Claremore Daily Progress


March 20, 2013

WRESTLING: UCO's Dauphin wins national title, Basks places 5th

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Central Oklahoma's Cory Dauphin made a first-period takedown pay off with a gold medal  at the NCAA Division II Wrestling Championships here Saturday night.


Dauphin captured the 157-pound crown with a 4-2 victory over Lake Erie's Zach Vargo in leading the No. 4-ranked Bronchos to a fourth-place finish, their best since winning the last of their 15 team titles in 2007.


“My teammates and coaches pushed me all year and it feels great that all the hard work paid off,” said Dauphin, who won UCO's first individual title since 2008.  “It's an unbelievable feeling to be called a national champion.”


The Bronchos had five other All-Americans in 165 Chris Watson (fourth), 133 Casy Rowell (fifth), 149 Jordan Basks (fifth), heavyweight Cody Dauphin (sixth) and 174 Kelly Henderson (seventh).


No. 3 Nebraska-Kearney won its second straight championship with points, followed by top-rated St. Cloud State (105), No. 2 Notre Dame (103.5) and UCO (73).


“Cory had a great tournament and grinded out some tough wins,” head coach David James said.  “He worked hard all year and just got better and better throughout the season.  He came to this tournament with the right mentality and it paid off.


“We lost some tough matches today and that was disappointing, but we had more All-Americans than we've had in several years and all but one of those guys will be back.”


Henderson is the lone senior among UCO's six placers.


The top-ranked Dauphin got on the scoreboard first with a single-let takedown on the edge of the mat with 1:27 left in the first period.  Vargo escaped late in the stanza to pull within 2-1 and Dauphin escaped early in the second to go ahead 3-1.


The El Reno junior gave up an escape with 1:25 left in the match, but easily held on down the stretch and added a riding time point to finish the season 28-3 with an 18-match winning streak.


Rowell and Basks both made the semifinals with two wins Friday, but each lost two straight Saturday to fall into the fifth-place match before both won easily there.


Rowell had four near-falls and 5:35 riding time in a 16-1 technical fall of Notre Dame's Marty Carlson to finish the season 36-5, while Basks had a 9-1 major decision over Colorado Mesa's James Martinez to end 31-6.


Watson won two consolation matches to make the bronze-medal match, routing Gabe Fogerty of St. Cloud State 9-1 and then trimming San Francisco State's Isaiah Jimenez 2-1 on a riding time point.  He lost to Minnesota State-Mankato's Cody Quinn in the third-place bout to finish 19-7.


Dauphin had a narrow 2-0 win in his first consolation match before dropping two straight to come in sixth and end the year with a 26-7 record.


Henderson lost a 3-2 decision to top-ranked Elliot Copeland of Western State in the consolation quarterfinals before ending his career with an 8-4 win in the seventh-place match in finishing 26-7.




157 - Cory Dauphin, UCO, dec. Zach Vargo, Lake Erie, 4-2.

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