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WVU Wrestling in Big 12 Tournament: Ty Watters Reaches 149-Pound Final, Seven Mountaineers Advance to Day 2



WVU Wrestling Ty Watters

The WVU wrestling team in the Big 12 Tournament starts off with West Virginia’s Ty Watters making a splash in his first-ever appearance the event.

The Mountaineers’ true freshman posted a perfect 3-0 record on Day 1 to reach the 149-pound finals against Oklahoma State’s Jordan Williams on Sunday night. The final round will be broadcast live on ESPN2 beginning at 8:30 p.m. ET.

A No. 3 seed, Watters cruised through his three matches, earning two technical falls and a major decision victory. He opened the tournament by defeating Air Force’s Joe Fernau by an 18-3 technical fall before taking down No. 6 seed Maxwell Peterson of North Dakota State with a 12-2 major decision in the quarterfinals.

Watters capped off his day by picking up a 19-2 technical fall win over No. 7 seed Gabe Willochell of Wyoming in the semifinals.

Seven total West Virginia wrestlers also advanced to Day 2 action, and four have already earned automatic berths into the NCAA Championships. Jordan Titus and Michael Wolfgram will need to finish in fifth place or better to earn an automatic berth.

Former All-American Peyton Hall reached the semifinals of the 165-pound bracket after defeating North Dakota State’s Brendan Howes by a 16-1 technical fall and pinning No. 6 seed Cael Carlson of Oklahoma in 4:13. Hall then fell to No. 2 seed David Carr by a 5-1 decision.

141-pounder Titus took the same route as Hall, securing two wins over Cal Baptist’s Darren Green (16-4 major decision) and No. 5 seed Clay Carlson of South Dakota State (6-5 decision) before dropping his semifinal match to No. 1 seed Anthony Echemendia by a 14-4 major decision.

Jett Strickenberger (125 pounds), Brody Conley (174) and Wolfgram (285) shrugged off early losses to reach the consolation semifinals. All three advanced out of the opening round then lost in the quarterfinals. They secured back-to-back victories in the consolation bracket to stay alive and advance to Day 2, with Strickenberger’s latest coming over defending Big 12 champion Stevo Poulin.

With a victory in their first matches on Sunday, Hall, Titus, Conley, Strickenberger and Wolfgram will all then wrestle for third place. A loss puts them in contention for fifth. Dennis Robin will wrestle for seventh place.

Mountaineer wrestlers Davin Rhoads, Caleb Dowling and Austin Cooley were eliminated after suffering two losses on Saturday. All will still have the opportunity to be selected to wrestle in the NCAA Championships by the NCAA Wrestling Committee as at-large bids.

Day 2 action will resume at 1 p.m. ET Sunday afternoon on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.

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