Panther Train moves to first in Big 12 conference


The Panther wrestling team traveled to Norman, Okla., for a Big 12 competition against the University of Oklahoma Sooners on Saturday, Feb. 1. With a 25-13 win over the Sooners, the Panthers are now first in the Big 12 standings.

“That has to be a hallmark of our program,” said head coach Doug Schwab. “Every single time we step out there we will give 420 seconds, we will fight from start to finish, we will give the extra effort. And not for us, you know, for each other. For our team, for something bigger than us.”

Jay Schwarm (125) started the Panthers off with a pin at the 1:16 mark, giving them an early 6-0 lead. Recording his 12th pin of the season, Schwarm is tied for number one in the NCAA.

The Sooners quickly tied it up with a decision over Jack Skudlarczyk (133), and fifteenth-ranked Michael Blockhus fell against UO’s fifth-ranked wrestler in a sudden victory.

UNI regained the lead 9-6 when Max Thomsen (149) recorded two takedowns and an escape. Paden Moore (157) fell 10-2 to No. 20 Justin Thomas.

“That’s something as a coach, you have to stay in the moment and be aware and keep them in the moment, but then you also have to, kind of, have the big picture in mind,” said coach Schwab. “That’s what we’re trying to do with our guys. We’re trying to keep them in the moment as much as possible.”

Austin Yant (165), added a 10-0 major decision and recorded multiple takedowns, giving the Panthers a 13-10 lead. Taylor Lujan (184), followed with a 9-3 win over UO’s Darrien Roberts.

At 197, Isaiah Patton fell 5-2 against OU’s Jake Woodley. Heavyweight Carter Isley ended the night with the team’s second pin, giving the Panthers the 12-point win.

The Panthers are now 5-1 in the Big 12 conference and 6-3 in the season. Next, they return to the West Gym to host the Mountaineers of West Virginia on Friday, Feb. 14.