Two Missouri wrestlers reached the quarterfinals with a pair of victories Thursday during the NCAA Division I wrestling championships at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City.
Top-seeded 149-pounder Drake Houdashelt roughed up South Dakota State’s Alex Kocer in the first round with a 12-3 major decision.
Houdashelt, a junior, then punched his ticket to the quarterfinals with a 13-0 major decision No. 16 seed Alexander Richardson of Old Dominion.
Second-seeded J’den Cox, a freshman 197-pounder, also reached the quarterfinals. He started his NCAA tourney career by topping Illinois’ Mario Gonzalez, who won a wrestle-in for a spot in the bracket, 10-4.
Cox then rocked Purdue’s Braden Atwood 19-6 to reach the quarterfinals.
Meanwhile, freshman 133-pounder Matt Manley claimed a 7-5 sudden-victory upset against the No. 16 seed, Kent State’s Mackenzie McGuire, in the opening round, but he lost against No. 1 Joe Colon of Northern Iowa in the second round.
No. 14 seed Joey LaVallee, a freshman 157-pounder, also won his first-round match, beating Duke’s Immanuel Kerr-Brown 10-3, before falling against the No. 3 seed Alex Dieringer of Oklahoma State in the second round.
Finally, redshirt freshman 141-pounder Lavion Mayes fell in the first round, but he remained alive with a 15-5 major decision against Utah Valley’s Avery Garner in the consolation bracket.
Senior Zach Toal (165) and juniors Mikey England (174) and Devin Mellon (285) were eliminated.