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Six Mountaineers Still Alive After Day One of Big 12 Wrestling Tournament



Just over half of West Virginia’s 10-man field remains after the completion of the first day of the Big 12 Tournament at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Six Mountaineers are set to wrestle for a spot on the podium in their respective weight classes on Sunday, including Jordan Titus (141 pounds), Sam Hillegas (149), Peyton Hall (165), Scott Joll (174), Austin Cooley (197) and Michael Wolfgram (heavyweight).

Hall will compete for third place after falling to top-seeded David Carr of Iowa State in the semifinals by a 3-1 decision. The other four Mountaineers will all wrestle for seventh.

Entering day one as the No. 4 seed, Hall received a first round bye before pinning Oklahoma’s Gerrit Nijenhuis in 4:38 in the quarterfinals. Hall, in his second consecutive semifinals appearance, was then defeated by Carr for the second time this season.

Titus, Joll and Wolfgram were all victorious in their opening bouts before falling in the quarterfinals. Cooley, after dropping his first match, reeled off two straight victories in the consolation bracket to secure a podium spot.

Wolfgram lost via a 3-2 decision to South Dakota State’s AJ Nevills in his second match. This mark’s Wolfgram’s second consecutive defeat to Nevills at the Big 12 Tournament. He, however, will have a chance to rebound and end the tournament on a high note.

Hillegas was originally eliminated after losing his first two matches, but was brought back into the competition after Wyoming’s Chase Zollmann was disqualified for biting an opponent during a match. Hillegas is currently in the vacated eighth spot in his respective bracket.

Some Mountaineers, though, were not so lucky.

West Virginia redshirt senior Killian Cardinale will not have the opportunity to defend his Big 12 championship at 125 pounds after taking a medical forfeit in his quarterfinal matchup. Cardinale will now have to hope that he will secure an at-large bid for the NCAA Tournament on March 16-18, provided he will be able to compete.

Davin Rhoads (133 pounds) and Alex Hornfeck (157) were each eliminated after dropping their first two bouts. At 184, Anthony Carman won his opening round matchup before losing his next pair of matches. Carman was eliminated from the tournament following a 1-0 loss to South Dakota State’s Cade King.

Sunday’s competition will begin at 1 p.m. ET and can be streamed via Big 12 Now on ESPN+.

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