Bison Fifth After Day 1 of Big 12 Tournament; Sykora and Fogarty Advance to Finals

Cordell Eaton

NDSU’s Cordell Eaton secures a takedown and would go on to defeat Isaiah Patton of UNI 6-3. Image Courtesy Nic Ryder (IAwrestle)

Overall, North Dakota State fared pretty well during day one of the Big 12 wrestling championships in Tulsa, OK.  The Bison sit in fifth place overall and advanced two wrestlers through to the finals in 133 Cam Sykora and 165 Andrew Fogarty.  Seven of ten advanced to the second day overall.  Sykora’s day really couldn’t have been any better.  The RS Senior and three time NCAA qualifier scored quarterfinal technical fall over Jared Van Vleet of the Air Force Academy before beating Wyoming All American Montorie Bridges 7-6 in the semifinals.  Sykora scored two early takedowns against Bridges and then held off a hard charge in the third period to secure his first career victory against the Cowboy.  Sykora will wrestle #8 Mosha Schwartz of Northern Colorado in tomorrow’s final.

Bison RS Senior Andrew Fogarty was nothing short of dominant in his two bouts of the day.  Fogarty scored a 10-0 major decision of Fresno’s Adam Kemp before winning 15-2 over Chase Straw if Iowa State in the semifinals.  This will be Fogarty’s third Big 12 finals.  He will wrestle impressive Oklahoma State freshman Travis Wittlake tomorrow afternoon.  Wittlake is currently ranked seventh in the nation.  In advancing to the finals, both Fogary and Sykora have stamped their ticket to the NCAA tournament for the fourth time.

Bison 125 McGwire Midkiff also advanced to the semifinals but fell to top seed Nick Piccininni of Oklahoma State. With only four NCAA qualifiers in the 125 pound weight division, Midkiff will need a win tomorrow over Oklahoma’s Christian Moody to put himself in position to qualify.

The final semifinalist for NDSU was 157 Jared Franek.  Franek started hot against #11 Wyatt Sheets of Oklahoma State.  The West Fargo product took a 4-2 lead into the second period on the strength of two first period takedowns, but with the match tied 5-5 in the third period, was unable to get away.  Sheets blew the match open on top, going on to turn Franek twice and winning the bout 14-5.  Franek needs one win tomorrow to qualify for the NCAA tournament.

Also competing for NCAA berths tomorrow morning are Dylan Droegemueller (141), Cordell Eaton (197), and Brandon Metz (285).  Unseeded, Droegemueller has made the consi semifinals and needs a fifth-or-better finish tomorrow to qualify for the national tournament.  With only the top six qualifying at 197, Eaton will need to win the seventh place match tomorrow and hope for a true sixth match or wildcard.  Metz can qualify automatically with a win over Blake Wolters of South Dakota State the 185 pound seventh place bout.

Team Scores
1 Ok State 111.5
2 Iowa State 92.0
3 N. Iowa 90.5
4 South Dakota State 83.5
5 North Dakota State 74.5
6 Oklahoma 65.5
7 Wyoming 65.0
8 N. Colorado 60.0
9 Fresno State 47.5
10 West Virginia 35.0
11 Utah Valley 29.0
12 Air Force 21.5

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