Hey there Tigerstyle fans! Let’s talk about Mizzou wrestling and their incredible season. The Tigers wrapped up their 2022-23 season at the NCAA Championships in Tulsa, Okla. from March 16-18. This year, the team finished with an 8-3 overall record and was 7-1 in Big 12 Duals. That’s not all – Mizzou wrestling earned its 12th consecutive conference championship, going back-to-back in the Big 12 Conference and placed fifth at the national tournament with 64.5 points. Not too shabby, right?
Let’s take a closer look at the top performers for Mizzou wrestling this year. Five Tigers finished as All-Americans over the weekend, led by sophomore Keegan O’Toole. O’Toole had a strong final weekend of Tiger Style wrestling, winning his second consecutive individual national title by knocking off Iowa State’s David Carr to retain his 165-pound championship. Talk about impressive! On his road to the final, O’Toole outscored his opponents 43-11 with two bonus-point victories. The defending champion knocked off two All-Americans, Carson Kharchla of Ohio State and Michigan’s Cameron Amine, in rematches from the 2022 NCAA Championships.
Rocky Elam also had a great showing this year, making the semifinals at 197 pounds. In fact, Mizzou was one of eight programs to field multiple semifinalists, as O’Toole and Elam became the first set of Tiger teammates to reach the semifinals in the same NCAA Championships weekend since Jaydin Eierman and Daniel Lewis accomplished the feat in 2019. Elam won two matches against Iowa’s Jacob Warner, a five-time All-American and 2022 NCAA finalist, in the championship second round and consolation semifinal. In a top-three showdown against No. 2 seed Bernie Truax of Cal Poly for third place, the Kansas City, Mo. native led the entire match, scoring a pair of takedowns to earn third.
Let’s not forget about Zach Elam, who finished as an All-American at 285 pounds for the first time in his four trips to the NCAA Championships. Elam won his first two matches of the tournament to remain in the championship bracket after day one for the first time in his career. He took his second-round match against North Carolina State’s Owen Trephan, the No. 7 seed in the tournament, by decision (4-0) to earn his best win of the season. Despite a defeat to No. 2 seed Wyatt Hendrickson of Air Force, the redshirt junior kept the match close early and scored the most points anyone had accumulated against the two-time Big 12 champion in 2022-23 with eight.
Redshirt junior Brock Mauller also had a great showing, punctuating his return from a redshirt year with his third All-American finish in the 149-pound bracket at NCAAs. He wrapped up the tournament with a seventh-place finish, starting off with an undefeated first day of the tournament, including a 4-1 decision over Michigan’s Chance Lamer to earn his 100th career win. After falling in the quarterfinals, the Columbia, Mo. native locked up an All-American spot with a 4-3 decision over North Carolina State’s Jackson Arrington.
Last but not least, let’s talk about Peyton Mocco. The 2022-23 season was a breakthrough campaign for the redshirt junior, who capped his year with his first All-American finish in the 174-pound bracket at NCAAs. Mocco finished fifth in the tournament, defeating Old Dominion’s Seldon Wright to clinch All-American status.