WVU Heads to Big 12 Wrestling Championship
KANSAS CITY (March 4, 2016) – The West Virginia University wrestling team is in Kansas City this weekend to compete in the 2016 Big 12 Wrestling Championship, hosted at Sprint Center on Saturday and Sunday.
Weight-by-weight brackets and seeds are expected to be released Friday evening.
In a new format, the tournament will consist of four sessions. Session I features preliminary and quarterfinal matches and will start at Noon ET on Saturday. Session II, consisting of semifinal and consolation quarterfinal matches, will commence at 6 p.m. ET. The consolation semifinals, as well as third- and fifth-place matches, will start at 10 a.m. ET on Sunday with the championship finals set for 2 p.m. ET that afternoon.
The first three sessions of the championship will be broadcasted online on FloSports and Flo Wrestling. Viewers must subscribe to FloPro to watch the event. Sunday's championship finals will be shown on a tape delay on ROOT Sports at 10 p.m. ET Sunday evening and again on Thursday at 7 p.m. It will be shown live on FSN and FOX affiliates. Live results for all four sessions can be found on Flo Arena.
In addition to moving to a neutral site at Sprint Center in Kansas City, this year’s championship will feature a new format and new teams. Air Force, Northern Colorado, North Dakota State, South Dakota State, Wyoming and Utah Valley joined the league as affiliate members in the summer of 2015 and will compete at this year's tournament. The addition of six teams and 60 wrestlers has pushed the event to its new two-day, four-session format.
“We’re prepared and we’re ready to go,” said coach Sammie Henson. “We want to wrestle better than our seeds. We want to outdo them and show signs for a program that is doing the right things. You have your seeds, and you need to wrestle above them. We do that and we lay it on the line and do what we’ve been doing all year and the stuff we’ve built off of last year. It just continues to build. I just want everything they have.”
The Mountaineers placed five on the podium in taking fourth place at the 2015 championship. Zeke Moisey (125), A.J. Vizcarrondo (HWT), Jacob A. Smith (197) and Roman Perryman (149) earned runner-up finishes at their respective weights, with Bubba Scheffel taking third at 184 pounds.
Smith enters the tournament undefeated in Big 12 matches at 197 pounds and is expected to open Saturday's action as the No. 1 seed overall in his weight class. The Charleston, West Virginia, native has compiled an 8-0 record with a pair of falls and a major decision. Should he enter as the No. 1 seed, it will mark WVU's first No. 1 seed since Colin Johnston (141) and the Mountaineers' second overall at the Big 12 Championship.
Vizcarrondo will look to make his third straight championship final at the 2016 Big 12 Championship after becoming the program's first-ever two-time Big 12 finalist in 2015. Last year, Vizcarrondo entered as the No. 3 seed but pinned 15th-ranked Ross Larson of Oklahoma, who was the No. 2 seed, in the second period to make it to his second straight championship match.
125: No. 13 Zeke Moisey
133: Keegan Moore
141: Tony DeAngelo
149: Zachary Moore
157: No. 16 Dylan Cottrell
165: Connor Flynn
174: Ross Renzi
184: Bubba Scheffel
197: No. 8/11 Jacob A. Smith
HWT: A.J. Vizcarrondo
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