Jeremy Spates didn’t celebrate, but he had 100 reasons to.
Spates, Missouri’s 149-pounder, earned his 100th victory during the dual against Northern Illinois on Wednesday. Spates, ranked third, helped the Tigers defeat the Huskies 31-7 at the Hearnes Center Fieldhouse.
In a tough match, Spates defeated Josh Wooton 12-6. At the end of the first period, the score was 6-6. Spates earned an escape and a takedown in the second. Spates completed another takedown in the third and received a final point for riding time.
100th win just like the other 99
Spates, a senior, treated his milestone victory like the 99 others. He walked off the mat.
Spates said he did not wrestle his best, and his rhythm was off.
“(Wooton) popped my knee one time, and it threw my game plan off a little bit,” Spates said.
Missouri coach Brian Smith was not surprised Wooton gave Spates so much trouble.
“It was no fluke when (Wooton) scored points on Jeremy,” Smith said. “That kid’s tough, and we were aware of that.”
Spates’ win helped fifth-ranked Missouri improve to 14-3. Northern Illinois is 10-5.
The score is not indicative of the closeness of the match. All 10 matches went into the third period, and J.P. Reese (141) earned the only pin.
Reese pinned Andy Hiatt with 24 seconds left in the match. In the third period, the score was 4-2, and Hiatt made a move to tie when Reese caught him on his back.
Redshirt freshman continues to contribute
MU redshirt freshman Ben Askren (174) earned the first points of the afternoon with a technical fall against Danny Burk 17-2.
Askren, ranked sixth, dominated most of the match, allowing Burk one reversal.
The closest match came at 184. Northern Illinois’ Ben Heizer, ranked second, defeated Matt Pell 4-1. Heizer took an early 2-0 lead on an escape in the second period.
Pell’s point came in the third period on a stalling call. Heizer earned one final point for riding time.
MU heavyweight Mike Whitehead defeated Joe Sapp 9-0.
“It was nice to see Whitehead get a couple takedowns,” Smith said. “We’ve been working and working on it. Just to see him get some confidence and finish his takedowns, that was nice.”
MU freshman Brett Watkins (133) lost to Sam Hiatt 14-5. Watkins was able to shoot in on Hiatt’s legs well but was never able to complete a takedown. Smith said he was pleased to see Watkins being that aggressive.
“If you have kids that will go out there and take shots and get in on shots, you can work with them, get ‘em stronger, work on their technique,” Smith said. “He’s going to have a good future with us.”