To start the season there were two teams you put squarely in the conversation for who would best pair at 125-133. They met last Sunday in Gallagher Iba.
Iowa returned the defending NCAA champ at 125 in Spencer Lee, a wrestler that absolutely dominated his way to an NCAA title last March. They also received a transfer in Austin DeSanto who doesn’t have the best reputation as far as his temperament is concerned, but certainly came into this season as an All-American contender at 133.
OSU returned All-American Nick Piccininni and had superstar recruit Daton Fix coming off his redshirt year and entering the lineup for the first time. One question that we really didn’t have fully answered until the start of the season was who would be where? Both were and are able to wrestle at 125. Naturally you can’t wrestle two guys at the same weight though.
That question was ultimately answered with Piccininni at 125 and Daton Fix at 133. If you set your focus on what pair is better early in the season, the determining factor in most fans mind would likely be who has the largest gap. Spencer Lee came in with higher expectations than Nick Piccininni and Daton Fix came in with higher expectations than Austin DeSanto. So if Nick is closer to Spencer or DeSanto is closer to Daton, then that pair probably has the best tandem.
How it ended up flowing through the year is that the gaps between both seemed to be very small, much smaller than most expected. Though Lee was certainly favored going into the dual on Sunday he did not look dramatically better than Nick Piccininni throughout the season. Same with Fix-DeSanto. You would still give Daton an edge but DeSanto turned out to be a much better wrestler than most expected going into the season.
This all culminated with a dual finale between the two on Sunday where we all would find out who was better in two matches that on paper looked like they would be much more competitive than anyone would have projected to start the season. By now most know by now how that turned out.
Nick Piccininni blew the roof off Gallagher-Iba Arena with his second period fall over Spencer Lee and Daton Fix beat the most vilified figure in college wrestling in Austin DeSanto 2-0 with an escape in the second and third period ride out.
— Kelly Kerr (@camera3728) February 25, 2019
There’s still some time for this conversation to play out with the NCAA tournament coming up in a few weeks. As it stands right now it looks like the best 1-2 punch in the country at 125-133 resides in Stillwater.