TULSA, Okla. – The Oklahoma State wrestling team claimed its sixth-consecutive team title at the Big 12 Wrestling Championship Sunday, adding individual championships from Nick Piccininni at 125 pounds, Boo Lewallen at 149 pounds, Chandler Rogers at 165 pounds and Derek White at heavyweight.
OSU finished with 137 team points, beating second-place Northern Iowa by 40.5 points. The Cowboys’ four individual champions was the most in the conference, while no other team had more than two.
The team championship also marks coach John Smith’s 20th career conference title and OSU’s 52nd overall conference title in wrestling. With the addition of the four individual champions Sunday, OSU now has 102 Big 12 champions and 281 conference champions in its wrestling history.
“It was a good night with four champs,” coach Smith said. “I really thought we wrestled well (at those weights) … It’s good to take the trophy home and put it in the trophy case.”
Piccininni started the evening with a bang for the Cowboys, taking down No. 3 seed Zeke Moisey inside the first minute of the match and wrestling him to his a back for the fall in just 1:11. It marked his second Big 12 title in as many appearances.
OSU’s second title of the evening came by way of a 9-3 decision from Boo Lewallen over No. 1-seeded Max Thomsen of Northern Iowa. With the score tied at 3-3 late in the second period, Lewallen managed a takedown and nearfall in the final 20 seconds to separate the score. He added another takedown and escape in the final period to lock up his first Big 12 title in his first appearance.
After runner-up finishes as a freshman and sophomore each of the past two seasons, Rogers claimed his first Big 12 title with a 12-9 decision over North Dakota State’s fourth-seeded Andrew Fogarty. Rogers started quickly with a takedown in the first 30 seconds and nearly ended it with a fall, but it was enough to jump out to a 6-0 lead and set the tone for the rest of the bout. Rogers added a pair of escapes and takedowns and held off a late surge from Fogarty to win the title.
OSU’s fourth title came in the last bout of the event as White earned a 13-6 decision over No. 3 seed AJ Nevills of Fresno State. White’s consistent approach gave him four points in each period and only allowed Nevills to score via releases from White. It also gave White a Big 12 title in his first appearance at the event.
Two other Cowboys also made it to the final round, but Kaid Brock and Dean Heil came up short in close matches.
Heil nearly won his fourth career Big 12 title, but fell just short of knocking off No. 1 seed Bryce Meredith of Wyoming in the 141-pound finals. Trailing by three points with less than 20 seconds remaining, Heil scored on a reversal and nearly took Meredith to his back to claim a last second win, but Meredith managed to hold him off to seal a 6-5 decision.
Brock faced off with top-seeded Seth Gross of South Dakota State in the 133-pound final. In a back-and-forth match that came down to the final minute, Brock fell by way of a 8-5 decision to the defending Big 12 champion.
The Cowboys now turn their attention to the NCAA Wrestling Championships, scheduled for March 15-17 in Cleveland, Ohio.
2018 Big 12 Wrestling Championship | Session IV
125: No. 1 Nick Piccininni (Oklahoma State) fall No. 3 Zeke Moisey (West Virginia), 1:11
133: No. 1 Seth Gross (South Dakota State) dec. No. 3 Kaid Brock (Oklahoma State), 8-5
141: No. 1 Bryce Meredith (Wyoming) dec. No. 2 Dean Heil (Oklahoma State), 6-5
149: No. 2 Boo Lewallen (Oklahoma State) dec. No. 1 Max Thomsen (Northern Iowa), 9-3
165: No. 2 Chandler Rogers (Oklahoma State) dec. No. 4 Andrew Fogarty (North Dakota State), 12-9
285: No. 1 Derek White (Oklahoma State) dec. No. 3 AJ Nevills (Fresno State), 13-6
Final Team Standings
1. Oklahoma State - 137
2. Northern Iowa - 96.5
3. South Dakota State - 94
4. Wyoming - 82.5
5. North Dakota State - 57
6. Oklahoma - 52
7. Iowa State - 51
8. Utah Valley - 50.5
9. West Virginia - 50
10. Northern Colorado - 30.5
11. Fresno State - 26.5
12. Air Force - 22.5
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