The Cowboys finish day one in third place in the Big 12 team race.
TULSA, Okla. – The Oklahoma State wrestling team wrapped up the first day of the 2023 Big 12 Wrestling Championships Saturday in third place with 102.5 team points, sending three Cowboys through to Sunday night’s finals and six to Sunday morning’s placement matches.
OSU’s three finalists are the third-most in the tournament. Missouri, which leads the team race with 135 points, and Iowa State, which is in second place with 112 points, are the only teams with more.
Top-seed Daton Fix reached the finals in the 133-pund bracket, while No. 2 seeds Kaden Gfeller and Dustin Plott reached the finals with wins in the 157-pound and 174-pound semifinal bouts, respectively.
“I thought for the most part everyone competed really well,” coach John Smith said. “Good effort by Daton to get the major. Good effort by (Kaden) Gfeller to overcome a lot of obstacles. Nice job by (Dustin) Plott to react quickly and get a pin, and nice job by (Konner) Doucet with the pin on a double-leg takedown. … We competed well. Overall, it was a good day with good effort, and we need to have another one tomorrow.”
All three wrestlers were also Big 12 finalists last year, with 2023 marking Fix’s fourth appearance, Gfeller’s third appearance and Plott’s second appearance in a Big 12 title match. Each of them won all their previous trips to conference finals.
A senior looking to become the 10th four-time conference champion in OSU history, Fix picked up his third bonus-point win in as many matches at the tournament, knocking off fifth-seeded Connor Brown of Missouri with an 11-3 major decision. It was also his 15th bonus point win of the season. He’ll face No. 3 seed Zach Redding of Iowa State for the title.
Gfeller was the next Cowboy to secure his spot in the finals, with his bout against six-seeded Jacob Wright of Wyoming coming down to overtime. After each wrestler traded escapes in the final two periods of regulation, the bout went to sudden victory tied at 1-1. A late scramble brought the crowd to its feet, but no points were scored. In the tiebreaker that follow, Gfeller managed a reversal half way through the first period and then added a takedown after Wright escaped in the second to finish with a 5-2 win and advance to the finals. It will be his first title bout at 157 pounds after winning his previous two at 149. He’ll wrestle top-seeded Jared Franek from North Dakota State for this year’s championship.
Plott’s semifinal win may have been the most exciting of the night for the Cowboys, as the junior took No. 3 seed Sam Wolf of Air Force to his back with just under a minute remaining in the first period and secured his first fall of the season in 2:16. His finals opponent is No. 1 seed Peyton Mocco of Missouri in a rematch of the 2022 Big 12 championship match.
OSU’s Reece Witcraft, Carter Young, Victor Voinovich, Travis Wittlake and Luke Surber also reached the semifinal round, but fell into the consolation semifinals after dropping their bouts against higher-seeded opponents. They can still finish as high as third place with two wins in Sunday’s early session.
Heavyweight Konner Doucet joins the group in the consolation semifinals after he defeated Xavier Doolin of Northern Colorado, 3-0, in the second consolation round and followed that with an exciting fall over fifth-seeded Michael Wolfgram of West Virginia in the consolation quarterfinals.
The final wrestler to compete in Saturday’s evening session was 165-pounder Wyatt Sheets, who fell in his consolation bout to Wyoming’s Cole Moody.
The second and final day of the Big 12 Championships begins with Session III at 12 p.m. Sunday, where third through eighth place finishers will be determined. It wraps up with the championship bouts in Session IV at 8 p.m. at the BOK Center in Tulsa.
Fans can follow live results on trackwrestling.com, live updates on Twitter via @CowboyWrestling and watch each mat live in the first session on Big 12 Now on ESPN+ and then the championship matches on ESPNU.
2023 Big 12 Wrestling Championships
March 4, 2023 | BOK Center | Tulsa, Okla.
Session II (Saturday Night)
Team Standings After Session II
1. Missouri - 135.0
2. Iowa State - 112.0
3. Oklahoma State - 102.5
4. Oklahoma - 78.0
5. S. Dakota State - 69.5
6. N. Dakota State - 67.5
7. Air Force - 57.5
8. N. Iowa - 57.0
9. N. Colorado - 42.0
10. West Virginia - 31.5
11. Wyoming - 30.0
12. Utah Valley - 26.0
13. Cal Baptist - 1.0
125: No. 4 Stevo Poulin (N. Colorado) dec. Reece Witcraft (OSU), 8-6
133: No. 1 Daton Fix (OSU) MD No. 5 Connor Brown (Missouri), 11-3
141: No. 1 Andrew Alirez (N. Colorado) inj. def. No. 4 Carter Young (OSU), inj. def.
149: No. 1 Brock Mauller (Missouri) dec. No. 5 Victor Voinovich (OSU), 7-1
157: No. 2 Kaden Gfeller (OSU) dec. No. 6 Jacob Wright (Wyoming), 5-2, TB1
174: No. 2 Dustin Plott (OSU) fall No. 3 Sam Wolf (Air Force), 2:16
184: No. 2 Marcus Coleman (Iowa St.) dec. No. 3 Travis Wittlake (OSU), 5-3
197: No. 1 Tanner Sloan (S. Dakota State) MD No. 4 Luke Surber (OSU), 12-1
Second Round Consolation
165: Cole Moody (Wyoming) dec. No. 6 Wyatt Sheets (OSU), 6-3
HWT: No. 8 Konner Doucet (OSU) dec. Xavier Doolin (N. Colorado), 3-0
HWT: No. 8 Konner Doucet (OSU) fall No. 5 Michael Wolfgram (W. Virginia), 4:16
Finals Schedule (Sunday Night)
133: No. 1 Daton Fix (OSU) vs. No. 3 Zach Redding (Iowa St.)
157: No. 2 Kaden Gfeller (OSU) vs. No. 1 Jared Franek (N. Dakota State)
174: No. 2 Dustin Plott (OSU) vs. No. 1 Peyton Mocco (Missouri)
Consolation Semifinals Schedule (Sunday Morning)
125: Reece Witcraft (OSU) vs. No. 2 Jore Volk (Wyoming)
141: No. 4 Carter Young (OSU) vs. Casey Swiderski (Iowa St.)
149: No. 5 Victor Voinovich (OSU) vs. No. 6 Mitch Moore (Oklahoma)
184: No. 3 Travis Wittlake (OSU) vs. No. 5 Deanthony Parker Jr. (N. Dakota State)
197: No. 4 Luke Surber (OSU) vs. No. 6 Evan Bockman (Utah Valley)
HWT: No. 8 Konner Doucet (OSU) vs. No. 3 Zach Elam (Missouri)