Cody Brewer’s collegiate wrestling career will come to an end in two weeks at Madison Square Garden – with a second consecutive national title, if the Oklahoma senior has anything to say about it.
The Oak Park grad bid adieu to his hometown in style on Sunday, winning the 133-pound title and being named Most Outstanding Wrestler at the Big 12 Wrestling Championships at Sprint Center.
Brewer defeated Iowa State’s Earl Hall for the third time this season, 12-7.
Hall struck first, scoring a takedown in the first five seconds of the bout.
Never miss a local story.
“We wrestled a couple times before. He’s quick like that. It got the match opened up for me, too. I woke up a little bit. I was a little lackadaisical and it got me back in the match as well,” Brewer said.
The match turned just a few moments later. Brewer scored a takedown and near fall, a six-point burst that was all he needed.
“He tried to take me through, and I felt it. I kind of posted up my hand and caught him there on his back,” Brewer said. “I felt good. There’s still things I need to improve on two weeks from now, but I felt good in the positions I was in. My senior year, being in front of family and stuff, it’s something I’ll always remember.”
The championship round played out like a dual between Oklahoma State and the Big 12 all-stars. The Cowboys had nine of 10 wrestlers in the finals – and had seven conference champions.
Oklahoma State finished with 161 points to secure its 14th Big 12 team title since the conference formed in 1997. Oklahoma finished second with 100 points, and Iowa State was third with 87 points.
Iowa State junior Lelund Weatherspoon (174) pounds was the only wrestler outside of the state of Oklahoma to win a conference title. He defeated Oklahoma State’s Chandler Rogers 8-5 on the strength of a late reversal.
Weatherspoon sported a huge grin as soon as he locked in the reversal.
“I just kept building momentum and listened to my corner. That’s all I was looking for, just to build momentum and move forward,” Weatherspoon said.
The Big 12 welcomed six affiliate members for wrestling. The 10-team championship was the largest in Big 12 history, and this marked the first time since 2005 that it wasn’t held on a university campus.
“This was all we envisioned it to be and more,” Big 12 associate commissioner Bob Burda said. “They really did a great job here in Kansas City and the Sprint Center with hosting this event. We impressed a lot of people – not only with our coaches and student athletes, but people in the wrestling community. It was a fantastic opportunity for Kansas City to show what it’s capable of doing in the sport of wrestling, and by all accounts, they knocked it out of the park this weekend.”
Burda said that the Big 12 Wrestling Championships will move to Tulsa next year for a minimum of two years – and potentially up to five years.
“There’s an opportunity for Kansas City to get back into the rotation, and there’s an opportunity for them to host nationals, which is the prize that they had their sights on,” Burda said. “This kind of serves as an audition of sorts, to put their best foot forward and show the rest of the community what they’re capable of doing.”