NORMAN — The third-ranked 165-pound Tyler Caldwell, made his return to his former home mat taking on No. 6 Buddy Graham. The match would be close. Caldwell was taken down with 50 seconds left in the first but escaped to trail 2-1 after one. Caldwell tied the score in the second with an escape. Graham took the lead with three seconds left in the bout on an escape. Caldwell gained a point for riding time to keep the score tied. In overtime Caldwell scored a takedown with 23 seconds left. The junior said it was good to get the first Bedlam match out of the way.
“I feel really relieved to have that match out of the way,” Caldwell said. “I feel like now I can open up and wrestle more aggressive and not so cautious now that I got that first one out of the way.”
Chris Perry, the top 174-pound wrestler gave some distance for the Cowboys with a 22-6 technical fall victory over Matt Reed. Smith said he was glad Perry got points but thought some things could have been better.
“He’s shooting a lot more and is putting points on the board,” Smith said. “When you put 15, 16 to 17 points it’s a different level of conditioning and intensity and thinking. ... I’m pleased with his tech fall but he got a tech fall without back points. The difference in that is a half-point at nationals and a full point at national dual meet.”
The Cowboys (3-0) face Chattanooga and Cornell next Sunday at Madison Square Gardens in New York.