Herd takes fifth, Sykora wins title

File Photo | The Spectrum
The Bison had a solid showing at the Big-12 championships.

Six Bison head to Minneapolis for the NCAA championships.

NDSU took fifth place in the Big 12 Championships this past weekend, finishing with 90.5 points. Cam Sykora and Andrew Fogarty were both able to advance to the finals. Three of the Herd’s wrestlers were able to compete in the consolation bracket, while four Bison wrestlers were able to compete for seventh place.

Fogarty put together a 10-0 major decision over Adam Kemp of Fresno State and flirted with a tech fall in the 15-2 major over Iowa State’s Chase Straw. He advanced to the championship match at 165 pounds for the third straight season and faced Travis Wittlake of Oklahoma State. Fogarty once again fell just short but is still headed back to the NCAA tournament.

Fogarty did improve his record to 21-3 on the season and pushed his career record to 96-34 overall. He passed former teammate Clay Ream and is tied for No. 18 on the NDSU career charts with Brad Rheingans and Wayne Mooney.

Sykora went 2-0 to advance to the championship match for the first time in his career. He opened with his seventh tech fall of the season, 17-1 at 4:59 over Jared Van Vleet of Air Force to push his career total to 40.

In the semifinals, Sykora worked an early lead and fought off a rally to defeat Wyoming’s Montorie Bridges by a score of 7-6. It was his first career-win over Bridges in five tries. He faced Northern Colorado’s Mosha Schwartz in the finals, winning on a 5-4 decision and becoming the first Big 12 champion in school history for the Herd.

In the consolation bracket are McGwire Midkiff, Dylan Droegemueller and Jared Franek. Midkiff and Franek each lost in the semifinals, while Droegemueller has won two straight after dropping his opening match. In addition, Jaden Van Maanen, Luke Weber, Cordell Eaton and Brandon Metz will wrestle for seventh place.

Droegemueller lost his opening match to Iowa State’s Ian Parker 7-2, but he was able to bounce back with two straight wins. He won a major decision over Fresno State’s DJ Lloren 13-3 and then beat Air Force’s Lenny Peterson 5-2.

Looking ahead, six Bison will compete in their final tournament of the year. Sykora, Metz, Droegemueller, Fogarty, Franek and Eaton are all heading to the NCAA Championships in Minneapolis. The tournament starts next Thursday and runs through the weekend at U.S. Bank Stadium.

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