Oklahoma State wrestling standout Alex Dieringer made a big first impression on his first day on the freestyle senior-level circuit.
The three-time NCAA champion and 2016 Hodge Trophy winner Dieringer was named a U.S. National Team member after taking third at 74 kilograms at the Olympic Team Trials at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa.
Nine Cowboys entered the two-day tournament and left empty handed without a 2016 Rio Olympics bid. It is only the third time OSU will not have an Olympian.
Dieringer, who finished his collegiate career with 82 straight wins, opened the tournament with a 10-4 quarterfinals win over Adam Hall. He jumped out to a 6-0 lead, but Hall cut the deficit to 6-4 at the break. Within the final 30 seconds, Dieringer threw Hall for four points to put the match out of reach.
In the semifinals, Dieringer scored a takedown for a 2-0 lead after the first period over Andrew Howe. Dieringer's lead was cut in half after a passivity call then Howe threw the Cowboy in the closing seconds for four points and hung on for a 5-2 loss.
Dieringer rebounded with two wins in the consolation bracket to face Nick Marable in the true third match for a spot on Team USA.
Dieringer and Marable both failed to score while put on the shot clock for a 1-1 tie at the break. Dieringer was placed on the shot clock again with less than a minute left, but this time the third time was the charm as he forced a one-point step out from Marable to earn a spot on the national team with a 2-1 win.
2 more Cowboy semifinalist
Coleman Scott (57kg.), the 2012 Olympic bronze medalist, and Chris Perry (74kg.) also advanced to the semifinals.
Scott scored a 14-4 technical fall over Joe Colon to set up a semifinal bout against Tony Ramos of Hawkeye Wrestling Club. Scott held a 2-0 lead at the break but Ramos answered with a takedown of his own only to have the Cowboy score another one with one second on the clock. Ramos was awarded the victory on criteria as he had two takedowns compared to Scott's one. The current North Carolina head wrestling coach forfeited out of the tournament.
Perry, a two-time NCAA champion and current OSU volunteer assistant coach, jumped out to a 6-0 lead less than a minute into his quarterfinal bout with a takedown and four exposure points against Kevin LeValley. He led off attacks from LeValley to move face Marable in the semifinal. The two exchanged points before Marable's four-point throw downed the Cowboy 10-6. Perry injury defaulted out of the tournament.
Obe Blanc (57kg.), Dean Heil and Jordan Oliver (65kg), Clayton Foster (86kg), Tyler Caldwell (86kg) all went 0-2 in the tournament, while Cayle Byers (97kg) recorded one win over JT Felix, 4-3, in his first match. Byers fell 5-2 to JD Bergman in the quarterfinals before a 44 second fall to Micah Burak.