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|Missouri captures 2006 Junior Dual Championships in Greco-Roman|
By Rich Tortorelli Oklahoma City University
Junior Duals Coverage
OKLAHOMA CITY - Elijah Madison put Missouri's national-title hopes on one throw, reaching deep for the strength to pull the move off.
Madison clinched Missouri's first Greco-Roman championship with a four-point move and a pushout in the heavyweight match. Missouri beat Illinois 33-28 on Thursday in the USA Junior National Duals at Oklahoma City University's Abe Lemons Arena.
Missouri's victory capped a long day that ended Friday morning just after midnight.
"I knew I had to win the match," Madison, a junior at Kansas City Oak Park (Mo.) High School, said. "I put everything I had into one lift. "That's phenomenal. We've been here since 10 this morning. We've here all day with one break."
Missouri's Greco-Roman title followed up its first cadet freestyle championship last year.
"It's been building," Missouri coach Reggie Burris said. "The good thing about this team is they will all be back next year. This whole week people have stepped up when they needed to."
Illinois set the stage for Madison's clutch win by winning the 189- and 215-pound matches. Illinois trailed 30-27 after a pin at 215.
Before then, Missouri took five consecutive bouts of the dual, leading 29-19 after the 171 match.
Dylan Joiner started the string with his win at 140 to give Missouri a 17-16 edge. Joiner scored a two-point exposure and pushout with 1:10 left in the third match.
"It's cool to be a part of history," Joiner said. "I thought I'd go in and pump it up. Every time I got down, I thought of the team winning for the first time."
Joiner is one of six Oak Park wrestlers on the Missouri squad. Joiner, a junior-to-be, said having so many of his high-school teammates helps Missouri's togetherness.
"It's always fun to have your best friends on your team," Joiner said. "We're pretty tight. We're taught it's all about the team and the program, and you don't want to let the team down."
The first seven matches of the dual, Missouri and Illinois traded the lead four times.
At 112, Clayton Rush of Illinois used a three-point exposure and a pushout to rally for the victory. Rush scored with 22 seconds left to seize the win, which gave Illinois a 7-6 advantage in the dual.
Missouri took back the edge 13-12 with a win at 130. Jacob Nay earned the victory by scoring two points with six seconds left.
Illinois' Cartice Lloyd tallied a three-point exposure with five seconds left in the third decisive 135-pound match to take back the lead at 15-14.
Then after Joiner's victory, Brian Graham added to Missouri's lead with a win at 145. He gained a two-point exposure with 35 seconds left to pull the victory, make Missouri's lead 20-17 and put Missouri on its way to the Greco-Roman title.