OSU wrestling: Cowboys take give top-10 seeds into NCAA championships
STILLWATER — It’ll be Daton Fix’s first appearance at the NCAA Wrestling Championships and Derek White’s last, but both Oklahoma State standouts will go in on top of the bracket.
Fix, at 133 pounds, and White, at heavyweight, will be the No. 1 seeds in the NCAA championships, set to begin next Thursday at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh.
The second-ranked Cowboys remain one of the top contenders to compete with top-ranked Penn State, winner of seven of the last eight titles.
OSU last had two No. 1 seeds in 2016, when Alex Dieringer and Dean Heil went on to win individual titles. The Cowboys have four more wrestlers seeded in the top seven, with 125-pounder Nick Piccininni landing a No. 2 seed and 197-pounder Preston Weigel at No. 3.
Fix is 31-1 on the year, with 11 wins over top-20 wrestlers at what coach John Smith considers the deepest, most challenging weight class.
Fix wrestled internationally at the highest level during his junior career, but the NCAA championships still represent something special.
“Wrestling in the NCAA tournament is something I’ve dreamed of doing. I’m gonna go out there and give it my all,” Fix said. “Go win a national title. Every time I step on the mat, my goal is to get my hand raised.”
White has won his last 27 matches, with six against ranked opponents. Weigel is a perfect 11-0 this season, and didn’t allow a point in his four wins at the Big 12 Championships, outscoring opponents 41-0.
Coming off their seventh straight Big 12 title last weekend in Tulsa, OSU hopes to carry that momentum into Penn State’s backyard.
“This was another stepping stone. One closer to nationals,” Weigel said of the Big 12 championship. “This is fun. We have a good team, and I’m proud to be a part of it.
“The big show is next. I think we got a shot at it. We perform right, and we get a few guys in the finals, and we can win it.”
NCAA WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS
When: March 21-23
Where: PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh
TV: ESPN and ESPNU
125: Nick Piccininni, No. 2
133: Daton Fix, No. 1
141: Kaid Brock No. 15
149: Kaden Gfeller, No. 7
165: Joe Smith, No. 33
174: Jacobe Smith, No. 7
184: Dakota Geer, No. 26
197: Preston Weigel, No. 3
HWT: Derek White, No. 1
125: Christian Moody, No. 30
141: Dom Demas, No. 9
149: Davion Jeffries, No. 16
157: Justin Thomas, No. 21
197: Jake Woodley, No. 18