Oklahoma State advanced four wrestlers to the semifinals at the NCAA Wrestling Championships on Friday at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh.
Daton Fix (133) and Preston Weigel (197) recorded bonus-point wins with a major decision and pin, respectively, while Nick Piccininni (125) and Derek White (heavyweight) both advanced to Friday night’s semifinals with decisions. All four wrestlers secured All-American honors.
The semifinals will air at 7 p.m. Friday on ESPN. A win on the championship side means seven team points, at least, as winners take placement and an advancement point. Bonus-point wins lead to more points: major decision (1 point), technical fall (1.5 points) and fall (2 points).
Three-time defending champion Penn State leads the team race with 80 points. Ohio State is second at 66.5, followed by Oklahoma State at 56. Iowa is fourth with 43.5 points. The Nittany Lions have six semifinalists, the Buckeyes have five and the Hawkeyes have just two.
No. 3 Weigel improved to 14-0 this season with a 58-second fall against No. 11 Christian Brunner of Purdue. Weigel will meet No. 2 Kollin Moore of Ohio State in the semifinals, where all four top seeds advanced.
Fix recorded his second major decision win of the tournament with a 11-3 win over No. 8 John Erneste of Missouri. With a 4-1 lead after the second period, Fix scored two takedowns and a two-point nearfall in the final frame to improve to 34-1 this season.
Fix will meet No. 5 Luke Pletcher of Ohio State in the semifinals. Pletcher defeated No. 4 Mikey Phillippi of Pittsburgh, 3-2, in the quarterfinals. Phillippi handed Fix his lone loss this season. No. 3 Nick Suriano of Rutgers and No. 2 Stevan Micic of Michigan meet in a semifinal featuring the runner-ups at 125 and 133 last year, respectively.
Piccininni improved to 33-0 this season with a 9-5 decision over No. 7 Pat Glory of Princeton. Piccininni scored a reversal and two-point nearfall points in the second period and added takedown in the third for his second of the season over Glory.
Piccininni will face No. 3 Spencer Lee of Iowa in the semifinals. Piccininni pinned Lee, the defending NCAA champion, in the dual this season. No. 1 Sebastian Rivera of Northwestern and No. 5 Jack Mueller of Virginia will meet in the other semifinal.
White continued to roll with a 3-1 decision over No. 9 Matt Stencel of Central Michigan. White used a takedown late in the first period and an escape in the second to bring his record to 31-1. White will take on No. 4 Jordan Wood of Lehigh in the semifinals. White outlasted Wood, 3-2, in the dual. On the other side of the bracket, No. 2 Anthony Cassar and No. 3 Gable Steveson will clash.
Kaid Brock (141) and Dakota Geer (184) both went 2-0 during Friday’s morning session and will wrestle in the “blood round” to earn All-American honors. Brock will be going for his third career All-American honor after finishing fifth at 133 the past two seasons. Geer will be vying for his first All-American honor in his second NCAA appearance.
Brock avenged a loss from earlier this season to No. 17 Ian Parker of Iowa State with a 12-4 major decision. Brock then blazed his way to a 10-4 decision over No. 23 Sam Turner of Wyoming. It was Brock’s second win this season over Turner after a 14-10 barnburner in the dual. Brock will No. 13 Kyle Shoop of Lock Haven next.
Geer scored a 12-2 major decision over No. 25 Max Lyon of Purdue then pulled off a huge upset with a 4-2 decision over No. 2 Shakur Rasheed of Penn State. Geer secured the win in the final 15 seconds when he put Rasheed into the danger zone, meaning his shoulders were pass 90 degrees for five counts. Geer meets No. 13 Nino Bonaccorsi of Pitt in the next round. Bonaccorsi and Geer didn’t wrestle in the dual this season.
If Brock and Geer win their matches they’ll advance and score 3.5 team points, at least, as they advance and score placement points.
Joe Smith (165) and Jacobe Smith (174) both went 1-1 and were eliminated.
Joe, a two-time All-American at 157 in 2016 and 2017, had an ugly 3-1 decision over No. 15 Connor Flynn of Missouri. Joe was awarded two points for Flynn stalling and an escape to advance. Joe then fell 7-4 to No. 9 Demetrius Romero of Utah Valley.
Jacobe posted his second win over No. 25 Hayden Hastings of Wyoming this season with a 5-3 decision. Jacobe then was upset by No. 33 Devin Kane of North Carolina when the Tar Heel secured a takedown with 7 seconds left for a 5-3 win.
Session III results
125: No. 2 Nick Piccininni (OSU) dec. No. 7 Pat Glory (Princeton), 9-5
133: No. 1 Daton Fix (OSU) major dec. No. 8 John Erneste (Missouri), 11-3
197: No. 3 Preston Weigel (OSU) fall No. 11 Christian Brunner (Purdue), :57
HWT: No. 1 Derek White (OSU) dec. No. 9 Matt Stencel (Central Michigan), 3-1
Consolation third round
141: No. 15 Kaid Brock (OSU) dec. No. 23 Sam Turner (Wyoming), 10-4
165: No. 9 Demetrius Romero (Utah Valley) dec. No. 33 Joe Smith (OSU), 7-4
174: No. 33 Devin Kane (North Carolina) dec. No. 7 Jacobe Smith (OSU), 5-2
184: No. 26 Dakota Geer (OSU) dec. No. 2 Shakur Rasheed (Penn State), 4-2
Consolation second round
141: No. 15 Kaid Brock (OSU) major dec. No. 17 Ian Parker (Iowa State), 12-4
165: No. 33 Joe Smith (OSU) dec. No. 15 Connor Flynn (Missouri), 3-1
174: No. 7 Jacobe Smith (OSU) dec. No. 25 Hayden Hastings (Wyoming), 5-3
184: No. 26 Dakota Geer (OSU) major dec. No. 25 Max Lyon (Purdue), 12-2
Session IV schedule (Friday night)
125: No. 2 Nick Piccininni (OSU) vs. No. 3 Spencer Lee (Iowa)
133: No. 1 Daton Fix (OSU) vs. No. 5 Luke Pletcher (Ohio State)
197: No. 3 Preston Weigel (OSU) vs. No. 2 Kollin Moore (Ohio State)
HWT: No. 1 Derek White (OSU) vs. No. 4 Jordan Wood (Lehigh)
Consolation round of 12
141: No. 15 Kaid Brock (OSU) vs. No. 13 Kyle Shoop (Lock Haven)
184: No. 26 Dakota Geer (OSU) vs. No. 13 Nino Bonaccorsi (Pittsburgh)