EDMOND – The University of Central Oklahoma wrestling team has won 15 national championships, 43 wrestlers have won an individual national title, 65 times between them all, but never has UCO been 15-0 in a season.
The Bronchos beat Colorado State-Pueblo 22-12 Monday in Hamilton Field House to improve to 15-0 on the season, the best start in school history. UCO was 14-0 in the 1991-92 season before falling to Oklahoma in the final dual of the season to finish 14-1.
“Honestly I didn’t know about that,” UCO head coach Todd Steidley said after the win. “We talked to the team about the possibility of this being one of those special teams, but I didn’t know we’ve never been 15-0 before. We didn’t even talk about it in the locker room after the win, probably should have.”
Monday’s win didn’t come easy. The Bronchos found themselves down 6-0 after Pueblo picked up a pair of decisions to open the match.
But Broncho senior Joshua Ailey came through at 141 pounds. After Ailey recorded his team-leading 15th fall of the season, pinning Jared Mestes in 3:13, the match was tied 6-6.
Pueblo picked up another decision at 149 pounds to go back on top 9-6. Then UCO reeled off three-straight wins to move into control of the match.
And Miguel Barreras earned a major decision at 174 pounds to put UCO up 16-9. Barreras, a freshman, won his 30th match of the season, 25 of which are bonus-point wins. It was also the second win for Barreras over a ranked in four days. He beat No. 2 Calvin Ochs of Nebraska-Kearney on Friday, and No. 9 Kyle Bateman Monday to improve to 30-5 on the season.
But Pueblo wouldn’t go away. The Thunderwolves picked up one more decision win at 184 pounds when sixth-ranked JaVaughn Perkins edged Gage Stallworth to make it 16-12.
UCO only needed three points to seal the match, and it turned to Greg Wilson. Wilson has been unstoppable as of late, winning his last 12 matches. In those 12 matches, he has nine bonus-point wins.
Wilson made it 13 in a row with a 9-2 decision over Cody Johnson. The junior from Keller, Texas, who is ranked No. 4 in the country at 197 pounds, is now 25-4 on the season for the Bronchos.
Caleb Cotter finished off the match with a 4-2 win at heavyweight. Cotter is ranked second in the country and is 22-3 on the season.
Monday’s win was also the 22nd-straight dual win for the Bronchos dating back to last season. Central’s record is 23 straight from 2001-03. The Bronchos have a chance to tie that record on Friday in Saint Charles, Mo. against Lindenwood.
The Bronchos hit the road for a pair of MIAA contests. UCO wrestles at Lindenwood on Friday, and at Newman on Wednesday, Feb. 1 before wrapping up the regular season at Hamilton Field House against Fort Hays State on Sunday, Feb. 5.
CENTRAL OKLAHOMA 22
COLORADO STATE-PUEBLO 12
125: Josiah Seaton, CSUP, dec. Zac D’Amico, 5-2
133: PT Garcia, CSUP, dec. Blake Dauphin, 3-0
141:Joshua Ailey, UCO, pinned Jared Mestes, 3:13
149: Clay Archer, CSUP, dec. Will Steltzlen, 5-1
157: Bryan Dutton, UCO, dec. Kyle Fantin, 9-4
165:Dakota Head, UCO, dec. Phil Young, 14-9
174:Miguel Barreras, UCO, major dec. Kyle Bateman, 10-1
184: JaVaughn Perkins, CSUP, dec. Gage Stallworth, 7-2
197:Greg Wilson, UCO, dec. Cody Johnson, 9-2
Hvy: Caleb Cotter, UCO, dec. Augie DeSantis, 4-2