Oklahoma State’s top-seeded wrestlers Daton Fix and Derek White will compete for a NCAA championship Saturday night at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh.
Fix held off Ohio State’s Luke Pletcher for a 4-2 decision at 133 pounds, while White needed a takedown 26 seconds into sudden victory to beat Lehigh’s Jordan Wood heavyweight. No. 2 seed Nick Piccininni (125) and No. 3 seed Preston Weigel (197) both dropped their semifinal bouts and will wrestle in the consolation semifinals Saturday.
Oklahoma State is third in the team race with 73.5 points, trailing leader Penn State’s 120.5 and Ohio State’s 88.5. The Nittany Lions, who are poised to win their fourth straight and eighth in last nine years, have a tournament-high five finalists. The Buckeyes have three, while sixth-place Cornell and 11th-place Rutgers are tied with the Cowboys with two finalists. Iowa, who is in fourth with 68 points, has the most wrestlers in the consolation bracket with five.
The finals will air at 6 p.m. Saturday on ESPN.
Fix scored a takedown a minute into the match and racked up 2:04 minutes of riding time in the first period. He escaped in the second and fended off some attacks by Fletcher until the final 10 seconds for the win.
Fix is the 10th freshman NCAA finalist in program history, and the first since Jake Rosholt in 2003.
Freshman Daton Fix of @CowboyWrestling will vie for a national championship tomorrow night! #NCAAWrestling pic.twitter.com/8DLwl5tQ7l— NCAA Wrestling (@ncaawrestling) March 23, 2019
Fix will meet No. 3 Nick Suriano of Rutgers in the final. Fix beat Suriano, the runner up at 125 last year, 3-2 in a double-tiebreaker.
White and Wood traded escapes in the second and third periods, respectively, to send the match to sudden victory. White dove in on Wood’s left ankle for the match-winning takedown.
White will take on Penn State’s Anthony Cassar in the final. The Cowboy beat Cassar 3-2 in the Southern Scuffle championship bout.
Derek White of @CowboyWrestling grits out a semifinal win in overtime! #NCAAWrestling pic.twitter.com/lRgU873ZAo— NCAA Wrestling (@ncaawrestling) March 23, 2019
Piccininni gave up takedowns in each period, two nearfall points and more than a minute of riding time in a 11-4 decision to Iowa’s Spencer Lee. Piccininni falls to 1-3 in his career against Lee, with his lone win coming by pin in the dual earlier this season.
Piccininni will wrestle Cornell’s Vitali Arujau for a spot in the third-place match against the winner of Princeton’s Pat Glory and Northwestern’s Sebastian Rivera. The losers of those bouts will face off for fifth.
Weigel was taken down four times and turned once by Ohio State’s Kollin Moore in a 12-4 major decision loss. Weigel’s first loss this season sends him to the consolations where he’ll face Iowa State’s Will Miklus to earn a spot in the third-place match. Weigel shut out Miklus, 10-0, to win the Big 12 championship. The Weigel-Miklus winner meets the winner of Princeton’s Pat Brucki and Fresno State’s Josh Hokit.
The Cowboys went 1-2 in the consolation bracket as No. 26 Dakota Geer defeated Pittsburgh’s Nino Bonaccorsi, 6-0, to become the lowest seeded All-American in the tournament. He later fell to No. 8 Ryan Preisch of Lehigh, 5-3, and will face No. 3 Zack Zavatsky of Virginia Tech for seventh place.
Dakota Geer rides out the match and @CowboyWrestling will add another All American to their list! #NCAAWrestling pic.twitter.com/1wOzAnNPJv— NCAA Wrestling (@ncaawrestling) March 23, 2019
No. 15 Kaid Brock came up short of his third career All-American honor with a 14-10 loss to No. 13 Kyle Shoop of Lock Haven. Down 6-0 after the first, Brock scored three second-period takedowns and a reversal in the third to take a 10-8 lead, but Shoop turned the Cowboy to his back for the win.
Geer, Piccininni and Weigel will compete in the fifth session at 10 a.m. Saturday, televised on ESPNU and every match on every mat available on watchespn.com.
- Penn State — 120.5
- Ohio State — 88.5
- Oklahoma State — 73.5
- Iowa — 68
- Missouri — 54
133: No. 1 Daton Fix (OSU) vs. No. 3 Nick Suriano (Rutgers)
HWT: No. 1 Derek White (OSU) vs. No. 2 Anthony Cassar (Penn State)
125: No. 2 Nick Piccininni (OSU) vs. No. 8 Vitali Arujau (Cornell)
197: No. 3 Preston Weigel (OSU) vs. No. 6 Will Miklus (Iowa State)
184: No. 26 Dakota Geer (OSU) vs. No. 3 Zack Zavatsky (Virginia Tech)
Session IV results (Friday)
125: No. 3 Spencer Lee (Iowa) dec. No. 2 Nick Piccininni (OSU), 11-4
133: No. 1 Daton Fix (OSU) dec. No. 5 Luke Pletcher (Ohio State), 4-2
197: No. 2 Kollin Moore (Ohio State) dec. No. 3 Preston Weigel (OSU), 12-4
HWT: No. 1 Derek White (OSU) dec. No. 4 Jordan Wood (Lehigh), 3-1 SV1
Consolation fifth round
184: No. 8 Ryan Preisch (Lehigh) dec. No. 26 Dakota Geer (OSU), 5-3
Consolation fourth round
141: No. 13 Kyle Shoop (Lock Haven) dec. No. 15 Kaid Brock (OSU), 14-10
184: No. 26 Dakota Geer (OSU) dec. No. 13 Nino Bonaccorsi (Pittsburgh), 6-0