DES MOINES, Iowa -- The Oklahoma State wrestling team produced a runner-up finish at the 2013 NCAA Championships, falling four points behind Penn State, who took its third consecutive title. OSU's run at the title was highlighted by two national champions in senior Jordan Oliver and junior Chris Perry and seven Cowboys earning All-American status.
"We gave ourselves a chance today. We did everything we could," coach John Smith said. "We won nine out of 11 matches on the final day of competition. Any other time we've done that, we've come home with a team title. It hurts, but I'm proud of our team's effort. We came to wrestle, and that's what we did."
In the 174-pound finals, Perry took on the No. 2 seed Matt Brown from Penn State in the opening match of the finals. With no points scored in the first, Brown earned an escape point just seconds into the second period, and Perry answered with an escape of his own in the third, tying the score 1-1.
The bout went into a sudden victory period that saw shots from both opponents, but no points were awarded, taking the match to a tiebreaker. In the first period of the tiebreaker, Perry rode out Brown for the full 30 seconds. Perry earned a quick escape in the second period of the tiebreaker and held off Brown for the remaining time to claim a 2-1 win and the 174-pound national title.
"It's unexplainable," Perry said. "There's so many people that I have in my life that I want to win for. I have so many great people that help get me through, and it's just indescribable. It's almost a shell shock moment when you're up there. You don't even know what to do when you win."
Perry's win put the Cowboys on top in the team race by one point, but it was not enough as Penn State went on to win the finals at 184 pounds and 197 pounds to clinch the team title.
There was still one more Cowboy who had some work to do.
Senior Jordan Oliver ended an outstanding collegiate career capturing his second national championship when he defeated No. 2 Jason Chamberlain of Boise State, 3-2, in the 149-pound finals.
Similar to Perry's match, Oliver's bout with Chamberlain was scoreless after the first. Escaping quickly in the second period, Oliver carried a 1-0 lead into the final period. Chamberlain tied the score, 1-1, with an escape, but Oliver put the nail in the coffin with a takedown in the final 10 seconds to win it.
"It's awesome to win another title," Oliver said. "I'm happy to be a part of the Cowboy tradition and getting to cap off my senior season with my second national title. It's been an honor wrestling under Coach Smith and for Oklahoma State. It's been a great journey."
Not only did Oliver win every match this season to finish 37-0, but he did it without giving up a single takedown.
The Easton, Pa., native became the program's 13th four-time All-American, and finished his career with a 126-6 overall record, tying him for fifth in all-time wins in OSU history. In his time as a Poke, Oliver finished with a title at 133 pounds and 149 pounds, a runner-up finish and a fourth-place finish at the NCAA tournament.
Oklahoma State finished the season with seven All-Americans in Jon Morrison, Alex Dieringer, Tyler Caldwell, Blake Rosholt, Alan Gelogaev, Oliver and Perry. The last time the Cowboys had seven All-Americans was in the 2005 NCAA Championships.
The Cowboys have earned a total of 435 All-Americans and 136 national champions. In his 22 years at the helm of the program, Smith has coached 102 All-Americans and 26 national champions.