Nick Piccininni, Daton Fix and Kaden Gfeller confirmed what fans had seen all season.
They were all No. 1 seeds entering the Big 12 tournament. They left the BOK Center in Tulsa as Big 12 champions.
Growing up 10 minutes from Tulsa in Sand Springs, the Big 12 tournament was a homecoming for Fix.
“It’s a special moment for sure, winning my first Big 12 title in front of my hometown with a lot of my family and friends here,” Fix said.
He defeated Montorie Bridges of Wyoming 4-2. It was the second time he beat him this season. Fix said he wishes he could’ve scored more against Bridges, but that he was a tough wrestler.
“I’ve grown up scoring a lot of points,” Fix said. “Coming to college I wanted to continue doing that. I want to be the type of wrestler people like to watch because his matches are so entertaining.”
Before Fix, Piccininni started the night with a 2-0 victory against Brent Fleetwood of North Dakota State University. Fix said it is always important for him and Piccininni to get off to good starts and get the momentum going for OSU.
“I think me and Nick are the best 1-2 punch in all of college wrestling,” Fix said. “A lot of that is because we’re probably two of the hardest workers in college wrestling.”
Fix wasn’t the only freshman to win his first Big 12 title. Kaden Gfeller defeated Jarrett Degen of Iowa State 7-2, yet he wasn’t completely satisfied with his performance.
“I won,” Gfeller said. “That’s the objective. I feel like I could’ve wrestled a little better but at the end of the day, I won my first Big 12 title so I’m pretty happy.”
Gfeller said him, Fix and Piccininni do a good job of feeding off momentum after victories.
“We’re all best friends,” Gfeller said. “We pretty much live at the same house. It’s a brotherhood. We wrestle for each other, not just ourselves. It’s a big part of our team.”
Smith talked about the trio after their matches, saying how bad they want to win at all times.
“They hate it when they have average matches, poor matches,” Smith said. “They wanna dominate and put themselves in a position where they can walk off the mat satisfied in their performance. Sometimes they don’t get that and you enjoy watching that as a coach. That’s not something you coach in them. That’s something they have.”
When asked what his expectations for nationals are, Fix was confident in his answer, an answer that him, Piccininni and Gfeller all share.
“Go win a national title,” Fix said. “Every time I step on the mat, my goal is to get my hand raised. I’m gonna take it one match a time and have a blast doing it.”