TULSA, Okla. – Senior 165-pounder Luke Weber became North Dakota State’s second Big 12 Conference champion in two years, and sophomore 157 Jared Franek finished runner-up to highlight a sixth-place NDSU finish at the Big 12 Wrestling Championships on Sunday, March 8, in the BOK Center.
Weber, the tournament’s No. 4 seed, won an 11-7 decision over third-seeded Cole Moody of Wyoming to extend his winning streak to 12 straight matches. Weber joins 133 Cam Sykora as NDSU’s second Big 12 champion.
Weber charged early with a takedown in the first 15 seconds of the match and built up 1:47 of riding time in the first period. The match was tied 4-4 after Moody escaped to start the third period, but a strong move by Weber put Moody on his back for a takedown and four back points giving Weber a 10-4 lead.
Franek, the No. 3 seed at 157 pounds, could not overcome top-seeded and No. 3 nationally ranked David Carr of Iowa State. Carr recorded two takedowns in the first period for an early 4-1 lead and was in control for most of the match.
Franek and Weber will both advance to the NCAA championship along with heavyweight Brandon Metz, who placed fifth. The Bison had a total of eight Big 12 placewinners including sixth place 141 Dylan Droegemueller, seventh place 197 Owen Pentz, 174 Austin Brenner and 133 Kellyn March, and eighth place 149 Jaden Van Maanen.
The NCAA championship field, with 33 wrestlers in each weight class, will be announced during the NCAA Selection Show on NCAA.com at 5 p.m. CT this Wednesday, March 10. The NCAA tournament is scheduled for March 19-21 at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis.