYS STATE 9
125: Conrad Cole, FHSU, dec. Zac D’Amico, 3-2
133: Blake Dauphin, UCO, dec. Wyatt Alvis, 6-1
141: Brandon Ball, FHSU, dec. Joshua Ailey, 11-8
149: Will Steltzlen, UCO, pinned William Homalon, 1:59
157: Bryan Dutton, UCO, dec. Greg Tooley, 6-3
165: Dakota Head, UCO, pinned Kyler Mick, 1:24
174: Miguel Barreras, UCO, by forfeit
184: Caleb Hawes, UCO, dec. Rakim Dean, 11-5
197: Greg Wilson, UCO, Jon Inman, 3-1
Hvy: Christian Lance, FHSU, dec. Evan McGee, 4-3