Fans at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, during Saturday’s medal round of the NCAA Division 1 wrestling tournament wanted to thank Stanford’s Shane Griffith and tell him how much he has meant to them and the sport over the past three years.

They gave him a standing ovation as he left the mat after defeating Wisconsin’s Dean Hamity 4-1 in the fifth-place match at 165 pounds — a nod to the big role he played in keeping the Stanford program winning the 165-pound national championship in 2021 year.

Shane Griffith, shown after winning the 2021 165-pound national championship, received a standing ovation from the crowd at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  after he placed fifth at 165 in this year's NCAA tournament.

The Stanford program was slated to be canceled after the 2021 season. The school administration made such a statement in the summer of 2020. Pleas and monetary donations to save the program fell largely on deaf ears until Griffith won his title in St. Louis.

The momentum from Griffith’s title became an unstoppable locomotive.

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