TAMPERE, Finland – Oklahoma State incoming freshman Daton Fix dominated the 55 kg field Wednesday at the UWW Freestyle Junior World Championships, recording five technical falls in as many matches on the day to take the gold medal and lead the United States to its first team title since 1984.
With the win, Fix becomes the first Cowboy wrestler to take gold at the event since Alan Fried in 1991. Oklahoma State associate head coach Zack Esposito earned his first World team title in the coaching ranks as well.
Fix proved to be head and shoulders above the pack Wednesday, as he had little trouble navigating through the 55 kg bracket at the same event he took bronze at a year ago. The Sand Springs native outscored his five opponents by a combined score of 53-1, with the lone opposing score being awarded on a step out in the final match.
“This is something I’ve always dreamed of doing,” Fix said. “It’s indescribable, really…I couldn’t tell you the number of times I’ve dreamt of that moment, and to finally accomplish it feels amazing.”
Opening the day with four consecutive shutout tech falls, including a 10-0 tech over returning 2016 World champ Afgan Khashalov of Azerbaijan in the second round, Fix glided into the finals with relative ease. The future Cowboy allowed the first and only point of the day against him in the gold medal match against Russia’s Ismail Gadzhiev, and led 6-1 at the break, but refused to be denied as he quickly expanded his lead to 12-1 to secure the match by tech fall.
Fix, along with Mark Hall (74 kg) and Gable Steveson (120 kg) were the three gold medalists from the United States. Other notable U.S. performances included silver medal showings from Mitch McKee (60 kg), Ryan Deakin (66 kg) and Zahid Valencia (84 kg), while Kollin Moore took bronze.
The U.S. finished with 68 total team points, just edging second-place Russia, who finished with 67.