Cottrell Wins WVU’s First-Ever Big 12 Title


TULSA, Okla. (March 5, 2017) – Spencer, West Virginia, native Dylan Cottrell became the first ever West Virginia University wrestler to win a Big 12 title, as he defeated Oklahoma State’s Chandler Rogers in the 165-pound finals of the 2017 Big 12 Wrestling Championship at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Sunday.

The No. 2 seed, 10th-ranked Cottrell scored a 5-4 decision over Rogers, who entered the tournament ranked No. 8 in the nation and the No. 1 seed. He automatically qualifies for the 2017 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championship.

“I’m so incredibly proud of Dylan and everything he’s been able to accomplish, on and off the mat, as a Mountaineer,” WVU coach Sammie Henson said. “He’s been a leader on this team for the past two years. He battled through an injury this season, and came back to win. It’s fitting that a homegrown Mountaineer is our first-ever Big 12 Champion, and we couldn’t be happier for him.”

Rogers struck first, scoring a takedown a minute into the first period. Cottrell escaped seconds later to trail 2-1. Rogers was then called for a technical violation, tying the score at 2-2 with 90 seconds remaining in the first. Cottrell started the second period on top, giving up an escape as Rogers took a 3-2 lead in the opening seconds. Neither wrestler scored for the remainder of the period, as Cottrell trailed 3-2 to start the third. Choosing the defensive position, he escaped early in the period to knot the score at 3-3. Cottrell scored a takedown with 1:17 remaining, taking a 6-4 lead. Rogers escaped, cutting Cottrell’s lead to one at 5-4 with under a minute to go. Officials went to a lengthy video review to determine whether Rogers scored a late takedown, but the original call was upheld as Cottrell took the bout 5-4.

In the 197-pound match, Jacob A. Smith was injured on a takedown in the first period and fell to OSU’s Preston Weigel in 2:24.

In earlier action, Parker VonEgidy took fourth place at 184 pounds after dropping a 3-1 decision to South Dakota State’s Martin Mueller in the third-place match. He defeated Iowa State’s Carson Powell in a 4-2 decision in the consolation semifinals.

At 141 pounds, Joe Wheeling won a 5-2 decision over Iowa State’s John Meeks to take fifth place at 141 pounds. He had previously dropped a 13-1 major decision to Northern Colorado’s Timmy Box.

West Virginia finished the championship in seventh place with 50 points. Oklahoma State took home the team title with 176.5 points. Oklahoma finished second with 93.5 points, followed by South Dakota State in third with 90.5 points.

Cottrell and Smith both qualified for the 2017 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, slated for March 16-18 at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis.

Final Team Scores
1. Oklahoma State - 176.5 
2. Oklahoma - 93.5
3. South Dakota State - 90.5
4. North Dakota State - 82.5
5. Wyoming - 71.5
6. Iowa State - 65
7. West Virginia - 50
8. Northern Colorado - 48.5
9. Utah Valley - 32
10. Air Force - 28

WV Natives to Wrestle in Big 12 Finals

TULSA, Okla. (March 4, 2017) – 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.

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