(CLEVELAND, Ohio / March 15, 2018) – Six members of the Oklahoma State wrestling team came up with wins in the first session of the NCAA Wrestling Championships on Thursday to advance to the round of 16. OSU sits in sixth place in the team standings after picking up nine points in Session I. The Cowboys are two points out of the top five, trailing fifth-place NC State.
Cowboys Nick Piccininni and Jacobe Smith advanced with bonus points in their first matches of the weekend.
At 125 pounds, Piccininni started things off with a bang on Friday afternoon, recording a first-period pin of Illinois’ Travis Piotrowski to advance. Piccininni opened with an offensive flurry, and eventually turned Piotrowski to his back for the fall in 1:47. It marked the third pin of the Cowboy’s career, and second straight with his last win also coming by fall over West Virginia’s Zeke Moisey in the Big 12 title bout. Piccininni will match up with Edinboro’s Sean Russell in the round of 16.
Jacobe Smith also picked up bonus points for the Pokes at 174, majoring Joseph Hunter of Iowa in the first NCAA tournament match of his career. Smith got on the board quick in the first period, picking up the bout’s first six points with a takedown and nearfall on the edge of the mat. The junior was taken down midway through the third period, but responded by taking Hunter down for a takedown, nearfall and nearly a pin before time expired. Nonetheless, Smith secured the 13-2 major and moved into Friday evening’s round of 16 where he will face No. 4 Jordan Kutler of Lehigh.
Cowboys Kaid Brock, Dean Heil, Boo Lewallen and Derek White will also compete for a spot in Friday’s quarterfinals on Thursday night.
Brock earned the Pokes’ second win of the day in a 7-4 decision over Dylan Duncan of Illinois with a trio of takedowns. He’ll take on No. 13 Bryan Lantry of Buffalo in the round of 16.
Battling in front of his hometown crowd, Heil snagged a 4-2 decision over Cleveland State’s Evan Cheek. Heil will attempt to make his fourth career quarterfinal appearance with a win over No. 11 Michael Carr of Illinois on Thursday evening.
In a Bedlam matchup with Oklahoma’s Davion Jeffries, Lewallen had little trouble advancing as he racked up five minutes of riding time en route to a 7-3 decision. The Cowboy redshirt sophomore will match up with No. 9 Max Thomsen of Northern Iowa in a rematch of the Big 12 finals earlier this month that Lewallen took, 9-3.
White earned a win in his first NCAA Championships appearance as well, dispatching of Utah Valley’s Dustin Dennison, 6-1, to set up a round of 16 battle with ninth-seeded Tanner Hall of Arizona State in the round of 16.
OSU’s Chandler Rogers, Keegan Moore and Preston Weigel each fell short of advancing in their first-round matches. Rogers couldn’t overcome a slow start to Brown’s Jonathan Viruet and dropped a 6-5 decision, before Moore was defeated, 9-2, by No. 4 Pete Renda of NC State.
Weigel suffered an injury in the opening minutes of his bout with Kent State’s Kyle Conel, who he tech falled earlier in the season. Weigel battled through, but the hobbled junior couldn’t battle back and dropped a 5-0 decision.
The Cowboys will be back in action Thursday evening for Session II at 7 p.m. ET. Fans can watch the bouts on ESPN or online at watchespn.com
2018 NCAA Wrestling Championships | Session I
Round of 32
125: No. 6 Nick Piccininni (Oklahoma State) fall Travis Piotrowski (Illinois), 1:47
133: No. 4 Kaid Brock (Oklahoma State) dec. Dylan Duncan (Illinois), 7-4
141: No. 6 Dean Heil (Oklahoma State) dec. Evan Cheek (Cleveland State), 4-2
149: No. 8 Boo Lewallen (Oklahoma State) dec. Davion Jeffries (Oklahoma), 7-3
165: Jonathan Viruet (Brown) dec. No. 8 Chandler Rogers (Oklahoma State), 6-5
174: No. 13 Jacobe Smith (Oklahoma State) MD Joseph Gunther (Iowa), 13-2
184: No. 4 Pete Renda (N.C. State) dec. Keegan Moore (Oklahoma State), 9-2
197: Kyle Conel (Kent State) dec. No. 9 Preston Weigel (Oklahoma State), 5-0
285: No. 9 Derek White (Oklahoma State) dec. Dustin Dennison (Utah Valley), 6-1
Team Standings After Session I (Top 10)
1. Iowa - 18.5
2. Ohio State - 17.0
3. Penn State - 16.0
4. Michigan - 13.0
5. NC State - 12.0
6. Oklahoma State - 9.0
7. Rutgers - 8.5
8. (4 tied) - 8.0
Round of 16 Schedule (Thursday Night)
125: No. 6 Nick Piccininni (Oklahoma State) vs. No. 11 Sean Russell (Edinboro)
133: No. 4 Kaid Brock (Oklahoma State) vs. No. 13 Bryan Lantry (Buffalo)
141: No. 6 Dean Heil (Oklahoma State) vs. No. 11 Michael Carr (Illinois)
149: No. 8 Boo Lewallen (Oklahoma State) vs. No. 9 Max Thomsen (Northern Iowa)
174: No. 13 Jacobe Smith (Oklahoma State) vs. No. 4 Jordan Kutler (Lehigh)
285: No. 9 Derek White (Oklahoma State) vs. No. 8 Tanner Hall (Arizona State)
Consolation Round I Schedule (Thursday evening)
165: No. 8 Chandler Rogers (Oklahoma State) vs. Bryce Martin (Indiana)
184: Keegan Moore (Oklahoma State) vs. Joe Heyob (Penn)
197: No. 9 Preston Weigel (Oklahoma State) vs. Hunter Ritter (Wisconsin)