By ANDREW GLOVER
STILLWATER — Former Oklahoma State University wrestler Clayton Foster spent significant time away from the sport last year. An old friend convinced him to return to the sport.
“Chris Pendleton talked me into it,” Foster said. “He was telling me how good I was and how I was still young and my body is still healthy. I can do pretty good.”
Foster gave the Cowboy faithful plenty to cheer about Saturday as he finished second in the 84-kilogram division at the U.S. World Team Trials at Gallagher-Iba Arena.
“It was fun,” Foster said about wrestling in his old arena. “It was definitely a fun experience to wrestle here.”
The former Cowboy dominated the challenge bracket with three technical fall victories. Foster won the first round match over Logan Storley 9-0 and then defeated Enock Francios 8-0, before besting Phil Keedy in the challenge championship.
In the finals, Foster ranked second in the division went against top-ranked Keith Gavin from Columbus, Ohio and represented the Titan Mercury Wrestling Club and Ohio RTC. The former Cowboy grabbed the early lead with two takedowns to lead 4-0. Gavin rallied and cut the lead to one at the end of the first and then got a takedown midway through the second to take a 5-4 lead. The Ohio wrestler added an insurance point to take the first round.
Foster fell behind early in round two as he was driven out of bounds and was taken down, trailing 3-0. In the second period, the former Cowboy scored a takedown to get within one. Late in the match, Foster got Gavin down but wasn’t able to get him in the right position for the takedown.
“I thought I had the takedown,” Foster said. “You got to get that leg out to get two.”
Foster said his opponent was able to wear him down.
“I kind of wrestled into his game,” Foster said. “I was strong in the beginning and it kind of wore me down. I tried to change it up in the last second but I was too tired to do that.”
The former Cowboy said he was disappointed in his performance but will definitely be back in two years to compete again.
“It’s a long way from where I started,” Foster said. “Got to make improvements.”
Oliver suffers upset in challenge finals
Oklahoma State fans are used to seeing Jordan Oliver’s matches end with his hand being lifted as the victor. While he was victorious in his first two matches, his hand remained at his waist in the challenge finals, suffering a 6-3 loss to Brent Metcalf from Iowa City, Iowa.
Oliver waltzed his way to the challenge championship with a pair of technical fall victories. In the championship the former Cowboy led early as he drove his opponent out of bounds and scored a takedown. Metcalf scored a point for driving Oliver out. Metcalf was able to score a pair of takedowns to seal the match. Metcalf who represented New York Athletic Club and Titan Mercury Wrestling Club went on to win the finals and earned a spot on the world team.
Change in junior trials schedule
Sunday’s finals for the FILA Junior World Team Trials has been rescheduled for a noon start. The finals were originally scheduled for 3 p.m. Oklahoma State has nine current Cowboy wrestlers scheduled to compete for a spot on the junior world teams. Action will begin at 9 a.m. at Gallagher-Iba Arena.