OU wrestled really well at the Michigan State Open on Saturday and crowned three individual champions for the tournament.
With that, I thought I’d dive in and give five thoughts/takeaways on the performance.
1. Joey Prata is a perfect fit
What a perfect mesh for both Prata and OU. Joey Prata previously wrestled at Virginia Tech and was an NCAA qualifier there. This summer he transferred to OU and so far it’s looking like a great move for everyone involved. Prata gutted out close match after close match to make the finals where he knocked off Central Michigan’s Brock Bergelin 4-3 to win the 125-pound title.
This was a great start to his senior year and first season in Norman.
2. Jake Woodley wrestled lights out
197 was probably the toughest bracket in this tournament. It included Woodley, an All-American last season, two other All-Americans with Cam Caffey(Michigan State) and Patrick Brucki(Michigan), and even D2 champ Ryan Vasbinder.
Woodley came out on top with this group. He beat Caffey 5-2 in the semifinals and Brucki 4-2 in the finals. He’ll need that kind of fire all season as 197 in the Big 12 is an absolute gauntlet, but this was a great start for Woodley.
3. Madrigal also lights out
I think you give the performance of the tournament nod to Woodley, but Madrigal makes that a hard decision.
Madrigal had a great Big 12 tournament run last season. He made the finals where he lost to Daton Fix, but that run got him to the NCAA tournament when he didn’t really have much of a shot at getting a bid outside of landing that automatic qualification. He was only 3-6 heading into the Big 12 tournament weekend.
He’s off to a much better start this year. He beat Michigan’s Dylan Ragusin, Illinois’ Lucas Byrd, and Michigan State’s Rayvon Foley on his way to the 133 pound title. Byrd finished as an All-American last season and both Ragusin and Foley were NCAA qualifiers. Great performance by Madrigal
4. Mitch Moore’s Injury
The one bad thing to take away here is 149 pounder Mitch Moore’s injury. Moore had made the finals and pinned or teched everyone he wrestled en route. He was forced to withdraw though, after what was reportedly a knee injury. Hopefully, nothing serious as Moore is expected to contend for a Big 12 title and potentially more this season for the Sooners.
5. Best OU has looked early in a while
OU had a great run at the Big 12 tournament last season. But in a really strange covid year, they just didn’t look that great early on. They finished 5-5 on the season and had early dual losses to Arizona State, UNI, and Iowa State.
The year prior was similar as they went 5-7. At this same tournament, they didn’t win one title that year and only placed five in the top five.
This was completely different. They battled and won close matches, and they beat high-level opponents. And this was all without their best guy Dom Demas who was wrestling in the U23 World Championships in Serbia. Overall, this is probably as good a performance you could have hoped for with OU.