TULSA, Okla. – North Dakota State 157 Jared Franek and 165 Luke Weber both advanced to the finals and six others are still alive in the consolation bracket after the first day of the Big 12 Wrestling Championships on Saturday, March 6, at the BOK Center. The Bison are fifth in the team standings with 69.0 points. Oklahoma is first with 107.0 points.
Action gets underway with Session III at 10 a.m. and Session IV championship finals at 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 7. All matches will be available on the ESPN app through Big 12 Now on ESPN+ and the championship round will be televised live on ESPN2.
The No. 3 seed Franek, a sophomore from West Fargo, N.D., won a 7-5 decision over Wyatt Sheets of Oklahoma State and went to overtime in the semifinals, where he beat No. 2 Justin Thomas with a takedown in the final seconds of sudden victory to advance to his first Big 12 championship match.
The No. 4 seed Weber, a senior from Forsyth, Mont., went 2-0 to advance to the championship match for the first time in his career. He opened with his second major decision of the season with a 16-2 victory over Troy Mantanona of Oklahoma.
In the semifinals, Weber grinded to a 3-1 lead against No. 1 seed Travis Wittlake before a stall penalty and escape point tied the match and sent it to overtime. A wild scrum ensued towards the end of the first sudden victory period, but Weber was able to get a takedown for a 5-3 victory.
In the consolation bracket for North Dakota State, 133 Kellyn March, 149 Jaden Van Maanen, 174 Austin Brenner, and 197 Owen Pentz will all wrestle for seventh place in the morning, while 141 Dylan Droegemueller and 285 Brandon Metz will each find themselves in the consolation semifinals. Metz lost a heartbreaker to No. 3 ranked Brian Andrews in the semifinals, while Droegemueller won two consecutive matches in the consolation bracket to stay alive.
- Oklahoma – 107
- Wyoming – 97
- Oklahoma State – 96
- Iowa State – 94
- North Dakota State – 69
- Northern Iowa – 68
- Northern Colorado – 57.5
- South Dakota State – 52
- Utah Valley – 49
- West Virginia – 43.5
- Air Force – 25
- Fresno State – 22