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Gallagher Iba Ranked No. 3 Venue to Watch College Wrestling

GIA ranked third behind Carver Hawkeye and Rec Hall



The NCAA released the top five venues to watch college wrestling at and Gallagher-Iba Arena made the list.

The home of the Cowboys finished third behind Iowa’s Carver Hawkeye Arena and Penn State’s Rec Hall.


The winningest program in NCAA wrestling history would naturally be housed in one of the most popular wrestling venues in the country, so it’s no surprise to see Oklahoma State’s Gallagher-Iba Arena near the top of this list. Though still trailing Carver-Hawkeye Arena and Rec Hall, Gallagher-Iba Arena is known to loud, rowdy and full of support when the Cowboys take the mat.

Built in 1938, Gallagher-Iba Arena is rooted in wrestling history as it takes the first part of its name from Oklahoma State’s famous coach Ed Gallagher. Under Gallagher’s leadership, the Cowboys won 11 national titles and posted a 138-5-4 dual record. Basketball coach Henry Iba served as the inspiration for the second half of the venue’s name, and Iba was added to the arena’s title in 1987. Two empty seats remain in the arena during every event to honor these two men.

Today, Gallagher-Iba holds 13,611 fans, and while every dual is loud in support of the Cowboys, the place erupted at the end of last season when Nick Piccininni pinned NCAA champion Spencer Lee at the annual Iowa-Oklahoma State dual. Piccininni’s win was one of several major moments in the 27-12 win over the Hawkeyes, and his vote in the best places for college wrestling poll was noticed. The Cowboy senior has a lot of reasons to take pride in his home mat, but last year’s win over the defending national champion in front of him his home crowd would certainly be one more reason for the All-American to appreciate wrestling in Gallagher-Iba.

This year, the Cowboys will host eight home duals in Gallagher-Iba, including four Big 12 contests and the famous Bedlam dual against Oklahoma on Feb. 16.

Rutgers and Lehigh rounded out the top 5 with Rutgers at four and Lehigh at number five.

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