OKLAHOMA CITY —
Perry’s ability to stay out of dangerous situations and nearly stalling kept Howe from being able to climb back into the match. The seconds ticked off the clock and Howe was left standing in the center of the ring with 18,000 wrestling fans looking on.
“I think he was aggressive,” OU coach Mark Cody said. “He wrestled his style. That takedown was the difference in the match and it caught him off guard. A lot of times in those matches, that’s what it will come down to, those takedowns. Particularly with these two guys.”
Howe was seeking his second national championship, also. He won his only one as a sophomore at Wisconsin in the 165-pound weight class. But after taking third as a junior, then Olympic redshirting in 2011, he came back to Oklahoma.
While he didn’t finish his career the way he wanted, Cody said he has set an example for the entire team to follow.
“Andrew has been a great warrior for us,” Cody said. “He’s been great for our program. He’s got one of those elusive titles under his belt and he’s a four time All-American. We’re proud he decided to come join us. He’s been a great asset to our program.”
Yet, Cody couldn’t hide the disappointment for Howe.
“He’s been through a lot,” Cody said. “He’s had three surgeries just since I’ve known him. To come back from that, and do what he’s done here, it’s incredible. It really hurts to see somebody who’s worked so hard. He’s one of the hardest workers I’ve ever been around.”
The Sooners’ Cody Brewer and Kendric Maple also earned All-American honors with eighth place finishes Saturday.
At 133 pounds, Brewer faced No. 12 seed Joe Roth from Central Michigan, while Maple took on Penn State’s James English in the 149-pound bout.