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NCAA Wrestling Day 3 Recap: Fix, Plott Come Up Short in NCAA Finals, Olejnik Secures Fifth

It just wasn’t meant to be for Daton Fix.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It just wasn’t meant to be for Daton Fix.

Fix came second in a fourth 133-pound NCAA final on Saturday in T-Mobile Center, finishing his seven-year Oklahoma State career with a 123-7 record but without an NCAA title.

After a locked hands call and an escape, Fix went into the third period of his fourth NCAA final with a 2-0 lead. But in a match riddled with blood time and reviews, Fix eventually fell to reigning world champion Vito Arujau 5-3 after Arujau earned an escape, a stall point and a takedown in the final period.

Fix ended his college career as a four-time runner up, which is absolutely brutal. But he is a five-time All-American and five-time Big 12 Champion. He has to be the greatest Cowboy to not have won an NCAA title, if not the best collegiate wrestler to never win an NCAA title.

But even after the emotions of coming up just short one last time, Fix, with stitches in his right brow, stepped in front of reporters one final time as a Cowboy wrestler.

“Obviously it’s not what I wanted, but that was the outcome,” Fix said. “Left it all out there. Wrestled hard. Just didn’t do enough to win. Same old story.

“I love Oklahoma State. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. It’s been a dream come true to put on that orange singlet. I’m just very thankful for everything they’ve done for me. I just hope that I made them proud.”

Dustin Plott suffered a similar fate. He fell to Northern Iowa’s Parker Keckeisen 14-5 in the NCAA final at 184 pounds. It was the third time this season Plott lost to Keckeisen.

Still, it’s the best Plott has finished at NCAAs, besting a pair of sixth-place finishes at 174 pounds the past two seasons. Keckeisen again proved he is simply on another level. Plott got to the final with four bonus-point wins. Keckeisen finished with five.

Like Plott, OSU 165-pounder Izzak Olejnik had a personal-best finish at NCAAs, coming in fifth. Olejnik went 1-1 on the day, falling to Iowa’s Mike Caliendo 9-8 in a match decided by riding time before besting Stanford’s Hunter Garvin 3-0 in the fifth-place match.

Olejnik joined the Cowboys this season via the transfer portal from Northern Illinois and dived head first into the deepest weight class in the Big 12. The conference had four All-Americans at the weight in Iowa State’s David Carr (first), Missouri’s Keegan O’Toole (third), Olejnik (fifth) and West Virginia’s Peyton Hall (seventh). All of Olejnik’s losses this season came against guys ranked in the top 10.

“I think one of the biggest impacts [wrestling this season at Oklahoma State has made] is mindset,” Olejnik said. “Being able to know that you’re going to go out there and win and mentally break dudes. I think that’s something that I lacked, I think since I started wrestling. My confidence was a little holding me back. This being my last year, I said why not go for it? …

“Just being with the Oklahoma State coaching staff and teammates, I’ve said it before, but it feels like I’ve been on the team a lot longer than I really have. They truly accept you and push you and want to get the absolute most out of you. I can’t thank them enough for giving me the opportunity.”

The Cowboys finished 10th in the team standings, which might not seem outstanding, but fewer than 10 points separated teams No. 6 through 10. For reference, 100 points separated No. 1 from No. 2. It’s also the first time since 2021 the Cowboys have had more than two All-Americans with Fix, Plott and Olejnik notching the honors.

Daton Fix Interview

Cowboys at the NCAA Championships

Troy Spratley — 2-2
Daton Fix — 4-1, second
Tagen Jamison — 0-2
Jordan Williams — 2-2
Teague Travis — 2-2
Izzak Olejnik — 6-2, fifth
Brayden Thompson — 0-2
Dustin Plott — 4-1, second
Luke Surber — 0-2
Konner Doucet — 2-2

Top 10 Teams

Team Points
1 Penn State 172.5
2 Cornell 72.5
3 Michigan 71
4 Iowa State 68.5
5 Iowa 67
6 Arizona State 64.5
7 Virginia Tech 64
8 Ohio State 62
9 Nebraska 60.5
10 Oklahoma State 56


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