KANSAS CITY, Mo. — North Dakota State University 184-pounder Hayden Zillmer advanced to the finals of the Big 12 Conference Championships on Saturday, March 5, at the Sprint Center, while four other Bison wrestlers — 125 Josh Rodriguez, 141 Mitch Bengtson, 149 Clay Ream and 285 Ben Tynan — are still alive in the consolation bracket.
The consolation round is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. Sunday, March 6, at the Sprint Center, while the championship round begins at 1 p.m.
North Dakota State is seventh in the team standings with 45.5 points after the first day. Oklahoma State is first with 140.5 points and nine wrestlers in the finals, Iowa State is second at 72, Oklahoma is third with 70.5, South Dakota State is fourth at 68.5, Wyoming is fifth with 51, West Virginia is sixth with 49. Iowa State, Oklahoma and State have three wrestlers in the finals.
Top-seeded Zillmer, a native of Crosby, Minn., defeated Iowa State’s Dane Pestano 11-7 in the semifinals. He improved to 30-3 overall and is tied for 7th all-time with David Hass (190/1980-84/104-39-1) at NDSU with a record of 104-27. Zillmer will square off with Oklahoma State’s Nolan Boyd in the finals.
Zillmer wasted little time in deciding the outcome against Wyoming’s Benjamin Stroh in his first match. He recorded his 10th pin of the season against Stroh at 2:06 in the first period.
Rodriguez, a redshirt junior from Guadalupe, Calif., opened with a 9-2 decision over Wyoming’s Drew Templeman. Templeman had defeated Rodriguez 3-1 in sudden victory-1 overtime at the Reno Tournament of Champions.
Top-seeded Ryan Millhof of Oklahoma jumped out to an early 6-0 lead and held off Rodriguez for 10-5 decision. Rodriguez (31-8) is scheduled to face Iowa State’s Kyle Larson in the consolation semifinals.
Bengtson, a redshirt sophomore from St. Cloud, Minn., held the upper hand throughout in a 10-2 major decision over Utah Valley’s Jarod Maynes in his first match, but lost a hard-fought 4-1 decision to top-seeded Dean Heil of Oklahoma State in the semifinals. Bengtson (16-10) will battle Oklahoma’s Trae Blackwell in the consolation semifinals.
Ream, a redshirt sophomore from Wentzville, Mo., rebounded from his quarterfinal 7-3 loss to Oklahoma’s Davion Jeffries. Ream (19-15) came out strong in his 4-0 decision over Iowa State’s John Meeks. He will wrestle Northern Colorado’s Timmy Box in the consolation semifinals.
Tynan, a junior from Kennewick, Wash., dropped a 6-4 decision to Utah Valley’s Dustin Dennison in the quarterfinals. Tynan (19-11) trailed West Virginia’s A.J. Vizcarrondo 1-0 heading into the third period, but exploded for a reversal and pair of two-point near falls for a 7-1 win. He faces Oklahoma’s Ross Larson in the consolation semifinals.
North Dakota State at the Big 12 Championships
March 5-6, 2016 / Sprint Center / Kansas City, Mo.
#17 125 Josh Rodriguez, RJr., Guadalupe, Calif. (Righetti H.S.)
Overall: 31-8 / Big 12 Championships: 1-1
W dec #16 Drew Templeman (Wyoming), 9-2
L dec #8 Ryan Millhof (Oklahoma), 10-5
133 Nico Colunga, Fr., Oakdale, Calif. (Oakdale H.S.)
Overall: 14-18 / Big 12 Championships: 0-2
L fall Rico Montoya (Northern Colorado), 2:01
L fall Keegan Moore (West Virginia), 3:53
141 Mitch Bengtson, RSo., St. Cloud, Minn. (Apollo H.S.)
Overall: 16-10 / Big 12 Championships: 1-1
W major dec Jarod Maynes (Utah Valley), MD 10-2
L dec #1 Dean Heil (Oklahoma State), 4-1
149 Clay Ream, RSo., Wentzville, Mo. (Holt H.S.)
Overall 19-15 / Big 12 Championships: 1-1
L dec Davion Jeffries (Oklahoma), 7-3
W dec John Meeks (Iowa State), 4-0
157 Kyle Gliva, RSo., Inver Grove Heights, Minn. (Simley H.S.)
Overall 19-13 / Big 12 Championships: 2-2
W tie-breaker2 Raider Lofthouse (Utah Valley), TB-2 7-4
L tech fall #6 Cody Pack (South Dakota State), TF 16-0, 4:25
W dec Brock Wingbermuehle (Oklahoma), 5-2
L major dec Logan Breitenbach (Iowa State), MD 13-2
165 Grant Nehring, RSo., Kimball, Minn. (St. Cloud Apollo H.S.)
Overall: 7-11 / Big 12 Championships: 2-2
W fall Michael Billingsley (Air Force), 1:45
L fall #1 Alex Dieringer (Oklahoma State), 2:00
W dec Brayden Humpherys (Utah Valley), 10-6
L dec Luke Zilverberg (South Dakota State), 8-5
174 Blake Thompson, RFr., Clovis, Calif. (Clovis H.S./Utah Valley)
Overall: 7-15 / Big 12 Championships: 2-2
W dec Jace Jensen (Wyoming), 4-3
L major dec Chandler Rogers (Oklahoma State), MD 20-7
W major dec Tanner Davis (Northern Colorado), MD 10-2
L dec Ross Taylor (Utah Valley), 9-2
#4 184 Hayden Zillmer, Sr., Crosby, Minn. (Crosby-Ironton H.S.)
Overall: 30-3 / Big 12 Championships: 2-0
W fall Benjamin Stroh (Wyoming), 2:06
W dec Dane Pestano (Iowa State), 11-7
197 Logan Paxton, Jr., Elk Grove, Calif. (Pleasant Grove H.S./Sacramento CC)
Overall: 6-19 / Big 12 Championships: 0-2
L dec Brandon Tribble (Wyoming), 3-2
L dec #8 Jake Smith (West Virginia), 4-1
285 Ben Tynan, Jr., Kennewick, Wash. (Hanford H.S./Highline College)
Overall: 19-11 / Big 12 Championships: 1-1
L dec Dustin Dennison (Utah Valley), 6-4
W dec A.J. Vizcarrondo (West Virginia), 7-1