Reader Goes Out on Top
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AMES, Iowa – He says it hasn’t hit him yet. But Iowa State 174-pound wrestler Jon Reader went out in high style Saturday, winning the Big 12 Conference Championship and then being voted Most Outstanding Wrestler by the league’s coaches at Hilton Coliseum. Reader’s effort highlighted the Cyclones’ day as the senior won his final match in Ames, a 14-3 major decision over Oklahoma State’s Mike Benefiel . The Iowa Stater improved his record to 34-0.
“It is truly a great way to go out,” Reader said. “I have loved wrestling in this arena. Point-by-point the fans are with you. I want this to be a springboard to the NCAA Tournament.”
Oklahoma State won the team race for the second straight season, finishing Saturday with five champions on 77 points and eight men heading to the NCAA Tournament. Missouri was second with 60 points, two champions and seven automatic qualifiers for the national meet March 17-19 in Philadelphia. Oklahoma was third with 59.5 points and six NCAA qualifiers. Nebraska was fourth with two champions and seven NCAA qualifiers and 46.5 points.
Iowa State, which finished fifth with 31 points, is sending Reader, 197-pounder Jerome Ward, heavyweight Kyle Simonson and 184-pounder Cole Shafer to the NCAA Championship. The Cyclones have a chance to add 141-pounder Chris Drouin as a wildcard but that will not be decided until next week.
The Cyclones’ other finalist, Ward, dropped a 9-5 decision to Oklahoma State’s Clayton Foster.
“It was a tough day in many ways,” Iowa State head coach Kevin Jackson said. “I am happy for Jon Reader. He has earned every bit of this and now we are heading for Philadelphia. Jerome is capable of beating anyone in the country but we are still struggling to put together seven full minutes of wrestling with him.”
Iowa State’s other placewinners were Brandon Jones (4th/125), Max Mayfield (4th/149), Trent Weatherman (4th/157), Shafer (4th/184) and Simonson (4th/HWT).
Final Team Standings
1. Oklahoma State: 77 points
2. Missouri: 60 points
3. Oklahoma: 59.5 points
4. Nebraska: 46.5 points
5. Iowa State: 31 points
2011 Big 12 Wrestling Championship Finals Results
125 Pounds: No. 4 David Klingsheim (Neb.) dec. No. 2 Jarrod Patterson (OU), 2-0
133 Pounds: No 1 Jordan Oliver (OSU) mdec. No. 2 Jordan Keller (OU), 15-3
141 Pounds: No. 2 Todd Schavrien (MU) dec. No. 1 Zack Bailey (OU), 3-2
149 Pounds: No. 1 Jamal Parks (OSU) dec. No. 3 Kyle Bradley (MU), 4-0
157 Pounds: No. 1 Neil Erisman (OSU) dec. No. 3 Nick Gregoris (MU), 4-2
165 Pounds: No. 1 Jordan Burroughs (Neb.) dec. No. 2 Tyler Caldwell (OU), 2-1
174 Pounds: No. 1 Jon Reader (ISU) mdec. No. 2 Mike Benefiel (OSU), 14-3
184 Pounds: No. 1 Chris Perry (OSU) dec. No. 2 Josh Ihnen (Neb.), 3-2 (TB1)
197 Pounds: No. 1 Clayton Foster (OSU) dec. No. 3 Jerome Ward (ISU), 9-5
285 Pounds: No. 1 Dom Bradley (MU) dec. No. 3 Nathan Fernandez (OU), 3-1