COLUMBIA — Since transferring from the University of Pennsylvania this semester, senior Brock Wittmeyer had not won a match for Missouri at the 174-pound weight class in six starts.
That changed against Oregon State on Sunday at Hearnes Center in his seventh match as a Tiger.
Wittmeyer scored a 12-6 victory, helping Missouri defeat Oregon State 28-13 on senior night.
The other three Tigers seniors who competed also won.
Senior Tyler McCormick won on a technical fall, which is when a wrestler is beating his opponent by 15 points, at 133-pounds and nearly had a pin. He did not give up a point.
“The Hearnes Center has been a special place to me, I come here every day and work out, so to have my last match be a blowout is special,” McCormick said. “It was really meaningful for me to say goodbye in that way.”
Senior Josh Wagner also had a technical fall at 149-pounds and senior James Williamson had a 6-3 win at 184-pounds.
Missouri also received wins from John Olanowski at 125-pounds, Michael Chandler at 157-pounds and Max Askren at 197-pounds.
Missouri coach Brian Smith had not decided before the meet if Wittmeyer would wrestle at 174-pounds. There were three possible wrestlers at the weight class, including Williamson. After the meet started, Smith chose to wrestle Wittmeyer at 174-pounds and Williamson at 184-pounds in place of junior Raymond Jordan.
“We wanted to get the seniors in at 174 and 184, so that’s why we sat Raymond,” Smith said.
Wittmeyer is from Platte City, a town just north of Kansas City, but wrestled at Penn as an undergraduate. He received his diploma in December of 2007 and could no longer compete in the Ivy League, so he came to Missouri to work on a graduate degree and finish his last semester of eligibility as a wrestler.
“It was definitely a big transition, but the team made everything very easy,” Wittmeyer said.
While Wittmeyer started 0-6, it four of his opponents were ranked in the top 15 in the nation in the 174-pound weight class.
On Sunday, Wittmeyer wrestled more aggressively against Oregon State’s Chris Platt and scored his first win with three takedowns and two near falls.
“It just feels good to walk off with your arm raised,” Smith said. “He did some good things. He was leg-attacking, scoring takedowns and putting the guy on his back. He made some mistakes, but he found a way to win.”
That his first win came on senior day was a bonus. Wittmeyer’s parents could not always travel to see him wrestle in duals at Penn but have been able to see him more regularly now that he is closer to home.
“It’s great for me to have them here,” Wittmeyer said. “It’s great to be in this atmosphere and be this welcome. Only being here a month, I can see how it would be hard to see me as a senior, but everybody has been real supportive.”
Upon arriving in Columbia, Wittmeyer moved into a house with some of the wrestlers, which helped in his transition. He also hangs out with his teammates on a regular basis away from the mat.
“We’re a band of brothers really, so he was just another brother welcomed in,” McCormick said.