Two undefeated teams. Eighteen combined ranked wrestlers. Five top-10 matchups. Fifty-seven combined national titles throughout history. One dual.
In a battle of undefeated teams, No. 2 Oklahoma State wrestling topped No. 3 Iowa 27-2 behind pins from Nick Piccininni and Chandler Rogers. The Cowboys ended their season 15-0 in the rivalry dual, extending their all-time record against the Hawkeyes to 29-22-2.
Oklahoma State still has to get through Penn State to take home a national title in Pittsburgh, but, for now, they'll walk away from this final home dual with pride, momentum and a win.
The winningest wrestling team in history, Oklahoma State holds 34 national titles to Iowa's 23, and they made a statement against the Hawkeyes in this dual setting. Prior to the match, Oklahoma State's biggest challenge this year came from No. 5 Missouri, when the Cowboys pulled out a 19-15 victory to stay undefeated after wins from Piccininni, Daton Fix, Rogers, Jacobe Smith, Preston Weigel and Derek White.
Preston Weigel seals the dual for Oklahoma State. pic.twitter.com/GfmMKdxXUy— FloWrestling (@FloWrestling) February 24, 2019
Piccininni and Rogers pulled off monstrous wins for the Cowboys Sunday against Iowa, with Piccininni pinning defending national champion Spencer Lee and Rogers adding a pin of his own against unranked Mitch Bowman. Fix, Smith, Weigel and White also picked up wins, as did Kaid Brock.
Weigel's upset win over No. 4 Jacob Warner secured the win for Oklahoma State before No. 2 Derek White even stepped on the mat. The dual was one of five top-10 battles of the afternoon, and though it may not have been as dramatic as Piccininni's pin against Lee, the match held particular meaning for the senior Cowboy who ended his career with a statement win.
Weigel's victory marked a comeback moment for the 197-pounder who, prior to his 2018-2019 dual meet debut against Oklahoma, had only wrestled three matches, all in the Oklahoma City Open. A 2017 All-American, Weigel is now back in the lineup looking for an NCAA tournament bid, and he'll have a shot to achieve such a goal at the Big 12 tournament in March.
Weigel held on to his undefeated season record with the win over Warner, and his momentum could help him keep this record alive deep into the conference and national tournament.
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Iowa’s loss, as a team, marks its first on the season. Heading into the dual, the Hawkeyes had earned top-10 ranked victories against Minnesota (24-10) in mid-January and Nebraska earlier this month (20-13). Iowa most recently dominated No. 16 Wisconsin 35-2 with the only Badger win coming at heavyweight when No. 7 Trent Hillger took down No. 8 Sam Stoll.
That win gave the Hawkeyes part ownership of the Big Ten wrestling dual season title, an honor they shared with Penn State. Oklahoma State did not wrestle Wisconsin or Nebraska this year, but the Cowboys did beat Minnesota 23-9 behind upset wins from No. 2 Fix and No. 6 Kaden Gfeller.
Iowa will will see the Cowboys again in Pittsburgh for the national championship in March, and coach Tom Brands will no doubt have his squad ready to do battle with Oklahoma State yet again, this time on the big stage.
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Iowa brought nine ranked wrestlers to the dual against the Cowboys with six in the top 10 and two athletes at No. 2 spots. Six of those athletes, including No. 2 Spencer Lee, walked away from Stillwater with a defeat. Oklahoma State's nine ranked wrestlers proved to be too much for Iowa.
Relive the top-5 Oklahoma State vs. Iowa wrestling dual below with updates from every match: