Story and audio by Alex Silverman
Photos by Kelsey Alumbaugh
Blood drips from Devin Mellon's face during his match with Alan Gelogaev. Time outs to tend to Mellon's bloody nose slowed the flow of the match, which Gelogaev won 10-5.
Missouri heavyweight Devin Mellon couldn’t stop the bleeding against Oklahoma State’s Alan Gelogaev, both figuratively and literally. After taking a hand to the face early in the first period, Mellon found himself facing a 7-0 deficit. Despite a strong effort to tighten the score, which ended at 10-5, his comeback was hampered by constant timeouts to clear blood from the mat and his own face.
“You start getting in a flow and you start getting your rhythm down and you gotta stop,” Mellon said. “It’s frustrating because you just want to keep going, especially when it’s a close match like that and you’re trying to get those points back.”
After jumping out to an early lead against the nation’s top team via wins at 157 and 165 by Drake Houdashelt and Zach Toal, the Tigers dropped four of the final five matches. No. 13 Missouri loss to No. 1 Oklahoma State 22-12 at the Hearnes Center on Saturday.
“You get opportunities to knock off the number one team and we just didn’t make the most of them,” coach Brian Smith said. “I was pleased with the way we battled in some of the matches, but at this time of the year you have to find ways to win those matches if you want to be an All-American or national champion.”
No. 3 Alan Waters, wrestling at 125 for Missouri, defeated No. 13 John Morrison 4-0 in flawless fashion to improve his personal record to 21-1 on the season and to regain the lead for the Tigers following Mellon’s loss at 285. Following Waters’ triumph, however, Nathan McCormick surrendered a crucial six points to the Cowboys at 133 by allowing Jordan Oliver to put him on his back for a fall. With the pin, Oklahoma State took a 15-12 lead that they would never surrender.
“You can’t give up bonus points against the number one team in the country and we did that at (133),” Smith said. “We were battling, but we made a mistake and got caught and you give up three bonus.”
With the Tigers back in action Sunday against No. 10 Oklahoma, there’s no time to dwell on Saturday’s loss. Mellon said he is confident that the Tigers will have a better showing against the Sooners.
“We just have to keep up the intensity,” Mellon said. “We lost a couple of heartbreakers today that we’re not gonna lose tomorrow.”
In addition to setting his sights on the Sooners, Mellon said he wouldn’t soon forget about his bloody loss to Gelogaev.
“I want to beat him,” Mellon said. “I don’t care if it’s the next time we dual them or at the Big 12 (Championships), it’s gonna happen.”
Missouri wrestler Devin Mellon talks about his match with Oklahoma State’s Alan Gelogaev.