DETROIT, Michigan — Sweat glistened from Daton Fix’s body as he talked between gasps for air.
Fix, OSU’s 133-pounder, digested the previous moments with a future focused mindset.
He defeated Michael McGee of Arizona State 5-1 during the semifinals of the NCAA Wrestling Tournament at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan, on Friday night. Fix’s familiar ways of winning established a familiar contest. He advanced to his third NCAA final.
Fix vs Roman Bravo Young of Penn State in a Saturday night final. A rematch of the 2021 133-pound final, one that RBY took 4-2 in sudden victory.
The ill-fated memory of seeing RBY bury his hands into his face in celebration hasn’t left Fix’s mind.
In fact, he’s been thinking about the rematch for 366 days.
“It's going to go down,” Fix said. “It's been on my mind ever since it took place last time, so you know, wish I would have scored more points, but I can do that tomorrow.”
In the consolation bracket, Dustin Plott, OSU’s 174-pounder, ignited the section of OSU fans with a overtime heroics. He earned All-American status for the first time in his career with a 9-7 sudden victory win over Ethan Smith of Ohio State. In a quick flurry, Plott whipped his legs behind Smith to secure the win. Displaying his toothless smile, he staggered to the center of the mat, hands in the air, basking in All-American glory.
In OSU’s corner, assistant coaches Chris Perry and Zack Esposito hugged, celebrating the Cowboys’ second All-American.
“All-American, it’s cool and I glad I accomplished it but my goal coming to the tournament has never been just to place,” Plott said. “Anything other than first is a little bit of a letdown. But, it felt good to bounce back on the backside.”
In the consolation quarterfinals, Plott secured revenge from the 2021 tournament. He dominated Clay Lautt of North Carolina, 11-3. A year ago, Lautt eliminated Plott and his two front teeth.
“Jokingly, I was like, ‘Let’s go get my teeth back,’” Plott said. “He didn’t do any of that intentionally last year. He hit a good double leg and shot through my face is what happened, and it knocked my teeth out.”
Plott will battle North Carolina State’s Hayden Hidlay in the consolation semifinals on Saturday morning.
"Well, I think the one thing we've seen out of Dustin throughout this tournament is as he has compiled more matches, we've seen him improve with his confidence, his conditioning and his work ethic," Cowboy coach John Smith said. "I think you just throw in these matches and he's not only getting better, he's getting tougher. We just saw one of his better matches of his career."
OSU sits in 13th place with 38.5 points.