John Smith Talks Big 12 Dual Finals and TournamentCowboys look to earn their 46th conference title.

March 5, 2013
STILLWATER—Oklahoma State wrestling coach John Smith sat down to discuss this weekend’s Big 12 wrestling events, hosted by OSU. The Cowboys will face all three of its Big 12 opponents on Friday in the Big 12 dual finals, starting at 11 a.m. On Saturday, individual tournament action will begin at 5 p.m.
On his expectations this weekend
“Friday is the multiple dual meets and will determine the regular season champion. We’re in a pretty good position for that. We have to come to wrestle. We’ll wrestle at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., with the final one being the Bedlam match. That match is probably going to dictate the winner for the regular season. Then, we’ll turn around and wrestle in the individual tournament on Saturday. I think you’ll see a lot of different guys wrestling on Friday. Of course, the guys wrestling on Saturday will strictly be guys that we’re trying to get to the NCAA Championships. Every match is important, and performance this weekend is important. We need to have our best outing. We’re excited and looking forward to the two-day competition and weigh-ins that will kind of simulate the national tournament.”
On hosting the weekend’s events
“It should be fun that we aren’t traveling and that we get to host the duals on Friday and the tournament on Saturday. Our guys are excited about wrestling at home and in front of our fans. That really adds to the experience for all of us.”
On the format
“The format is definitely different. Friday is an all-day event, starting at 11 a.m. It’s going to force us to focus all day and be prepared to wrestle three matches. Saturday is a basically a four-team tournament that will start at 5 p.m. and someone will be crowned a Big 12 champion by 9 p.m. It’s quick, and it’s going to be a lot of good wrestling. In that event, some guys are going to be fighting to go to nationals, and for that reason, you’re going to see some great wrestling.”


On the NCAA qualifying implications
“For us, we pretty much have eight guys who are definitely in the NCAA Championships. Two of them are going to have to earn their way in this weekend. Eddie Klimara and Julian Feikert will have to have great weekends to wrestle at the NCAA tournament.”On the seniors
“Jordan Oliver, along with Alan Gelogaev, Chris Chionuma, Tyson Yoder and Joe Ali have all been fun. It’s been great having them as a part of our program. They’re definitely leaving a legacy—Jordan Oliver and Alan Gelogaev, especially. It’s been exciting watching them wrestle. They’ve brought a lot to the program, but it’s not over yet. The end of the season is what you think about the most. We want to see those two end their careers on top.”
On improvements since National Duals
“Since the National Duals, we’ve had two weeks off, and we’ve spent the majority of that preparing and focusing on some of the areas that we can get better in. The general mood of the team is good, and they’re excited. When you see excitement, normally you see improvement. I look forward to seeing that improvement come Friday and Saturday.”