With a 60 percent majority from the NCAA Wrestling Twitter poll, Seth Gross of South Dakota State University has been named the first NCAA Wrestler of the Week of 2018. The 133-pound junior rightly claimed this award after his exceptional two-day performance at the 55th Ken Kraft Midlands Championships. With his dominance, Gross became the first SDSU wrestler to individually win a title at the Midlands.
Gross did not allow either of his two Midlands matches to last past the first period. In his bout against Dylan Duncan of Illinois, Gross recorded a 16-1 technical fall to advance through the semifinals. In the championship matchup, Gross faced Buffalo’s Bryan Lantry. After creating a 10-0 lead, Gross finished off his opponent with a pin striking 13 seconds before the end of the first period.
Gross was later named the Dan Gable Outstanding Wrestler, finishing the tournament with four match victories by technical fall and another two by pin.
A native of Apple Valley, Minn., Gross was a high school state champion at three different weight classes. Throughout his high school career he compiled a record of 153-15, including a senior season run of 48-2. Gross was also a junior national freestyle champion in 2013, and a two-time cadet national freestyle champion, winning titles in 2012 and 2011.
Last year, Gross accomplished one of the best seasons in Jackrabbit wrestling history, concluding with an NCAA runner-up finish at 133 pounds. With a 34-2 overall record, along with finishing 17-0 in dual competition, Gross led the team wins. For the NCAA Most Dominant Wrestler Award, Gross landed at seventh in the standings, averaging 4.35 team points in matches against DI competition. On top of an already impressive season, Gross became the first Jackrabbit wrestler to win a Big 12 Conference individual title.
With the halfway point of the 2017-18 wrestling season on the horizon, Gross remains in discussion for the Hodge Trophy. His current record stands at 12-0, with five wins coming from technical falls and five from falls. Entering 2018, Gross’ overall record in his three seasons at South Dakota State is 72-16.