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After winning his fourth consecutive Mid-American Conference title, Mizzou Wrestling senior J’den Cox was named USA Wrestling’s Athlete of the Week-- and he and six other Mizzou wrestlers will be competing at the 2017 NCAA Wrestling Championships at Scottrade in St. Louis

J'den Cox Selected as USA Wrestling Athlete of the Week
With MAC Title, Cox became the second wrestler in program history to win four conference titles

After winning his fourth consecutive Mid-American Conference title, Mizzou Wrestling senior 197-pounder J’den Cox (Columbia, Mo.) was named USA Wrestling’s Athlete of the Week, announced by the organization on Thursday. With an 8-2 victory over Old Dominion’s Kevin Beazley on Sunday, Cox became the second wrestler in program history to win four conference titles, following Drake Houdashelt (2012-15).

Cox dominated the opposition at the 2017 MAC Championships in Cedar Falls, Iowa, recording falls in his opening round bouts over Eastern Michigan’s Derek Hillman and Kent State’s Stephen Suglio before winning the championship match against Beazley. With the win, Cox became just the seventh wrestler in MAC history to win four MAC titles.

Cox will enter the 2017 NCAA Wrestling Championships as the No. 1 seed with a record of 23-0. The Tiger senior has recorded bonus point victories in 16 victories this season, including five falls, six technical falls and five major decision.

At the NCAA Championships, the Tiger senior seeks to become the first three-time NCAA Champion in program history and just the second four-time All-American in program history (Ben Askren, 2004-07).

Among program records, Cox currently ranks fourth win wins with 131, second in technical falls with 20, third in major decisions with 29 and first in winning percentage among wrestlers with over 100 wins at 96.3 percent (131-5).

For all the latest on Mizzou Wrestling, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (MizzouWrestling).

Mizzou in the NCAA this year

Six Mizzou Wrestling grapplers earned top-16 seeds as the brackets for the 2017 NCAA Wrestling Championships were announced by the NCAA on Wednesday. Mizzou will have eight wrestlers compete in the tournament, marking the seventh consecutive season Mizzou has sent at least eight wrestlers to the NCAA Wrestling Championships.

Wrestling in his final NCAA Tournament, senior 197-pounder J'den Cox (Columbia, Mo.) earned the top-seed at 197 pounds for the second time in his career. Cox finished fifth as the No. 1 seed in 2015, and won the NCAA Championship as the No. 2 seed in 2014 and 2016. Coming off his fourth consecutive MAC title, Cox is 23-0 on the season, recording bonus points in 18 victories. The Tiger senior will wrestle Jeric Kasunic of American in his opening round bout.

Redshirt senior 149-pounder Lavion Mayes (Mascoutah, Ill.) and redshirt junior 157-pounder Joey Lavallee (Reno, Nev.) were each given the No. 3 seed as they enter their fourth and third NCAA Wrestling Championships, respectively. Mayes, 19-2 on the season, and Lavallee, 25-1 on the season, both captured a MAC title for the first time in their careers on Sunday in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Mayes will begin the tournament with a first round matchup against George Mason's Sahid Kargbo, while Lavallee will wrestle Princeton's Mike D'Angelo.

After a fourth place finish at the 2016 NCAA Wrestling Championships to cap his debut season as an attached wrestler, redshirt sophomore 165-pounder Daniel Lewis (Blue Springs, Mo.), will begin his second NCAA Tournament as the No. 6 seed. Lewis, who is 24-3 on the season, has recorded nine first-period falls this season and will wrestle the winner of Luke Zilverberg (South Dakota State) and Tyrel White (Columbia) in the first round.

Making their NCAA Championships debuts, redshirt freshman 141-pounder Jaydin Eierman (Columbia, Mo.) and redshirt sophomore 133-pounder John Erneste (Kansas City, Mo.) will begin their championship run as the No. 8 and No. 10 seed, respectively. Both wrestlers have had highly impressive seasons in their first year in the starting lineup, as Eierman has posted a record of 24-5 and Erneste a record of 23-6. Eierman will wrestle Logan Everett (Army) in the first round, while Erneste will face Jeffrey Ott (Harvard).

Redshirt junior 125-pounder Barlow McGhee (Rock Island, Ill.) and redshirt heavyweight Austin Myers (Alexandria, Ky.) will each begin the tournament unseeded. McGhee, making his second NCAA Championships appearance, will wrestle Gabe Townsell (Stanford) in a pigtail match, with the winner advancing to a first round matchup against No. 2 seed Joey McKenna (Virginia Tech). Myers, making his NCAA Championships debut, will wrestle No. 8 seed Michael Kroells (Minnesota) in the first round.

Wrestling from the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo., will begin March 16 and continue through March 18. Two sessions will occur each day, ending with the NCAA Finals on Saturday evening.

NCAA Wrestling Championships in St. Louis

2,438 student-athletes have competed all season long for the opportunity to wrestle in St. Louis for an NCAA title. The dream remains alive for 330 of them. Come Saturday night, 10 will have advanced through the brackets and be crowned national champions.

The drama and excitement of the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships reignites in St. Louis starting at 11 a.m. Thursday (March 16) and continues through Saturday (March 18) at Scottrade Center.

All-Session tickets are sold out, but a limited amount of tickets are available for Session 5 Saturday morning and the event finals Saturday night. Tickets may be purchased online through NCAA.com/Wrestling, by phone at 800-745-3000, or at the Scottrade Center box office.

CELEBRATING WRESTLING: The NCAA Wrestling Championships are a celebration of the world’s oldest and greatest sport. Taking place inside Union Station, the Fan Festival will feature wrestling exhibit booths, memorabilia, autograph sessions and interactive games. Admission is free. The competition schedule and a complete list of fan activities can be found below.

YOUTH WRESTLING CLINIC: Prior to the collegiate wrestlers hitting the mats, more than 150 aspiring grapplers will take to the floor at Scottrade Center for a FREE youth wrestling clinic from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday (March 14). Boys and girls in grades second through eighth will receive instruction from student-athletes and coaches from participating universities. Participants will learn wrestling skills, conditioning tips, and the importance of practicing good sportsmanship. Parents are also invited to attend a free “Musial Moments” program that instills the qualities of sportsmanship on and off the mat. Interested individuals can register by visiting stlsports.org/wrestling.


2017 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships Competition Schedule at Scottrade Center

Session 1 11 a.m. Thursday
Session 2 6 p.m. Thursday
Session 3 10 a.m. Friday
Session 4 7 p.m. Friday
Session 5 10 a.m. Saturday
Session 6 7 p.m. Saturday (Parade of All-Americans at 6:35 p.m.)

Fan Fest Schedule – All events at Union Station


THURSDAY, MARCH 16
2 - 6 p.m.
NCAA Fan Festival
St. Louis Union Station

5 - 5:30 p.m.
Hall of Fame Wrestlers Autograph Session
Fan Festival Main Stage

FRIDAY, MARCH 17
1 - 6:30 p.m.
NCAA Fan Festival
St. Louis Union Station
1 - 6:30 p.m.
WIN Magazine Memorabilia Show
St. Louis Union Station
2:15 - 3:30 p.m.
USA Wrestling Practice
Fan Festival Mats
3:30 - 4:15 p.m.
USA Wrestling Autograph Session
Fan Festival Mats
4:30 - 5 p.m.
NWCA Awards Presentation
Fan Festival Main Stage
5 - 6 p.m.
Semifinals Preview Show
Fan Festival Main Stage

SATURDAY, MARCH 18
Noon - 6:30 p.m.
NCAA Fan Festival
St. Louis Union Station
Noon - 6:30 p.m.
WIN Magazine Memorabilia Show
St. Louis Union Station
1:30 - 2:45 p.m.
USA Wrestling Practice
Fan Festival Mats
2:45 - 4:15 p.m.
NWCA Coaches Clinic
Fan Festival Main Stage
4:30 - 5:15 p.m.
NCAA Wrestling Champions in the MMA Presentation
Fan Festival Main Stage
5:15 - 6 p.m.
NCAA Wrestling Champions in the MMA Autograph Session
Fan Festival Main Stage