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OSU Wrestling: After Disappointing College Career Ending, Daton Fix Eyes Bigger Goal at Olympic Team Trials

‘I still have my ultimate goal in front of me.’



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

At an early age, Daton Fix once asked his father what the pinnacle of wrestling is. The answer: Olympic gold.

Fix, along with former Cowboy Alex Dieringer and Oklahoma State freshman Christian Carroll, will be one of three wrestlers with OSU ties to compete at the United States Olympic Team Trials on Friday and Saturday in State College, Pennsylvania. Dieringer and Carroll will participate at 86 kg and 97 kg, respectively, both of which are weights that have already been qualified for the U.S. for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games. Fix’s weight of 57 kg, though, has not been qualified yet. Whoever makes Team USA at the weight this weekend will then have to finish in the top three at the World Olympic Games Qualifier in Istanbul on May 9-12 to compete at the Olympics. A Cowboy hasn’t wrestled at the Olympics since Coleman Scott won a bronze medal in 2012.

“To represent my country at the Olympics, it’d be a dream come true — in more ways than one,” Fix told PFB. “That’s everybody’s dream — to reach the pinnacle of their sport. Every wrestler’s dreamt of going to the Olympics and representing their country. So if I have the opportunity to do that, it would be the dream come true, and something I’ll celebrate with my family and my friends, just show my appreciation to them for all they’ve done just to help me get to that point. It’d be a dream come true.”

Fix’s prosperous OSU career ended in disappointing fashion, though. He is the only five-time conference champion and five-time All-American in Cowboy Wrestling history, but he also became the first four-time national runner-up in NCAA history after falling short in the NCAA Wrestling Championships finals against Cornell’s Vito Arujau last month.

“Since I started wrestling, from the very beginning I asked my dad what the pinnacle of wrestling was, and he said Olympic gold medal,” Fix said. “And that’s what I told my dad what I wanted to do from the first day I started wrestling. It wasn’t, ‘I wanted to win a national title.’ It was, ‘I want to win an Olympic gold medal.’ And that goal is still in front of me.

“As much as I did want to win a national title, I still have my ultimate goal in front of me. I know that it’s still in my hands and I have an opportunity to go achieve that here [this] weekend. And I like my chances. There isn’t anybody in the bracket that I haven’t beat. I’ve wrestled pretty much everybody in the bracket and beat all of them at one point in our careers. There’s no reason that I can’t go do it again.”

In his second Olympic Team Trials, Fix is the 3 seed in the 57 kg bracket as a former silver medalist at the 2021 World Championships. He gets a first-round bye, awaiting the winner of 6 seed Nick Suriano and 11 seed Marcus Blaze in the quarterfinals. Suriano beat Fix in the NCAA finals in 2019, but Fix also bested Suriano earlier that season. Thomas Gilman is the 2 seed on Fix’s side of the bracket. Gilman represented the U.S. at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and earned a bronze medal. Zane Richards is the top seed at the weight.

“I think that I’ve gotten better in that short period of time [since nationals],” Fix said. “You don’t need a lot of time to get better, especially after you face a little bit of disappointment. It’s pretty easy to get motivated after disappointment. Obviously nationals didn’t go how I wanted it to go, but I was eager to get back on the mat and compete and get better, and that’s what I’ve done the past three weeks. I’m ready to go prove it.”

You can see all Olympic Team Trials brackets here. 

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