HWT Preview: The Z Factor
Willie Saylor, Editor
A few years ago I was working out with Jordan Oliver when, with a break in the action we talked about how Oklahoma State would be that coming season. His eyes lit up talking about a upperweight that joined the team. “He’s the real deal,” Oliver said.
Alan ‘Z’ Gelogaev has been a bit of a mystery ever since.
After a little digging, we found out that Gelogaev was an incredibly accomplished youngster from Russia who trained in the camp of none other than Buvaisar Saitiev, largely considered one of the all-time greats on the international scene. He found his way to Stillwater after meeting former Cowboy, Daniel Cormier at Saitiev’s facility.
In the beginning of the 2009 season, it wasn’t clear if Gelogaev would wrestle 197 or Heavtweight. He settled in at 197 and went 30-9 with a 7th place showing at NCAA’s.
The next season (2010-2011), he only wrestled in five bouts as he was injured in an early preseason open.
With a move up to heaveyweight last year season, and glaring improvement in his mat wrestling ability, Gelogaev seemed like a true contender. Starting off 24-1 with bonus point frequency (16 of 24) rarely seen at HWT. One of those wins was a 16-5 drubbing of eventual NCAA Champion, Tony Nelson. He pinned Jeremy Johnson (Ohio U), majored Bobby Telford (Iowa), and both majored and teched Nick Gwiazdkowski (Bing/NCST), all of whom would become All Americans. He also pinned 2011 AA, Levi Cooper (Arizona St.) in :23.
But in the Bedlam dual, in an 11-6 win over Oklahoma’s Kyle Colling, Gelogaev was hurt and again lost for the rest of the season.
As he goes in to his final season, he’s the great unknown. How will he perform? How will he come back from injury? Can his shoulder/s hold up the entire season?
Four of the All Americans from St. Louis are back (Five if you count the redshirting Nick Gwiazdowski). But that number escalates if you count 2011 AA’s Cooper and Maryland’s Spencer Myers who didn’t place last year, Dom Bradley (Mizz) and Jarrod Trice (CMU) who are coming off Olympic redshirts, and Gelogaev.
In addition, several of the bountiful crop of heavyweight talent that came out of high school in 2011 are now off redshirt. They include Connor Medbery (Wisc), Donny Longendyke (NEB), and Cody Krumwiede (UNI).
And just for good measure, the only man to beat Gelogaev last year (Chade Hanke, Oregon St.) is back as well.
It all sets up for a season at HWT with as much anticipation and excitement as I can ever recall.
Returning 2012 All Americans
1st - Tony Nelson (MINN)
3rd - Mike McMullan (NW)
5th - Bobby Telford (Iowa)
7th - Jeremy Johnson (Ohio)
8th - Nick Gwiazdowski (NC St./Redshirting)
Returning 2011 All Americans
3rd - Dom Bradley (MIZZ)
4th - Jarrod Trice (CMU)
6th - Spencer Myers (Maryland)
7th - Alan Gelogaev (OK St./197)
8th - Levi Cooper (Arizona St.)
So Who Ya Got?