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2020 Big 12 Wrestling Championship: Oklahoma State in 1st after Day 1 with 4 finalists

The Cowboys scored 50.5 points in the second session to grab the lead from Iowa State.

Oklahoma State’s Nick Piccininni gets his right hand raised after a win at the Big 12 Wrestling Championship on Saturday, March 7, 2020, at BOK Center in Tulsa.
Oklahoma State athletics

Oklahoma State has taken the Big 12 Wrestling Championship lead from Iowa State with 111.5 points and placed four into Sunday’s final at BOK Center in Tulsa.

The Cowboys entered the second session down three points to the Cyclones, but scored 50.5 points to take a 19.5-point lead over ISU (92) heading into Sunday. Northern Iowa (90.5) jumped from fifth to third, while South Dakota State (83.5) slid one spot to fourth and North Dakota State (74.5) moved up from seventh to fifth.

OSU went 4-2 during the semifinals, including three wins with bonus points attached. Top-seeded Boo Lewallen (149) had a fall in dramatic fashion, and No. 1 Nick Piccininni (125) and No. 3 Wyatt Sheets (157) each had major decisions. Travis Wittlake (165), OSU’s third top seed, had a 10-3 decision against No. 4 Tanner Cook of South Dakota State.

Lewallen built a 6-3 first-period lead with three takedowns, but No. 4 Jarrett Degen of ISU rallied with an escape, takedown and two-point nearfall for an 8-7 lead. Lewallen took the lead with a reversal and four-point turn, but Degen slipped out and reversed him only to have Lewallen do the same and lock up a cradle for the fall at 6:18.

Lewallen will seek his second conference title when he meets No. 2 Henry Pohlmeyer of SDSU in the final. The Cowboy scored a 10-0 major decision against Pohlmeyer in the dual.

Tied 5-5 after two periods, No. 2 Jared Franek of NDSU made a poor decision to start on bottom and Sheets made him pay for it. Sheets racked up nine points with two four-point turns and a riding time point for a 14-5 major decision. Sheets will have a rematch against No. 1 David Carr of ISU, who he lost to by 14-6 major decision in the dual.

Piccininni scored a takedown in each period and a two-point nearfall in the third for a 12-1 major decision against No. 4 McGwire Midkiff of NDSU. Piccininni will try to become OSU’s sixth four-time Big 12 champion when he faces No. 3 Alex Mackall of ISU, who defeated Air Force’s Cody Phippen 7-3 in the other semifinal. Piccininni defeated Mackall with a 10-2 major decision in the dual.

Wittlake, a redshirt freshman, scored three takedowns and a turn to advance to the final against No. 2 Andrew Fogarty of NDSU. It’ll be the first meeting between the two.

Fourth-seeded Dusty Hone (141) and No. 5 Joe Smith (174) dropped their semifinal bouts by decision to the top-seeded wrestler in their bracket. Hone looked to be headed to sudden victory in his third match this season against Oklahoma’s Dom Demas, but the Sooner wrestler scored a takedown as time expired for a 3-1 win against Hone. Tied 1-1 with less than a minute remaining in the third, Northern Iowa’s Bryce Steiert stuffed Smith’s shot attempt and scored a takedown for a 4-1 victory.

Staying alive

Six-seeded Reece Witcraft (133), No. 2 Anthony Montalvo (184) and No. 5 Dakota Geer (197) all stayed alive in the consolation bracket. Montalvo and Geer both went 2-0 to advance to the consolation semifinals, while Witcraft went 1-1 to make the seventh-place match against West Virginia’s Lucas Seibert.

Montalvo pinned West Virginia’s Jackson Moomau in 2:23 then scored a takedown in sudden victory for a 5-3 win against No. 6 Darrien Roberts of OU. Montalvo will meet No. 5 Marcus Coleman of ISU in the conso semifinals. The Cowboy holds a 6-2 win over Coleman from the dual season.

Geer rallied from an early 2-0 deficit with five takedowns en route to a 13-7 win against Iowa State’s Joel Shapiro then outlasted No. 8 Cordell Eaton of NDSU for a 10-7 victory. Geer will face No. 3 Jake Woodley of OU. The Bedlam rivals split their regular-season matches.

Witcraft scored a double-leg takedown with 10 seconds remaining for a 5-3 upset against top-seeded Taylor LaMont of Utah Valley, and dropped a 16-7 major decision to Fresno State’s Lawrence Saenz, who won a scramble off a Witcraft shot attempt for a six-point swing to win the match. Witcraft blazed past Seibert in the dual with a 17-1 technical fall.

Down and out

Undersized heavyweight Austin Harris’ season ended with an 8-4 loss to No. 7 Brandon Metz of NDSU. Harris finished the season 5-12, including 3-5 in Big 12 matches.

How to watch

Session 3: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sunday (ESPN+)

  • Consolation semifinals (20 matches — 4 mats)
  • Third, fifth, seventh place matches (30 matches — 4 mats)

Session 4: 6 p.m., Sunday (Fox Sports Oklahoma)

  • Championship finals (10 matches — 1 mat)

OSU’s upcoming matches

Finals

125: No. 1 Nick Piccininni (OSU) vs. No. 3 Alex Mackall (ISU)

149: No. 1 Boo Lewallen (OSU) vs. No. 2 Henry Pohlmeyer (SDSU)

157: No. 3 Wyatt Sheets (OSU) vs. No. 1 David Carr (ISU)

165: No. 1 Travis Wittlake (OSU) vs. No. 2 Andrew Fogarty (NDSU)

Seventh-place match

133: No. 6 Reece Witcraft (OSU) vs. Lucas Seibert (WVU)

Consolation semifinals

141: No. 4 Dusty Hone (OSU) vs. No. 7 Clay Carlson (SDSU)

174: No. 5 Joe Smith (OSU) vs. No. 6 Hayden Hastings (WYO)

184: No. 2 Anthony Montalvo (OSU) vs. No. 5 Marcus Coleman (ISU)

197: No. 5 Dakota Geer (OSU) vs. No. 3 Jake Woodley (OU)


OSU results

Semifinals

125: No. 1 Nick Piccininni (OSU) major dec. No. 4 McGwire Midkiff (NDSU), 12-1

141: No. 1 Dom Demas (OU) dec. No. 4 Dusty Hone (OSU), 3-1

149: No. 1 Boo Lewallen (OSU) FALL No. 4 Jarrett Degen (ISU), 6:18

157: No. 3 Wyatt Sheets (OSU) major dec. No. 2 Jared Franek (NDSU), 14-5

165: No. 1 Travis Wittlake (OSU) dec. No. 4 Tanner Cook (SDSU), 10-3

174: No. 1 Bryce Steiert (UNI) dec. No. 5 Joe Smith (OSU), 4-1

Consolation quarterfinals

133: Lawrence Saenz (FS) major dec. No. 6 Reece Witcraft (OSU), 16-7

184: No. 2 Anthony Montalvo (OSU) dec. No. 6 Darrien Roberts (OU), 5-3 SV1

197: No. 5 Dakota Geer (OSU) dec. No. 8 Cordell Eaton (NDSU), 10-7

Consolation first round

133: No. 6 Reece Witcraft (OSU) dec. No. 1 Taylor LaMont (UVU), 5-3

184: No. 2 Anthony Montalvo (OSU) FALL Jackson Moomau (WVU), 2:23

197: No. 5 Dakota Geer (OSU) dec. Joel Shapiro (ISU), 13-7

285: No. 7 Brandon Metz (NDSU) dec. Austin Harris (OSU), 8-4