Tulsa — After a 9-0 third session, the Oklahoma State wrestling team holds a commanding lead in the team race
“This team we have is going to have to win the tournament in consolations,” OSU coach John Smith said. “Today, winning nine matches … you’re going to win the tournament.”
After trailing Iowa State by three points at the end of the first session, OSU run away with the team score, leading its next closest opponent, ISU, by 27 points in the team standings.
At the end of day one, it appeared that Reece Witcraft had secured the tournament bid until it was announced that there would be a true-eighth match at 133 pounds. Witcraft was set to wrestle Lucas Seibert of West Virginia. In the match for seventh place, Witcraft had his biggest victory of the tournament, a 22-7 technical fall to secure the bid.
Joe Smith started his third-place match against ISU’s Samuel Colbray with more momentum than the 174-pounder has had for a majority of the season. After a takedown and four near-fall points by Joe, Colbray injury defaulted giving the Cowboy the victory, and third-place.
“(Joe Smith) was the one backing people up,” John said. “He was the one doing a good job of putting pressure on them … overall he did a nice job.”
In the third-place matches at 184 and 197 Anthony Montalvo and Dakota Geer were side-by-side, both wrestling opponents from the University of Northern Colorado.
Montalvo faced the No. 4 seed Alan Clothier and did not disappoint. The two had a close match, similar to their matchup during the regular dual season, Montalvo once again coming out on top 11-7, winning the third place title.
Geer had one of the most impressive showings of his career during his final two matches of the tournament. It appeared as though a fire had been lit in his match against Jake Woodley of Oklahoma.
The two split the bedlam series 1-1, but Geer dominated their tournament matchup, winning 8-2 with almost four minutes of riding time. In his match for third place against UNC’s Jacob Seely, Geer wasted no time getting momentum started. He scored early and didn’t stop, winning the match 17-0 via technical fall, earning a third-place finish.
“Leave this tournament with something different,” John said. “Like you just wrestled the best match of your tournament and I think we did in those last four matches.”
The Cowboys have four wrestlers in the championship matches on Sunday night: Nick Piccininni (125), Boo Lewallen (149), Wyatt Sheets (157) and Travis Wittlake (165).
“I think they’re going to be harder matches than what people assume,” John said. “Prepare for a hard match and just assume that things aren’t going to be easy.”