Oklahoma State's No. 1 seed duo of Alex Dieringer and Dean Heil qualified for the finals of the NCAA Wrestling Championships on Friday night at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
The Cowboys climbed their way back into the team race, moving up two spots to second place during the third session. OSU trails Penn State, who has all but clinched its fifth team title in the past six seasons. The Nittany Lions hold a 34-point lead with 114 points. Iowa, Virginia Tech and Ohio State round out the top-five teams.
The top four teams each finished the day tied with six All-Americans. No other team claimed more than four. OSU and Virginia Tech are mathematically the only teams that can stop the Nittany Lions, who need only six points to win the title or OSU and VT to not score six of their maximum left on the board.
Heil was the first Cowboy to punch his ticket to the finals with a 8-3 decision over No. 4 Anthony Ashnault of Rutgers. Heil (34-1) scored a takedown in each period and added riding time to seal his spot for his first finals appearance.
The OSU sophomore will face Big 12 foe No. 14-seeded Bryce Meredith of Wyoming, who beat No. 2 seed Joey McKenna of Standford, 5-3, to become Wyoming's first finalist in 20 years. Heil beat Meredith, 5-4, in the December dual, but the two did not wrestle at the Big 12 Championships. Heil won his second conference title, and Meredith took third.
Dieringer, a two-time national champion, scored early and often on his way to a 14-4 major decision over No. 4 Daniel Lewis of Missouri to claim his spot in the 165 final. He is now one win away from winning his third NCAA title and becoming only the seventh wrestler in program history to accomplish that feat. Standing in his way is No. 2 seed Isaac Jordan of Wisconsin, who beat his cousin, Bo Jordan of Ohio State, in a thrilling 5-4 match. Both Dieringer and Jordan are undefeated this season with Dieringer's undefeated streak at 81 consecutive wins.
OSU's third semifinalist No. 11 Anthony Collica fell short of his third straight upset in a 4-2 decision to No. 2 Brandon Sorensen of Iowa at 149. Collica will join three teammates in the consolation round Saturday as he tries to climb his way back to third.
In the famed consolation round of 12 aka blood round, the Cowboys grabbed three more All-Americans: Joe Smith (157), Nolan Boyd (184) and Austin Marsden (285). Boyd and Marsden each went 2-0, while Smith was 1-1.
Boyd, the No. 8 seed, beat No. 6 Blake Stauffer of Arizona State then No. 10 Nate Brown of Lehigh, both by a 6-4 decision to advance. Marsden picked up a bonus-point win with a 13-5 major decision over Big 12 foe Tanner Harms of Wyoming then defeated No. 8 Max Wessell of Lehigh, 8-2.
Both OSU wrestlers will join Collica in the quest for third.
The true freshman Smith will wrestle for seventh place after being pinned by No. 5 Dylan Palacio of Cornell in the consolation quarterfinals. Smith, the No. 6 seed, earned All-American honors with a 5-3 decision over Dylan Cottrell of West Virginia.
Both Chandler Rogers (174) and Preston Wiegel (197) lost in the blood round to end their tournament runs. Rogers dropped a 7-2 decision to No. 13 Alex Meyers of Iowa and Wiegel was pinned by No. 7 Brett Harner of Princeton.
Session five will begin at 10 a.m. CT. All matches can be viewed on ESPNU and WatchESPN.
1. Penn State - 114.0
2. Oklahoma St. - 79.5
3. Iowa - 77.5
4. Virginia Tech - 69.5
5. Ohio St.- 68.0
141: No. 1 Dean Heil (OSU) vs. No. 14 Bryce Meredith (WYO)
165: No. 1 Alex Dieringer (OSU) vs. No. 2 Isaac Jordan (WISC)
Consolation semifinals schedule
184: No. 8 Nolan Boyd (OSU) vs. No. 14 Willie Miklus (MIZ)
285: No. 4 Austin Marsden (OSU) vs. No. 3 Ty Walz (VT)
Seventh-place match schedule
157: No. 6 Joe Smith (OSU) vs. No. 2 Tommy Gantt (NCST)
141: No. 1 Dean Heil (OSU) dec. No. 4 Anthony Ashnault (RUT), 8-3
149: No. 2 Brandon Sorensen (Iowa) dec. No. 11 Anthony Collica (OSU), 4-2
165: No. 1 Alex Dieringer (OSU) major dec. No. 4 Daniel Lewis (MIZZ), 14-4
Consolation quarterfinals results
157: No. 5 Dylan Palacio (COR) vs. No. 6 Joe Smith (OSU), 4:38
184: No. 8 Nolan Boyd (OSU) dec. No. 10 Nate Brown (LEH), 6-4
285: No. 4 Austin Marsden (OSU) dec. No. 8 Max Wessell (LEH), 8-2
Consolation blood round results
157: No. 6 Joe Smith (OSU) dec. Dylan Cottrell (WVU), 5-3
174: No. 13 Alex Meyer (Iowa) dec. No. 9 Chandler Rogers (OSU), 7-2
184: No. 8 Nolan Boyd (OSU) dec. No. 6 Bryce Stauffer (ASU), 6-4
197: No. 7 Brett Harner (PRIN) fall Preston Weigel (OSU), 6:38
285: No. 4 Austin Marsden (OSU) major dec. No. 15 Tanner Harms (WYO), 13-5