Video: 2017 Big Ten Championships Athlete and Coach Interviews
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Chants of O-H-I-O echoed through the rafters of Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall on Sunday evening as Ohio State won its fourth Big Ten championship in program history on the backs of four individual champions.
Leading defending Big Ten and NCAA champion Penn State by seven points going into the finals, Ohio State picked up crucial championship efforts from Nathan Tomasello, Bo Jordan, Kollin Moore and Kyle Snyder to stave off a late Nittany Lion charge.
2015 NCAA champion Tomasello won his third Big Ten title by edging Iowa’s two-time NCAA finalist Cory Clark 5-4 at 133 pounds. With the match tied 4-4 in the final moments, Tomasello earned an escape point as time expired to emerge victorious.
“It was a hard-fought battle,” Tomasello said. “Clark’s really good and I knew we would be hand fighting a lot, so I felt like I was creating a lot of action…I was able to get the last-second escape and win the match. It was down to the wire.”
Jordan secured his first Big Ten title with a thrilling 6-4 sudden victory win over Penn State freshman Mark Hall at 174 pounds. Jordan, a two-time NCAA All-American, notched the match-clinching single-leg takedown on his opening attack in overtime.
Buckeye freshman Moore reversed his fortunes against Minnesota All-American Brett Pfarr in the 197-pound final. Moore, who lost to Pfarr twice during the regular season, exploded on offense, nearly pinning Pfarr in the second period. As the buzzer sounded, it was Moore coming out on top in the offensive thriller, 15-11. His win sealed the team championship for Ohio State.
Olympic and World champion Snyder capped off the Buckeye effort with a controlled 8-5 decision over Wisconsin All-American Connor Medbery at heavyweight. The win marks Snyder’s second Big Ten title. He will look for his second NCAA crown in two weeks in St. Louis, Mo.
“Individually, I felt pretty good. Can always work on some things, so that’s exciting.” Snyder noted. “[Medberry] is big. He’s a good wrestler and moves his feet well. Normally I can hand fight guys pretty well, but his neck is so strong it’s not even worth pulling on…hopefully get to wrestle him again at NCAA’s.”
Ohio State earned eight automatic qualifiers to the NCAA championships with Jose Rodriguez, Luke Pletcher, Micah Jordan and Myles Martin joining its four Big Ten champions to earn the distinction.
“Incredible effort up and down the lineup. This is one brutal conference. We never stopped fighting, never stopped believing throughout the year…We beat a great team this weekend, several great teams, so really proud of the way our guys battled,” said Ohio State head coach Tom Ryan.
Penn State wound up 9.5 points behind Ohio State in the team race with two Nittany Lions earning the title of Big Ten champion.
NCAA champion Zain Retherford picked up his second Big Ten title with a dominant showing against Ohio State’s Micah Jordan at 149 pounds. Retherford was a terror in all areas, particularly top, to run up a 16-1 technical fall over the young Buckeye.
One bout later, NCAA finalist Jason Nolf won his first Big Ten title by soundly defeating Iowa freshman Michael Kemerer in an 8-2 final at 157 pounds.
Coming through on the backside to win third place for Penn State were freshman Vincenzo Joseph at 165 pounds, NCAA finalist Bo Nickal at 184 pounds, Matt McCutcheon at 197 pounds and Nick Nevills at 285 pounds.
“We knew we had an uphill battle, but I think the guys did a great job battling back and giving us a chance. We competed with honor. That’s what it’s all about,” said Penn State head coach Cael Sanderson.
The previously undefeated Nittany Lions qualified seven men to compete at the NCAA Championships as they look to defend their title from last season.
The Iowa Hawkeyes picked up two individual Big Ten champions on the day to finish in third place in the team race.
NCAA finalist Thomas Gilman kicked off the final session in Bloomington with a 4-0 victory over Tim Lambert of Nebraska to secure the 125-pound title. The win kept Gilman’s undefeated record intact heading into the NCAA tournament, virtually guaranteeing he will be the No. 1 seed in St. Louis.
Defending Big Ten champion Sammy Brooks outlasted a brutal 184-pound bracket to claim his second-straight title for the Hawkeyes. Brooks controlled every aspect of his finals match against Ohio State’s NCAA champion Martin, winning by major decision, 12-2.
Iowa’s NCAA finalist Brandon Sorensen navigated his way to third place at 149 pounds after dropping a close semifinal to Micah Jordan on Saturday night.
In total, the Hawkeyes qualified seven wrestlers for the NCAA Championships with Christopher Carton and All-American Alex Meyer also making the cut.
Two-time NCAA champion Isaiah Martinez added a third Big Ten title to his resume with an impressive 10-4 win over Michigan freshman Logan Massa at 165 pounds. Martinez outlasted a weight class that featured the top-four nationally ranked wrestlers in the bracket.
Rutgers two-time All-American Anthony Ashnault successfully defended his 141-pound conference crown with a blistering 15-2 major decision over Michigan State’s Javier Gasca III in the championship bout.
Nebraska and Minnesota rounded out the top five teams at the Big Ten Championships. Nebraska finished in fourth place overall with seven wrestlers earning automatic NCAA bids. The Gophers came in fifth place with nine athletes snagging NCAA berths, the most of any team.
For complete brackets and match-by-match results of the event visit Trackwrestling.com.
2017 BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIPS
March 4-5 at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind.
Big Ten NCAA Automatic Qualifiers (77)
125 (7), 133 (9), 141 (9), 149 (6), 157 (9), 165 (7), 174 (9), 184 (9), 197 (7), 285 (5)
1. Ohio State 139.5
2. Penn State 130
3. Iowa 112.5
4. Nebraska 102.5
5. Minnesota 93
6. Illinois 88.5
7. Michigan 83
8. Rutgers 67.5
8. Wisconsin 67.5
10 Michigan State 38.5
11. Maryland 32
12. Purdue 26
13. Indiana 24.5
14. Northwestern 18
1st – No. 1 Thomas Gilman (Iowa) dec. No. 3 Tim Lambert (Nebraska), 4-0
3rd – No. 4 Ethan Lizak (Minnesota) maj. dec. Travis Piotrowski (Illinois), 10-1
5th – No. 5 Conor Youtsey (Michigan) med. for. No. 7 Elijah Oliver (Indiana)
7th – No. 8 Jose Rodriguez (Ohio State) fall Ben Thornton (Purdue), 3:53
1st – No. 1 Nathan Tomasello (Ohio State) dec. No. 3 Cory Clark (Iowa), 5-4
3rd – No. 5 Stevan Micic (Michigan) fall No. 4 Zane Richards (Illinois), 7:59
5th – No. 2 Eric Montoya (Nebraska) dec. No. 7 Mitch McKee (Minnesota), 5-3
7th – No. 9 Scott Delvecchio (Rutgers) inj. def. No. 12 Austin Eicher (Michigan State)
9th – No. 6 Bill Rappo (Maryland) dec. No. 10 Eli Stickley (Wisconsin), 7-5 SV1
1st – No. 1 Anthony Ashnault (Rutgers) maj. dec. No. 7 Javier Gasca III (Michigan State), 15-2
3rd – No. 4 Colton McCrystal (Nebraska) dec. No. 5 Luke Pletcher (Ohio State), 6-2
5th – No. 13 Ryan Diehl (Maryland) maj. dec. No. 3 Tommy Thorn (Minnesota), 12-2
7th – No. 8 Cole Martin (Wisconsin) fall No. 2 Jimmy Gulibon (Penn State), 1:11
9th – No. 6 Christopher Carton (Iowa) dec. No. 9 Sal Profaci (Michigan), 8-3
1st – No. 1 Zain Retherford (Penn State) tech. fall No. 3 Micah Jordan (Ohio State), 16-1
3rd – No. 2 Brandon Sorensen (Iowa) fall Zac Hall (Michigan), 2:53
5th – No. 5 Kenny Theobold (Rutgers) med. for. No. 4 Alfred Bannister (Maryland)
7th – Shayne Oster (Northwestern) dec. No. 7 Eric Barone (Illinois), 5-3
1st – No. 1 Jason Nolf (Penn State) dec. No. 2 Michael Kemerer (Iowa), 8-2
3rd – No. 3 Tyler Berger (Nebraska) dec. No. 6 Brian Murphy (Michigan), 5-2
5th – No. 4 Jake Short (Minnesota) dec. No. 10 Alex Griffin (Purdue), 8-3
7th – No. 7 John Van Brill (Rutgers) dec. No. 5 Kyle Langenderfer (Illinois), 7-0
9th – No. 8 Jake Danishek (Indiana) dec. No. 11 Jake Ryan (Ohio State), 3-1 SV1
1st – No. 1 Isaiah Martinez (Illinois) dec. No. 2 Logan Massa (Michigan), 10-4
3rd – No. 4 Vincenzo Joseph (Penn State) dec. No. 3 Isaac Jordan (Wisconsin), 5-2
5th – No. 8 Drew Hughes (Michigan State) dec. No. 6 Nick Wanzek (Minnesota), 3-2
7th – Johnny Sebastian (Northwestern) dec. Cody Burcher (Ohio State), 2-1
1st – No. 1 Bo Jordan (Ohio State) dec. No. 2 Mark Hall (Penn State), 6-4 SV1
3rd – No. 4 Myles Amine (Michigan) tech. fall No. 3 Zac Brunson (Illinois), 19-4
5th – No. 5 Alex Meyer (Iowa) dec. No. 11 Ryan Christensen (Wisconsin), 4-2
7th – No. 8 Devi Skatzka (Indiana) dec. No. 7 Jacob Morrissey (Purdue), 7-4
9th – No. 10 Chris Pfarr (Minnesota) dec. No. 6 Jordan Pagano (Rutgers), 3-2 TB1
1st – No. 2 Sammy Brooks (Iowa) maj. dec. No. 4 Myles Martin (Ohio State), 12-2
3rd – No. 1 Bo Nickal (Penn State) dec. No. 5 Tim Dudley (Nebraska), 14-9
5th – No. 6 Emery Parker (Illinois) med. for. No. 3 Nate Jackson (Indiana)
7th – No. 10 Bobby Steveson (Minnesota) dec. No. 8 Hunter Ritter (Wisconsin), 4-1
9th – No. 7 Nicholas Gravina (Rutgers) dec. No. 9 Mitch Sliga (Northwestern), 3-1 SV1
1st – No. 2 Kollin Moore (Ohio State) dec. No. 1 Brett Pfarr (Minnesota), 15-11
3rd – No. 4 Matt McCutcheon (Penn State) dec. No. 3 Aaron Studebaker (Nebraska), 3-2 TB1
5th – No. 5 Ricky Robertson (Wisconsin) maj. dec. Matt Correnti (Rutgers), 9-1
7th – No. 8 Christian Brunner (Purdue) dec. No. 7 Cash Wilke (Iowa), 7-2
1st – No. 1 Kyle Snyder (Ohio State) dec. No. 2 Connor Medbery (Wisconsin), 8-5
3rd – No. 3 Nick Nevills (Penn State) dec. No. 4 Michael Kroells (Minnesota), 2-0
5th – No. 5 Collin Jensen (Nebraska) fall Razohnn Gross (Rutgers), 3:47
7th – No. 7 Youssif Hemida (Maryland) dec. Conan Jennings (Northwestern), 4-1