After the first two rounds of the NCAA championships in Oklahoma City, Missouri has two remaining wrestlers vying for individual championships and two in the wrestle-back portion of the tournament.
Junior Drake Houdashelt and freshman J'den Cox are one win away from All-America honors, while Joey Lavallee and Matt Manley earned first-round wins Thursday but fell into the wrestle-back bracket after losses in the second round.
Top-seeded Houdashelt earned a major decision against South Dakota State's Alex Kocer 12-3 in the first round at 149 pounds for his 35th win of the season. Houdashelt then faced off against Old Dominion's Alex Richardson late Thursday and earned a 13-0 major decision to advance to the quarterfinals. The victory gave Houdashelt a 4-0 record over Richardson, who he faced in the Mid-American Conference championships and during conference meets.
Cox won with a 10-4 decision over Illinois' Mario Gonzalezwith four takedowns between the second and third periods. He then scored a 19-6 victory over No. 15 Braden Atwood from Purdue to reach the quarterfinals.
Cox, the No. 2 seed in the tournament, looks to become the first freshman in Missouri wrestling history to win a national championship individually.
With wins in the quarterfinals on Friday, Cox and Houdashelt would each earn All-American honors.
Lavallee bested Duke's Immanuel Kerr-Brown on Thursday afternoon by a score of 10-3 to set up a rematch with Oklahoma State's Alex Dieringer at 157 pounds. Dieringer, the No. 3 seed, won by fall against Lavallee.
Manley upset Kent State's Mack McGuire, ranked No. 16, 7-5 to move on to face the top-seeded Joe Colon out of Northern Iowa in another MAC championship rematch. Colon took a 5-1 decision.
Action resumes Friday morning at 10.