MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (March 3, 2021) – The pairings for the 2021 Big 12 Wrestling Championship, set for March 6-7, at the BOK Center, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, were announced by the league office on Wednesday.
The Mountaineers, who finished 10th at the 2020 Big 12 Championship, have five wrestlers seeded inside the top six of their respective weight classes.
All 12 schools will place a wrestler in each weight class. The seeds, as voted on by an independent five-person panel for the first time, will compete over two days for 45 automatic qualifying bids to the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, as well as the 2021 Big 12 Championship team title.
As the No. 4 seed at 125 pounds, redshirt junior Killian Cardinale is slated to meet North Dakota State’s McGwire Midkiff in the first round. Cardinale spent his first three seasons at Old Dominion before the Monarch wrestling program was discontinued last April. He currently holds a 7-3 record on the year, winning six of his last seven matches.
No. 2-seed Ryan Sullivan, a transfer from Pitt, will face Jack Skudlarzyk of Northern Iowa in the first round of the 133-pound pool. Sullivan sits at 7-2 overall and is 5-1 against Big 12 opponents, as he looks to compete in his first postseason tournament.
Redshirt freshman Jeffrey Boyd drew a first-round match against No. 5-seed Lenny Petersen of Air Force in the 141-pound division. Boyd enters the conference championship with a 6-7 mark, including one victory in league action.
At 149 pounds, freshman Brayden Roberts will take on No. 3-seed Mitch Moore of Oklahoma in the first round. The two grapplers went head-to-head on Jan. 17, with Roberts dropping a hard-fought, 4-2 decision to Moore at the WVU Coliseum, in Morgantown. Roberts has totaled four wins this season, including one in Big 12 action.
Next up, redshirt sophomore Alex Hornfeck is slated to meet No. 5-seed Jacob Wright of Wyoming in the 157-pound pool for the second time this season. The two wrestlers met back on Feb. 6, with Hornfeck suffering a 7-3 setback to Wright at the Uniwyo Sports Complex, in Laramie, Wyoming. Hornfeck holds a 5-6 record on the year, including a trio of wins in league competition.
No. 2-seed Peyton Hall will square off against Utah Valley’s Koy Wilkinson in the first round of the 165-pound weight bracket. Hall is tied for the team lead in wins with a 10-2 mark and is 5-1 against Big 12 foes.
Sophomore Scott Joll drew a first-round match against No. 5-seed Cody Surratt of Air Force in the 174-pound division. Joll sits at 7-6 overall, with a pair wins in conference action.
At heavyweight, redshirt freshman Michael Wolfgram will go head-to-head with No. 2-seed Carter Isley of Northern Iowa. Wolfgram is 8-4 on the year and has bested three Big 12 foes this season.
Additionally, No. 6-seed Anthony Carman (184) and No. 3-seed Noah Adams (197) will each receive a first-round bye in their respective weight brackets. Carman looks to face the winner of No. 3-seed Dakota Geer of Oklahoma State and Michael Nelson of North Dakota State, while Adams, the reigning Big 12 Champion at 197 pounds, sets to square off with the victor of No. 6 Marcus Coleman of Iowa State and Nick Villarreal of Fresno State.
Action starts Saturday with preliminary and quarterfinal rounds set for a noon ET start. The semifinals and consolation quarterfinals will take place at 6 p.m. ET that evening. The consolation semifinals, as well as the third- and fifth-place matches will start at 11 a.m. ET on Sunday, with the championship matches set for 6 p.m. ET.
The first three sessions of the championship will be distributed on Big 12 Now on ESPN+, the conference’s digital platform, while the championship matches will be televised live on ESPN2. All matches from the championship also will be available on the ESPN App.
Press Release Credit: WVU Athletics Communications
Photo Credit: WVU Sports