Keckeisen wins second Big 12 title, team finished fifth at Big 12 Championships

The UNI wrestling team competed in the Big 12 championships this past Saturday and Sunday. Parker Keckeisen secured his second career Big 12 title over the weekend and several individual Panthers earned at-large bids at the NCAA Championships next week in Detroit, Mich.


Eight Panthers will advance to the NCAA Championships in Detroit from March 17-19

After concluding their regular season with a loss to Wisconsin on Feb. 17, the UNI Panthers wrestling team made their way to Tulsa, Okla. for the Big 12 Championship, which took place this past weekend. 

Coming into the tournament, the Panthers had several touted wrestlers individually competing in Brody Teske (125 pounds), Austin Yant (165 pounds), Lance Runyon (174 pounds), Parker Keckeisen (184 pounds). Both Keckeisen and Teske were crowned champions last season, and this season they come into the tournament as their weight classes first and third seed, respectively. 

The first session turned out to be a productive one for the Panthers, as the team sat in second place behind Oklahoma State and advanced six wrestlers onto the semifinals. Teske was able to get the fall on Iowa State’s Kysen Terukina, which led to him earning the victory on a 6-5 decision. Keckeisen was able to get two major decision wins against opponents from Air Force and North Dakota State, respectively. Redshirt sophomore Colin Realbuto provided the highlight of the day as he completed an upset over his fourth-seeded opponent from Missouri in a 3-1 decision. 

Of the six Panther wrestlers who made it into the semifinals, three were able to come away with a spot in the finals. Teske, Keckeisen, and Kyle Biscoglia all earned their way into the final round with victories in the second session. Three finalists tie the most UNI has ever had since they joined the Big 12 in 2018. The three players’ advancement also secured them an automatic spot in the NCAA championships. 

As a team, UNI fell to fourth place in the standings, behind Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, and Missouri. Oklahoma State and Missouri each had four individual finalists. 

The third and final session before the finals saw two more UNI wrestlers secure their spots in the NCAA Championship. Both Realbuto and Yant were awarded bronze medals in their weight class, with Realbuto doing so by getting revenge against Jarrett Degen of Iowa State. However, UNI dropped another position in the rankings, as the Cyclones were able to jump up. 

On the final day, Keckeisen showed off why he came into the tournament as the top seed. In his championship match against Jeremiah Kent of Missouri, Keckeisen was able to open with a takedown and eventually get a reversal. He would get a few more takedowns in the later rounds, and a penalty point and riding time gave him the 13-3 major decision. He is now the third Panther to earn two Big 12 wrestling championships.

Teske and Biscoglia were not able to get victories over their final opponents. Four other Panthers were able to get podium spots by the end of the tournament, totaling seven wrestlers earning automatic qualification for the NCAA tournament, the most ever under head coach Doug Schwab. As a team, UNI finished in fifth place, equaling their result last season. 

The NCAA Championships will take place March 17-19 in Detroit, Mich. Tyrell Gordon will be joining the other seven wrestlers as an at-large bid.