Oklahoma senior Cody Brewer’s final day as a collegiate wrestler didn’t get off to a great start.
Brewer, an Oak Park graduate, entered the 2016 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships at Madison Square Garden as the defending national champion at 133 pounds. But he was pinned by top-seeded Nahshon Garrett of Cornell during Friday’s semifinal round.
“I looked on ESPN this morning and I made the top 10, so that was good,” Brewer said sarcastically.
Garrett’s 21-second pin was No. 5 on SportsCenter’s top 10 highlights, but Brewer’s day got considerably better from there.
He won the final two matches of his Sooners wrestling career — 9-3 against Nebraska’s Eric Montoya and 9-4 against Illinois’ Zane Richards — and finished third, joining an elite club in the process.
“I happened to caught yesterday and pinned by a good wrestler, but more than anything I just wanted to keep it moving forward,” Brewer said. “I’m in an elite club of our Oklahoma wrestlers to do it. I’m lucky — blessed.”
Brewer is the 11th four-time All-American in Oklahoma history, joining former stars like Michael Lightner and Andrew Metzger.
“It was a good year,” Brewer said. “It didn’t finish the way I wanted. Obviously, you want to be back in the finals, but I’m glad to end with two wins in my career this morning. That’s always good.”
Brewer — who finished seventh as a redshirt freshman, eighth as a sophomore and won a national title last season — plans to continue wrestling freestyle after graduation and hopes to become a coach.
“Hopefully, that will be a prospect for me and I can help somebody do what I’ve done,” Brewer said.