Missouri wrestling gears up for Big 12 Championship

Thursday, March 1, 2012 | 7:04 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — Missouri wrestling is looking to win its first Big 12 Championship this weekend as it hosts Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Iowa State.

The Tigers are 14-5 overall and ranked second in the Big 12 with a 3-3 conference record. Missouri is led by sophomore Alan Waters in the 125-pound division, who is 24-2 this year and has not lost a match against a conference opponent.

Missouri’s toughest opponent this weekend will be two-time defending Big 12 champions Oklahoma State. The Cowboys are returning last year's Big 12 individual champions — 133-pound Jordan Oliver, 149-pound Jamal Parks and 184-pound Chris Perry. The three of them have a combined 74-1 record this season.

To beat the Cowboys, Missouri will need strong performances from 197-pound Brent Haynes and 133-pound Nate McCormick. Each has only one loss against other Big 12 wrestlers.

Oklahoma will be competing for its third Big 12 championship this weekend. The Sooners are led by 141-pound Kendric Maple, who is 26-1. Against the Tigers, he lost to Brandon Wiest on the November 19 match but was able to pin Nicholas Hucke on February 5.

Iowa State is last in the Big 12 with 0-6 record, but 165-pound Andrew Sorenson is 22-1 and looking to give Iowa State an upset.

The tournament's opening rounds begin at 11 a.m. Saturday at Hearnes Center. The championship round begins at 6:30 p.m.

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