NORMAN, Okla. – UNI wrestling closed out a road swing in Oklahoma with its second ranked win of the season and weekend, beating No. 21 Oklahoma 17-15.
The Panthers and Sooners split the number of matches won, but bonus points from No. 20 Cael Happel at 141 pounds and Derek Holschlag at 157 pounds were enough to give UNI the edge in the end.
UNI, now 5-5 overall and 4-2 in the Big 12, slipped behind early but grabbed the next two wins at 133 pounds and 141 pounds to gain momentum over OU, which dropped to 6-5 overall and 2-4 in the Big 12.
Kyle Gollhofer stepped into the dual lineup for the third time this season to face No. 24 Joey Prata. Prata took the early lead with a takedown in the first period. Gollhofer escaped, but Prata earned an escape in the second period and rode out Gollhofer in the third to take the bout, 4-1. Prata is a transfer from Virginia Tech. He was third at the ACC Championships in 2020.
At 133 pounds, UNI’s Kyle Biscoglia and Tony Madrigal went to the third period scoreless. Biscoglia got an escape and grabbed the only takedown of the match. Biscoglia secured riding time to knock off last year’s Big 12 runner-up. Biscoglia is ranked No. 24 by Intermat and is No. 29 in the NCAA coaches poll. Madrigal, a two-time NCAA qualifier is ranked No. 14 by Intermat but not among the NCAA rankings.
Cael Happel fired off nine takedowns and tacked on an escape and riding time to get the first bonus points of the day and the team lead with a 14-5 major decision over the Sooners’ Zach Zeamer at 141 pounds. UNI went up 7-3 in team scoring.
Oklahoma closed the scoring gap with a decision at 149 pounds. Colin Realbuto was edged out at 149 pounds by Willie McDougald, 4-3
Derek Holschlag notched his fourth major decision of the season at 157 pounds. He earned bonus points with four takedowns, an escape and riding time. Holschlag gave up two escapes to topple Cam Picklo of OU, 10-2, extending UNI’s lead to 11-6.
Austin Yant earned his sixth consecutive win at 165 pounds with a 3-0 decision over OU’s Joe Grello, a transfer and NCAA qualifier from Rutgers. UNI continued to lead, 14-6.
Anthony Mantanona, a two-time NCAA qualifier and the 2020 Big 12 runner-up for OU avenged last year’s dual loss to UNI’s Lance Runyon. Mantanona was the first top-10 win in Runyon’s career when he pinned him in the first period last year. This time, Mantanona came out on top with a 9-6 decision, pushing the team score to 14-9, still in favor of UNI.
Parker Keckeisen notched his sixth consecutive win over Keegan Moore of OU, who transferred from UNI. Keckeisen’s 7-5 decision gave the Panthers a 17-9 lead heading into the final matches of the day.
The Sooners got a boost at 197 pounds. UNI’s John Gunderson, who entered the dual lineup for the first time this weekend faced off against No. 10 Jake Woodley. Woodley was sixth at last year’s NCAA championships. Gunderson avoided giving up bonus points but lost, 12-5.
UNI led 17-12 heading into the final match of the dual and hung on to the team win when heavyweight Tyrell Gordon kept No. 27 Josh Heindselman to a decision win.
Heindselman was fourth at the Big 12 Championships last year. Today he beat Gordon in a 3-1 decision, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the deficit the Sooners faced. UNI earned its fourth Big 12 dual win of the year, 17-15.
UNI wraps up the regular season with four home duals. The first set of duals are on back-to-back nights in the West Gym against Air Force and West Virginia at 7 p.m. Feb. 4 and Feb. 5.
Due to a capacity issue, there are no walk-up sales for home duals in the West Gym. Seating is limited to those who have already bought season tickets. A limited number of tickets have been reserved for UNI students, who can scan their IDs at the door. There are no more sales for season tickets. However, single-dual tickets are on sale for the final two duals set in the McLeod Center against Iowa State on Feb. 11 and Wisconsin on Feb. 17.
UNI is 12-8 against Oklahoma in a series that dates back to 1926. Under head coach Doug Schwab, the Panthers are 7-1 against the Sooners.
UNI wrestling beat both co-champions of last year’s Big 12 Championships in this weekend’s road swing through Oklahoma.
UNI faced its fifth and sixth top-20 opponents of the season in No. 4 Oklahoma State and No. 21 Oklahoma in back-to-back duals Saturday and today.
Austin Yant (165 pounds) and Parker Keckeisen (184 pounds) are undefeated in Big 12 duals.
FINAL RESULTS (NCAA rankings)
UNI over #21 Oklahoma, 17-15
125: #24 Joey Prata (OU) dec. Kyle Gollhofer (UNI) 4-1
133: #29 Kyle Biscoglia (UNI) dec. Tony Madrigal (OU) 4-0
141: #20 Cael Happel (UNI) maj. dec. Zach Zeamer (OU) 14-5
149: Willie McDougald (OU) dec. #31 Colin Realbuto (UNI) 4-3
157: Derek Holschlag (UNI) maj. dec. Cam Picklo (OU) 10-2
165: #17 Austin Yant (UNI) dec. #29 Joe Grello (OU) 3-0
174: #32 Anthony Mantanona (OU) dec. Lance Runyon (UNI) 9-6
184: #4 Parker Keckeisen (UNI) dec. Keegan Moore (OU) 7-5
197: #10 Jake Woodley (OU) dec. John Gunderson (UNI) 12-5
285: #27 John Heindselman (OU) dec. Tyrell Gordon (UNI) 3-1