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Early 125lbs Big 12 Wrestling Preview

A breakdown of individual wrestlers inside the Big 12 Conference at the 125lbs weight class and where they stand going into the 2022-23 wrestling season.

Noah Surtin
@MizzouWrestling on Twitter

Jumping from one season to the next comes with its line up changes and depth chart shuffles. With seniors graduating and recruits/transfers coming in and out, among other changes, teams will be looking to improve their roster. In a series of articles, I will be breaking down individual wrestlers within each weight class and where they stand inside the Big 12 Conference. (1 of 11)


125lbs: Conference Overview

The 125lbs weight class will be returning seven of its top eight Big 12 finishers from the 2021-22 season. Six of the returning starters have qualified for the NCAA Championship multiple times and only one has made it onto the podium. With the majority of the weight class back for the upcoming season, three teams, Utah Valley, Air Force, and Wyoming, will be looking at new names among their lineup to start the season.

The 125lbs weight class looks to be an open competition inside the Big 12 for the upcoming season as there is no overpowering threat within the conference. Killian Cardinale (WVU) will look to defended his status as top of the class, but it would not be shocking to see any of the following break through and claim top man of the 125lbs weight class.

Anticipated Matchup:

Killian Cardinale (WVU) vs. Brody Teske (UNI)
  • The current series between Cardinale and Teske sets at 2 to 1 in Cardinale’s favor. Cardinale has won both matches by a decision and a major decision. Teske has won his by decision. Most recent matchup between these two was in the finals match of the 2021-22 Big 12 Tournament where Cardinale came out on top with an 8-3 decision.

125lbs Sleeper:

Noah Surtin (MIZ)
  • Mizzou’s Noah Surtin will be moving into his sophomore season with the Tigers. While he only went 2-5 in quality matches last season, Surtin found another gear moving into the end of the season nearly making his way to All-American status at the NCAA Championships. I expect Surtin’s end of the year momentum to carry over into the new season where he will continue to turn heads!

Returning 2021-22 Starters:

Killian Cardinale (Sr.) - West Virginia - NCAA Championship Seed: 5 - Record: 18-5

Opening the 125lbs class, the All-American and returning conference champion finished the previous season with a 9-1 record against Big 12 opponents. He is a three-time NCAA qualifier and one-time NCAA All-American (7th in 2021). Cardinale ended the 2022 NCAA Championship going 2-2 getting knocked out by fall to No. 8 Patrick McKee (Minnesota) in the fourth round consolation match.

Brody Teske (Jr.) - Northern Iowa - NCAA Championship Seed: 15 - Record: 16-10

Finished with a 9-4 record against Big 12 opponents and a second place conference finish in the 21-22 season. He is a two time NCAA qualifier, falling just shy of the medal rounds in the previous two seasons reaching rounds of 12 (Blood Round) and 16. Teske ended the 2022 NCAA Championship going 2-2 getting knocked out by decision (7-0) to No. 8 Patrick McKee (Minnesota) in the third round consolation match.

Trevor Mastrogiovanni (So.) - Oklahoma State - NCAA Championship Seed: 7 - Record: 20-7

Finished with an 11-3 record against Big 12 opponents and a third place conference finish in the 21-22 season. Mastrogiovanni is a two-time NCAA qualifier reaching the round of 16 in the 20-21 season. He ended the 2022 NCAA Championship going 1-2, getting knocked out by major decision (9-1) to No. 8 Patrick McKee (Minnesota) in the second round consolation.

Joey Prata (Sr.) - Oklahoma - NCAA Championship Seed: 19 - Record: 22-11

Finished with a 10-4 record against Big 12 opponents and a fourth place conference finish in the 21-22 season. Prata is among the oldest of the 125lbs weight class, and is moving into his seventh season with the Sooners. He is a two time NCAA qualifier only reaching as far as the Blood Round during his time at Oklahoma. Prata ended the 2022 NCAA Championship going 3-2 getting knocked out by decision (2-0) to No. 10 Michael DeAugustino (Northwestern) in the fourth round consolation.

Jace Koelzer (Jr.) - Northern Colorado - NCAA Championship Seed: 30 - Record: 16-13

Finished with a 10-6 record against Big 12 opponents and a sixth place conference finish in the 21-22 season. Koelzer is a returning NCAA qualifier and enters his fifth season with the Bears. Koelzer ended the 2022 NCAA Championship going 1-2 getting knocked out by decision (4-1) to No. 19 Joey Prata (Oklahoma) in the first round consolation.

Noah Surtin (So.) - Missouri - NCAA Championship Seed: 18 - Record: 25-11

Finished with a 10-5 record against Big 12 opponents and a seventh place conference finish in the 21-22 season. Surtin is a two time NCAA qualifier and has continued to progress closer to All-American status during his time in the black and gold. Surtin ended the 2022 NCAA Championship going 3-2 getting knocked out by fall to No. 11 Brandon Kaylor (Oregon State) in the fourth round consolation.

Kysen Terukina (So.) - Iowa State - NCAA Championship Seed: 26 - Record: 18-10

Finished with a 11-7 record against Big 12 opponents and an eight place conference finish in the 21-22 season. Terukina is a two-time NCAA qualifier going two and out in back to back years at the Championship. He was the only Big 12 wrestler to knock off Killian Cardinale during the 2021-22 season. Terukina ended the 2022 NCAA Championship going 0-2, getting knocked out by decision (6-4) to No. 23 Dylan Shawver (Rutgers) in the first round consolation.

Tanner Jordan (So.) - South Dakota State - Record: 20-17

Finished with a 8-10 record against Big 12 opponents and did not place in the conference tournament. Jordan failed to defeat any of the top opponents inside the 125 Big 12 weight division.

Lucas Rodriguez (Sr.) - North Dakota State - Record: 0-9

Finished with a 0-8 record against Big 12 opponents and did not place in the conference tournament.


Other Potential Starters:

Kase Mauger (So.) - Utah Valley
  • Projected starter at 125lbs
  • Went 5-0 against conference opponents as an unattached wrestler.
Quinn Melofchik (Sr.) - Air Force
  • Projected starter at 125lbs
  • Loss to Koelzer, Mastrogiovanni, and Surtin
Darrick Stacey (Sr.) - Wyoming
  • Bounced around between 125/133
  • Projected starter at 125lbs
  • Had one conference victory vs former Air Force wrestler Jared Van Vleet
Carlos Negrete Jr. (Fr.) - North Dakota State
  • Returning from Redshirt Season
  • #68 Overall Recruit in 2021 (FloWrestling)

Departures:

Taylor LaMont - Utah Valley

Jared Van Vleet - Air Force

Jake Svihel - Wyoming


Notable Incoming Recruits: (Flo, MatScouts)

Cory Land - Northern Iowa
  • #27 Overall Recruit (FloWresting)
  • #29 Overall Recruit (MatScout)
  • 4x High School State Champion (Alabama)
Joey Cruz - Oklahoma
  • #133 Overall Recruit (FloWrestling)
  • #52 Overall Recruit (MatScout)
  • 3x High School State Medalist (California)
Jore Volk - Wyoming
  • #40 Overall Recruit (FloWrestling)
  • #64 Overall Recruit (MatScout)
  • 3x High School State Champion (Minnesota)
Ethan Perryman - Iowa State
  • #12 Recruit at 120lbs (FloWrestling)
  • #85 Overall Recruit (MatScout)
  • 3x High School State Medalist (California)
Damian Mendez - North Dakota State
  • #138 Overall Recruit (MatScout)
  • 3x High School State Champion (Kansas)

Early BIG 12 Tournament Prediction:

  1. Brody Teske (UNI)
  2. Killian Cardinale (WVU)
  3. Noah Surtin (MIZ)
  4. Trevor Mastrogiovanni (OKST)
  5. Kysen Terukina (ISU)
  6. Joey Prata (OU)
  7. Jace Koelzer (UNC)
  8. Darrick Stacey (WYO)