DES MOINES, Iowa —
Three Cowboys made their way back through the wrestlebacks on Saturday morning, giving Oklahoma State three NCAA third-place finishers in Alex Dieringer, Tyler Caldwell and Alan Gelogaev. The Cowboys are only three points behind Penn State, 114.5-111.5, going into tonight’s finals.
Freshman phenom Alex Dieringer racked up some bonus points for the Pokes, pinning Northern Iowa’s David Bonin in 1:39 in the third-place match. Sending him to the bout was his 12-2 major decision over Jedd Moore in his first match of the day.
“I wrestled really well today. It feels good to come back like that,” Dieringer said. “I was just inches from competing in the finals tonight so that hurts, but I’ve got three more years. I’m going to make sure to build off that [semifinals] loss.”
After taking a year off from NCAA wrestling, Caldwell returned to show that he was still a worthy contender, finishing third at 165 pounds after dominating No. 4 Peter Yates, 5-1, in his final bout of the year.
“It’s a disappointment after taking second two years ago, but it’s also good to come back and finish strong, getting third place,” Caldwell said. “I’m feeling really good about my wrestling and the way I’m training. I’m already excited for next season. I’m surrounded by studs.”
One of the Cowboys’ most exciting matches of the day came from Gelogaev, who took on Zac Thommusseit in the sixth round of wrestlebacks. Thomusseit maintained the lead throughout the match until Gelogaev scored a takedown in the final second of the match, which sent him to the third-place bout with a 5-4 win over Thomusseit. Gelogaev finished his career as the No. 3 heavyweight following an epic 3-2 battle with Missouri’s Dom Bradley.
Entering the season ranked 11th, Jon Morrison finished the season as the nation’s No. 5 133-pounder with his intense 6-4 win over Chris Dardanes of Minnesota. The junior went into the fifth-place bout after losing to A.J. Schopp of Edinboro, 9-3, in the sixth round of wrestlebacks.
At 197 pounds, Blake Rosholt finished eighth after suffering a 7-4 loss to Wyoming’s Alfonso Hernandez in the seventh-place match.
The Cowboys keep their national title hopes alive entering tonight’s finals. The finals, featuring Cowboys Jordan Oliver and Chris Perry, will begin tonight with the 174-pound final at 7 p.m. Fans can watch the action on ESPN.