In tune-ups for national competitions and on Senior Day, Wayland Baptist’s men’s and women’s wrestlers secured a pair of satisfying wins on Saturday afternoon at the Laney Center. The second-ranked women defeated No. 8 Lyon College, Ark., 36-10, while the Pioneer men secured their first-ever victory over 11th-ranked Oklahoma City University, 22-20.
“A lot of time and effort went into this day,” Wayland coach Aaron Meister said of what was his team’s first and only home duals of the season. “I’m very proud of our seniors. It was special and they went out and performed like it was special.”
Having started its wrestling program in 2010, the WBU men had never before defeated OCU…until Saturday. The Pioneers had to come from behind to do it, trailing 20-9 before winning the last three matches for 12 points and the 22-20 dual victory.
“This is a big step for our program, but we can still do better,” WBU assistant coach Chad Cook said. “We lost three matches we should have won. We still have a lot of room to grow.”
Starting at 157 pounds, Wayland – ranked the equivalent of 38th in the NAIA – dropped the day’s first three matches, all close decisions including by Pioneer seniors Damarea Spellerin overtime and Zach Mitchell in the first two matches.
Freshman Luke Carlin got the Pioneers on the board with a pin at 184 as he upset OCU’s Tanner Borror, then defending Sooner Athletic Conference champion and 17th-ranked Riley Williams came through with a hard-fought, 8-6 overtime victory to tie the score at 9-9.
After the Stars recorded a pin at 285 and a major decision win at 125, OCU held a seemingly comfortable 20-9 advantage.
But at 133, Jacob Campa – the last of Wayland’s four seniors to wrestle – pulled off a huge 5-4 victory after he was awarded the winning point for riding time.
“For Campa to come from behind was a big step for him,” Cook said. “That ended up being one of the deciding factors (in the match). For him to do that in front of his family was a big deal.”
After Wayland’s Kaleb McAlexander picked up a forfeit victory at 133 to cut OCU’s lead to two points, it all came down to the 149-pound match between junior Joe Rios and OCU’s Conor Holman. Rios prevailed, 12-5, to give Wayland the historic victory by two points.
Cook said he intentionally arranged the dual so Rios would wrestle the last match.
“We thought it might come down to the end and there would be a lot of pressure in that last match, but we knew Joe could handle it. He has a lot of confidence,” Cook said.
Many of Saturday’s matchups between the Pioneers, now 6-3 on the season, and Stars could be repeated when Wayland hosts for the first time the Sooner Athletic Conference Championships on Feb. 16. The final competition for WBU prior to that event is a dual at Oklahoma Wesleyan on Feb. 1.
“We have to continue to get better at the things we can control, one of which is our conditioning,” Cook said. “We have three weeks to fix that, and I think we will.”
The women’s dual wasn’t nearly as dramatic as the Pioneer women rolled to the 36-10 win over Lyon to improve to 7-1 on the season.
Prior to the matches, a dozen senior ladies were recognized: Paige Baynes, Jill Blanchard, Marina Briceno, Breanna Dudoit-Vasquez, Asia Igafo, Jathiya Isaac-Thomas, Rhonda Johnson, Brittany Marshall, Leah Olguin, Mayra Ramirez, Evelynn Simmons and Rozlynn Vasquez. All 12 wrestled Saturday in either official matches or exhibitions, and eight won.
As part of the official dual, the Pioneers won all but two matches. Of Wayland’s wins, five were by tech fall and three by forfeit.
“Our team morale and chemistry are still improving, and this is a good way to send them to WCWA Nationals,” Meister said of that upcoming competition set for Feb. 8 and 9 at Cobb County Civic Center in Marietta, Ga. “We’re excited to go make a run at some titles.”
Wayland Baptist 22, Oklahoma City 20
157: Jon McGowan, OCU, def. Damarea Speller, WBU, by dec., 6-4; OCU leads 3-0.
165: Matt Landgraff, OCU, def. Zach Mitchell, WBU, by dec., 8-6; OCU leads 6-0
174: Chase Vincent, OCU, def. Tommy St. John, WBU, by dec., 8-5; OCU leads 9-0
184: Luke Carlin, WBU, def. Tanner Borror, OCU, by pin; OCU leads 9-6
197: Riley Williams, WBU, def. Easton Rendelman, OCU, by dec., 8-6; dual is tied 9-9
285: Bryson McGowan, OCU, def. Baylor Walker, WBU, by pin; OCU leads 15-9
125: Montana Moon, OCU, def. Gabe Gray, WBU, by maj. dec., 16-0; OCU leads 20-9
133: Jacob Campa, WBU, def. Logan Chappell, OCU, by dec., 5-4; OCU leads 20-12
141: Kaleb McAlexander, WBU, def. Jaxen Gilmore, OCU, by forfeit; OCU leads 20-18
149: Joseph Rios, WBU, def. Conor Holman, OCU, by dec., 12-5; WBU wins 22-20
Wayland Baptist 36, Lyon 10
130: Breanna Dudoit-Vasquez, WBU, def. Rebekah Garcia, Lyon, by tech. fall, 10-0; WBU leads 4-0
136: Amanda Alvarado, WBU, def. Alexandrea Banag, Lyon, by tech. fall, 12-1; WBU leads 8-1
143: Elissa Douglas, Lyon, def. Marina Briceno, WBU, by pin; WBU leads 8-6
155: Breanna Jennings, WBU, won by forfeit; WBU leads 13-6
170: Brittany Marshall, WBU, won by forfeit; WBU leads 18-6
191: Paige Baynes, WBU, won by forfeit; WBU leads 23-6
101: Nina Pham, WBU, def. Kassidy Ramirez, Lyon, by tech. fall, 13-2; WBU leads 27-7
109: Rhonda Johnson, WBU, def. Brianna Ribuucan-Leong, Lyon, by tech. fall, 10-0; WBU leads 31-7
116: Jasmine Hernandez, Lyon, def. Evelynn Simmons, WBU, by dec., 10-2; WBU leads 32-10.
123: Jathiya Isaac, WBU, def. Emma DeBrum, Lyon, by tech. fall, 10-0; WBU wins 36-10.