North State sat at second place in the Big 12 Championship with 70.5 points after competition Saturday. Oklahoma State leads with 155.5 points with all 10 wrestlers in the finals, this marks the first time in conference history any school has advanced all of their athletes to the final round of action. South Dakota State is third (64.5), Oklahoma is fourth (63) and Wyoming is fifth (42.5).
NDSU 125-pounder Josh Rodriguez and 157 pounder Clay Ream advanced to the championship finals, with five other Bison remain in contention following the first day of the Big 12 Wrestling Champions held Saturday, March 4.
North Dakota State’s 133 Cam Sykora, 165 Andrew Fogarty, 184 Tyler McNutt, 197 Cordell Eaton and 285 Ben Tynan are still alive in the consolation bracket. Sykora, Fogarty and Tynan lost in the semifinal round.
Rodriguez came out and recorded two pins. His first came at 5:25 over Utah Valley’s Mitch Brown and was Rodriguez’s 100th career win. Rodriguez wasted little time in his second match against Oklahoma’s Christian Moody, even giving up an early takedown, to record the fall at 2:18.
No. 4-ranked Rodriguez will face Oklahoma State’s No. 10-ranked Nick Piccininni in the finals. Rodriguez improved to 23-1 overall with six pins.
Ream was able to hold off South Dakota State’s Logan Peterson for 5-2 decision, and then defeated Iowa State’s Colston Diblasi 17-6 major decision.
No. 8-ranked Ream is scheduled to face Oklahoma State’s No. 6 Joe Smith in the finals. Ream improved to 24-3 overall.
Both Rodriguez and Ream are making their first appearance in the finals since 2015 when both wrestlers claimed NCAA West Region/Western Wrestling Conference titles. Rodriguez and Ream are 5-1 in the Big 12 tournament.
In the rest of the tournament, No. 1 Seth Gross (SDSU) and No. 2 Kaid Brock (OSU) battle for the 133-pound title. Gross and Brock have meet once before this season, with Gross coming out on top.
At the 141-pound dual, OSU’s Dean Heil and Wyoming’s Bryce Meredith will battle it out. One of two Bedlam matches will see Davion Jeffries (OU) tussle with the No. 1 seed, Anthony Collica (OSU), for the 149-pound title. With Chandler Rogers (OSU) and Dylan Cottrell (WVU) facing off at 165.
To finish out the finals, OU’s Matt Reed opposes OSU’s Kyle Crutchmer for the 174-pound title. Nolan Boyd of Oklahoma State and Dylan Gabel of Northern Colorado will go for the 184-pound championship, as Jacob Smith (WVU) and Preston Weigel (OSU) compete for the 197 title, followed by a match between Austin Shafer (OSU) and Dustin Dennison (UVU).