Sykora NDSU’s First-Ever Big 12 Champion, Fogarty Runner-up for Third Straight Season

TULSA, Okla. – North Dakota State 133-pounder Cam Sykora became the program’s first-ever Big 12 Conference champion and 165 Andrew Fogarty was runner-up for the third straight season to highlight the second day of the Big 12 Conference Wrestling Championships on Sunday, March 8, in the BOK Center. NDSU placed fifth with 90.5 points in the team standings and recorded its highest point total in five trips.

Sykora, a redshirt senior from Wheaton, Minn., won the title with a 5-4 decision over Northern Colorado’s Mosha Schwartz. Sykora gained a takedown with 1:06 left in the first period for a 2-0 lead and went up 3-0 on an escape to start the second.

However, Schwartz countered with a pair of takedowns and Sykora escaped twice to make it 5-4. A challenge took a Sykora takedown with 10-seconds left in the second. The wrestlers battled through a scoreless third. Sykora went 3-0 at the tournament and improved to 17-4 overall. He had an 11-5 Big 12 tournament record.

Fogarty, a redshirt senior from Jordan, Minn., dropped an 8-4 decision to Oklahoma State’s Travis Wittlake. Wittlake came up with a takedown in each period and led 7-2 in the third. Fogarty rallied with a reversal to cut the deficit to 7-4 with 30-seconds left. Wittlake picked up a point for riding time.

Fogarty went 2-1 at the tournament and stands at 21-4 overall. He was 8-6 in four Big 12 tournaments.

Nine Bison placed in the top eight overall. Joining Sykora and Fogarty are third place 157 Jared Franek, fourth place 141 Dylan Droegemueller, true sixth-place 197 Cordell Eaton, sixth place 125 McGwire Midkiff, seventh place Brandon Metz, and eighth places 149 Jaden Van Maanen and 174 Luke Weber.

And North Dakota State has six automatic qualifiers to the NCAA tournament – 133 Sykora, 141 Droegemueller, 157 Franek, 165 Fogarty, 197 Eaton, and 285 Metz. Sykora and Fogarty will make their fourth trip to the NCAA tournament, while Droegemueller, Franek, Eaton, and Metz will each make their first appearance.

The NCAA field, 33 wrestlers in each weight class, will be announced Tuesday afternoon. The bracket and seeding will be announced during the NCAA Selection Show on at 5 p.m. Central Time Wednesday. The NCAA tournament is scheduled for March 19-21 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Three of the Bison qualifiers are from Minnesota – Droegemueller, Fogarty, and Sykora.

Oklahoma State won its eighth straight Big 12 Conference wrestling championship and 17th overall.

Big 12 Championships Results

125 #4 McGwire Midkiff, R-So., Carter Lake, Iowa (Thomas Jefferson HS) – 6th Place
Overall: 12-9 / Big 12 Championships: 1-3 (1-5)
W dec Jace Koelzer (Northern Colorado), 2-0
L major dec #4 Nick Piccininni (Oklahoma State), MD 12-1
L fall Christian Moody (Oklahoma), 5:56
L dec Cody Phippen (Air Force), 2-0

133 #3 Cam Sykora, R-Sr., Wheaton, Minn. (Wheaton HS/South Dakota State) – 1st Place *
Overall: 17-4 / Big 12 Championships: 3-0 (11-5)
W tech fall Jared Van Vleet (Air Force), TF 17-1 4:59
W dec #8 Montorie Bridges (Wyoming), 7-6
W dec #18 Mosha Schwartz (Northern Colorado), 5-4

141 Dylan Droegemueller, R-Fr., Champlin, Minn. (Anoka HS) – 4th Place*
Overall: 15-10 / Big 12 Championships: 3-2
L dec #8 Ian Parker (Iowa State), 7-2
W major dec #15 DJ (Durbin) Lloren (Fresno State), MD 13-3
W dec #33 Lenny Petersen (Air Force), 5-2
W dec #10 Michael Blockhus (Northern Iowa), 8-5
L dec #12 Dusty Hone (Oklahoma State), 6-4

149 #7 Jaden Van Maanen, R-So., La Crosse, Wis. (La Crosse Central HS) – 8th Place
Overall: 12-17 / Big 12 Championships: 1-3 (1-5)
L dec #10 Henry Pohlmeyer (South Dakota State), 4-1
W dec Jacob Butler (Oklahoma), 7-3
L dec #33 Greg Gaxiola (Fresno State), 7-3
L dec Cameron Hunsaker (Utah Valley), 9-6

157 #2 Jared Franek, R-Fr., Harwood, N.D. (West Fargo HS) – 3rd Place *
Overall: 27-7 / Big 12 Championships: 3-1
W major dec Peyton Smith (South Dakota State), MD 9-0
L major dec #13 Wyatt Sheets (Oklahoma State), MD 14-5
W dec #27 Jacob Wright (Fresno State), 7-4
W dec #18 Justin Thomas (Oklahoma), 4-2

165 #2 Andrew Fogarty, R-Sr., Jordan, Minn. (Scott West HS) – 2nd Place *
Overall: 21-4 / Big 12 Championships: 2-1 (8-6)
W major dec Adam Kemp (Fresno State), MD 10-0
W major dec #27 Chase Straw (Iowa State), MD 15-2
L dec #7 Travis Wittlake (Oklahoma State), 8-4

174 Luke Weber R-Jr., Forsyth, Mont. (Forsyth HS/Nebraska) – 8th Place
Overall: 15-13 / Big 12 Championships: 1-3 (2-6)
L dec #19 Joseph Smith (Oklahoma State), 4-3
W dec #33 Jackson Hemauer (Fresno State), 2-1
L dec #18 Hayden Hastings (Wyoming), 5-3
L fall Cody Surratt (Air Force), 6:35

184 Noah Cressell, R-Fr., Wabash, Ind. (Wabash HS)
Overall: 10-12 / Big 12 Championships: 0-2
L dec Darrien Roberts (Oklahoma), 6-3
L dec Jacob Thompson (Air Force), 4-2

197 #8 Cordell Eaton, R-Sr., Long Grove, Iowa (North Scott HS) – True 6th Place *
Overall: 15-12 / Big 12 Championships: 4-2 (7-9)
W dec Isaiah Patton (Northern Iowa), 6-3
L dec #2 Noah Adams (West Virginia), 2-1
W major dec Casey Jumps (Air Force), MD 10-1
L dec #19 Dakota Geer (Oklahoma State), 10-7
W dec #28 Tanner Orndorff (Utah Valley), 5-2
W dec #22 Stephen Buchanan (Wyoming), 9-5

285 #7 Brandon Metz, R-So., West Fargo, N.D. (West Fargo HS) – 7th Place *
Overall: 21-10 / Big 12 Championships: 1-2 (1-4)
L dec #14 Gannon Gremmel (Iowa State), 3-0
W dec Auston Harris (Oklahoma State), 8-4
L dec #9 Josh Hokit (Fresno State), 4-3
W fall Blake Wolters (South Dakota State), 1:44

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