Daton Fix looks to dominate after return from injury

Jan. 10—In a turbulent few years for Oklahoma State wrestling, Daton Fix at 133 pounds has been one of the program's few foundational pieces.

So it was a bit unnerving for everyone in the Cowboy wrestling room when he was away for several weeks dealing with a string of injuries and an illness. He was scratched from the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational in early December, and he missed the team's duals against Lehigh and Oklahoma.

"I haven't had very many injuries in my career so ... it just felt like one thing after another was hitting me," Fix said. "Just a lot of unfortunate events that happened back-to-back-to-back, and luckily I got through those."

He returned to the lineup for the Dec. 19 road dual with Wyoming, and coach John Smith said Fix's 8-2 decision was "disappointing" and "didn't do much for him."

"He had a tough time. He struggled a little bit just trying to figure everything out. He had never experienced this," Smith said. "For a guy that's had a lot of success and has wrestled all over the world, it's pretty frustrating."

No. 3 Fix looked like his dominant self again in Friday's 11-3 major decision over North Carolina State's No. 5 Kai Orine.

With about a dozen matches left in his college wrestling career, Fix said he's at peak motivation.

"It definitely wasn't easy being off for a little bit, but I'm glad to be back," Fix said. "Whenever you start to be away and you're not competing, you definitely start to miss it, and it's helped me to get motivated and get my weight where it needs to be just so I can compete at my best."

The 2024 NCAA Wrestling Championships will conclude on March 23, and Fix will have three weeks to drop eight pounds to make weight (57 kilograms) for the 2024 Olympic Team Trials.

Fix took an Olympic redshirt during the 2019-20 season, but the Olympics were postponed that year because of COVID-19. He ended up wrestling for OSU and only had one week to cut weight for the trials.

"It's not an easy cut, but I don't really have a choice," Fix said. "At 57 kilos, I can beat anybody in the world, and that's been my goal since I first started wrestling is to be an Olympic gold medalist."

John Smith on wrestling officials: "They're slow!"John Smith in his weekly media availability is usually as even-keeled as one can be, but one question got him as animated as he has been this season.

The Oklahoman's Scott Wright asked him if the new three-point takedown rule has helped with officials awarding points on time, something Smith has harped on in the past.

Needless to say, he didn't feel that way.

"It's the biggest thing that they need to get changed because it's frustrating. You get really angry at it," Smith said. "They're holding their calls, and you get frustrated as a coach because, damn, if the guy slips out of something, you've given him a second or two seconds."

Smith said this was an issue in Brayden Thompson's tiebreaker win on Friday.

"When a guy gets a takedown and he scores the three points, give the three. We want points on the board," Smith said. "That's why we moved the takedown to three. That's why we are calling quicker stalling on top when you're not turning: cause there's no scoring!"

Former Oklahoma State All-American Travis Wittlake seriously injured in accident

Travis Wittlake was supposed to wrestle in Gallagher-Iba Arena for the first time since transferring to Oregon State on Jan. 21, but he recently suffered serious injuries, his family announced.

On Sunday, he was working underneath his pickup truck when the jack it rested on gave way, causing the truck to crush him.

His leg had multiple breaks and there were compound fractures in his lumbar vertebrae. He was airlifted to Salem Hospital.

A GoFundMe was set up on behalf of his family to help pay for emergency medical costs at The fundraiser has a goal of $100,000. Nearly $72,000 had been raised as of press time.