The wrestling team took sixth place overall at the Big 12 Championships in Oklahoma last weekend, March 9 and 10.
“We were confident that we would perform well at the Big 12s. Our guys were finally getting healthy again and most were peaking at the right time,” head wrestling coach Greg Williams said. This season, eight wrestlers were injured throughout the season, and some are still in recovery.
“We were looking forward to having our guys out there against some of the best guys in the country and showing them what we are capable of,” Williams said. The Big 12 Championships have 12 elite teams, and this was the best the team has ever done at the tournament.
“Mitch Brown wrestling down at 125, we knew he would have a great opportunity to earn a spot as well. He was close but had one get away from him in his placement match,” Williams said.
Five wrestlers advanced far enough in the brackets to qualify for the national championships March 21-23. They were freshman Tate Orndorff (285 pounds), junior Tanner Orndorff (197 pounds), senior Will Sumner (184 pounds), and juniors Kimball Bastian (174 pounds) and Demetrius Romero (165 pounds). Also competing will be sophomore Matt Findlay (141 pounds), even though he did not compete at the tournament over the weekend. He qualified as an at-large, ranked at 10th in the country for his weight class.
“It’s a childhood dream to have earned this opportunity,” Findlay said.
The team pulled out a sixth place overall finish with a team score of 59. Oklahoma State won the tournament with 158 points.
Photo courtesy of UVU Athletics