Mizzou Wrestling senior 197-pounder J’den Cox (Columbia, Mo.) became the first ever three-time National Champion in program history and Mizzou Athletics history.
Cox beat Minnesota’s Brett Pfarr 8-2 on Saturday night at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis.
Cox, who won an Olympic Bronze medal in men’s freestyle wrestling at the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics, previously won the national title at 197 pounds in 2014 and 2016.
“I’m honored to have accomplished another great feat, not only for myself but for my school, for my teammates and for my family,” said Cox following the match. “I have a lot of respect for the history of the school, the respect of the people that came before me and that paved the way for me to be able to do what I do day in, day out. And I’ve accomplished great feats. And I hope to become a stepping stone for someone else to come through and break that.”
Mizzou finished in fifth place as a team with 86.5 points, its third-highest finish in program history (3rd in 2007, 4th in 2015). In addition, Head Coach Brian Smith coached five All-Americans, which tied the 2009, 2013 and 2015 teams as the most in school history.
Smith was named the National Wrestling Coaches Association Coach of the Year.