2013-14 Big Ten Wrestling Season in Review

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The Big Ten enjoyed a successful 2013-14 wrestling season, highlighted by Penn State's fourth-straight NCAA and Big Ten titles, six individual national crowns and a three teams earning a share of the Big Ten Dual-Meet Championship - Iowa, Minnesota and Penn State.

Four-Peat: Penn State won the 2014 NCAA Wrestling Championship title on March 22 at the Chesapeake Energy Center in Oklahoma City, Okla. The crown marked the fourth straight national title for the Nittany Lions and the eighth year in a row that a Big Ten school has taken home the NCAA Championship. Prior to Penn State's run of four straight crowns, Iowa claimed three consecutive titles from 2008-10 and Minnesota won the championship in 2007. In a tightly contested team race, Penn State tallied 109.5 points to finish 5.5 points ahead of second place Minnesota (104.0 points). Oklahoma State, Iowa and Edinboro rounded out the top five with 96.5, 78.5 and 62.0 points, respectively. Ohio State and Northwestern also finished in the top 10, as the Buckeyes took sixth place (57.0 points) and the Wildcats finished in ninth (46.0). For more on the NCAA Championships, click HERE.

Individual Accomplishments: The Nittany Lions' Ed Ruth (184 pounds) and David Taylor (165) each won individual titles to push Penn State to the national crown. Ruth becomes the first Nittany Lion to win three NCAA titles, while Taylor took home his second national title. Illinois' Jesse Delgado (125), Iowa's Tony Ramos (133), Northwestern's Jason Tsirtsis (149) and Ohio State's Logan Stieber (141) also won national championships to give the Big Ten six of the 10 individual crowns. Stieber's title marked his third NCAA title, while Delgado took home his second national championship.

All-America Awards: Over 40 percent of the All-America honors awarded at the NCAA Championships were given to Big Ten wrestlers, as the conference grapplers earned 34 of the 80 accolades. Minnesota and Penn State led the way with seven wrestlers who were tabbed All-Americans after placing in the top eight in their respective weight classes, followed by Iowa with six and Northwestern with three. Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio State and Wisconsin each placed two in the top eight, while Illinois, Indiana and Michigan State each had one. Click HERE to see the full list of All-Americans.

Making Hodge History: Penn State's David Taylor was named the 2014 Hodge Trophy Winner for the second time in his career, given to the nation's top wrestler. He becomes just the third grappler to earn the award more than once, joining head coach Cael Sanderson and Missouri's Ben Askren. A wrestler from a Big Ten school has taken home the honor on eight occasions, including six out of the last seven years. Click HERE for more on the Hodge Trophy.

Nationally Noticed: Three Big Ten wrestlers took home awards from the NCAA on Wednesday, as Indiana's Taylor Walsh, Ohio State's Logan Stieber and Penn State's David Taylor earned recognition from the national office. Taylor took home the Most Dominant Wrestler Award, while Taylor earned the award for most pins and Stieber collected the honor for most tech falls. For more on the NCAA awards, click HERE.

We Are The Champions: Penn State won its fourth-straight Big Ten Wrestling Championships title on March 9, 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. For more on the Big Ten Championships, click HERE and HERE.

And The Big Ten Awards Go To: The 2014 All-Big Ten team, along with the conference's individual award winners, were announced following the conclusion of the Big Ten Championships. Penn State's David 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. Earning spots on the All-Big Ten team after winning their respective weight class titles were Illinois' Jesse Delgado (125), Iowa's Tony Ramos (133), Minnesota's Tony Nelson (285), Nebraska's James Green (157) and Robert Kokesh (174), Tsirtsis (149), Ohio State's Logan Stieber (141) and Penn State's Ed Ruth (184) and Taylor (165).

Trio Share Big Ten Dual-Meet Title: Iowa, Minnesota and Penn State each finished with a 7-1 record in conference duals en route to shares of the Big Ten regular season dual-meet title. For more on each team's title, click here: Iowa, Minnesota, Penn State.

Gophers Golden At The National Duals Championship: Minnesota won its third consecutive NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals championship, emerging victorious from the 32-team field. The Gophers were able to claim six of the ten bouts, including three majors and a fall, en route to the National Duals championship. Click HERE to read more on the EAS/NWCA National Dual Championship.

Head Of The Class: The Big Ten Conference on March 26 recognized a total of 678 winter sports student-athletes who were named to the Academic All-Conference team, which included 97 wrestlers. To be eligible for Academic All-Big Ten selection, student-athletes must be letterwinners who are in at least their second academic year at their institution and carry a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher. The list of grapplers included 48 repeat winners, including five-time honoree James English of Penn State. Not only did fellow Nittany Lion and Big Ten Wrestler of the Year David Taylor win his fourth individual conference title this season, he was also named an Academic All-Big Ten selection for the fourth time. Other four-time honorees include Indiana's Ryan LeBlanc, Iowa's Joe DuCharme, Michigan State's Nick Kaczanowski, Minnesota's Kevin Steinhaus and Purdue's Camden Eppert and Kyle Mosier. Twelve of the 97 grapplers who earned Academic All-Conference distinction also collected All-America laurels at the NCAA Championships this season: Iowa's Nathan Burak, Michigan's Steve Dutton, Michigan State's Michael McClure, Minnesota's Scott Schiller, Steinhaus and Danny Zilverberg, Nebraska's Robert Kokesh, Northwestern's Pierce Harger, Penn State's Matt Brown, English, Nico Megaludis and Taylor. For the complete list of honored wrestlers, click HERE.

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