Three SDSU wrestlers move on to Big 12 finals

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Three South Dakota State University wrestlers advanced to the finals and four more Jackrabbits remain alive in the consolation bracket after the first day of the Big 12 Wrestling Championship Saturday at Sprint Center.

As a team, the Jackrabbits slipped to fourth place in a hotly contested battle for second place. Oklahoma State, with nine wrestlers in the finals, leads the way with 140.5 points, followed by Iowa State with 72, Oklahoma with 70.5 and SDSU with 68.5.

SDSU JackrabbitsIowa State, Oklahoma and SDSU all have three wrestlers in the finals, which will begin at 1 p.m. Sunday and will be televised on FOX regional networks, including FOX Sports North Plus. Consolation matches begin at 9 a.m.

In the 141-pound weight class, third-seeded Seth Gross became the first Jackrabbit to reach the finals as he downed second-seeded Bryce Meredith of Wyoming, 8-3, in Saturday night’s semifinals. A redshirt freshman from Apple Valley, Minnesota, Gross opened the day with a 10-0 major decision of sixth-seeded Trae Blackwell.

Gross will meet top-seeded and No. 1 nationally ranked Dean Heil of Oklahoma State in the title bout.

Top-seeded Cody Pack will wrestle in Sunday’s 157-pound championship match after scoring a third-period takedown en route to a 3-2 victory over Wyoming’s Archie Colgan. Pack, who improved to 27-2 on the season, opened the tournament with a 16-0 technical fall over Kyle Gliva of North Dakota State.

Pack will square off against second-seeded Joseph Smith of Oklahoma State in the 157-pound championship.

At 197 pounds, second-seeded Nate Rotert became the third Jackrabbit in the finals with a 7-6 decision over third-seeded Trent Noon of Northern Colorado. Rotert recorded an escape in the closing seconds to set up a matchup against fifth-seeded Preston Weigel of Oklahoma State.

Rotert opened the day with an 8-2 victory over Brandon Tribble of Wyoming.

Brothers Alex and David Kocer also competed in the semifinals for the Jackrabbits, but were sent to the consolation bracket with losses. After defeating John Meeks of Iowa State, 1-0, in the 149-pound quarterfinals, Alex Kocer was pinned by third-seeded Davion Jeffries in their semifinal bout.

David Kocer fell victim to a last-second takedown by top-seeded Chandler Rogers of Oklahoma State in the 174-pound semifinals, dropping a 10-8 decision. Kocer, seeded fourth, had opened the tournament with a 10-6 victory over fifth-seeded Ross Larson of Utah Valley.

Brady Ayers stayed alive in the 184-pound consolation bracket with two victories during the Saturday night session. A junior from Waterville, Minnesota, Ayers won 4-2 over Will Sumner of Utah Valley before closing the evening with a 5-2 decision over Andrew Dixon of Oklahoma.

Luke Zilverberg also moved into the placing matches with an 8-5 decision over North Dakota State’s Grant Nehring in the 165-pound consolation quarterfinals.

Brackets/Results on

Following is a complete look at South Dakota State’s results from the first day of the Big 12 Wrestling Championship:

125: #7 Ben Gillette, Jr., Redfield, S.D. (1-2 record)
First Round: tech. fall #10 Jesse Reed, Northern Colorado, 18-1 (5:51)
Quarterfinals: lost to #2 Eddie Klimara, Oklahoma State, by fall 1:23
Consolation Round of 8: lost to #8 Kyle Larson, Iowa State, by dec., 10-4
Gillette eliminated – ends season 19-13 overall

133: #5 Brance Simms, Sr., Gilmore City, Iowa (0-2 record)
Quarterfinals: lost to #4 Jade Rauser, Utah Valley, by dec., 7-0
Consolation Quarterfinals: lost to #8 Keegan Moore, West Virginia, by dec., 3-2
Simms eliminated – ends season 15-13 overall

141: #3 Seth Gross, R-Fr., Apple Valley, Minn. (2-0 record)
Quarterfinals: major dec. #6 Trae Blackwell, Oklahoma, 10-0
Semifinals: dec. #2 Bryce Meredith, Wyoming, 8-3
Finals: vs. #1 Dean Heil, Oklahoma State

149: #2 Alex Kocer, Jr., Wagner, S.D. (1-1 record)
Quarterfinals: dec. #10 John Meeks, Iowa State, 1-0
Semifinals: lost to #3 Davion Jeffries, Oklahoma, by fall 4:47

157: #1 Cody Pack, Sr., Quincy, Calif. (2-0 record)
Quarterfinals: tech. fall #9 Kyle Gliva, North Dakota State, 16-0 (4:25)
Semifinals: dec. #4 Archie Colgan, Wyoming, 3-2
Finals: vs. #2 Joseph Smith, Oklahoma State

165: #5 Luke Zilverberg, So., Belle Plaine, Minn. (1-1 record)
Quarterfinals: lost to #4 Connor Flynn, West Virginia, 4-2
Consolation Quarterfinals: dec. #8 Grant Nehring, North Dakota State, 8-5

174: #4 David Kocer, So., Wagner, S.D. (1-1 record)
Quarterfinals: dec. #5 Ross Taylor, Utah Valley, 10-6
Semifinals: lost to #1 Chandler Rogers, Oklahoma State, by dec., 10-8

184: #7 Brady Ayers, Jr., Waterville, Minn. (3-1 record)
First Round: tech. fall #10 Horacio Vialpando, Northern Colorado, 16-0 (2:44)
Quaterfinals: lost to #2 Nolan Boyd, Oklahoma State, by major dec., 8-0
Consolation Round of 8: dec. #9 Will Sumner, Utah Valley, 4-2
Consolation Quarterfinals: dec. #6 Andrew Dixon, Oklahoma, 5-2

197: #2 Nate Rotert, So., Spearfish, S.D. (2-0 record)
Quarterfinals: dec. #7 Brandon Tribble, Wyoming, 8-2
Semifinals: dec. #3 Trent Noon, Northern Colorado, 7-6
Championship: vs. #5 Preston Weigel, Oklahoma State

285: #9 Alex Macki, So., Cambridge, Iowa (0-2 record)
First Round: lost to A.J. Vizcarrondo, West Virginia, by dec., 2-0
Consolation Round of 8: lost to Marcus Malecek, Air Force, by dec., 1-0
Macki eliminated – ends season 8-19 overall

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