Mizzou Wrestling grapples first Big 12 title

Sorry for the delay on this news, but awesome job by the Mizzou wrestling team over the weekend, winning their first Big 12 wrestling last weekend.

MUtigers.com: Mizzou Wins First Big 12 Championship
Big 12 Sports: Missouri Captures First Big 12 Wrestling Title
The Trib:
The Missourian: Missouri wrestlers win first Big 12 Championship
The Missourian: PHOTO GALLERY: Missouri wins first Big 12 Championship
KC Star: MU wins Big 12 wrestling title
Daily Oklahoman: Missouri edges Oklahoma State for Big 12 wrestling title
KC Star (Campus Corner): Real-life Davids: How Missouri’s wrestling program conquered the Goliaths of the Big 12

“Just think of that,” Smith said. “I told them eight days ago about David and Goliath and going through the valley of Elah. I told them the Philistines, and the Goliath is the Big 12 and we had never won it. David walked out there with confidence. You got to believe in all the good things that can happen. I put signs up that said ‘Be my David’. All week, every kid, I went up to, I said ‘Be my David’ and they came up to me at the end and said, Coach, we are your David’s.”

That message also hit home for Smith, who remembers people doubting his ability to lead Missouri to the top of the Big 12’s wrestling landscape when he was hired 14 years ago.

“When I took over my first three years, we were awful,” Smith said. “It just took time.”

But eventually, Smith started getting people to believe, and Missouri started winning. After going a combined 22-30-1 his first three years, the Tigers went 18-3 in 2001-2002. Then, in Smith’s sixth year, the Tigers finally beat Oklahoma State in a dual meet for the first time. Then Ben Askren became Missouri’s first national champion in 2006, and the Tigers took third at the NCAA meet in 2007, their highest finish ever.

“Oh yeah,” Smith said with a laugh, “a lot of building.

MUtigers.com: Wrestling Qualifies All 10 Starters for Nationals

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