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Three Notes from UCO’s Win 40-5 Win over Newman

UCO picked up another dominant dual win on Sunday over Newman in Wichita. There’s not always a ton to glean from some of these wins where UCO just rolls over an outmatched opponent, but here are three things I felt were notable about the dual.

1. First MIAA Win

Earlier this week it came out that UCO was the preseason pick to win the MIAA conference and they opened up conference play by justifying that. Newman is the #4 pick in that preseason poll and not projected to contend for the conference title, but either way it’s a good start to conference competition to get a win like that.

2. Changing up things at 125?

125 has been a bit interesting for UCO to open the season. Most had Tanner Cole projected to be the starter there and FloWrestling even had him ranked preseason to finish as an All-American. His status is unknown, but between the bronze and blue duals and the opening weekend of competition for the Bronchos, we’ve yet to see him in the lineup.

Freshman Garrett Steidley picked up a 4-1 win over Studd Morris in the bronze and blue duals and got the start on Friday vs. Emmanuel and Ouachita Baptist. Here vs. Newman, we saw Junior and Campbell transfer Paxton Rosen get his first start and a 16-2 major.

What does that all mean for 125 for UCO? Is Cole hurt? Was Rosen, who wrestled 133 last season, just easing down to weight? Are they still sorting out who will be the starter moving forward and using these matches to decide? It will be something to follow as the season continues.

3. Are they still sorting out heavyweight?

Heavyweight has had a similar feel to 125 as far as figuring out who’s going to be the starter. We saw one heavyweight match in the Bronze-Blue dual between Judson Rowland and Christian Arriola. Rowland won that match 3-1 in sudden victory. Then in the first matches on Friday, Arriola got the start and a nice win over one of Ouachita’s best guys. Then on Sunday we saw Braden Morgan make his debut and pick up a 10-1 major decision.

Out of high school, Morgan was on the national recruiting radar and ranked highly. He has the prototypical size and build of most heavyweights we’re seeing in college wrestling right now that start around that 200-220 pound range and fill into the weight.

This stirs a number of the same questions at 125. Are they just sorting out who’s going to be the starter? Have guys maybe had run-ins with COVID and been forced to sit out? Are there injuries? We’ll see it all play out as the season goes, but right now it seems as though some lineup spots aren’t quite set in stone for the Bronchos.

What do you think?

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