Oklahoma State’s 133-pounder Daton Fix and heavyweight Derek White both dropped their NCAA championship matches Saturday at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh.
White, a redshirt senior, opened the final round with a 10-1 major decision loss to Penn State senior Anthony Cassar. Fix, a redshirt freshman, lost a heartbreaking 4-2 decision in the second sudden victory to Rutgers junior Nick Suriano.
Fix-Suriano II was even wilder than the first time the two squared off in the dual this season, which Fix won 3-2 on a hands-to-the-face call in overtime. Suriano was hit with a stalling point at the buzzer in the first 30-second rideout to give Fix a 2-1 lead in the NCAA final. Rutgers head coach Scott Goodale called for a review, arguing time had expired. But the call stood as the official’s 5-second count started with 5 seconds remaining.
Fix flatted Suriano out on the mat and was in control on his ride until the official called a stalemate with 8 seconds left in the rideout. Suriano then escaped and grabbed a decisive takedown in the second sudden victory.
OSU head coach John Smith challenged the takedown, claiming Suriano grabbed the left shell of Fix’s headgear. Suriano’s fingers were shown curled in a gripping motion, but the call stood after a review and Fix dropped his first NCAA final appearance and Suriano made history as Rutgers’ first NCAA wrestling champion.
Fix closed out his freshman season 34-2 as the national runner-up.
White escaped in the second period to take a 1-0 lead then Cassar dumped White to his back with 5 seconds left in the frame and scored six points with four nearfall points. White let Cassar go in the third and was promptly taken down and ridden out the period for an additional riding time as Cassar avenged a 3-2 loss in the Southern Scuffle final.
White went 32-2 during his senior season and is the Cowboys’ best heavyweight finisher since 2010. He complied a 75-15 record in three seasons at 197 pounds and heavyweight during his OSU career after he walked on as a transfer from Nebraska.
The Cowboys have now gone back-to-back years without an individual national champion for the first time since 2009-10. Dean Heil was the Cowboys last NCAA champion in 2017 when he won his second straight title at 141 pounds.
In addition to Fix and White, three other Cowboys claimed All-American honors to help OSU take third with 82 points behind Penn State and Ohio State. Redshirt senior 197-pounder Preston Weigel took third, redshirt junior 125-pounder Nick Piccininni grabbed fifth and redshirt sophomore Dakota Geer was seventh at 184 pounds.
133: No. 3 Nick Suriano (Rutgers) dec. No. 1 Daton Fix (OSU), 4-2 in SV2
HWT: No. 2 Anthony Cassar (Penn State) major dec. No. 1 Derek White (OSU), 10-1