Gross, Kocer and Rotert advance to finals

TULSA, Okla. — A trio of South Dakota State University wrestlers, including defending 133-pound champion Seth Gross, earned spots in Sunday night’s championship matches at the Big 12 Conference Wrestling Championship after posting semifinal victories Saturday at BOK Center.

The Jackrabbits, who had six wrestlers advance to the semifinals during Saturday’s first session, ended the first day of competition in third place in the team standings. Oklahoma State, with six finalists, leads with 106.5 points, followed by Northern Iowa with 78 points and SDSU with 71.5. Both UNI and the Jackrabbits have three finalists.

sdsulogoWyoming (59), North Dakota State (49.5) and West Virginia (46.5) round out the upper half of the team standings.

Gross, a junior from Apple Valley, Minnesota, who has been the top-ranked wrestler at 133 pounds all season, cruised into his third Big 12 Conference title bout in as many seasons with a 10-2 major decision over fifth-seeded Matthew Schmitt of Western Illinois. The championship match will be a rematch from a year ago as Gross will face third-seeded Kaid Brock of Oklahoma State. Gross defeated Brock all three times the two met last season, including recording a 9-7 decision for the conference title.

Three semifinal matches involving the Jackrabbits were decided in overtime, with SDSU wrestlers winning two. After Luke Zilverberg dropped a 3-1 overtime decision to second-seeded Archie Colgan of Wyoming at 157 pounds, David Kocer came away with a 10-8 decision over No. 2 Yoanse Mejias with a takedown in the second set of tiebreakers. A senior from Wagner, the third-seeded Kocer will meet top-seeded Taylor Lujan of Northern Iowa in the 174-pound title match.

Senior Nate Rotert will make his second trip to a Big 12 Conference final after posting a takedown midway through the sudden-victory period to down Northern Iowa’s Jacob Holschlag.

Each of the Jackrabbits’ finalists have earned qualifying berths in the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships set for March 15-17 in Cleveland, Ohio. Rotert will be making his fourth trip to nationals, while Gross and Kocer have qualified for the third year in a row.

A total of seven Jackrabbit wrestlers advanced to the second day of competition, including 141-pounder Henry Pohlmeyer, who dropped a 4-0 decision to top-ranked Bryce Meredith of Wyoming in semifinal action. The fifth-seeded Pohlmeyer opened the day with a first-period pin over Fresno State’s Chris De Loza, then knocked off No. 4 Ian Parker of Iowa State, 4-2, with a takedown 13 seconds into overtime.

Also falling in the semifinals was second-seeded 184-pounder Martin Mueller, who was defeated by a 9-2 count by third-seeded Dylan Gabel of Northern Colorado.

Staying alive in the consolation bracket was freshman 125-pounder Connor Brown, who won both his matches Saturday night. The Oak Grove, Missouri, native moved into Sunday’s placing matches by posting a 6-2 decision over Anthony DeCesare of Air Force before closing the night with a 10-1 major decision over North Dakota State’s Paul Bianchi.

Heavyweight Alex Macki had his career come to a close in splitting a pair of matches during the evening session. A senior from Cambridge, Iowa, Macki downed West Virginia’s Brandon Ngati, 3-2, before falling 3-0 to Carter Isley of Northern Iowa.

UP NEXT
Consolation action Sunday begins at noon with coverage on FloWrestling.org. The championship session begins at 6 p.m. and will be televised on FOX Sports regional networks.

Following is a complete listing of SDSU results from Day 1 of the Big 12 Wrestling Championship:

125: #5 Connor Brown, Fr., Oak Grove, Mo.
Round of 16: def. #12 Sean Cannon (Northern Colorado), by major dec., 13-4
Quarterfinals: lost to #4 Christian Moody (Oklahoma), by dec., 1-5
Consolation Round of 8-2: dec. Anthony DeCesare (Air Force), 6-2
Consolation Round of 4: major dec. Paul Bianchi (North Dakota State), 10-1
Consolation Semifinals: vs. #2 Taylor LaMont (Utah Valley)

133: #1 Seth Gross, Jr., Apple Valley, Minn.
Round of 16: Bye
Quarterfinals: def. #8 Isaac Jiminez (Air Force), by fall 3:50
Semifinals: major dec. #5 Matthew Schmitt (West Virginia), 10-2
Championship: vs. #3 Kaid Brock (Oklahoma State)

141: #5 Henry Pohlmeyer, So., Johnston, Iowa
Round of 16: def. #12 Chris De Loza (Fresno State), by fall 1:48
Quarterfinals: dec. #4 Ian Parker (Iowa State), 4-2 [SV-1]
Semifinals: lost to #1 Bryce Meredith (Wyoming), by dec., 0-4
Consolation Semifinals: vs. #11 Mike Longo (Oklahoma)

149: #12 Colten Carlson, R-Fr., Willmar, Minn.
Round of 16: lost to #5 Sam Turner (Wyoming), by major dec., 12-2
Consolation Round of 8-2: lost to #3 Khristian Olivas (Fresno State), by major dec., 8-16
Carlson eliminated — ends season 8-17 overall

157: #3 Luke Zilverberg, Sr., Belle Plaine, Minn.
Round of 16: Bye
Quarterfinals: dec. #6 Justin Thomas (Oklahoma), 6-0
Semifinals: lost to #2 Archie Colgan (Wyoming), 1-3 [SV-1]
Consolation Semifinals: vs. #4 Logan Ryan (Northern Iowa)

165: #11 Logan Peterson, Jr., Lake Lillian, Minn.
Round of 16: lost to #6 Dawaylon Barnes (Oklahoma), by dec., 5-7
Consolation Round of 8-1: lost to #5 Keilan Torres (Northern Colorado), by dec., 6-8
Peterson eliminated — ends season with 15-14 overall record

174: #3 David Kocer, Sr., Wagner, S.D.
Round of 16: Bye
Quarterfinals: tech. fall #6 Kyle Pope (Wyoming), 19-0 [7:00]
Semifinals: dec. #2 Yoanse Mejias (Oklahoma), 10-8 [TB-2]
Championship: vs. #1 Taylor Lujan (Northern Iowa)

184: #2 Martin Mueller, So., Rapid City, S.D.
Round of 16: Bye
Quarterfinals: dec. #7 Dane Pestano (Iowa State), 7-5
Semifinals: lost to #3 Dylan Gabel (Northern Colorado), by dec., 2-9
Consolation Semifinals: vs. #5 Chaz Polson (Wyoming)

197: #2 Nate Rotert, Sr., Spearfish, S.D.
Round of 16: Bye
Quarterfinals: tech. fall # 7 Jacob Seely (Northern Colorado), 17-2 [5:59]
Semifinals: dec. #3 Jacob Holschlag (Northern Iowa), 3-1 [SV-1]
Championship: vs. #4 Jake Smith (West Virginia)

285: #6 Alex Macki, Sr., Cambridge, Iowa
Round of 16: dec. #11 Brandon Webb (Oklahoma), 6-2
Quarterfinals: lost to #3 A.J. Nevills (Fresno State), by dec., 3-6
Consolation Round of 8-2: dec. Brandon Ngati (West Virginia), 3-2
Consolation Round of 4: lost to #7 Carter Isley (Northern Iowa), by dec., 0-3
Macki eliminated — ends season 13-14 overall

TEAM STANDINGS
1. Oklahoma State – 106.5
2. Northern Iowa – 78
3. South Dakota State – 71.5
4. Wyoming – 59
5. North Dakota State – 49.5
6. West Virginia – 46.5
7. Oklahoma – 45.5
8. Utah Valley – 35.5
9. Iowa State – 34
10. Northern Colorado – 27
11. Fresno State – 24.5
12. Air Force – 20.5

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