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Five Observations from the First Day of the NCAA Wrestling Tournament

On injuries, things going chalk and Tulsa as a host city.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]


TULSA — The 2023 NCAA Wrestling Championships started in the BOK Center on Thursday. Oklahoma State finished the first day tied for 17th as a team and advanced Daton Fix and Dustin Plott to the quarterfinals with five more Cowboys still alive in the consolation bracket. Here are five observations from Day 1.

1. Carter Young was definitely not physically ready

Carter Young was injured in the semifinals of the Big 12 Championship and did not wrestle again in the tournament following his injury. He recovered enough to go here in Tulsa, but was clearly hobbled and far from 100%. Credit to Young for giving it a go here, but he probably wasn’t in any place to try and compete here. He went 0-2.

2. Avenging losses vs. Oregon State

Luke Surber and Dustin Plott both took somewhat surprising losses in the Oregon State dual that they were able to avenge here. Surber beat Tanner Harvey 8-1 to open the tournament, and Plott beat Aaron Olmos 10-6. Always a good thing to turn around a regular season loss at the NCAA Tournament.

3. Winning and losing where they should

On paper, with the exception of Carter Young who was clearly injured, the Cowboys beat who they were supposed to beat and lost to who they were supposed to lose to. Obviously, this isn’t anywhere anyone wants to see the program overall, but if you’re looking at specific performances this weekend, they’re doing as expected.

4. Tulsa is OK

There was a lot of chatter online and otherwise about how Tulsa as a city would handle this event. I’ve been to other NCAA tournaments and you could make critiques about certain things, but overall it’s about the same as any NCAA tournament I’ve been to. Tulsa did a good job with this.

5. Injuries are a killer

Goes without saying, but the biggest two hits Oklahoma State took were at 125 and 141. At 125 Reece Witcraft had to bow out after going into concussion protocol, and at 141 Carter Young gutted out two matches but clearly just wasn’t healthy enough to be wrestling.

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