TULSA, Okla – Brody Teske and Parker Keckeisen finished the job Sunday as Northern Iowa crowned two individual champions for the second consecutive year at the Big 12 wrestling championships at the BOK Center.
The Panthers finished fifth overall and have four guaranteed wrestlers advancing to the NCAA Division I wrestling championships in St. Louis on March 18-20.
Oklahoma and Oklahoma State tied for the team title with 124 points, and Iowa State was third with 117.5 points. The Cyclones had a pair of individual champions – David Carr (157) and Gannon Gremmel (285).
Teske and Keckeisen became UNI’s sixth and seventh Big 12 individual champions as UNI scored 79 points.
Panther 157-pound starter suffered a major sickle anemia crisis during a family vacation to Colorado in the summer of 2019. Complications from that episode saw Lara spend nearly two months in a hospital bed.
Teske, a sophomore and the top seed at 125, gave up the opening takedown and two near fall to Utah Valley’s Taylor LaMont. He immediately responded with an escape and a takedown of his own in the first period to close to within 4-3 in what would be a back-and-forth finals match where he eventually prevailed, 9-7.
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“Our guys did a good job keeping their focus, whatever happens,” UNI head coach Doug Schwab said. “You give up four early and that guy had a great hold, but he fought out of it. He hit the takedown at the end of the first period and it is 4-3 and you are right back in it. I think that match was a great match. If you like wrestling, that is one that you don’t want to miss.”
It was 5-5 after two periods, but Teske had riding time. Teske opened the third with a quick escape to make it 6-5, but LaMont took the lead with 43 seconds left. Teske continued to work hard from the bottom position and his reversal with 17 seconds left and ride out gave him the win.
It is the first 125-pound conference title for the Panthers since Dylan Peters won a Mid-American Conference crown in 2014.
Keckeisen, also top seeded, continued a dynasty of sorts for the Panthers in the 184-pound weight class. His 5-3 win over Tate Samuelson of Wyoming made it four consecutive years UNI has had the 184-pound individual champion.
Drew Foster won back-to-back titles in 2018 & 2019, and Taylor Lujan won it last March.
Keckeisen hit blast double to score in the opening seconds of the first period and then scored a second takedown on the edge of the mat with 1:16 left in the second period to extend his lead to 5-1.
“That was an incredible attack,” Schwab said. “I turned to Lee (UNI assistant coach Lee Roper) and said ‘I guess he’s ready to go.’ He was in a couple more attacks, but couldn’t quite finish them.
“You see people making adjustments for him and trying to slow him down, but he is making his own adjustments. He has just scratched the surface on how good he can be. He has competed his tail off this year and stayed focused on what is ahead of him. He is only going to continue to get better. Now is the time to go do it in St. Louis.”
Teske and Keckeisen will be joined by Triston Lara at 149 and Austin Yant at 165 as automatic NCAA qualifiers.
Lara beat Jaron Jensen of Wyoming, 18-8, to finish fifth at 149 and locked down an NCAA berth. Yant scored a 9-3 win over Troy Mantanona of Oklahoma to finish fifth at 165.
“As a group we have guys that are ready to win at that level,” Schwab said. “Build some momentum heading into St. Louis. We have four guys going and I feel confident in a wild card, hopefully more than one.”
Schwab was referring to the fact he believes heavyweight Carter Isley will receive one of 64 at-large bids that still remain.
Carr became Iowa State’s first back-to-back Big 12 champion since Kyven Gadson won three in-a-row from 2013-15.
With his 8-2 win over James Franek of North Dakota State in the 157 final made Carr the 57th wrestler in Cyclone history to win two or more conference titles.
“I want these guys to know that I’m coming for them — you don’t have to come for me,” Carr said. “I’m always going to be the kind of guy who’s going out there to score points. When you try to score points for all seven minutes, it’s fun. I don’t want to waste a second — as soon as the whistle blows, I’m going.”
Gremmel beat Brian Andrews of Wyoming, 2-0 in the 285 finals. It was a rematch of last year’s Big 12 final that Andrew’s won, 3-2.
“I watched some film on him and I saw he struggled on bottom, so I didn’t want to take extra risk on my feet,” Gremmel said. “If I was going to take a shot, it needed to be a really good shot. I saw that match playing out exactly how it did. Right when riding time hit one minute, he pretty much gave up.”
The Cyclones’ Ian Parker dropped a 4-3 decision in tiebreakers to Oklahoma’s Dom Demas in the 141-final.
ISU saw freshman Zach Redding at 133, senior Jerett Degen at 149, 184 and Marcus Coleman at 197 also secure NCAA berths.
Courier Sports Correspondent Ben Visser contributed to this story
Team Standings – 1. (Tie) Oklahoma 124, Oklahoma St. 124, 3. Iowa State 117.5, 4. Wyoming 105.5, 5. Northern Iowa 79, 6. North Dakota St. 78, 7. Northern Colorado 70.5, 8. South Dakota St. 67.5, 9. West Virginia 57, 10. Utah Valley 55, 11. Air Force 32.5, 12. Fresno St. 31.
CHAMPIONSHIP – Brody Teske (UNI) dec. Taylor LaMont (Utah Valley), 9-7.
THIRD – Killian Cardinale (W. Virginia) dec. Danny Vega (SDSU), 9-6.
FIFTH – Trevor Mastrogiovanni (Oklahoma St.) tech. fall over Kysen Terukina (Iowa St.), 19-1, 6:00.
SEVENTH – Cody Phippen (Air Force) dec. Jace Koelzer (N. Colorado), 8-1.
CHAMPIONSHIP – Daton Fix (Oklahoma St.) dec. Tony Madrigal (Oklahoma), 6-1.
THIRD – Zach Redding (Iowa St.) dec. Mosha Schwartz (UNC), 20-7.
FIFTH – Zach Price (SDSU) dec. Haiden Drury (Fresno St.), 8-1.
SEVENTH – Kellyn March (NDSU) dec. Ty Smith (Utah Valley), 13-6.
CHAMPIONSHIP – Dom Demas (Oklahoma) dec. Ian Parker (ISU), 4-3 TB.
THIRD – DJ Lloren (Fresno St.) dec. Clay Carlson (SDSU), 6-4.
FIFTH – Chase Zollman (Wyoming) dec. Dylan Droegemueller (NDSU), 2-0.
SEVENTH – Chris Sandoval (UNC) dec. Kaden Gfeller (Oklahoma St.), forfeit.
CHAMPIONSHIP – Boo Lewallen (Oklahoma St) dec. Mitch Moore (Oklahoma), 7-6.
THIRD – Kyle Parco (Fresno St.) dec. Jarett Degen (Iowa St.), 9-4.
FIFTH – Triston Lara (UNI) dec. Jaron Jensen (Wyoming), 18-8.
SEVENTH – Cameron Hunsaker (Utah Valley) dec. Jaden Van Maanen (NDSU), 2-0.
CHAMPIONSHIP – David Carr (ISU) dec. Jared Franek (NDSU), 8-2.
THIRD – Justin Thomas (Oklahoma) dec. Cade DeVos (SDSU), 3-1 SV.
FIFTH – Jacob Wright (Wyoming) dec. Alex Hornfeck (W. Virginia), 4-2.
SEVENTH – Danny Snediker (Utah Valley) dec. Cayd Lara (UNI), 7-6.
CHAMPIONSHIP – Luke Weber (NDSU) dec. Cole Moody (Wyoming), 12-7
THIRD – Travis Wittlake (Oklahoma St.) dec. Peyton Hall (W. Virginia), 9-3.
FIFTH – Austin Yant (UNI) dec. Troy Mantanona (Oklahoma), 9-3.
SEVENTH – Jordan Robison (UNC) dec. Koy Wilkinson (Utah Valley), 3-2 TB2.
CHAMPIONSHIP – Demetrius Romero (UTV) dec. Jackson Hemauer (UNC), 6-2.
THIRD – Hayden Hastings (Wyoming) dec. Dustin Plott (Oklahoma St.), 9-3.
FIFTH – Anthony Mantanona (Oklahoma) dec. Cody Surratt (Air Force), 8-0.
SEVENTH – Austin Brenner (NDSU) dec. Cade King (SDSU), 6-4 SV.
CHAMPIONSHIP – Parker Keckeisen (UNI) dec. Tate Samuelson (Wyoming), 5-3.
THIRD – Dakota Geer (Oklahoma St,) dec. Alan Clothier (UNC), 7-1.
FIFTH – Sam Colbray (ISU) dec. Darrien Roberts (Oklahoma), 9-3.
SEVENTH – Jacob Schoon (SDSU) pinned Anthony Carman (W. Virginia), 3:31.
CHAMPIONSHIP – AJ Ferrari (Oklahoma St.) dec. Stephen Buchanan (Wyoming), 13-7.
THIRD – Noah Adams (W. Virginia) dec. Marcus Coleman (ISU), 6-3.
FIFTH – Jake Woodley (Oklahoma) med. Forfeit over Tanner Sloan (SDSU).
SEVENTH – Owen Pentz (NDSU) dec. Jacob Seely (UNC), 14-2.
CHAMPIONSHIP – Gannon Gremmel (ISU) dec. Brian Andrews (Wyoming), 2-0.
THIRD – Wyatt Hendrickson (Air Force), dec. Josh Heindselman (Oklahoma), 11-5.
FIFTH – Brandon Metz (NDSU) decf. Carter Isley (UNI), 3-1 SV.
SEVENTH – Michael Wolfgram (W. Virginia) dec. Dalton Robertson (UNC), 10-8.