133: Thaddeus Long 14-5 Von Gray
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Five Things to Watch as UCO wrestles Ouachita Baptist and Emmanuel College

UCO wrestles their first duals of the season on Friday vs. Ouachita Baptist and Emmanuel. They’re pretty heavily favored in both duals and should win comfortably, but there are still storylines worth following. Let’s take a look at them.

1. Who gets the start at 149?

Gabe Johnson was the talk of the bronze and blue intrasquad dual after knocking off returning starter Brik Filippo 6-5. UCO’s release lists Johnson “or” Filippo as the starter and I’m assuming they had a few more matches in the room before Steidley made the official decision on who would be starting here. It will be interesting to see who they roll with.

2. The duals

This is sort of strange to say, of course you’re going to watch the dual right? But UCO announced this week that fans will not be allowed in the event. Fans can still watch online for free though via the MIAA network.

3. Heavyweight

The UCO release states that Christian Arriola will return as the starter here. Interestingly, he lost to Judson Rowland in sudden victory in the bronze and blue dual. Whoever they go with here will probably see the toughest test of the dual. Ouachita’s Johnny Green is solid, so a win here would be a good sign for UCO at heavyweight and could help him a bit towards possibly getting an NCAA tournament bid in March.

4. 133

One other weight that’s a bit of an unknown for UCO is 133. They list Thaddeus Long or Paxton Rosen here. Rosen is a junior transfer from D1 Campbell and Long is a RS Freshman out of Tulsa McLain High School. Long majored Von Gray 15-5 in the Bronze-Blue dual. A big year from one of these guys here will mean a lot for UCO in the national team race this year.

5. Heath Gray

I will say this for pretty much any UCO dual this season. Heath Gray is the best wrestler in Division 2 and incredible to watch. He’ll officially start his run at defending his title of D2 wrestler of the year on Friday.

What do you think?

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