Produced by Corbin LeMaster
Weiser Gym- The long awaited return of NCAA wrestling to the Springfield area was spoiled as the Central Missouri Mules downed the Drury Panthers 24-24 winning on criteria Wednesday night.
The night began as Drury and CMU traded opens at 125 pounds and 133 pounds knotted the meet at 6-6. The 1st match of the night would be at 141 pounds the Panthers Lawyer Beckham taking on Bradley Irwin. Irwin scored on two takedowns and a riding time point taking the match 7-4 and the Mules taking the overall lead.
UCM 149 pound Zach Schriddle took the forfeit from Drury, making the score 15-6 in favor of the Mules. At 157 pounds, former NJCAA All American, Cory Pych of Drury took on Steffon Fassett in a tightly contested bout with the Panther grappler coming out ahead 5-4.
- 285: Ben Melton (Drury) TB-3 Chase Miller (UCM) 5-3
- 197: Jared Rennick (Drury) wbf over Grant Sparks (UCM) 0:15; UCM
- 184: John Oss (Drury) wbf over Allan Person (UCM) 2:52; UCM
- 157: Cory Pych (Drury) dec. Steffon Fassett (UCM) 5-4; UCM
In a match featuring two former Missouri All-State wrestlers Jesse Reser of UCM beat Grant Taylor by an 8-2 margin and after the Panthers had to once again forfeit the 174 pound weight class to Cody Carson the Mules took a firm grasp on the dual leading 24-9.
Needing to win the final 3 weights, in order to have a chance at the victory, Drury turned to former Ozark state champion John Oss to score a much needed fall in 2:52 over Allan Person of UCM making the score 24-15.
Nationally ranked Jared Rennick (#10) would be the next Panther to take the mat. Needing a bonus win the Panther obliged in a 15 second pin over Grant Sparks, igniting the home crowd and pulling the Panthers within three points of the Mules.
Coach James Reynolds would turn to his “rock solid” Ben Melton to take on former Kansas state champion and UCM heavyweight Chase Miller in the final bout of the evening. After trading escapes in the 2nd and 3rd periods Melton and Miller would remain scoreless through sudden death overtime and once again trade escapes in the ride outs before going to another sudden victory period that ended scoreless. Going into the final ride outs Melton would score an escape and takedown the seal the match and send the meet into a 24-24 tie.However, it would prove too little too late as the UCM Mules would take the meet on the 3rd criteria, most match points, to take the victory and improving to 3-0 in duals. With Drury falling to 1-3.