Wyoming’s Stephen Buchanan claims Big 12 title
* University of Wyoming Athletics media relations release
TULSA, Okla., -- Stephen Buchanan etched his name into the record books on Sunday night inside the BOK Arena as he became the fifth Cowboy in program history to win a Big 12 title.
Buchanan is the first Cowboy to win a Big 12 title since Brian Andrews did so at heavyweight in 2020.
“It’s a huge deal. I think it’s safe to say that was the toughest weight here, too, and he went out and wrestled great. What an accomplishment for him and it’s not by accident,” Wyoming's head wrestling coach Mark Branch said. “He is consistently driven and it shows in his commitment and his confidence. The great thing is he knows this isn’t what it’s all about and he’s already thinking about Detroit.
"It was a great win, but he’s not done yet.”
In the finals top, seeded Buchanan faced off against No. 2 seeded Tanner Sloan of South Dakota State. After a scoreless first period Buchanan went to work rattling off three straight points and taking control of the match. From there he never looked back shutting down all of Sloan’s shot attempts clinching the 3-2 win and a Big 12 Title.
With the historic win Buchanan moved to 23-2 on the season and improvers his winning streak to 10 straight matches. He will now take all of that momentum in the NCAA Championships as he looks to become a two-time All-American.
At 157 pounds No. 5 seeded Jacob Wright had a tournament to remember which began with a hard-fought win 5-4 decision over No. 7 seeded Derek Holschlag which put Wright into the third-place match.
In the bronze medal bout Wright took the mat against No. 6 seeded Justin Thomas (OU). It was a very tightly contested match which saw the two grapplers tied 5-5 heading into the tie-breaker period of overtime. Wright put up nine second of riding on Thomas in the first 30 second period and then escaped in just six seconds in the second 30 second period holding on for the dramatic 6-5 win.
“Coach Branch has preached toughness and grit all year, and while the plan was always to go out and dominate your opponent, you can’t be shocked when you find yourself in fight,” Wright said following his performance. “This tournament built momentum for me heading into Nationals and I’m really excited to get back to Laramie and start training for Detroit.”
For Wright, the third-place finish is his best career finish at the Big 12 championships. He went 5-1 over the two days of competition and will now take all of the momentum into his third straight NCAA tournament appearance.
At 174 pounds, Hayden Hastings finished up the day with a fifth-place finish securing himself a spot at his fourth straight NCAA Championships.
In his lone match of the day No. 3 seeded Tate Samuelson wrestled in the 184-pound seventh-place match against West Virginia’s Anthony Carman. Samuelson ended his Big 12 tournament with a bang pinning Carman in the first two minutes of the match to take seventh place. He will now await the release of the NCAA Tournament at large bids on Tuesday, March 8 to see if he will claim a spot at nationals.
Up next for the Pokes is the NCAA tournament in Detroit, Michigan March 17-19. At large allocations for the NCAA tournament will be released on this Tuesday while the brackets and seeds will be released on Wednesday, March 8.
FINAL TEAM RESULTS
- Missouri – 131.5
- Oklahoma – 113.0
- Iowa State – 110.0
- Oklahoma State – 107.5
- Northern Iowa – 100.0
- SDSU – 66.0
- NDSU – 62.0
- West Virginia – 62.0
- Wyoming – 57.5
- Air Force – 45.0
- Northern Colorado – 35.5
- Utah Valley – 34.0
COWBOY RESULTS (All number listed next to names are tournament seeds)
157 – No. 5 Jacob Wright – 3rd
No. 5 Wright (WYO) dec. No. 7 Derek Holschlag (UNI) 5-4
No. 5 Wright (WYO) dec. No. 6 Justin Thomas (OU) 6-5 (TB-1)
174 – No. 5 Hayden Hastings – 5th
No. 2 Cade Devos (SDSU) dec. No. 5 Hastings (WYO) 5-2
No. 5 Hastings (WYO) forfeit over No. 4 Lance Runyon (UNI)
184 – No. 3 Tate Samuelson – 7th
No. 3 Samuelson (WYO) fall (1:40) Anthony Carman (WVU)
197 – No. 1 Stephen Buchanan – 1st
No. 1 Buchanan (WYO) dec. No. 2 Tanner Sloan (SDSU) 3-2
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