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OSU Wrestling: Cowboys Top No. 12 Minnesota 21-12 in Home Opener

The Cowboys take out the Golden Gophers in a Top 15 showdown.



STILLWATER — Depending on how the rest of true freshman Reece Witcraft’s college career goes, his first match in the historic Gallagher-Iba Arena could be a thing of legend.

Oklahoma State defeated Minnesota 21-12 on Sunday in GIA, and the freshman standing in place for Daton Fix scored the most points he possibly could. After a controversial doctor’s disqualification in Lehigh last weekend, Witcraft found himself trailing Brent Jones 8-1 on his first match on the orange mat atop Eddie Sutton Court. Then everything suddenly changed for the kid from Broken Arrow.

The officials went to the monitor with 17 seconds left in the first period with Witcraft down 8-1, and a locked hands call put 55 seconds back on the clock and cut Jones’ lead to 8-2. With the added time, Witcraft was able to score on an escape and takedown and go into the second period down 8-5.

The freshman then escaped to start the second period before taking Jones down, catching him in a cradle and pinning him to the delight of the GIA crowd.

“It’s a dream come true,” Witcraft said. “I’ve never felt so happy in my life. I got that pin. I couldn’t even be intense. I was just so happy.”

Just a few months ago, Witcraft was deep in the Cowboys’ depth chart at 133. For starters, Fix, a returning NCAA finalist, was there. After it was determined Fix would take an Olympic redshirt, it looked as if Kaid Brock would slide down and fill in for Fix, but Brock tore his ACL. Then it came down to a decision from OSU coach John Smith if he wanted go with redshirt freshman Conner Wilson or not use a redshirt on Witcraft in his first year.

“It’s been hard,” Witcraft said. “Been grinding hard lately, but it’s all worth it when I get a pin out there. I’m here and ready.”

There was a Top 10 matchup at 149 when No. 6 Boo Lewallen faced No. 10 Brayton Lee. The match went into the third tied at 3. Lee started the third period on bottom and needed only an escape to take the lead, but Lewallen flipped Lee to his back for a 4-point near fall and rode him the entire period to win 8-3.

“He took it to another level on top,” Smith said. “He picked up a turn and that was the difference, right? Those are exciting matches to watch. You’re always talking about separating the score against opponents, but when that doesn’t happen, you gotta dig deep and find ways to win. He did a good job.”

The Cowboys are 2-1 on the year after successfully bouncing back from their loss against Lehigh last weekend. They won’t have another dual until they host Princeton on Dec. 6.

“For this team right now, having Thanksgiving weekend off, probably not good for them,” Smith said. “We’re going to utilize (the time off) by creating some competition in the our room. That’s what these guys need. We really need to be wrestling, and we need to be getting experience. We need to go through some mistakes and find out where we need to be. We’ll definitely run a week that’s very competitive.”

Weight Result
125 Nick Piccininni (OSU) dec. Pat McKee (Minn), 3-2
133 Reece Witcraft (OSU) fall Brent Jones (Minn), 3:56
141 Mitch McKee (Minn) dec. Dusty Hone (OSU), 10-5
149 Boo Lewallen (OSU) dec. Brayton Lee (Minn), 8-3
157 Wyatt Sheets (OSU) dec. Carson Brolsma (Minn), 8-1
165 Travis Wittlake (OSU) dec. Bailee O’Reilly (Minn), 5-3
174 Devin Skatzka (Minn) dec. Andrew Shomers (OSU), 5-2
184 Owen Webster (Minn) dec. Anthony Montalvo (OSU), 4-3
197 Dakota Geer (OSU) dec. Garrett Joles (Minn), 7-2
285 Robert Steveson (Minn) dec. Austin Harris (OSU), 11-5


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