STILLWATER – The Oklahoma State wrestling team improved to 7-1 on the season Friday evening, taking down Northern Colorado, 24-12, in their return to Gallagher Iba Arena.
The Cowboys won seven of 10 matches, led by Travis Wittlake and Luke Surber, who collected back-to-back 17-5 major decisions over Branson Britten and Xavier Vasquez, respectively.
“I just think with some of these guys, they’re learning to perform in their match,” head coach John Smith said. “It’s almost like we still need more matches for several of these guys. Two this week. Two next week. Hitting better competition. Regardless of outcomes, I think we got a chance to see maybe us grow during this moment. I think that’s going to give us a good look at what we need to work on and do.”
OSU jumped out to a 3-0 lead following a 7-2 win for Victor Voinovich at 149. In a pivotal second match, Kaden Gfeller and Vinny Zerban were tied up 5-5 following the third period. Thirteen seconds into sudden victory, Gfeller took down Zerban for a 7-5 victory.
The Bears clawed up a victory in the third match of the evening as Wyatt Sheets fell to Baylor Fernandes in a decision loss. OSU regained the momentum quickly, winning four-consecutive bouts with Dustin Plott, Travis Wittlake and Luke Surber posting major-decision margins for the Pokes and Konner Doucet besting Xavier Doolin, 2-0 at heavyweight.
“We talk about it a lot during the week,” Plott said. “We’re all pretty close in training and do a lot of extra work together. Something we talk about a lot is if things in dual meets aren’t going a certain way it is our responsibilities as teammates to turn it around… I knew it was my turn to turn the momentum and get the team going a little bit.”
Northern Colorado made a surge late into the dual, with Stevo Poulin spoiling true freshman Zach Blankenship’s Gallagher-Iba Arena debut, at 125 pounds and No. 1 ranked Andrew Alirez defeating Carter Young 12-4 at 141.
In the ninth match of the evening, No. 2 Daton Fix ousted Jace Koelzer 11-4, putting the closing remarks on a Cowboy victory.
The Cowboys will take one day of rest before returning to Gallagher Iba Arena on Sunday, taking on West Virginia at 1 p.m.
No. 12 Oklahoma State 24, Northern Colorado 10
Jan. 20, 2023 I Gallagher-Iba Arena I Stillwater, Okla.
149: No. 20 Victor Voinovich (OSU) dec. Chris Sandoval (UNC), 7-2
157: No. 11 Kaden Gfeller (OSU) dec. No. 31 Vinny Zerban (UNC), SV-1 7-5
165: Baylor Fernandes (UNC) dec. No. 22 Wyatt Sheets (OSU), 7-3
174: No. 6 Dustin Plott (OSU) MD No. 31 Andrew Berreyesa (UNC), 10-2
184: No. 12 Travis Wittlake (OSU) MD Branson Britten (UNC), 17-5
197: No. 21 Luke Surber (OSU) MD Xavier Vasquez (UNC), 17-5
HWT: No. 25 Konner Doucet (OSU) dec. Xavier Doolin (UNC), 2-0
125: No. 17 Stevo Poulin (UNC) dec. Zach Blankenship (OSU), 5-0
133: No. 2 Daton Fix (OSU) dec. Jace Koelzer (UNC), 11-4
141: No. 1 Andrew Alirez (UNC) MD No. 32 Carter Young (OSU), 12-4