Staley HS star Rocky Elam clinches Mizzou’s 12th consecutive wrestling conference title

The Missouri Tigers wrestling program won its 12th consecutive conference championship after...
The Missouri Tigers wrestling program won its 12th consecutive conference championship after taking the Big 12 title in Tulsa, Okla.(Mikayla Schmidt/ Mizzou Athletics)
Published: Mar. 6, 2023 at 10:41 AM CST
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - Call it dominance. Call it a dynasty. Call it whatever you’d like. But 12 straight conference championships speaks for itself.

Missouri’s wrestling program closed yet another tournament atop the podium, its second straight Big 12 title. The Missouri Tigers had won the conference championship in 2012, but the program moved to the MAC after the university’s move to the SEC. (No other schools in the Southeastern Conference have a wrestling program.)

Nine MAC Championships later in as many years, Mizzou Wrestling, which has adopted the moniker of “TigerStyle,” migrated back to the Big 12. And picked up where it left off.

Heading into Sunday’s championship round, Missouri needed just a handful of points to clinch another title. And a local product answered the bell.

Two-seeded Rocky Elam’s 2-1 overtime win over Tanner Sloan, the top-seeded Big 12 wrestler at 197 pounds, clinched the team’s first-place finish. Elam, a product of Staley High School, had won a title at the MAC Championships in 2021 and added another trophy to the mantle with a thrilling win in extra time.

Elam also became the second Tiger wrestler ever to win multiple conference titles.

Rocky’s older brother Zach placed third in the 285-pound division.

Head coach Brian Smith was named Big 12 Coach of the Year for a second straight year.

Mizzou qualified its entire 10-wrestler lineup for the national championships in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where the Big 12 Tournament was held over the weekend.

The final team point totals for the Big 12 Championships are as follows:

  • Missouri - 148.0 Points
  • Oklahoma State - 134.0 Points
  • Iowa State - 131.0 Points
  • Oklahoma - 97.5 Points
  • North Dakota State - 89.0 Points
  • South Dakota State - 86.5 Points
  • Northern Iowa - 73.0 Points
  • Air Force - 64.5 Points
  • Northern Colorado - 50.0 Points
  • Wyoming - 41.0 Points
  • Utah Valley - 37.5 Points
  • West Virginia - 34.5 Points
  • Cal Baptist - 1.0 Point
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