Charles Page High School graduate and Oklahoma State University red-shirt freshman Daton Fix (30-1) is headed to the NCAA National Wrestling Championship next week in Pittsburgh, and he got a huge vote of confidence from the seeding committee on Wednesday.
Fix earned the No. 1 seed after winning the Big 12 Conference Championship last weekend in Tulsa. The Big 12 is the second-best represented conference at the tournament with 62 qualifiers.
The Sandite pinned Rylee Molitor in 6:01, and defeated No. 16 Matthew Schmitt 6-1, No. 12 Montorie Bridges 4-2, and No. 29 Gary Joint 7-3 at the Big 12 Tournament, helping the Pokes to their seventh-straight team title. He was one of six Cowboys to earn individual gold.
The NCAAs are a double-elimination tournament with 33 qualifiers per weight class. The top eight finishers will earn All-American status. The first two rounds of the tournament will be held Thursday, followed by the quarterfinals and semis on Friday, and the Championship rounds Saturday night.
In his first match, Fix will take on the winner of No. 32 Devan Turner vs. No. 33 Zack Trampe. He already has wins over eleven 133-pound NCAA Qualifiers, including the defending Champ, No. 3 Nick Suriano (24-3).
Fix’s biggest challengers are both on the opposite side of the bracket. He only beat Suriano in an overtime tie-breaker with a controversial hands-to-the-face penalty. No. 2 Stevan Micic (14-0) is undefeated and also has a 3-2 win over Suriano but is wrestling injured and defaulted his last three matches of the Big Ten Tournament.
No. 7 Austin DeSanto (18-4), No. 13 Austin Gomez (21-5), and Bridges (29-8) are all tough competitors who lost to Fix by two points or less. Gomez and Bridges are both on Fix’s side of the bracket, as is No. 4 Mickey Phillipi (19-2) who upset Fix 3-1 and Suriano 11-3.
Fix’s ranked wins include:
No. 3 Nick Suriano (Rutgers) 3-2 TB.
No. 6 Ethan Lizak (Minnesota) 6-1.
No. 7 Austin DeSanto (Iowa) 2-0.
No. 8 John Erneste (Missouri) 9-2.
No. 12 Montorie Bridges (Wyoming) 4-2, 3-0.
No. 14 Austin Gomez (Iowa State) 5-4, 6-3.
No. 16 Matthew Schmitt (West Virginia) 6-1, 8-2.
No. 17 Sean Nickel (CSU Bakersfield) 18-3, 3:56.
No. 18 Gary Wayne Harding (North Carolina) 10-2.
No. 20 Brandon Paetzell (Lehigh) 7-1.
No. 29 Gary Joint (Fresno State) 7-3.