COLUMBIA, Mo. – The University of Missouri wrestling team wrapped up its 2022-23 season at the NCAA Championships in Tulsa, Okla. March 16-18. The team finished with an 8-3 overall record and was 7-1 in Big 12 Duals. Additionally, wrestling earned its 12th consecutive conference championship, going back-to-back in the Big 12 Conference and placed fifth at the national tournament with 64.5 points.
— TOP-FIVE TIGERS — Mizzou wrestling finished fifth in the nation with 64.5 points at the 2023 NCAA Wrestling Championships in Tulsa, Okla., March 16-18. The Tigers closed the event in the top 10 for the eighth consecutive campaign while placing among the top five teams in the country for the fourth time in program history.
Five Tigers finished as All-Americans over the weekend, led by sophomore Keegan O’Toole, who capped off a strong final weekend of Tiger Style wrestling, winning his second consecutive individual national title by knocking off Iowa State’s David Carr to retain his 165-pound championship.
Rocky Elam also made the semifinals at 197 pounds, as Mizzou was one of eight programs to field multiple semifinalists, as O’Toole and Elam became the first set of Tiger teammates to reach the semifinals in the same NCAA Championships weekend since Jaydin Eierman (141) and Daniel Lewis (174) accomplished the feat in 2019.
Brock Mauller (149), Peyton Mocco (174) and Zach Elam (285) also claimed All-American honors. The three wrestlers, alongside O’Toole and R. Elam, gave Mizzou five All-American placements, as the Tigers were one of just five teams to yield five or more All-Americans.
— BACK-TO-BACK — For the second consecutive year, sophomore Keegan O’Toole finished the season atop the 165-pound division after a perfect 5-0 NCAA Championship weekend that was capped off with a win over No. 1 seed David Carr of Iowa State in the tournament final.
On his road to the final, O’Toole outscored his opponents 43-11 with two bonus-point victories. The defending champion knocked off two All-Americans, Carson Kharchla of Ohio State (19-4 tech fall in the quarterfinal) and Michigan’s Cameron Amine (6-0 decision in the semifinal), in rematches from the 2022 NCAA Championships
In his third match of the year against Carr, O’Toole shook off his two previous losses and controlled the pace of the match throughout, scoring a first-period takedown to take an early advantage. Up two points in the third, O’Toole secured his second national title with a takedown followed by a two-point nearfall. The sophomore became the first to knock off a top seed in the NCAA Championships since J’den Cox beat No. 1 Morgan McIntosh of Penn State for the 197-pound championship in 2017.
— ROCK ON — Sophomore Rocky Elam made his deepest run in the tournament so far, advancing to the championship semifinal for the first time in his career and placing third.
In the tournament, Elam won two matches against Iowa’s Jacob Warner, a five-time All-American and 2022 NCAA finalist, in the championship second round and consolation semifinal. In a top-three showdown against No. 2 seed Bernie Truax of Cal Poly for third place, the Kansas City, Mo. native led the entire match, scoring a pair of takedowns to earn third.
— ZACH ATTACK — For the first time in his four trips to the NCAA Championships, Zach Elam finished as an All-American at 285 pounds, becoming just the third Tiger heavyweight to finish on the podium at NCAAs and the first since Dom Bradley in 2013.
Elam won his first two matches of the tournament to remain in the championship bracket after day one for the first time in his career. He took his second-round match against North Carolina State’s Owen Trephan, the No. 7 seed in the tournament, by decision (4-0) to earn his best win of the season.
Despite a defeat to No. 2 seed Wyatt Hendrickson of Air Force, the redshirt junior kept the match close early and scored the most points anyone had accumulated against the two-time Big 12 champion in 2022-23 with eight.
In the consolation bracket, Elam survived a blood round contest against SIUE’s Colton McKiernan to solidify his spot on the All-American podium, before shutting out Trent Hillger of Wisconsin to advance to the consolation semifinal. The redshirt junior ultimately finished his tournament in sixth place, earning the best finish of his career at the NCAA Championships.
— MAULL IN — Redshirt junior Brock Mauller punctuated his return from a redshirt year with his third All-American finish in the 149 pound bracket at NCAAs, wrapping up the tournament with a seventh-place finish.
Mauller started off with an undefeated first day of the tournament, including a 4-1 decision over Michigan’s Chance Lamer to earn his 100th career win. After falling in the quarterfinals, the Columbia, Mo. product locked up an All-American spot with a 4-3 decision over North Carolina State’s Jackson Arrington.
— MOCCO MAGIC — The 2022-23 season was a breakthrough campaign for redshirt junior Peyton Mocco, who capped his year with his first-career All-American finish, taking eighth at the 2023 NCAA Championships.
Mocco advanced to the championship quarterfinals for the first time in his three trips to the NCAA Championships, earning him a spot in the blood round after a close decision loss to No. 2 seed Mikey Labriola of Nebraska.
With an All-American spot on the line against No. 13 seed Cade DeVos of South Dakota State, Mocco came out on top in a 4-2 decision to earn his first podium spot at NCAAs.
— HAWKS’ FIRST FLIGHT — In his first season as a starter for Mizzou, redshirt freshman Colton Hawks made waves at 184 pounds in his NCAA Championship appearance.
Hawks entered the NCAA Championships as the No. 22 seed in the division, and started off the tournament hot with a decision victory (6-2) over No. 11 seed Gavin Kane of North Carolina. Kane, who entered the tournament as the No. 8-ranked wrestler in the class and an eventual All-American, is Hawks’ highest-ranked win to date. It was also Mizzou’s biggest opening-round upset at the NCAA Championships since 2015, when Willie Milkus took down No. 10 seed Lorenzo Thomas of Penn.
— ACCOMPLISHED ALL-AMERICANS — Mizzou wrapped up the 2023 NCAA Wrestling Championships with five All-Americans, becoming one of just five teams to feature at least that many alongside Penn State, Iowa, Ohio State and Virginia Tech.
Brock Mauller (seventh at 149 pounds), Keegan O’Toole (first at 165 pounds) and Rocky Elam (third at 197 pounds) all earned their third career All-American finishes at the NCAA Championships, becoming the ninth, 10th and 11th grapplers to earn three All-American finishes in a Mizzou singlet.
Peyton Mocco (eighth at 174 pounds) and Zach Elam (sixth at 285 pounds) both earned their first career All-American placements at the event, becoming the 49th and 50th wrestlers in program history to earn a podium finish.
— BONUS-POINT BOYS — In duals and attached tournaments, Mizzou totaled 41 bonus-point victories on the season, with every Tiger in the starting lineup notching at least four bonus-point victories on the year.
Four Tigers amassed double-digit bonus-point triumphs on the campaign, led by redshirt sophomore Noah Surtin (125), who accumulated 14 such victories over the season along with a .583 bonus-point percentage (four major decisions, three tech falls and seven falls). Following right behind was sophomore Keegan O’Toole (165), who racked up 13 in 2022-23 (four major decisions, five tech falls and four falls).
Rounding out the double-digit Tigers were redshirt junior Peyton Mocco (174) with 11, and redshirt senior Allan Hart (141) with 10.
— CENTURY CLUB KEEPS GROWING — As the 2022-23 season reached its conclusion, Mizzou wrestling added senior Jarrett Jacques and redshirt junior Brock Mauller as the 29th and 30th members of the illustrious 100-Win Club.
During the Big 12 championship weekend, Jacques became the 29th member of Mizzou wrestling’s 100-Win Club. He was the first Missouri wrestler to join the illustrious group since 2018, when Daniel Lewis entered the ranks of Tiger greats.
Two weeks later at the NCAA Championships, Mauller joined the club with a pair of wins in the championship bracket over Virginia’s Jarod Verkleeren and Chance Lamer of Michigan to pick up his 100th-career win in the second round.
— ROAD TO THE TOP — Sophomore Keegan O’Toole wrapped up his third All-American season with a 20-2 record on the year with 13 bonus-point victories. Thirteen of O’Toole’s wins in the 2022-23 campaign came against ranked opponents.
He led the team with 79 takedowns across the season, averaging 3.59 takedowns per match, while leading Mizzou in total riding time with 41:07 (1:86 minutes per match).
— ROCK OF AGES — In his third season in the Black and Gold, sophomore Rocky Elam put together his best season to date, concluding a banner year with a third-place finish at the 2023 NCAA Championships weekend.
The three-time All-American concluded the 2022-23 season with a 15-2 record and a Big 12 title to his name. Ten of his wins came against ranked opponents, and Elam was the consensus No. 1 wrestler at 197 pounds for two months between December and February.
— ELAMINATED — A first-career All-American finish wrapped up the best season of redshirt junior Zach Elam‘s career, who finished the year with a 23-6 record, his career-best winning percentage, while tying for the team lead in wins.
He began his year with a bang, pinning Lindenwood’s David Hernandez in 0:09 to set a school record for fastest pin and winning his weight title at the Tiger Style Invite in his hometown of Kansas City, Mo. Elam went on an 11-match winning streak between December and February, which included a 285-pound title at the 2023 Southern Scuffle.
— BROTHERS IN ARMS — The Elam brothers, Rocky Elam and Zach Elam, entered rare company with their individual All-American finishes at the 2023 NCAA Wrestling Championships.
The Elams were the only set of brothers to place at the 2023 NCAA Championships and became the 11th pair of brothers to place in the same NCAA Championships weekend since 2002.
— #GETMAULLED — In his fourth season with Mizzou, Brock Mauller finished with a 20-4 record, marking his fourth season with at least 20 victories.
Mauller won the 149 pound title at the Tiger Style Invite and went 10-1 in dual competition while going on a 12-match winning streak between November and March. The redshirt junior peaked at No. 6 in the rankings during that streak, which featured his highest-ranked win over the year, a pin (8:45) over No. 9 Paniro Johnson of Iowa State.
— PEY’D IN FULL — In his fourth year in a Black and Gold singlet, Peyton Mocco posted a 23-7 record and was the only starter to wrestle 30 matches this season. Additionally, Mocco accumulated 240 points, the most by any Tiger this season.
The West Allis, Wis. native finished dual competition with a 10-1 record, with a win over No. 4-ranked Dustin Plott of Oklahoma State in the Feb. 5 dual. Mocco peaked at No. 6 in the polls at the end of the regular season after he wrapped up the campaign with six wins in a row.
— THAT’S WHAT WE’RE HAWKING ABOUT — The 2-2 record at the NCAA Championships ended a solid redshirt freshman campaign for Colton Hawks, who was one of nine automatic qualifiers for the Tigers for the NCAA Championships after he finished fourth at the Big 12 Championships.
Hawks ended the 2022-23 season with a 19-12 record, in which he also took first place at the Tiger Style Invite, Nov. 12. The Wentzville, Mo. native also earned his first two ranked wins of his career over No. 24 DeAnthony Parker Jr. of North Dakota State at the Big 12 Championships and No. 8 Gavin Kane of North Carolina at the NCAA Championships.
— SURTIN-LY A STUD — Whenever redshirt sophomore Noah Surtin stepped on the mat in 2022-23, he was a threat to rack up bonus points for the Tigers.
Surtin, who finished with a 17-7 record, closed the year with a team-leading 14 bonus-point victories along with a .583 bonus-point percentage. The Edwardsville, Ill. product also led the team with seven wins by fall.
— HART AND SOUL — In his final season at Mizzou, redshirt senior Allan Hart put in a top-notch campaign at 141 pounds to end his collegiate wrestling career.
Hart wrapped up 2022-23 with a 17-7 record and a bonus-point percentage of .417, the highest rate of his career. His campaign included runner-up finishes at the 2023 Southern Scuffle and the Big 12 Championships, the latter of which featured the No. 6 seed Hart knocking off two top-10 opponents en route to the championship match.
The Akron, Ohio product qualified for the NCAA Championships for the fourth time in his career, advancing to the quarterfinal and falling just one match short of an All-American placement.
— THANK YOU JACQUES — In his final year at his hometown school, redshirt senior Jarrett Jacques had an impactful final season on the mat at Mizzou.
The Columbia native capped off his campaign with a 19-7 record, winning 70 percent of his matches for the fourth time to earn a fifth-career NCAA qualification. In the rankings, Jacques earned a placement in the top 25 throughout the season, peaking at No. 9 in January.
He also became the 29th member of the 100-Win Club with a win over Vinny Zerban in his seventh-place match at Big 12 Championships weekend. Jacques concluded his career with a 102-40 record, tying former Tigers Joe Spinazzola, Dave Young and Zach Synon for 22nd on the all-time program wins leaderboard.
— BY THE NUMBERS — Mizzou wrestling at the close of the 2022-23 has…
- 12 straight conference championships
- Eight consecutive team top-10 finishes
- 20 straight winning seasons
- .854 win percentage in duals (past 10 seasons)
- 34 All-American honors (past 10 seasons)
- 32 NWCA Scholar All-Americans (past 10 seasons)
— BATTLING WITH THE BEST — In Mizzou’s six duals against ranked opponents in 2022-23, the Tigers finished the campaign with an even 3-3 record. A 28-11 victory over No. 15 North Dakota State on Dec. 20, a 24-12 triumph over No. 13 Northern Iowa on Jan. 8 and a season-closing 23-12 win over No. 3 Iowa State comprise the Tigers’ wins over top-25 foes.
In its three ranked losses, Mizzou fought hard against No. 5 Arizona State, No. 9 Virginia Tech and No. 11 Oklahoma State, losing by a combined five points in the defeats.