Panthers take down Sooners in home opener

COLIN HORNING, Sports Editor

In a year which everyone seems to be looking for some sense of normalcy, the UNI Panther wrestling team  provided just that in the McLeod Center last Sunday. Hosting the 23rd-ranked University of Oklahoma Sooners, the 16th-ranked Panther squad was able to take down their Big 12 opponents by a final of 23-13 in their first home dual meet of the 2020-21 season.

“It was a good team win. I kind of got on the guys a little bit because I felt like maybe the energy wasn’t really there and the energy wasn’t there in the building either, which changes the way some guys compete,” said UNI head wrestling coach Doug Schwab to the media after the match. “But other than that, it was a good win for us and a good way to respond from last week, and now we’re ready for Oklahoma State next week.”

Sophomore Brody Teske and senior Carter Isley were standouts in this one for UNI. Teske led off the match in the 125 lb weight class with a 12-3 victory over opponent Mason Naifeh, and Isley capped off the dual in the 285 heavyweight class with a 3-2 win. The two wrestlers remain undefeated on the year.

Redshirt freshman Lance Runyon for the Panthers earned a pin against 11th-ranked Anthony Mantanona of Oklahoma in the 174 lb category. Mantanona was able to take down Runyon, followed by a Runyon reversal. Mantanona earned an escape and another take down, before Runyon turned the momentum with an escape and takedown of his own. Runyon was able to cradle his man and ultimately end up with the pin, earning the 16-13 win.

The Sooners took a 10-7 lead after three consecutive victories in the 141, 149 and 157 weight classes. The Panthers turned to junior Patrick Schoenfelder, who wound up with a second period take down and two mat returns, ultimately earning the 4-1 win and tying the overall match at 10-10.

“We took the momentum early and then they (Oklahoma) kind of took it back,” UNI said Schwab. “But after halftime, Pat was in a big match with some big mat returns. He really got the team rolling after that.”

Schwab’s Panthers had their meet against Arizona State cancelled on Jan. 17, and fell 34-6 to the University of Missouri on the same date during a neutral-site round robin hosted by Iowa State in Ames, IA. They will hit the mats again on Saturday, Jan. 30 in the McLeod Center against one of the nation’s best programs in Oklahoma State Cowboys. Schwab’s press conference can be found in full at