(STILLWATER, Oklahoma / February 24, 2019) – Oklahoma State coach John Smith and select wrestlers along with Iowa coach Tom Brands, Alex Marinelli and Pat Lugo spoke with media members following the Cowboys, 27-12, win over the Hawkeyes on Sunday.

Coach John Smith

Opening statement:

“As a team we wrestled better than we have all year. Most of the matches that were critical and we kind of couldn’t tell where they were going, we took over in the middle of it instead of waiting until the end. That is what really contributed to the outcome.”

On the seniors:

“You always hate to see seniors go. This is a group that has been really good for the team, not just as wrestlers, but they are good people. They really rubbed off on a lot of the younger guys. You hope to build a culture, and you hope that culture is tough, but also being good people and good students. It is going to be hard to see those guys go. It’s a great feeling for them to be able to leave with a win like this”

On the team’s start:

“It’s something that makes it even bigger. You go out and create action. I thought Piccininni did a good job on the escape and putting the pressure on immediately. He did a good job of finding the position to put him in the pin, then put him away. You have to give Nick credit. He started us off the way you look to start off in big dual meets.”

On creating hype around the dual:

“We’re wrestling, and we have to do that. We have to get people in the stands and remind them when our matches are. We are going to build up hype and put people in the stands. You have to do things as a coach to create that environment. Sometimes it may not be the best scenario, but our guys are pretty tough when it comes to dealing with hype.”

Nick Piccininni – 125 pounds

On his emotions after the match:

“Honestly, I can’t describe them. They are indescribable. Fans got loud, and the crowd was cheering. I knew it was big for our team to start that off. Obviously, for me, it was a big feat and for our team. I knew it was going to light us up, it was definitely one of the greater memories I’ll have… to get a win over a Hawkeye, it’s a great feeling.”

On the rivalry:

“You never take this dual lightly. If you don’t go into it thinking that you’re going to perform your best, then you better watch out. Our team was well prepared and well prepped, and we knew that coming into this dual.”

Chandler Rogers – 174 pounds

On his last home match:

“The one thing that I wanted to do was compete for my team and put on a show for our crowd. That was kind of like my last show. Now it’s time for the postseason and time to get things cracking.”

On the momentum heading into postseason:

“I think we all went out and demonstrated that we are a force to be reckoned with. It really puts us out there. By doing what we did today, it really showed everyone that we can come out and go compete for a title. We aren’t content with settling for second or third place.”

Daton Fix – 133 pounds

On the momentum heading into his match:

"Nick’s match fired me up. The crowd was so loud after Nick defeated the defending national champion. It really got me fired up, and I was ready to go."

Looking ahead to postseason:

"Anytime you beat a rival by a pretty good margin, it's going to be good motivation for the rest of the year."

Preston Weigel – 197 pounds

On his match and coming back from injuries:

"I felt pretty good. It was a lot of riding, and I'm good on top. When it got tough, I had to grind it out. Being my third match back, it's a grind. I think I'm in good enough shape. I didn't slack when I was off. It's tough having those injuries, but they just drive you a little bit. My conditioning is good, and I just felt like I was ready. I think I'll be ready for Big 12 and nationals."

Iowa Head Coach Tom Brands

On the crowd at Gallagher-Iba Arena:

"There's a reason why there's a big crowd. These are two high-powered teams. There's a lot of pride in Oklahoma State wrestling. It's the same at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. When you have a team and program that has a lot of pride, it generates a lot of enthusiasm. We knew what we were coming into. Our guys love this type of environment, but I'm not sure that we showed up."

On wrestling in a high-profile dual at the end of the season:

"(The end of February) is a great place for this dual. It's an open weekend automatically every year (due to Big Ten conference schedule) for us. I'm not sure what it looks like in the Big 12, but this is great. It hearkens back to the old days a little bit, having a marquee dual at the end of the year. I like it."

On the match:

“We got in positions, that if I was the opposing coach of our guys, I would have done those same things. Those shortcuts that we go to sometimes, will bite you eventually. Today they bit us. We showed some progress, and there were some matches where we didn't have the result we wanted. We have to come off the bottom. We have to wrestle the full seven minutes like we're the hammer. We have to come out and wrestle seven minutes in our positions. It was an important dual to Oklahoma State and an important dual to Iowa. It looked like it was more important to Oklahoma State, so that means we have work to do. We were on the road, we were this and we were that, but the biggest mentality drain to me in all of sports is when people talk about home-field advantage. I don't believe it, I don't buy it. A great crowd is a great crowd and a great crowd is a motivating factor."

Alex Marinelli – 165 pounds

On his win against Jonce Blaylock:

"I just went out there to do my job. I knew the team score would be close, and I knew I had to get bonus points in whatever way I had to. A pin is what I wanted and what I always want."

On his preparation without knowing his opponent:

"I knew some things were shaking up (in their lineup). I wasn't too worried about it. I knew if Chandler Rogers walked out, then I would wrestle the same. My mindset this week was that I was feeling good… feeling great and to train to get ready."

Pat Lugo – 149 pounds

On his victory over Kaden Gfeller:

"It was a big win. It was just another match. I came out there with a game plan, and wrestling in front of a crowd in enemy territory, I think I wrestle better. I have a chip on my shoulder and something to prove. I went out there and wrestled my match and got the job done."