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NCAA Wrestling Day 1 Recap: Cowboys Send Three to Quarterfinals

Three Cowboys could still win an individual crown.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Cowboys started hot Thursday morning, cooled in the evening, but still have seven alive at the NCAA Wrestling Championships.

Oklahoma State finished Day 1 at the NCAA Wrestling Championships in 10th place in the team race, and three Cowboys still have a shot at an individual crown.

Troy Spratley, Daton Fix and Dustin Plott finished the day 2-0, clinching spots in their respective quarterfinals. Jordan Williams, Teague Travis, Izzak Olejnik and Konner Doucet are still battling in the consolation brackets, while Tagen Jamison, Brayden Thompson and Luke Surber bowed out of the tournament after two matches.

“Little rough — little rougher than I thought,” OSU coach John Smith said. “… But it’s kinda nothing unexpected. Thought we’d win a couple more than what we won, but the tournament is still tomorrow.”

Fix is in search of his first individual crown having finished second on three occasions.

The poster boy for OSU wrestling for the past seven years, Fix started his tournament with a dominant 17-1 technical fall against VMI’s Dyson Dunham. That match saw Fix score four takedowns and a quartet of back points.

That win put Fix in front of Ohio State’s Nic Bouzakis, the 16 seed. Bouzakis proved tricky for Fix, as the Cowboy senior scrapped to a 5-4 win after Bouzakis scored on an escape and takedown in the third period to tie the bout at 4 before Fix mustered an escape and held the rest of the match scoreless.

“I think just wasn’t quite respecting how strong this kid was,” Smith said. “Made his adjustments and picked up a nice win.”

Fix’s first bout Friday will be against Iowa State’s Evan Frost, a wrestler Fix has beaten twice this season — including in the Big 12 final earlier this month.

A two-time All-American at 174 pounds, Plott made the move to 184 ahead of this season and is well on his way to a third All-America honor. Plott barreled through Malachi DuVall with a 17-2 technical fall in his opening match, scoring three takedowns and four near-fall points all in the second period to clinch the win.

Plott kept that momentum rolling in the evening with a 17-3 major decision against Franklin and Marshall’s James Conway in the second round. Plott scored two takedowns in the first, two in the second and another in the third in that match.

Plott will face Penn State’s Bernie Truax in the quarterfinals. The 6 seed, Truax beat 11 seed Colton Hawks 4-2 to make the quarterfinal.

“Good day, wrestling hard, injury free, so that’s always plus going into tomorrow,” Plott said. “Big match tomorrow I’m super excited for. All glory to God. Just trying to compete the way God designed me to and enjoy every match.”

The 125-pound bracket looked to be the most chaotic coming into the weekend, and it has provided a few fireworks. Spratley got through his opening matches unscathed, beating 22 seed Max Gallagher 6-0 and 11 seed Cooper Flynn 8-1.

Elsewhere in the 125-pound bracket, though, 5 seed Jore Volk and 2 seed Luke Stanich fell to the consolation side. From Wyoming, Volk beat Spratley in the Big 12 final. Spratley beat Stanich in their dual meeting in December.

Spratley wrestles 3 seed Drake Ayala (Iowa) in the quarterfinals. Ayala beat Spratley in sudden victory in the Cowboys’ dual against the Hawkeyes in February.

“Felt great, but there’s more to come,” Spratley said. “I need to continue this, keep getting better throughout the tournament. Don’t wanna be average; I wanna be the best.”

The three Cowboys in the quarterfinals need just one more win to achieve All-American status. Those already in the consolation bracket entering Friday need three wins to make the top eight.

“We got seven alive,” Smith said. “That’s kinda the case when you bring 10 — you lose a few of them. We gotta fight and win some matches. It’ll be important for us.”

Top 10 Teams

Team Points
1 Penn State 34.5
T2 Iowa State 24.5
T2 Iowa 24.5
T4 Michigan 22
T4 NC State 22
6 Nebraska 21
7 Ohio State 20.5
8 Cornell 18.5
9 Virginia Tech 17.5
T10 Oklahoma State 14
T10 Missouri 14

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