OSU wrestling: Cowboys send seniors out with memorable victory, defeat Hawkeyes

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Oklahoma State's Chadler Rogers celebrates after defeating Iowa's Mitch Bowman during the Oklahoma State vs Iowa wrestling dual in Gallgher-Iba Arena in Stillwater on Sunday, Feb. 24,2019. 

Chandler Rogers saved his best performance for last. 

The No. 2 Oklahoma State wrestling team was tied with No. 3 Iowa after six matches before Rogers, a senior, did what he does best. He got a pin. 

Rogers pinned Mitch Bowman in the third period, regaining the lead. The Cowboys went on to win 27-12 on senior day in front of a sold-out crowd of 13,811 at Gallagher-Iba Arena on Sunday.  

Rogers’ pin came after the Cowboys (15-0 overall, 8-0 Big 12) dropped three straight matches at 149 pounds, 157 and 165. 

The Cowboys and Hawkeyes (14-1, 9-0) were tied at 12 with four matches remaining. The remaining wrestlers for OSU were Chandler Rogers, Jacobe Smith, Preston Weigel and Derek White. All four of them are seniors, and all four won. 

“You always hate to see seniors go, but this is a group that’s been really, really good for the team and the people around them,” Coach John Smith said. “Not just in the sport of wrestling, but as individuals, they’re good people. They’ve really rubbed off on a lot of the younger guys. That’s what you hope for.”

The dual started great for OSU at 125 when Nick Piccininni pinned the defending national champion Spencer Lee, igniting a raucous Gallagher-Iba Arena crowd. No. 2 Daton Fix followed Piccininni’s victory with a 2-0 win against No. 3 Austin DeSanto. 

“Sometimes you don’t know how a match is going to go,” Smith said. “What you do need to know is that your guy’s gonna be aggressive and he’s going to go out and go for points… One thing that we have with Daton (Fix), you know he’s gonna go out and wrestle. As a freshman, it’s good to know that.”

Despite the hot start, OSU hit a lull going into the match at 174, something Rogers noticed.

“Being here for five years, you understand how big a pin is,” Rogers said. “It just changes the momentum and it changes the attitude of the next guy, and the next guy and the next guy and it just keeps going.”

Rogers, who Smith has said is one of the best he has ever coached at getting guys on their back, orchestrated an “O-S-U” chant in the middle of the mat after his victory, which was fitting on senior day. 

“When you’ve been here for so long, it’s fun to just get everybody together,” Rogers said. “You don’t really understand it unless you’re at OSU, but once you’re in the Oklahoma State wrestling program, it’s a family.

“I come out and my one thing I want to do is compete for my team and then I want to put on a show for the crowd. If I can do that then I’ll do it. That was kind of like my last show.”

sports.ed@ocolly.com