Jacks send five to semifinals

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Five South Dakota State University wrestlers, led by top-seeded Cody Pack at 157 pounds, advanced to the semifinals during the opening session of the Big 12 Wrestling Championship Saturday at Sprint Center.

A senior from Quincy, California, Pack turned in a dominant performance in his opening-round match by defeating Kyle Gliva of North Dakota State by technical fall, 16-0, in 4 minutes and 25 seconds. Pack, who improved to 26-2 overall, will face fourth-seeded Archie Colgan of Wyoming in Saturday night’s semifinals.

SDSU JackrabbitsSecond-seeded Alex Kocer moved on to the semifinals of the 149-pound weight class with a 1-0 decision over 10th-seeded John Meeks of Iowa State. Kocer is slated to face third-seeded Davion Jeffries of Oklahoma in semifinal action.

Also a No. 2 seed, Jackrabbit 197-pounder Nate Rotert cruised into the semis with an 8-2 decision over Brandon Tribble of Wyoming. Rotert improved to 25-8 overall and will meet third-seeded Trent Noon of Northern Colorado in the semis.

At 141 pounds, third-seeded Seth Gross moved into tonight’s semifinals with a 10-0 major decision over sixth-seeded Trae Blackwell of Oklahoma. Gross will match up against second-seeded Bryce Meredith of Wyoming.

Fourth-seeded David Kocer advanced in the 174-pound weight class with a 10-6 decision over Utah Valley’s Ross Taylor in his opening-round match. Kocer has drawn top-seeded Chandler Rogers of Oklahoma State in the semifinals.

Two other Jackrabbits won opening-round matches before falling in the quarterfinals. At 125 pounds, seventh-seeded Ben Gillette scored an 18-1 technical fall over Jesse Reed of Northern Colorado before being bounced into the wrestlebacks after being pinned by second-seeded Eddie Klimara of Oklahoma State.

In the 184-pound weight class, Brady Ayers also turned in an impressive opening-round performance, recording a 16-0 technical fall over Northern Colorado’s Horacio Vialpando. The seventh-seeded Ayers then lost an 8-0 major decision to second-seeded Nolan Boyd of Oklahoma State.

Oklahoma State leads the 10-team race with 72 points and has all 10 of its wrestlers in the semifinals. Oklahoma is second with 40 points and six semifinalists, followed by SDSU with 37.5 points and its five semifinalists.

Dropping their first matches of the tournament for the Jackrabbits were Brance Simms, seeded fifth at 133 pounds; 165-pounder Luke Zilverberg, who was seeded fifth, and ninth-seeded heavyweight Alex Macki.

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Semifinal action and wrestlebacks will begin at 5 p.m. Saturday.

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