One after another Oklahoma State sent a wrestler to the mat for the finals at the Big 12 wrestling championships. The No. 2 Cowboys looked like they were in a dual: OSU vs. the rest of the Big 12.
OSU won eight of the 10 matches to accumulate 176.5 points and set a Big 12 record with a 83-point margin of victory at the Big 12 wrestling championship Sunday at BOK Center in Tulsa. Oklahoma was second with 93.5 points and South Dakota State finished third with 90.5 points.
The Cowboys, who placed all 10 wrestlers into the NCAA Championships set for March 16-18 at Scottrade Center in St. Louis, won five of the first six final matches.
Nick Picininni, a 125-pound redshirt freshman, scored the first win in sudden-victory over No. 1 seed Josh Rodriguez of North Dakota State. Picininni tallied the decisive takedown in the second sudden-victory period for his first conference title.
Kaid Brock couldn’t keep things rolling at 133 pounds as he fell to South Dakota State’s Seth Gross, who won the first individual conference title from a former Western Wrestling Conference school, won by 9-7 decision. Gross was also named the tournament’s most outstanding wrestler.
The Cowboys then turned to their defending champion, Dean Heil, who defeated Wyoming’s Bryce Meredith 10-7 in a rematch of last year’s NCAA finals match, for his third consecutive conference title at 141. Anthony Collica became the eighth Cowboy to win his fourth Big 12 title with a 7-4 decision over Oklahoma’s Davion Jeffries. At 157, Joe Smith posted a 8-0 major decision against North Dakota’s Clay Ream to defend his title. Smith finished the championships with three straight wins, outscoring his opponents 32-0.
Chandler Rogers hit a speed bumb at 165. Tied at 3 late in the third period, West Virginia’s Dylan Cottrell scored a takedown on a scramble. Rogeres escaped and took the Mountaineer to his back in the final seconds, but was not awarded a takedown after video review.
The Cowboys got back on track with four straight wins by Kyle Crutchmer (174), Nolan Boyd (184), Preston Weigel (197) and Austin Schafer (285). Boyd claimed his third conference crown and Crutchmer and Weigel each won their second.
- 125: Nick Piccininni (OSU) dec. Josh Rodriguez (NDSU), 7-5
- 133: Seth Gross (SDSU) dec. Kaid Brock (OSU), 9-7
- 141: Dean Heil (OSU) dec. Bryce Meredith (WYO), 10-7
- 149: Anthony Collica (OSU) dec. Davion Jeffries (OU), 7-4
- 157: Joe Smith (OSU) MD Clay Ream (NDSU), 8-0
- 165: Dylan Cottrell (West Virginia) dec. Chandler Rogers (OSU), 5-4
- 174: Kyle Crutchmer (OSU) dec. Matt Reed (OU), 8-4
- 184: Nolan Boyd (OSU) MD Dylan Gabel (UNC), 15-4
- 197: Preston Weigel (OSU) inj. def. Jacob Smith (WVU), 2:24
- 285: Austin Schafer (OSU) MD Dustin Dennison (UVU), 9-0