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OSU Wrestling: Daton Fix Will ‘Most Likely’ Return from Injury against Wyoming, Luke Surber Timetable Still Uncertain

The Cowboys wrestle Wyoming on Tuesday.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

It’s the final year of Daton Fix at Oklahoma State, so every missed match seems significant.

Fix was scratched from the Cowboys’ lineup because of injury just before the start of the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational on Dec. 1-2. He also missed last weekend’s duals against Lehigh and Oklahoma. But it looks like two weekends of action could be all Fix misses, according to coach John Smith on his weekly radio show Tuesday.

“Daton, he’s doing much better, let’s just say that,” Smith said. “His whole career, I just can’t even remember him missing a match. I’m sure he did, but I can’t really remember. So, let me tell you, it’s painful for him to be sitting down. It is. I know that. So, he’ll be back soon. Most likely Wyoming.”

The Cowboys will travel to Laramie for a rare weekday night dual against Wyoming on Tuesday. It will be OSU’s last action of 2023, as the Cowboys won’t compete again until their dual against NC State on Jan. 5 in Raleigh. If healthy, Fix wouldn’t appear in Gallagher-Iba Arena again until Jan. 21 against Oregon State.

During Fix’s absence, Lehigh freshman Ryan Crookham has emerged as the new top wrestler at 133 pounds with wins over defending national champion Vito Arujau of Cornell and top-5 wrestler Aaron Nagao of Penn State. Fix would have met Crookham on Friday night with a GIA crowd on his side, but instead, Crookham handled Reece Witcraft 11-2.

InterMat has had Crookham at No. 1 in its last two weekly rankings, while Fix sits at No. 3 behind Crookham and Arujau. Which wrestler should be No. 1 at 133 pounds was another topic brought up by host Rex Holt during the radio show.

“Who says (Crookham) is No. 1,” Smith said. “I think he’s a good wrestler. Daton Fix would kick his butt.”

OSU has also been without 197-pounder Luke Surber, but it doesn’t seem his return will come as soon as Fix’s.

“We’ll be conservative with him,” Smith said. “Now, whether he’s ready for Wyoming or not, I don’t know. But we’ll definitely be conservative with where he’s at. He’ll be back, no question. It’s just a matter of when.”

Witcraft and Kyle Haas have filled in at 133 and 197, respectively. Witcraft went 1-1 last weekend with a loss to the top wrestler at the weight and a win at Bedlam.

“I just felt like he kind of just was like, ‘Look, I’m not supposed to win this thing,’” Smith said of the Crookham match. “But he didn’t compete. He’s way better than that. We’re getting beat 11-2? Really? You’re better than that.

“I just felt like Reece respected too much of Crookham. But Crookham, he’s done a nice job. He beat No. 1 (Arujau) to go to No. 1. But I will say that I think Reece really gave him the match.”

Haas was 0-2 on the weekend, losing by tech fall and pin against a pair of top-10 opponents.

“Lehigh and Oklahoma had one of their starters out like we did,” Smith said. “And so, for us, (197) happened to be a tough weekend, though, for whoever was at it. And I sure would like to see a little bit (more out of) Kyle Haas, who has just been rattled the last two years, and even this year has, because of some injuries.”

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