Coaches and parents hugged in celebration as they watched Keegan O’Toole’s hand being raised to the sky once again..
The sophomore phenom remains atop the 165-pound division after defeating Iowa State’s David Carr 8-2 in the title bout at the NCAA Championships in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for a second straight national title.
O’Toole grabbed a period-one takedown and was able to ride out Carr until a late escape. The second period ended 3-1, as the only point came from an O’Toole escape.
Period three was the highlight of the tournament for O’Toole. Missouri coach Brian Smith pumped his fist when O’Toole was able to reverse a Carr shot into a takedown of his own, which he quickly turned into two near-fall points.
O’Toole joins his coach Ben Askren and Hickman grad J’den Cox as the only Missouri wrestlers to win two national championships in their collegiate career.
Rocky Elam (197) secured the highest placement of his career after winning 5-2 in his third-place bout against second-seeded Bernie Truax of Cal Poly. Elam got ahead in the match with a takedown to end Period 1. With a 2-0 lead, Elam stuffed Truax’s offensive pursuit while securing a second takedown to ice the contest.
After earning his first-career All-American nod on Day 2 of the tournament, Zach Elam (285) went on to finish sixth in the heavyweight bracket. Northwestern’s sixth-seeded Lucas Davison dropped Zach Elam in the fifth-place match with a 4-3 decision victory. With Elam owning a 3-0 lead, two third-period takedowns allowed Davison to rally back for the win.
Sixth-seeded Brock Mauller (149) won his seventh-place match 6-2 over 10th-seeded Michael Blockhus of Minnesota. The three-time All-American’s shot defense was on full display, as Mauller stuffed every takedown attempt by Blockhus.
Peyton Mocco lost to No. 6 seed Ethan Smith of Ohio State in the seventh-place match of the 174 bracket. Smith smothered Mocco through three periods in a dominant 12-2 major decision.
The Tigers finished in fifth place at the NCAA Championships. Missouri’s five All-Americans are tied for the most in program history, with the 2017 tournament squad being the most recent to achieve this feat.All five wrestlers mentioned will return to the mat in the 2023-24 season for Missouri.
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