For the first time in its history, the Big 12 Conference did not have an individual national champion at the NCAA Wrestling Championships. The league’s highest finisher was Oklahoma State’s Jordan Oliver, who was second at the 133-pound weight division. The Big 12 had all four of its squads and 33 student-athletes participate at this year’s event at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo.
Big 12 regular-season champion Oklahoma State led the league with a sixth place finish in the team standings by racking up 66 points. Oklahoma was 13th (38 points), followed by Missouri (26th, 20) and Iowa State (35th, 11.5).
After receiving 30 automatic qualifiers and three at-large selections, the Conference had five wrestlers earn All-America accolades after their performances at the event. Joining OSU’s Oliver were teammates Cayle Byers and Chris Perry and Oklahoma wrestlers Kendric Maple and Nick Lester.
For the Cowboys, Oliver was looking to repeat on his national title run from a year ago, but came up just short to Ohio State’s Logan Stieber, 4-3, in the championship bout. Both Byers at 197 and Perry at 174 finished in third place at the event. Oklahoma State wrestlers have now earned a total of 428 All-America honors. This tournament marks the third-consecutive year the Cowboys have had at least three All-Americans.
Wrestling at the 141 and 149-pound divisions, Maple and Lester finished fourth and eighth, respectively. As a program Oklahoma now has had 265 All-Americans.
Missouri, which qualified all 10 of its starters for the championships, failed to have any wrestlers earn All-America honors for the first time since 2001.
Iowa State’s top wrestler, Andrew Sorenson, battled an ankle injury throughout the championships and came up just short in the quarterfinal round against Brandon Hatchett of Lehigh, 7-3.
Penn State ran away with a second consecutive team title, outscoring second-place Minnesota by 25.5 points. PSU had 143 points, one of four teams to reach the 100-point plateau. Iowa (107.5) and Cornell (102.5) also hit the century mark. Fifth-place Ohio State (68.5) rounded out the top five.
Penn State’s David Taylor was named the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler with four pins and a technical fall. He also earned the Gorrarian Award for most falls in the least amount of time and the inaugural “Most Dominant Award” given by the NCAA for his body of work during the 2011-12 season.
The 2013 NCAA Wrestling Championships will take place in Des Moines, Iowa.