Things started off on a good note for the Cowboys on Day 1 of the Big 12 Championship as they went 5-0 in the preliminary rounds, which included bonus point wins for Daton Fix and Luke Surber. On the other side of the team race, Missouri had eight matches in the preliminary rounds and scored bonus points in five of the matches.
The quarterfinals brought one of the more interesting storylines of the tournament as Reece Witcraft received a forfeit over West Virginia’s Killian Cardinale to move to the semifinals and secure a bid to the NCAA tournament. Daton Fix then grabbed a tech fall for some additional bonus points and Carter Young edged Clay Carlson to make the semifinals and secure his second NCAA tournament bid.
Victor Voinovich did the same at 149 avenging an early season loss to North Dakota State’s Kellyn March. Kaden Gfeller controlled Iowa State’s Jason Kraisser for another semifinalist before OSU took their first loss of the tournament at 165. At 174 Dustin Plott looked solid with a 6-2 decision over Lance Runyon. 184 was arguably the most eventful match of the round for OSU as Travis Wittlake beat former Cowboy turned Sooner Keegan Moore.
Luke Surber opened things up with some fireworks at 197 as he threw Owen Pentz in the opening seconds of the match and eventually finished with a 12-5 decision. At HWT, OSU took their second loss of the tournament as Konner Doucet fell to No. 1 seed Wyatt Hendrickson from Air Force.
This was about as good as you could hope for OSU, but on the other side of the coin, Missouri had a similar round and only lost one match which propelled them into a 16-point lead over the Cowboys heading into the semifinals.
Wyatt Sheets was the first match of the consolation rounds and fell to Wyoming’s Cole Moody ending Sheets’ tournament. Sheets will now require an at-large bid for the NCAA tournament.
In the semifinals, the Cowboys went 3-5 in the semifinals. OSU started out with Reece Witcraft at 125 vs. Stevo Poulin. It was a scrap as Witcraft was down early then came back to make it 6-5 but had given up riding time. He was unable to score and the match went to OT where he was taken down.
They fell at 149 after Victor Voinovich was taken down in the third in a tight one vs. Missouri and were beaten at 184 and 197 as well. One of the most concerning losses was Carter Young who suffered a knee injury early in his match with No. 1 ranked Andrew Alirez from Northern Colorado.
On the winning side, Daton Fix got a workmanlike major decision over Missouri, Kaden Gfeller won a wild overtime battle vs. Wyoming, and Dustin Plott got a first-period fall vs. Air Force.
On the consolation side, Konner Doucet picked up two wins including a fall over West Virginia and is in the consolation semifinals.
Everyone on the roster except for Sheets has qualified for the NCAA tournament.
OSU is currently in third place trailing Iowa State and Missouri as Missouri is running away with the team title.
The consolation semifinal round starts Sunday at 12 p.m. with the finals at 8:30 p.m. on ESPNU.