Four Oklahoma State wrestlers win Scuffle titles, Cowboys finish second

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -- The Oklahoma State wrestling team collected a second-place team finish at the 15th Annual Southern Scuffle on Wednesday, with four wrestlers bringing home titles at their respective weights. The Cowboys finished with 188.5 points, with only Penn State finishing ahead at 216.5.

We had some tough matches the second day, and we definitely saw that the competition is stiff," said coach John Smith. "I like the way that we performed. I think we can really grow from this two-day tournament. It was definitely our toughest competition up to this point, and most of it was good.. little bit of ugly, but I'm definitely looking forward to going back and analyzing the last two days because we got a lot information we can get better with."

Action resumed at McKenzie Arena, where the Pokes positioned seven wrestlers in the semifinals a day earlier. Derek White (285), Nick Piccininni (125), Daton Fix (133) and Kaden Gfeller (149) each took top honors in their brackets. Five wrestlers advanced to the finals, with Jacobe Smith and Dakota Geer wrestling for third and Jonce Blaylock for fifth.

No. 3 White picked up a significant, 3-2, win over Penn State's Anthony Cassar. The fifth-ranked Nittany Lion was undefeated prior to the finals bout, and White scored the match's lone takedown. White advanced to the finals after upending Nick Nevills (PSU), 4-0. It was the first of four consecutive titles for the Cowboys, with Piccininni winning a 7-2 decision over Rico Montoya of Northern Colorado to claim first at 125 pounds. The Cowboy earned a 13-2 major decision in the semifinals over Luke Werner (Lock Haven), marking his fourth bonus-point win of the tournament.

At 133, Fix won the title with a 6-3 decision over Iowa State's Austin Gomez. Fix teched his way through the semis earlier in the day, defeating Sean Nickell, 18-3, in less than four minutes. Fellow redshirt freshman Gfeller claimed his second-consecutive Scuffle championship with a 3-2 decision over Duke's Mitch Finesilver. The Cowboy had a solid showing at 149 pounds, earning three pins and technical fall en route to his title.

"Finals were good… winning four of the five," Smith said. "We were a little conservative in a couple of them, but we had good effort in the finals. I thought we wrestled well."

In the first finals bout of the evening, Joe Smith lost a 5-1 decision to returning NCAA Champion Mark Hall. Smith had an impressive showing at the tournament with two falls and a semifinals win over David McFadden of Virginia Tech. Jacobe Smith and Geer finished fourth, and Blaylock finished fifth at 157 pounds.

OSU returns to action in 10 days, when it travels to the east coast for duals at Princeton and Rutgers. The Cowboys wrestle back-to-back days in New Jersey.


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