Tulsa, Okla. - Following a historic performance, in which all 10 Cowboys advanced to the finals, Oklahoma State earned the 2017 Big 12 Wrestling Championship title. This marks OSU’s fifth consecutive team title and 15th overall since the inception of the league. Eight Cowboys took individual conference titles, along with South Dakota State and West Virginia.
OSU’s 176.5 team points scored and 83-point margin of victory are both Big 12 Championship records. Oklahoma followed up with 93.5 points, while South Dakota State took third with 90.5 points. North Dakota State, Wyoming and Iowa State placed fourth through sixth with 82.5, 71.5 and 65 points, respectively. West Virginia (50) ended in seventh, while Northern Colorado wound up eighth with 60.5 points. Utah Valley and Air Force rounded out the standings with 32 points and 28 points.
The championship session started with the matchup of freshman Nick Piccininni (Oklahoma State), who took the 125-pound title from top-ranked Josh Rodriguez (North Dakota State) in a 7-5 decision. The highly anticipated 133-pound matchup pitted South Dakota State’s Seth Gross against OSU’s Kaid Brock. Gross won the match in a 9-7 decision marking SDSU’s first Big 12 individual title.
Cowboy Dean Heil defended his Big 12 Championship title when he toppled Wyoming’s Bryce Meredith, 10-7, for the 141-pound accolade, while Anthony Collica (OSU) marked his forth conference championship as he finished off Sooner Davion Jeffries with a 7-4 decision en route to the 149-pound title. At 157 pounds, Joseph Smith (Oklahoma State) defeated NDSU’s Clay Ream, 8-0, to take that crown. Dylan Cottrell marked West Virginia’s first Big 12 individual championship, as he took a hard-fought 5-4 decision over OSU’s Chandler Rogers for the 165 title.
Oklahoma State’s Kyle Crutchmer pulled off the 8-4 decision to win the 174 crown over Oklahoma’s Matt Reed, while Nolan Boyd recorded his third conference championship in the 184-pound bracket against Dylan Gabel (UNC).
The Cowboys rounded out the evening with a sweep of the 197-pound and heavyweight bracket. Preston Weigel topped Jacob Smith by injury default and Austin Marsden defeated Dustin Dennison of Utah Valley, 9-0.
South Dakota State’s Seth Gross was voted Most Outstanding Performer by the Big 12 wrestling coaches at the conclusion of the championship. Gross recorded the first Big 12 individual championship and tallied a fall and major decision.
Next up, qualifying wrestlers will descend to St. Louis on March 16-18 for the NCAA Championships. The conference automatically sends 38 wrestlers to the championships, while many others have the opportunity to be selected for an at-large bid.
Big 12 Wrestling Team Standings
1. Oklahoma State – 176.5
2. Oklahoma – 93.5
3. South Dakota State - 90.5
4. North Dakota State – 82.5
5. Wyoming – 71.5
6. West Virginia – 50
7. Northern Colorado – 48.5
8. Northern Colorado - 48.5
9. Utah Valley – 32
10. Air Force - 28