OSU wrestling: Cowboys finish third at NCAA Championships as Penn State rolls to title
PITTSBURGH — Oklahoma State’s pair of No. 1 seeds lost revenge matches Saturday night in the NCAA wrestling finals — one in lopsided fashion and the other in a nailbiter before 18,950 fans in PPG Paints Arena.
Senior heavyweight Derek White (32-2) saw his 30-match winning streak shattered in just a few seconds midway through the second period when Penn State’s Anthony Cassar (30-1) struck for a single leg takedown.
When White tried to turn into Cassar for a switch, the Penn State senior promptly stuck the senior from Edmond North onto his back to complete a six-point burst, and that was that. Cassar added a counter takedown and riding time for a stunning, 10-1 major decision. That avenged White’s 3-2 triumph at mid-season.
OSU freshman 133-pounder Daton Fix (34-2) showed no sign of offense through seven minutes of regulation and one minute in the sudden-victory period against No. 3 seed Nick Suriano (29-3) of Rutgers.
Suriano escaped in tiebreaker and rode out Fix in the bottom half of tiebreaker but was hit for stalling with one second left in the ride to tie the match at 2-2. But Suriano gave Rutgers its first NCAA title when he struck for a takedown just 17 seconds into the second sudden-victory period. Suriano avenged a 3-2 midseason defeat.
Penn State roared to its fourth straight team title and eighth in the past nine years, crowning three champions and winning by 41 points, 137.5-96.5, over runner-up Ohio State. Oklahoma State finished third with 84.
Jason Nolf (157 pounds) and Bo Nickal (197) each won their third title for the Nittany Lions. They scored 53 points, which were more than all but nine other teams’ totals.
"We had a great season,and sometimes great seasons end when you’re striving for more," Oklahoma State head coach John Smith said. "We definitely want more than what we got, but man, we had a good season and a good tournament. In the end, there was a lot of effort.
“We had a few mistakes here and there that were critical."
Oklahomans went 5-2 in the consolation semifinals and medal round, with OSU’s Preston Weigel finishing 16-1 with a third-place finish at 197, and OU’s Dom Demas a fourth-place medal at 141.
Nick Piccininni finished fifth at 125 for the Cowboys, and 184-pounder Dakota Geer seventh, despite entering the weekend as a 26th seed.