South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

Jacks travel to Tulsa for Big 12 Championships

Abby Fullenkamp
ABBY FULLENKAMP Junior Seth Gross wrestles against NDSU Cam Sykora during the 133-pound bout Feb. 16. Gross defeated Sykora by tech fall of 16-0 in four minutes. The Jacks are undefeated in the Big 12 Conference. SDSU is participating in the Big 12 Championships this weekend in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Jacks finished the season 8-0 against Big 12 opponents.

It’s tournament time for the South Dakota State Wrestling team, which will head to Tulsa, Oklahoma, to participate in the Big 12 Wrestling Championships.

In collegiate wrestling, conference tournaments play a factor in who makes it to the NCAA National Championships. Each conference and each weight class is allowed a specific number of qualifiers for that weight class, which is chosen by the strength of the conferences and weight classes.

Here is a highlight of the top four wrestlers for the Jacks and their path to qualification:

Freshman Connor Brown
125-weight class
No. 5 seed
5-3 in Big 12 dual season

At the 125-weight class, there are seven spots for automatic qualifiers in the Big 12 — a tournament high. Brown will matchup against Sean Cannon of Northern Colorado. Cannon is 8-11 on the season.
With a win over Cannon, Brown would move onto the quarterfinals against Christian Moody of Oklahoma. Earlier this year, Brown dropped a 5-3 decision to Moody.

“I just didn’t get out there and get to my offense,” Brown said of the loss.
The three Big 12 matches that Brown dropped this season all came from the top four seeds of the tournament.

“Connor is good. He has seven guys qualifying, so all he needs to do is go and upset someone that has beaten him,” said head coach Chris Bono.

Junior Seth Gross
133-weight class
No. 1 seed
7-1 in Big 12 dual season

At the 133-weight class, there will be at least five qualifiers from the Big 12. The lone loss for the standout 133-pound Jackrabbit in the Big 12 came against the top-ranked 141-pounder, Bryce Meredith, in a 4-2 a decision.

In the quarterfinals, Gross will face either Isaac Jiminez of Air Force or Jack Wagner of Northern Iowa. Gross pinned both of them in under two minutes this year. Barring an upset, Gross looks poised to return to the NCAA National Tournament this year.

“When I wrestle my best, I know I can beat anyone in the country,” Gross said.

Senior Luke Zilverberg
157-weight class
No. 3 seed
6-2 in Big 12 dual season

Zilverberg will be coming off a 7-5 overtime loss to Clay Ream of North Dakota State. The other loss for Zilverberg in the Big 12 dual season came against Archie Colgan of Wyoming. Both Ream and Colgan are the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds. The 157-weight class was awarded three qualifying spots. To make it to Nationals, Zilverberg will need to place at least third.

Senior David Kocer
174-weight class
No. 3 seed
6-2 in Big 12 dual season

The 174-weight class in the Big 12 was awarded five qualifying spots. Kocer’s two losses during conference season came to Taylor Lujan of Northern Iowa 3-1 and Yoanse Mejias of Oklahoma 7-5. Kocer is set to wrestle either Kyle Pope of Wyoming or Dominic Kincaid of Fresno State in the quarterfinals.

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