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Oklahoma State Wrestling

Oklahoma State Fails to Reach Championship Round for First Time Since 2018

March 18, 2023

(Oklahoma State athletics media relations contributed to this article)

It was a rough NCAA tournament for Oklahoma State wrestling as the Pokes fail to send a wrestler to the championship round for the first time in five years.

"I have to analyze everything by a season," head coach John Smith said. "I recognize my student-athletes wrestled hard and worked hard this season. It wasn't a lack of effort or wanting. I thought we wrestled a little tight. It seemed like we got here, and guys wrestled tight when you have no room to wrestle tight. It's not good when you're ranked 15th and 20th, you have to have performances. I want to recognize these guys for working hard and really giving the effort to put ourselves in a position to have a lot better tournament than we had."

Following a loss in the semifinals on Friday night, Daton Fix defeated No. 8 seed Aaron Nagao of Minnesota, 6-4, to not only advance to the third-place match against No. 4 seed Michael McGee from Arizona State, but it marked his 100th career win with the Pokes.

Fix, who also recorded his fourth-straight All-America nod, wasn’t able to get past McGee as he finished his season with a 30-2 record and fourth in the tournament.

After a scoreless first period, McGee got on the board with an escape in the second period. McGee rode Fix enough in the third period to earn a riding time point, which proved to be the difference in the match, after a late reversal attempt from Fix was denied after a challenge by Oklahoma State.

As for the Cowboys’ other All-American, Dustin Plott, he finished the tournament with a sixth-place finish following an 8-2 loss to No. 3 seed Mekhi Lewis of Virginia Tech and a 4-2 overtime loss to Iowa’s Nelson Brands. He finished his season with a 25-7 record and his second-straight sixth-place finish in the NCAA championships.

This is a disappointing finish to a once-promising season for the Pokes. Not having at least one wrestler in the championship round is an unthinkable occurrence and one that shouldn’t happen for this prestious program. Something else that shouldn’t be happening is finishing outside the top-five, let alone the top-10, let alone the top-15 as they’re currently sitting at 18th with just 28.5 points.

The 2023 NCAA Wrestling Championships will conclude with the championship round on Saturday night beginning at 6 p.m. CT on ESPN.

2023 NCAA Wrestling Championships
March 18, 2023 | BOK Center  | Tulsa, Okla.
Session V (Saturday Morning)
Team Standings After Session V (Top 8)
1. Penn State - 127.5
2. Iowa - 82.5
3. Ohio State - 70.5
4. Cornell - 68.5
5. Missouri - 60.5
6. Arizona State - 55.0
7. Michigan - 54.5
8. Nebraska - 54.0
18. Oklahoma State - 28.5

Consolation Semifinals
133: No. 2 Daton Fix (OSU) dec. No. 8 Aaron Nagao (MINN), 6-4
174: No. 3 Mekhi Lewis (VT) dec. No. 5 Dustin Plott (OSU), 8-2

Third-Place Match
133: No. 4 Michael McGee (ASU) dec. No. 2 Daton Fix (OSU), 2-1

Fifth-Place Match
174: No. 11 Nelson Brands (IOWA) dec. No. 5 Dustin Plott (OSU), SV-1 4-2

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