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John Smith Recalls the Day of the Remember the Ten Plane Crash

20 years ago, OSU was wrestling in Iowa against the same schools they’ll wrestle this weekend.



Twenty years ago, the Cowboy wrestling team completed an Iowa road trip and picked up wins over Iowa State and Northern Iowa, but that isn’t how the day was remembered.

Across the country in Colorado, a plane crashed on its way back to Stillwater from the Oklahoma State basketball team’s game in Boulder. Jared Weiberg, Bill Teegins, Pat Noyes, Denver Mills, Brian Luinstra, Daniel Lawson, Will Hancock, Nate Fleming, Bjorn Fahlstrom and Kendall Durfey died.

News didn’t travel as fast then as it did today, but the news of the crash made its way to Cedar Falls, Iowa as the Cowboys’ dual against Northern Iowa ended.

“We were scheduled to fly back in a private plane, and we ended up driving back,” Smith said. “I remember the SID from Northern Iowa came up to me and told me. By that time, your student-athletes had heard about it as we were showering and preparing to leave.

“I just remember the locker room, a couple of my student-athletes came and told me. Of course I had heard about it, their SID had made me aware of it. Just a really tough time. I think choosing to just rent a couple vans and just drive home was probably just something that we felt like we needed to do.”

OSU was a different place then. That dual against Northern Iowa started at 184 pounds where Daniel Cormier beat Kyle Hanson 10-8.

Maurice Baker finished that basketball season as OSU’s leading scorer with 19.8 points a game.

Tatum Bell had just finished up his freshman season as OSU’s running back. On Wednesday, Bell tweeted out that he used to play spades with Lawson.

Twenty years later, Smith and the Cowboys are getting ready to go to Iowa again and wrestle Northern Iowa and Iowa State. The athletes on the wrestling team and at OSU are different, but those 10 who lost their lives are still synonymous with Oklahoma State. They are still remembered.


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