WV Natives to Wrestle in Big 12 Finals

  • By Ashley Bailey
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  • March 04, 2017 10:15 PM
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TULSA, Okla.  – The homegrown Mountaineers led way for the West Virginia University wrestling team, as Dylan Cottrell and Jacob A. Smith advanced to the championship finals at the 2017 Big 12 Wrestling Championship on Saturday at the BOK Center in Tulsa.
Cottrell won an 11-3 decision over North Dakota State’s Andrew Fogarty to advance to the 165-pound finals, where he will take on Oklahoma State’s Chandler Rogers. Jacob A. Smith took a 4-1 decision over Oklahoma’s Brad Johnson and will face the Cowboys’ Preston Weigel in the 197-pound championship bout.
The 2017 Big 12 Wrestling Championship will take place at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday. It will be shown live locally on ROOT Sports as well as various FOX Sports affiliates.
“We had some highs and some lows today,” WVU coach Sammie Henson said. “I’m extremely proud of Dylan and Jake for their performances today. Our two West Virginia boys have been leading this team all season, and we look forward to seeing them compete tomorrow. They’ve faced some adversity with Jake last year and Dylan this season, but they battled through it and we couldn’t be happier for them.”
Cottrell, the No. 2 seed at 165 pounds, won an 8-1 decision over Iowa State’s Logan Breitenbach to register his eighth consecutive win in the quarterfinals. The Spencer, West Virginia, native used a takedown and four nearfall points in the first for a 6-0 lead. He added an escape in the second before claiming riding time point in the win.
He then took down Fogarty in the semis, just missing the major with an 11-3 decision. Cottrell scored in the first 30 seconds of the first for a 2-0 lead, though Fogarty escaped to make it 2-1 at the end of the first. Starting on bottom, Fogarty escaped in the second but Cottrell added another takedown for a 4-2 advantage. He went on to score three more takedowns in the third, adding riding time in the win.
The No. 1 seed at 197 pounds, Smith claimed a 9-5 win over Iowa State’s Marcus Harrington in the quarterfinals. Harrington scored first with a takedown, but Smith escaped and countered with a takedown of his own for a 3-2 lead. He added four nearfall points to push the score to 7-2 at the end of the first. Starting the second in the defensive position, Smith added an escape to make it an 8-2 advantage but was called for stalling to make it 8-3. Smith was again called for stalling twice in the closing seconds of the third, adding a pair of points to Harrington’s total, but added the riding time point for the 9-5 decision. Smith will face Oklahoma’s Brad Johnson in the semifinals. The two previously met back on Jan. 20, with Smith winning a 3-1 decision.
In the semifinal match, Smith used an early takedown but couldn’t accrue any riding time as Johnson escaped. With a 2-1 lead at the start of the second, Smith rode Johnson throughout the period to take the 2-1 lead and more than 2:00 of riding time into the third. Starting on bottom, he escaped in the third and added riding time at the end of regulation for the 4-1 win to move into the finals.
Joe Wheeling and Christian Monserrat picked up a pair of wins in the round of 16 to start the first session. Wheeling used takedown, a reversal and a pair of nearfall points in winning an 8-2 decision over South Dakota State’s Henry Pohlmeyer at 141 pounds. Monserrat scored a takedown and six nearfall points in an 11-1 major decision over Iowa State’s Gabe Moreno at 149. Both advanced to the quarterfinals, as Wheeling dropped a 12-2 major decision to Wyoming’s Bryce Meredith, while Monserrat suffered a 10-0 setback to SDSU’s Alex Kocer.
After dropping a 12-2 major decision to Wyoming’s Bryce Meredith, Wheeling won an 11-3 decision over Air Force’s John Twomey and then claimed a 7-3 win over Utah Valley’s Trevor Willson. He will face Northern Colorado’s Timmy Box in the consolation semifinals on Sunday morning.
Parker VonEgidy rebounded from a 1-0 loss to SDSU’s Martin Mueller at 184  to win a 5-2 decision over Zen Ikehara of Air Force. He will face Iowa State’s Carson Powell in the consolation semifinals on Sunday.
The remainder of the consolation bracket will be wrestled starting at 9 a.m. Sunday morning, prior to the afternoon’s championship bouts. FloWrestling will carry the morning session live.
West Virginia sits in seventh place after two sessions with 42.5 points. Oklahoma State leads the team race with 155.5 points, followed by North Dakota State in second with 70.5 points. South Dakota State is currently third with 64.5 points. 


WVU, West Virginia, Mountaineers, Wrestling, NCAA