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    Big 12 Championships Session I Recap

    AMES, IA -- The Big 12 Championships got underway on Saturday morning in Ames, Iowa, at Hilton Coliseum. After the semifinals, Oklahoma State, who has won the past three Big 12 titles, has a firm grasp on the team race with 59 points and seven finalists. Oklahoma, who has four finalists, sits in second place with 35 points. Missouri (32), Iowa State (25), and Nebraska (17) round out the rest of the field.

    Nate Gallick of Iowa State (141) and Zack Esposito of Oklahoma State (149) will both be vying for their third straight Big 12 titles.

    Gallick defeated Chris McCormick of Missouri in the semifinals, 10-1, to advance to the finals, where he'll face a familiar foe in two-time NCAA champion Teyon Ware of Oklahoma. The two have met six times over the past three seasons, with Gallick winning five of the meetings, including two this season. Ware's lone win over Gallick, however, came in the all-important NCAA finals last season.

    "I just have to keep moving against Gallick," said Ware, who pinned Dominick Moyer of Nebraska in the semifinals. "I can't let up on the edge of the mat. That's how he's scored on me the last few times we've wrestled. You have to come wrestle every match, every minute, every moment."

    Esposito, the defending NCAA champion, won convincingly over Robert Sanders of Nebraska in the semifinals. He will now face Matt Storniolo of Oklahoma in the finals, the same wrestler he defeated to claim his second Big 12 title a year ago.

    "I wrestled a little tight, but it's nice to get that first match out of the way," said Esposito. "I just have to wrestle at a high pace, work my shots, and execute well. I want to go to the NCAA Championships with a good feeling."

    All 10 top-seeds and nine No. 2 seeds advanced, which should set up for some very intriguing finals match-ups. The only No. 3 seed to advance to the finals was Raymond Jordan of Missouri, who won narrowly, 11-10, over true freshman Vince Jones of Nebraska.

    At125 pounds, two-time All-American Sam Hazewinkel of Oklahoma will face All-American Coleman Scott. Scott upset Hazewinkel at last year's Big 12 Championships, but Hazewinkel has won all three meetings since.

    "I felt really good in my first match," said Hazewinkel, who defeated Austin Devoe of Missouri, 12-2, semifinals. "I had a game plan, so I just went out and executed it. I felt like it was one my best matches all season."

    Hazewinkel says that his loss to Scott at last year's Big 12 Championships gives him extra motivation going into the finals.

    "I wanted to be a four-time Big 12 champion and obviously he took that away last year," said Hazewinkel. "He did a good job. We've always had close matches. I'm just going to go out and try to duplicate what I did last match, wrestle in the zone."

    At 197 pounds, B.J. Padden of Nebraska and Jake Rosholt will battle in the Big 12 finals for the second straight year. Padden defeated Rosholt, 6-2, in the Big 12 finals. However, Rosholt came back to beat Padden, 10-9, in the NCAA semifinals. The two wrestlers have met twice this season, with Padden winning both matches.

    Semifinals:

    125 -- No. 1 Sam Hazewinkel (OU) maj. dec. No. 4 Austin DeVoe (MU), 12-2
    125 -- No. 2 Coleman Scott (OSU) dec. No. 3 Paul Donahoe (NU), 4-1

    133 -- No. 1 Nathan Morgan (OSU) dec. No. 4 Patrick Aleksanyan (NU), 8-3
    133 -- No. 2 Tyler McCormick (MU) vs. No. 3 Jesse Sundell (ISU), 7-4

    141 -- No. 1 Nate Gallick (ISU) maj. dec. No. 5 Ethan Kyle (OSU), 10-1
    141 -- No. 2 Teyon Ware (OU) pinned No. 3 Dominick Moyer (NU), 4:45

    149 -- No. 1 Zack Esposito (OSU) maj. dec. No. 5 Robert Sanders (NU), 12-3
    149 -- No. 2 Matt Storniolo (OU) dec. No. 3 Jason Knipp (ISU), 4-2 TB

    157 -- No. 1 Trent Paulson (ISU) dec. No. 5 Michael Chandler (MU), 5-3
    157 -- No. 2 Kevin Ward (OSU) dec. No. 3 Chris Oliver (NU), 3-1

    165 -- No. 1 Johny Hendricks (OSU) dec. No. 4 Marc Harwood (NU), 11-4
    165 -- No. 2 Matt Pell (MU) dec. No. 3 Travis Paulson (ISU), 4-1

    174 -- No. 1 Ben Askren (MU) dec. No. 5 Wes Roberts (OU), 6-3
    174 -- No. 2 Jacob Klein (NU) dec. No. 3 Brandon Mason (OSU), 3-0

    184 -- No. 1 Kurt Backes (ISU) dec. 5 Rusty Blackmon (OSU), 8-5
    184 -- No. 3 Raymond Jordan (MU) dec. No. 2 Vince Jones (NU), 11-10

    197 -- No. 1 B.J. Padden (NU) maj. dec. No. 4 Jeff Foust (MU), 10-2
    197 -- No. 2 Jake Rosholt (OSU) dec. No. 3 Joel Flaggert (OU), 7-5

    Hwt -- No. 1 Steve Mocco (OSU) pinned No. 4 Richard Schopf (ISU), 1:25
    Hwt -- No. 2 Jake Hager (OU) dec. No. 3 Jon May (NU), 3-2 TB

    Complete Big 12 Championships Results

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