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Cowboy wrestling has "rough" first day at NCAA Championships

Mar. 21—KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Oklahoma State's wrestlers have said all along that their season would be defined in March.

At the end of the NCAA Championships' first day, the Cowboys sit tied for 10th in the team standings. The good news, coach John Smith said, is that there's still two more days to make up points.

"A little rougher than I thought," Smith said. "It's kind of nothing unexpected. I thought we'd win a couple more than what we won."

Second round results

Championship bracket

No. 6 Troy Spratley (125 pounds) opened the second round for the Cowboys with a 7-1 decision over No. 11 Cooper Flynn of Virginia Tech. He'll face Iowa's No. 3 Drake Ayala in Friday's quarterfinals. Ayala won their previous matchup 8-1 in sudden victory on Feb. 25.

"Good wins from Troy," Smith said. "He definitely looked a lot different tonight than he did this morning. Went out and picked up a takedown, good ride, picked up a late takedown as well. That's what he's going to have to do tomorrow."

No. 1 Daton Fix (133 pounds) looked unlike himself in his 5-4 win over No. 16 Nic Bouzakis of Ohio State. Fix had a 4-1 lead in the third period but gave up a takedown and only won on the ensuing escape. The Kansas City crowd booed him as it thought he stalled for the final 15-20 seconds. The undefeated Fix will have his third match against Iowa State's No. 8 Evan Frost in the quarterfinals.

No. 3 Dustin Plott (184 pounds) cruised to a 17-3 major decision over No. 19 James Conway. Plott's quarterfinal match is against No. 6 Bernie Truax of Penn State. Truax is a Cal Poly transfer and finished fourth each of the past three years.

No. 20 Jordan Williams (149 pounds) lost 7-2 to No. 4 Caleb Henson of Virginia Tech. Williams will wrestle Wisconsin's No. 19 Joseph Zargo in the consolations Friday morning.

No. 16 Teague Travis (157 pounds) was matched up with No. 1 Levi Haines of Penn State in the second round. Travis was teched 19-4. He's up against No. 18 Vinny Zerban of Northern Colorado.

No. 7 Izzak Olejnik (165 pounds) opened himself up to Michigan's No. 10 Cameron Amine in sudden victory and lost 4-1. The All-American transfer from Northern Illinois is in for a consolation rematch against No. 25 Holden Heller of Pitt. Olejnik won their Jan. 12 match 5-2.

No. 12 Konner Doucet (285 pounds) lost 6-1 to No. 5 Nathan Taylor of Lehigh. Doucet was taken down 12 seconds into the match and ridden out for the majority of the match. His next match is against Little Rock's No. 27 Josiah Hill.

Consolation bracket

No. 10 Tagen Jamison's performance at the tournament was the most disappointing for the Pokes. He was eliminated after a 4-2 loss to Northern Iowa's No. 7 Cael Happel — his third loss to Happel during the season. Jamison was the only top 10 wrestler in the 141-pound bracket to go winless at nationals.

"We didn't have the performance I was hoping we'd have," Smith said. "Just struggled with his finishes. It wasn't an effort problem, just kind of had a little lapse in both of those matches that really cost him an opportunity to win both of them."

No. 25 Brayden Thompson (174 pounds) wrestled even worse in the first round of consolations, losing 11-4 to Minnesota's No. 24 Andrew Sparks. The true freshman started the year 12-6 and finished it 2-6.

No. 27 Luke Surber (197 pounds) was aggressive in his match, but he couldn't do enough to beat No. 11 Jaxon Smith of Maryland. Surber, who battled with injuries for much of the season, lost 4-2.

First round results

Spratley defeated No. 27 Max Gallagher 6-0. Spratley picked up a near-fall in the middle of the second period and escaped from the down position three seconds into the third period. He had one minute, 57 seconds of riding time.

Fix secured a 17-1 technical fall over No. 33 Dyson Dunham with a near-fall with two seconds remaining in the match.

Jamison lost to No. 23 Danny Fongaro of Indiana 9-8 by riding time. Jamison scored a takedown with four seconds left in the first period to get a 7-4 lead. Fongaro rode Jamison out for the entire second period and scored a takedown in the third. That, along with 2:28 of riding time, pulled off the upset.

Williams defeated No. 13 Caleb Rathjen of Iowa 12-5. The match was tied 5-5 with 50 seconds to go, and Williams got seven points off a scramble and a cradle in the final 10 seconds.

Travis rolled to an easy 7-2 win over No. 17 Brock Mauller of Missouri.

Olejnik's escape and takedown in the second period was enough for a 5-0 decision over No. 26 Domonic Baker of Campbell.

Thompson lost to No. 8 Adam Kemp 4-3. Kemp led 4-1 after the second period and gave up an escape and a stalling point in the third.

Plott teched No. 30 Malachi Duvall 17-2 in the second period. Plott appeared to have a pin, but it wasn't awarded.

Surber was thoroughly outmatched in his 6-0 loss to No. 6 Lou Deprez.

Doucet comfortably beat No. 21 Dayton Pitzer of Pitt 5-0. Doucet rode Pitzer out for the length of the second period and scored three back points. He then scored on a reversal with eight seconds left in the third.