MINNEAPOLIS — Missouri’s Dom Bradley needed just a small window of opportunity. The head-ties were wearing on him throughout his match with Iowa’s Bobby Telford — a Saturday night wrestling epic that piled four overtime periods on top of seven in regulation.
By CODY GOODWIN
Special to The Star
Tied at two in the second sudden-death period, Bradley saw his chance. Telford slipped to his knees, and Bradley pounced on his legs. The referee raised his fingers for two points, giving Bradley the 4-2 victory that sixth-ranked Missouri needed to knock off No. 2 Iowa 18-16 and place third at the Cliff Keen National Duals.
It was the biggest dual win in the history of the Missouri program.
“We got the win, and that’s what Dom had to do,” Missouri coach Brian Smith said. “It was a little hairy there at the end, but we found a way to win.”
The Tigers had been 0-4 against Iowa before Saturday's bout. But by rallying late, Missouri was able to upset an already slumping Hawkeyes team the same way they were able to clinch a 28-6 victory over No. 5 Ohio State in Friday’s quarterfinal round. MU won each of the toss-up matches, something the Tigers weren’t able to do in Saturday morning’s 22-9 semifinal loss to Oklahoma State.
Kansas City native Alan Waters, a Park Hill grad, headlined the third-place dual by upsetting nationally top-ranked 125-pounder Matt McDonough 4-0.
“That’s a match I have been looking forward to for the past three years,” Waters said. “It’s a big win for me, but it’s nothing that I didn’t expect to happen.”
MU's Mike Larson, who wrestles at 184 pounds, beat Iowa’s Ethen Lofthouse 3-2, and teammate Kyle Bradley upset top-ranked Derek St. John 4-3 at 157 pounds.
Missouri trailed 10-3 in the team score before Drake Houdashelt scored a 6-2 win over Brody Grothus at 149 pounds. Victories in their final three matches helped the Tigers clinch the win.
“We knew it was going to be tough,” Smith said. “But the team stepped it up. This was a big win for the program.”