Oklahoma State wrapped up the first session of the NCAA Wrestling Championships in third place at 14.5 points Thursday, sending seven of its nine wrestlers to the second round of the championship brackets at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh.
Penn State, who has won three straight NCAA titles, holds the team lead with 21 points over Big 10 conference rival Ohio State at 15.5. The Cowboys have a half point edge of Iowa and 1.5-point lead on Minnesota.
The Cowboys went 8-2, including five bonus-point wins from Nick Piccininni (125), Daton Fix (133), Kaid Brock (141), Preston Weigel (197) and Derek White (heavyweight). Jacobe Smith (174) and Dakota Geer (184) grabbed wins by decision.
No. 2 Piccininni pinned Campbell’s Korbin Meink in just 1:43. Fix, Brock and White all posted major decisions and No. 3 Weigel shut out Northern Colorado’s Jacob Seely in a 16-0 technical fall.
Joe Smith opened the tournament for the Cowboys with a 10-5 decision over Tyler Morland of Northwestern in a 165-pound preliminary bout. Joe, who was an All-American at 157 in 2016 and 2017, then couldn’t hold off undefeated top seed Alex Marinelli of Iowa in a 7-4 decision. Joe scored two first-period takedowns and had a 4-2 lead, but couldn’t escape from bottom in the second. Marinelli took Joe down and racked up riding time to send the Cowboy to the consolation bracket against No. 17 Jonathan Viruet of Brown.
At 149, No. 7 Kaden Gfeller was upset in a 3-1 decision in sudden victory to No. 26 Ryan Blees, who transferred from Oklahoma State to Virginia Tech. Tied 1-1 after regulation, Blees scored a takedown in sudden victory to push Gfeller to the consolation bracket against No. 23 Josh Maruca of Arizona State.
Jacobe Smith was nearly knocked off by No. 26 Matt Hughes of Michigan State. Hughes rode Jacobe the second and third periods to force sudden victory, but the Cowboy grabbed a takedown for a 6-4 win.
Geer scored an upset with a dominant 6-0 decision with riding time over No. 7 Nick Reenan of North Carolina State.
All nine OSU wrestlers will compete in Session II at 6 p.m. Thursday on ESPN and every match on every mat available on watchespn.com.
Session I results
Championship Preliminary Round
165: No. 33 Joe Smith (OSU) dec. No. 32 Tyler Morland (Northwestern), 10-5
Championship First Round
125: No. 2 Nick Piccininni (OSU) fall No. 31 Korbin Meink (Campbell), 1:43
133: No. 1 Daton Fix (OSU) major dec. No. 33 Zack Trampe (Binghamton), 21-7
141: No. 15 Kaid Brock (OSU) major dec. No. 18 Bryan Lantry (Buffalo), 12-3
149: No. 26 Ryan Bless (Virginia Tech) dec. No. 7 Kaden Gfeller (OSU), 3-1 SV1
165: No. 1 Alex Marinelli (Iowa) dec. No. 33 Joe Smith (OSU), 7-4
174: No. 7 Jacobe Smith (OSU) dec. 26 Drew Hughes (Michigan State), 6-4 SV1
184: No. 26 Dakota Geer (OSU) dec. No. 7 Nick Reenan (NCST), 6-0
197: No. 2 Preston Weigel (OSU) tech fall Jacob Seely (Northern Colorado), 16-0
HWT: No. 1 Derek White (OSU) major dec. Brandon Ngati (West Virginia), 10-2
Session II schedule
Championship second round
125: No. 2 Nick Piccininni (OSU) vs. No. 15 Elijah Oliver (Indiana)
133: No. 1 Daton Fix (OSU) vs. No. 16 Matthew Schmitt (West Virginia)
141: No. 15 Kaid Brock (OSU) vs. No. 2 Joey McKenna (Ohio State)
174: No. 7 Jacobe Smith (OSU) vs. No. 10 Mikey Labriola (Nebraska)
184: No. 26 Dakota Geer (OSU) vs. No. 10 Samuel Colbray (Iowa State)
197: No. 3 Preston Weigel (OSU) vs. No. 14 Eric Schultz (Nebraska)
285: No. 1 Derek White (OSU) vs. No. 16 Chase Singletary (Ohio State)
Consolation First Round
149: No. 7 Kaden Gfeller (OSU) vs. No. 23 Joshua Maruca (Arizona State)
165: No. 33 Joe Smith (OSU) vs. No. 17 Jonathan Viruet (Brown)