In a season full of uncertainty, one thing is for sure, Jacobe Smith is a Big 12 champion.
With dozens of family members and friends in the stands, Smith did what he has been waiting his whole career to do, win a Big 12 wrestling title.
In last season’s tournament, Smith finished in third place at 174 in his first tournament. His one loss stuck with him for almost a year.
In the semifinals of last year's tournament, Smith lost to Taylor Lujan of Northern Iowa, 10-7.
Smith said that he vividly remembers last season’s defeat.
“I remember everything that happened,” Smith said. “It plays back in my head so I don’t really need (to watch tape).”
This year, they met one round later in the finals and the result went in the Cowboys favor.
Smith used two takedowns and two escapes to come away with the hard-fought 6-4 victory. With how close his two past matches had been, Smith said he knew he need to be prepared.
“(Getting revenge) played a big part,” Smith said. “But you gotta remember to stay level-headed. Just preparing for battle everyday knowing that anything can happen.”
Smith came in as the No. 1 seed and went undefeated, beating No. 8 Dominic Kincaid, No. 5 Hayden Hastings and Lujan. He also scored bonus points in two of the matches on his way to becoming a champion.
Along with Smith, six members of the No. 2 Oklahoma State wrestling team came a way with Big 12 titles at 125, 133, 149, 174, 197 and heavyweight. The Cowboys secured their seventh straight title and 53rd overall.
With a Big 12 title under his belt, Smith is looking ahead to the NCAA tournament were he finished last season as an All-American.
Smith was the No. 13 seed, but went on to beat Lujan as well as No. 12 Forrest Przybysz on his way to finishing eighth overall.
Even with this experience of out wrestling his seed, he said that he was motivated to go into this year’s tournament with as good of a seed as he could get.
“It put a fire under my pants,” Smith said. “I don’t want to go into the NCAA’s with a poor seed and have the toughest matches right off the bat. I couldn’t have done it any better.”