Penn State wins fourth consecutive Big Ten Championship in front of Iowa
MADISON, Wis. -- Penn State won its fourth consecutive Big Ten Championship title on Sunday, claiming first place with a score of 140.5. The Nittany Lions become just the fifth school to win four consecutive conference titles and the first since Iowa won 25 successive crowns from 1974-1998. Penn State took home two individual titles, as Ed Ruth and David Taylor closed their careers as just the 12th and 13th wrestlers to be crowned four-time Big Ten Champions.
Iowa finished in second place with 134 points, while Minnesota took third with 114.5. Fourth-place Ohio State (86.5 points) and fifth-place Nebraska (79 points) rounded out the top five.
Taylor was named Big Ten Wrestler of the Year and Wrestler of the Championships. The senior becomes just the second grappler to be named Wrestler of the Year three times, joining Iowa’s Mark Ironside (1996-98). He is also the fourth consecutive Nittany Lion to be named Wrestler of the Championships. Head Coach Cael Sanderson took home Coach of the Year honors for the fourth year in a row, while Northwestern’s Jason Tsirtsis was tabbed Freshman of the Year. Tsirtsis becomes the second Wildcat to win the honor, joining Scott Schatzman in 1996.
For the second consecutive year, Illinois’ Jesse Delgado took home the 125-pound title. Delgado, the No. 2 seed, earned a 3-2 victory against top-seeded Nico Megaludis of Penn State in the second tiebreaker round. At 133, top-seeded Tony Ramos of Iowa posted a 2-1 decision against Wisconsin No. 2 seed Tyler Graff to win his first Big Ten title.
Ohio State’s Logan Stieber earned his third conference crown, as the No. 2 seed picked up a 7-3 decision against Penn State No. 1 seed Zain Retherford to claim the 141-pound title. The 149-pound crown went to No. 3 seed Tsirtsis, who earned a 6-2 decision against top-seeded Jake Sueflohn of Nebraska to clinch his first Big Ten title.
At 157, No. 2 seed James Green of Nebraska scored a 7-4 decision to defeat No. 4 seed Derek St. John of Iowa and take home the Huskers’ first individual wrestling crown. Taylor, a No. 1 seed at 165, won his fourth Big Ten title in as many seasons, earning the championship with a 14-5 major decision against Iowa No. 2 seed Nick Moore.
Nebraska No. 1 seed Robert Kokesh claimed the Huskers’ second Big Ten title, taking the 174-pound championship with a 6-4 decision against Iowa No. 3 seed Mike Evans to earn the crown. Top-seeded Ruth claimed his fourth consecutive Big Ten title, earning a 10-2 major decision against Iowa’s third-seeded Ethen Lofthouse at 184.
Ohio State No. 2 seed Nick Heflin won the 197-pound Big Ten title, taking a 5-3 sudden victory against top-seeded Morgan McIntosh of Penn State. Rounding out the group of individual Big Ten Champions was fifth-seeded heavyweight Tony Nelson of Minnesota, who took a 2-1 sudden victory against Indiana No. 2 seed Adam Chalfant to win his third conference crown.