Feb. 27, 2012
PARK RIDGE, Ill. - The Big Ten Conference announced the preliminary seeds for the 2012 Big Ten Wrestling Championships, which are set for March 3-4 on the campus of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. Six schools boast at least one top seeded wrestler, with Minnesota and Penn State leading the way with three each. Illinois, Ohio State and Penn State will bring a seeded wrestler in each of the 10 weight classes, while Iowa and Minnesota each have seeded wrestlers in nine classes.
The pre-seeds, as voted on by the conference's coaches, rank the top eight wrestlers in seven weight classes, along with all 12 schools' starters in three weight classes due to the Big Ten receiving nine or more NCAA Championships qualifier allocations in those classes. Each team enters the championships with a seeded wrestler in the 149-, 174- and 285-pound weight classes.
The top-ranked Golden Gophers hold three No. 1 seeds, with 184-pounder Kevin Steinhaus, 197-pounder Sonny Yohn and heavyweight Tony Nelson earning top billing in their weight classes. The No. 2 Nittany Lions also claim three top seeds, with Frank Molinaro taking the top spot at 149, David Taylor earning the top seed at 165 and Ed Ruth doing the same at 174.
Rounding out the group of No. 1 seeds are Iowa's Matt McDonough (125), Ohio State's Logan Stieber (133), Michigan's Kellen Russell (141) and Northwestern's Jason Welch (157). Five of this year's top seeds look to defend Big Ten titles from last season, as McDonough (125), Russell (141), Molinaro (149), Taylor (157) and Ruth (174) each took home crowns in 2011.
For more information on the 2012 Big Ten Wrestling Championships, visit the Big Ten Championships Central page on Purdue's web site here. The complete list of Big Ten Championships pre-seeds can be found in the PDF at the top of the page.