In a matchup of old Mid-American Conference rivals, the Northern Iowa wrestling team fell to fourth-ranked Missouri, 24-12, on Sunday evening at the Hearnes Center in Columbia, Mo.
The Tigers, now 4-2 overall and 3-0 against Big 12 opponents, won six of 10 matches against the 18th-ranked Panthers, who fell to 3-2 and 1-1. Missouri managed a 16-6 takedown advantage, held four Panther wrestlers to two points or fewer, and scored bonus points in three of their wins:
- Noah Surtin beat Kyle Gollhofer by a 16-0 technical fall at 125 pounds;
- Peyton Mocco built a 9-3 lead before pinning Carson Babcock in the third period at 174;
- and top-ranked Rocky Jordan scored four takedowns for a 10-2 major decision over Noah Glaser at 197.
Northern Iowa did not match Missouri’s firepower, winning its four matches all by decision. Kyle Biscoglia won just 5-2 over Zachry Seltzer, Mizzou’s backup 133-pounder. Parker Keckeisen, the No. 2-ranked 184-pounder nationally, recorded pins in his last two matches entering Sunday, but registered only a 7-2 win over Missouri’s Colton Hawks. Derek Holschlag and Austin Yant both needed third-period takedowns to ice their wins, too.
It did not help that the Panthers were down a couple of their regular starters.
Cael Happel, who is ranked No. 9 nationally at 141 and won 6-4 over Wyoming’s Job Greenwood on Thursday in Cedar Falls, did not wrestle Sunday due to an illness. Julian Farber stepped in and wrestled admirably in a 10-4 loss to 7th-ranked Allan Hart.
Lance Runyon, ranked No. 13 at 174 pounds, also did not compete, and has not competed since tweaking his knee at the Collegiate Wrestling Duals in New Orleans last month. Babcock got the nod in his place, and scored a takedown in the third period against Mocco before giving up a reversal and, shortly after, the fall.
(Missouri was also without a couple of starters on this day, most notably Keegan O’Toole, a two-time All-American and defending NCAA champion at 165 pounds.)
The final nail on the coffin was that Missouri won the couple of toss-up matches that could’ve swung the dual a little closer to Northern Iowa’s favor.
At 149, No. 9 Brock Mauller scored a late takedown to beat No. 12 Colin Realbuto, 3-1. At the time, that gave Missouri an 11-3 lead after the first four matches. At 285, Zach Elam won a scramble in overtime to beat Tyrell Gordon, 3-1. Gordon nearly converted a couple of shots in regulation, but Elam evaded just well enough.
By then, of course, Missouri had sealed the dual. The Tigers have won five of the last six meetings against Northern Iowa, including each of the last three. They, along with Iowa State and Oklahoma State, are the glass ceiling the Panthers must break through in order to win the Big 12 this season.
Northern Iowa wrestles Utah Valley on Friday night at Lockhart Arena in Orem, Utah.
Cody Goodwin covers wrestling and high school sports for the Des Moines Register. Follow him on Twitter at@codygoodwin.
No. 4 Missouri 24, No. 18 Northern Iowa 12
- 125: #13 Noah Surtin (MIZ) tech. fall Kyle Gollhofer (UNI), 16-0
- 133: #12 Kyle Biscoglia (UNI) dec. Zeke Seltzer (MIZ), 5-2
- 141: #7 Allan Hart (MIZ) dec. Julian Farber (UNI), 10-4
- 149: #9 Brock Mauller (MIZ) dec. #12 Colin Realbuto (UNI), 3-1
- 157: #24 Derek Holschlag (UNI) dec. Logan Gioffre (MIZ), 3-1
- 165: #10 Austin Yant (UNI) dec. James Conway (MIZ), 4-0
- 174: #11 Peyton Mocco (MIZ) pinned Carson Babcock (UNI) in 6:43
- 184: #2 Parker Keckeisen (UNI) dec. Colton Hawks (MIZ), 7-2
- 197: #1 Rocky Elam (MIZ) maj. dec. Noah Glaser (UNI), 10-2
- 285: #8 Zach Elam (MIZ) dec. #14 Tyrell Gordon (UNI), 3-1 (SV)
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