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NCAA Wrestling: Sooner, Cowboy Bring Home National Titles

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ST. LOUIS -

Two local wrestlers brought home national titles on Saturday night, as Oklahoma State's Alex Dieringer finished his junior season undefeated, winning his second-consecutive national title at the 2015 NCAA Wrestling Championships.

For Oklahoma, No. 13 seed Cody Brewer finished off an improbable run through the tournament with a championship in the 133-pound division.

Dieringer cruised his way to the top of the podium and his 100th career win en route to becoming OSU's 139th individual champion.

"I felt good," Dieringer said. "I got a really good warm-up in before. I knew he's a funky wrestler so I stayed out of those bad positions. I wrestled smart, hitting moves I don't usually hit. I really don't hit doubles very often. I think I hit four of them. So I stuck to my game plan pretty well - attack. I poked myself in the eye and I couldn't really see for a while, but I feel like I wrestled pretty good."

The junior faced No. 6 Taylor Walsh of Indiana and showed no signs of timidity, taking down Walsh within the first 20 seconds. Dieringer let him up just 10 seconds later and closed the period with a takedown to lead, 4-1, heading into the second.

Dieringer opened the second with an escape and went on to land two more takedowns that period. He didn't slow down and added two more takedowns before the final whistle to earn a 14-7 victory and another first-place trophy.

"He really controlled the match," coach John Smith. "That kid had some dangers to him, and obviously that's a great thing if you look at his career; this season - staying out of those positions. I think the good thing was he made the adjustment in the middle of the match and went to his doubles and was in on his far legs and seemed to have a lot of success, as you saw, with 14 points."

Two wins by fall on Thursday sent Dieringer to the quarterfinals, where he took on No. 9 Jackson Morse of Illinois. Dieringer earned a third bonus-point win of the tournament, picking up an 18-6 major decision in that bout. After that, he topped No. 5 Bo Jordan of Ohio State with a decisive 6-1 win in the semifinals.

"From the standpoint of just dominance, he's up there," Smith said. "If you look at his overall record this year and his number of major decisions, tech fall, pins, I'm not sure anybody equals it right now. From the standpoint of this particular season, he's very dominant."

Dieringer finishes the season with a perfect 33-0 record, marking the 14th undefeated season in school history. Of his 33 wins, 27 came with bonus points attached, giving him an 81.8 percent bonus-point win percentage. His 2014-15 campaign put him ninth all-time at OSU in both single-season bonus-point wins and single-season bonus point-win percentage.

Dieringer's win also improved his unbeaten streak to 49 matches, dating back to January of 2014.

The Cowboy won his first NCAA title in 2014 at 157 pounds, when he earned a 13-4 major decision over Dylan Ness of Minnesota in the title bout.

"Coach always told me the second one's harder," Dieringer said. "So I feel like this one feels a lot more special to me. Just coming back and going undefeated ... And moving up, too, which made it a lot harder. So I feel like I did pretty good this season."

Under the direction of Coach John Smith, 29 Cowboys have earned NCAA titles and 111 have earned All-America status.

The Cowboys finished the NCAA Championships in seventh place with 65 points. Ohio State won its first team national title.

Brewer Brings Home Title

The entire 2015 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, Oklahoma redshirt junior Cody Brewer looked like a man on a mission.

And on Saturday night, he completed that mission on the sport's biggest stage by taking home his first individual national title.

By an 11-8 decision, Brewer claimed the 133-pound crown in the NCAA Championships inside Scottrade Center. Brewer, the No. 13 seed at the tournament, defeated No. 3 seed Cory Clark of Iowa in the championship bout.

With the win, Brewer became Oklahoma's 67th individual national championship in program history and second in the last three years, joining then-redshirt junior and current volunteer assistant coach Kendric Maple, who won at 141 pounds in 2013.

I told Coach Cody right before I stepped out there: I've been dreaming about this since I was a little kid watching these guys, and I said I was going to be on the stage to prove something. And I finally got on the stage. I had to go out there and prove something.

Cody BrewerBrewer said he has been watching the NCAAs since he was a kid, and the victory fulfilled a lifelong dream.

"I told Coach (Mark) Cody right before I stepped out there: I've been dreaming about this since I was a little kid watching these guys, and I said I was going to be on the stage to prove something," the Kansas City, Mo., native said after the match. "And I finally got on the stage. I had to go out there and prove something.

"And Coach Cody and Coach (Michael) Lightner and all the coaches -- Coach (Kendric) Maple and Coach (Andrew) Howe -- they've all stuck by me -- you're the best. You gotta believe it," Brewer continued. "And finally this tournament was me finally believing how good I really am. Because before I've had doubts in tournaments and duals and whatever it was, but the biggest stage in the country, I was above everybody, which was awesome for me for my confidence for next year. I felt we've got another year of this and hopefully it turns out as good. That's the goal now is to get back and take some time off and get right back to it."

The first points of Saturday night's match came from Brewer, who tallied a takedown with about two minutes remaining in the first period. Clark then escaped before Brewer took him down again, and Clark got another escape to make the score 4-2 after the opening frame.

The second period started with an escape by Clark before Brewer took him down a total of three times to build his advantage to 10-5. The only points of the third came via an escape from Brewer and a point to Clark for a stalling call on Brewer.

For the season, Brewer finished at 22-1 and secured the 2015 Big 12 Championship. At the national tournament, he became a three-time All-American, the 26th Sooner to reach the milestone that many times. His performance helped OU, who took five qualifiers to St. Louis, finish in 18th place with 29.5 points.

Fourth-year OU head coach Mark Cody said Brewer was dominant the whole tournament. The Sooner looked impressive throughout, storming his way into the finals with a fall and three major decisions.

“We weren't sure going up to the finals how he was going to react just because of this atmosphere, and he really stepped up," Cody said. "He's definitely put in the work from day one. As soon as the season was over last year he went to work. He worked hard all the way through the summer and all the way through the season to accomplish this goal, and there wasn't a day that went by that he didn't do something to improve. We're just so proud of him.”

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