Chris Brannick, Director of Sports Media Relations
ST. CHARLES, Mo. –Central Oklahoma needed to win its final two matches Friday night at Lindenwood to preserve a perfect season and tie a school record for consecutive wins.
The Bronchos are 16-0 and have now won 23-straight duals after a 19-16 conference win against MIAA foe Lindenwood.
“That was a little nerve-wracking,” UCO head coach Todd Steidley said. “We didn’t wrestle very well tonight, so to come away with a win is big.”
The Bronchos tied a school record for consecutive wins set from 2001-03.
“That’s awesome,” Steidley said. “This program has a tremendous history. To do something like that is pretty impressive and these kids should be proud of that.”
Lindenwood Friday jumped out to a 7-0 lead after the first two weights. Carlos Jacquez, ranked ninth in the country at 125 pounds, beat Zac D’Amico 5-2. Then Hunter Haralson, ranked sixth in the country at 133 pounds, beat Rio Zamora 12-0.
But Joshua Ailey did what he does best at 141 pounds and pinned Greg Jacquez in 58 seconds to make it 7-6. Ailey now has 16 falls this season – he had 19 last year to lead all of Division II. His 35 career falls at UCO tie him with Broncho greats Dustin Finn, Mark Dodgen, and Jeremiah Constant, for fourth all-time in school history.
But the Bronchos still had work to do and Lindenwood made matters worse when Ronnie Gentile beat Will Steltzlen 7-5 at 149 pounds.
UCO got some rhythm going soon enough. Bryan Dutton earned a 19-7 major decision at 157 pounds over Tim Bogar. Then Dakota Head beat Kyle Jolas 6-3 at 165 pounds to make 13-10 Bronchos.
Lindenwood leveled up at 174 pounds when Batchka Zulkhuu beat Miguel Barreras 5-1. Then at 184 pounds the Bronchos fell behind once again with Gage Stallworth losing 8-2 to David Hamil.
It came down to the final two matches. UCO had to get points from two of its best to win the match.
Greg Wilson, ranked fourth in the country at 197 pounds, earned a crucial 7-1 decision over Dillon Archer to tie the match at 16 and send it to a virtual sudden death heavyweight bout.
Caleb Cotter, ranked second in the country, faced off with Jake Borgmeyer.
Cotter scored an early takedown to go up 2-0, and led 4-0 in the second period after another takedown.
Borgmeyer scored a late takedown to make it 4-2, but Cotter quickly escaped and moved ahead in the match 5-2. The junior would hang on to win by that score and give the Bronchos the match.
UCO’s 16 wins are the second most in one season in school history. The Bronchos have two duals left in the regular season. UCO wrestles at Newman in an MIAA tilt on Wednesday, Feb. 1. The Bronchos final dual of the season will be Sunday, Feb. 5 against Fort Hays State.
CENTRAL OKLAHOMA 19
125: Carlos Jacquez, LU, dec. Zac D’Amico, 5-2
133: Hunter Haralson, LU, major dec. Rio Zamora, 12-0
141: Joshua Ailey, UCO, pinned Greg Jacquez, :58
149: Ronnie Gentile, LU, dec. Will Steltzlen, 7-5
157: Bryan Dutton, UCO, major dec. Tim Bogar, 19-7
165: Dakota Head, UCO, dec. Kyle Jolas, 6-3
174: Batchka Zulkhuu, LU, dec. Miguel Barreras, 5-1
184: David Hamil, LU, dec. Gage Stallworth, 8-2
197: Greg Wilson, UCO, dec. Dillon Archer, 7-1
Hvy: Caleb Cotter, UCO, dec. Jake Borgmeyer, 5-2