The Oklahoma State wrestling program travels to St. Louis, MO, this weekend for the NCAA Championships, where they have all 10 starters seeded.
The NCAA Championships present a huge opportunity for the Oklahoma State wrestling program to bring home their 35th National Title. They dominated the Big 12 Championships two weeks prior to the NCAA Championships in St. Louis.
OK State enters the NCAA Championships ranked no. 2 in the country, only behind the no. 1 ranked Penn State Nittany Lions. The Nittany Lions defeated the Cowboys at Gallagher-Iba Arena on Feb. 19, handing OK State their only loss of the 2016-17 campaign.
However, OK State got the momentum shift they needed in a record setting performance at the Big 12 Championships in Tulsa on March 4 and 5. Moreover, all 10 of the Cowboy wrestling starters got seeded in their respective weight classes for the NCAA Championships.
The 125 pound Nick Piccininni kicks off the weekend as an eight seed facing Indiana’s Elijah Oliver.
The rest of the Cowboy wrestlers in the NCAA Championships include Dean Heil with a one seed, Kaid Brock with a three seed, Anthony Collica with a two seed, Joe Smith with a five seed, Nolan Boyd with a five seed, Preston Weigel with a seven seed, Austin Schafer with a six seed, Kyle Crutchmer with a nine seed, and Chandler Rogers with a 10 seed.
Head coach John Smith has coached 31 Cowboys to individual National Championships. Hopefully that number rises considerably this weekend. They need to get past a few strong Big 10 programs like PSU, Ohio State, and Iowa first.
The NCAA Championships kick off on Thursday, March 16, with the first of six sessions starting at 11 a.m. CT. Friday’s first session starts at 10 a.m. CT. And there are two sessions on Saturday, with the final session of the weekend starting at 7 p.m. CT. All of the sessions take place this weekend between March 16-18.
You can watch all six sessions for the NCAA Wrestling Championships on ESPN and ESPNU. You can view the entire bracket and schedule for the weekend here.