CRFF - OSU’s Fix, White named No. 1 seeds for NCAA Championships

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Greenhorn
Feb 17, 2018
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Undefeated Nick Piccininni is the No. 2 seed at 125 pounds.

Oklahoma State’s Daton Fix and Derek White received the top overall seeds for their respective weight classes from the NCAA Wrestling Committee for the NCAA Championships next week in Pittsburgh.

At 133 pounds, the redshirt freshman Fix (30-1) will compete against the winner of No. 32 Zack Trampe (15-4) of Binghamton and No. 33 Devin Turner (20-9) of Oregon State. Fix’s lone loss this season is to No. 4 seed Micky Phillippi of Pittsburgh in a 3-1 setback in January. The two could meet again in the semifinals.

At heavyweight, White (28-1) meets the winner of No. 32 Antonio Pelusi (25-9) of Franklin & Marshall and No. 33 Brandon Ngati (14-14) of West Virginia. White, a redshirt senior, was one win away from All-American status last year at his first NCAA appearance after falling in the round of 16 to Olympic gold medalist and NCAA champion Kyle Snyder of Ohio State, 6-3. White’s lone loss this season is to No. 3 seed Gable Steveson of Minnesota.

Fix and White will be joined by seven teammates as the Cowboys look win their NCAA-record 35th team title and first since 2006. OSU didn’t have an individual NCAA champion last year for the first time since 2012. The last time the Cowboys went back-to-back years without an individual NCAA champion was 2009-10.

Undefeated redshirt junior Nick Piccininni (30-0) is the No. 2 seed at 125. He’ll wrestle No. 31 Bryce West (15-14) of Northern Illinois in the first round. Piccininni advanced to the round of 16 last year at NCAAs.

At 197, Preston Weigel is the No. 3 seed and he’ll face No. 30 Jacob Seely (13-10) of Northern Colorado in the first round. The two Big 12 foes didn’t wrestle each other this season. Weigel could have a Big 12 Championship rematch against No. 6 Will Miklus (22-3) of Iowa State in quarterfinals. Weigel is a four-time NCAA qualifier and earned All-American status with a sixth-place finish in 2017. He suffered an injury in his first match at NCAAs last year that caused him to withdraw from the tournament.

Two-time All-American Kaid Brock took the No. 15 seed at 141. He’ll face No. 18 Bryan Lantry (12-2) of Buffalo in the opening round and likely meet No. 2 seed Joey McKenna (20-2) of Ohio State in the second round.

Redshirt freshman Kaden Gfeller (28-4) and redshirt senior Jacobe Smith (27-3) both receive No. 7 seeds at 149 and 174, respectively, for their first NCAA appearance.

Gfeller meets No. 26 Ryan Blees (16-14), who transferred from OSU to Virginia Tech. Gfeller could meet No. 2 seed Micah Jordan (25-2) of Ohio State in the quarterfinals. Smith draws No. 26 Drew Hughes (26-13) of Michigan State. Smith could face No. 2 Daniel Lewis (24-1) of Missouri in the quarterfinals. Smith was shut out 7-0 by Lewis in the February dual.

Redshirt sophomore Dakota Geer (25-5) is the other end of the 7-26 matchup as the No. 26 seed and meets No. 7 Nick Reenan (15-4) of North Carolina State.

Joe Smith, who is a two-time All-American at 157, received the toughest draw among the Cowboys. After qualifying with a fifth-place finish at Big 12s in his 165 debut, Joe Smith (18-6) landed the last spot at No. 33 and will meet No. 32 Tyler Morland (6-9) of Northwestern in a pigtail match. A win by Smith means a matchup against No. 1 seed Alex Marinelli (23-0) of Iowa.

Penn State, who will be seeking its third straight NCAA title, had the most No. 1 seeds with three: Jason Nolf at 157, Mark Hall at 174 and Bo Nickal at 197. The Nittany Lions also had three No. 2 seeds, with Vincenzo Joseph at 165, Shakur Rasheed at 184 and heavyweight Anthony Cassar.

The NCAA Championships are set for March 21-23 at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh.

Oklahoma State seeding at NCAA Championships

125: Nick Piccininni (30-0) — No. 2

133: No. 1 Daton Fix (30-1) — No. 1

141: Kaid Brock (19-7) — No. 15

149: Kaden Gfeller (28-4) — No. 7

165: Joe Smith (18-6) — No. 33

174: Jacobe Smith (27-3) — No. 7

184: Dakota Geer (25-5) — No. 26

197: Preston Weigel (11-0) — No. 3

HWT: Derek White (28-1) — No. 1

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