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University of Central Oklahoma senior Casy Rowell, a 2009 Duncan High School graduate, beat defending national champion Daniel DeShazara of Nebraska-Kearny in the finals of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association Tournament Sunday at Fort Hays (Kan.) State University.
Rowell, who had high hopes entering the match, pulled off the 6-5 decision in the 133-pound weight class. Rowell was 1-1 versus Deshazara after losing the last match between the two at nationals.
“I went into the match thinking I was going to win,” Rowell said. “I tried to stay positive, and it worked out for me.”
When the match started, neither wrestler could make much headway.
Though it was tied 0-0 after the first period, Rowell had DeShazara where he wanted him.
“I’d say his first period is his best period,” Rowell said. “In the second, I was hitting my groove in the match and was ready to start attacking.”
Rowell knew that if he could just keep going after DeSharzara, he had a good chance to pull out the victory.
He never gave up, and it paid off for him.
“What won me the match was just staying persistent,” Rowell said. “At the end of the third, my shots finally started opening up.”
It was a reassuring win for Rowell, who has national championship hopes this season after finishing fifth the last two years.
His focus is to stay consistent in his preparation, which he knows will lead to big things down the road.
His performance helped UCO to a seventh place finish in the tournament.
The collegiate All-American had a 136-9 record while wrestling for Duncan, winning three Class 5A state titles and earning all-state and Wrestling USA All-American honors as a senior.