Senior Dorian Henderson powers Mizzou in last home wrestling match

Story by Kelsey Alumbaugh
Photos by Alex Silverman

No. 15 Mike Larson, wrestling at 184, lets out a yell after pinning Erich Schmditke of Oklahoma, at 6:48 of their match Sunday.

With Missouri down 12-9 to Oklahoma, 174-pound senior Dorian Henderson stepped out onto the mat for his final home match to face Kyle Detmer. Henderson beat Detmer 11-0, scoring a four-point major decision to give Missouri the lead, 13-12. The Tigers would go on to beat the Sooners 25-12.

Dorian Henderson of Missouri takes down his opponent, Kyle Detmer of Oklahoma, during their match at 174. Henderson won by major decision, 11-0.

“I just go out there and do what I do and hopefully good things happen,” Henderson said. “Words can’t explain it. It was a really good feeling. I wanted to go out on a win and it’s been a long four years. It’s kind of sad it’s coming to an end.”

Junior Mike Larson came up against Erich Schmidtke following Henderson’s match. Larson and Schmidtke have dueled four times with Larson losing three of those matches. With 11 seconds left in the third period, Larson pinned Schmidtke for the win and brought the team score to 19-12.

“Today was big one for me. This guy and I, we’ve had some bad blood. I wanted this win… Especially after my horrible performance yesterday.” Larson said.

Missouri's Mike Larson comes over the top of Oklahoma's Erich Schmditke during their match at 184 Sunday. Larson went on to pin Schmditke.

The Tigers started off strong with Alan Waters and Nathan McCormick winning their match ups, but after Nicholas Hucke was pinned Missouri and Oklahoma were tied at 6.

No. 20 Kyle Bradley, a sophomore, and No. 11 Nick Lester held each other scoreless through three periods. Bradley had a takedown with less than 30 seconds left in the tiebreaker.

“Kyle Bradley scoring a takedown with a guy they’re about to give two and he kept fighting. And a lot of people would have given up there and he didn’t,” coach Brian Smith said.

“There’s a couple big points in the match there with a pin and a takedown in overtime, Alan Waters and McCormick coming through with big wins. I was pleased.”

Henderson, the only senior in the starting line up, said the win would boost the team’s spirits going into the National Duals Feb. 11 and Big 12 tournament in March.

Kyle Bradley of Missouri, bottom, struggles with Nick Lester of Oklahoma during their match at 149. Bradley defeated Lester in overtime, 2-0.

“A boost of confidence for the whole team getting a good win against a top 10 opponent. That’s going to give us more confidence going into the National Duals.” Henderson said.

With back-to-back duals against Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, a win against Oklahoma was needed to boost the team’s confidence after losing to Oklahoma State on Saturday.

“I really believe they know they are a great team. I told them yesterday we’re not even going to talk about the loss. I said ‘put it away, we’ll come back win tomorrow and we’ll talk tomorrow.’ And they did a good job at that, a really good job. I thought we wrestled hard.” Smith said.

The Tigers head to New Jersey for National Duals, competing against Rutgers, Minnesota, Kent State, Michigan and Cal Poly for the chance to compete again the next weekend in the Final Four, where the National Duals meet champion will be decided.

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