Big Ten Announces 2011 Wrestling Championships Pre-Seeds
Feb. 28, 2011
PARK RIDGE, Ill. - The Big Ten Conference has announced the preliminary seeds for the 2011 Big Ten Wrestling Championships, which are set to take place from March 5-6 at Welsh-Ryan Arena on the campus of Northwestern University. The pre-seeds, which rank the top eight wrestlers in each of the 10 weight classes, are decided based on a vote by the conference coaches.
Wrestlers from four schools have been chosen as No. 1 seeds for this year's championships. Penn State leads the way with five top seeds, while Wisconsin has earned three and Iowa and Michigan have each received one No. 1 seed. Minnesota is the lone Big Ten team to have a seeded grappler in each of the 10 weight classes.
The fourth-ranked Nittany Lions will send five No. 1 seeds to the mat this weekend, as Andrew Long (11-1 overall record at 133 pounds), Frank Molinaro (25-2 at 149), David Taylor (31-0 at 157), Ed Ruth (29-1 at 174) and Cameron Wade (26-4 at 285) have each earned top billing in their respective weight classes. Ruth and Taylor enter the weekend ranked No. 2 nationally in their classes by the NCAA Coaches Panel, while Molinaro owns a No. 3 ranking, Long sits at No. 5 and Wade is ranked No. 6.
The Badgers, ranked 15th in the nation, picked up three top seeds in Andrew Howe (18-2 at 165), Travis Rutt (26-1 at 184) and Trevor Brandvold (11-0 at 197). Howe, the reigning national champion at 165, is currently ranked No. 2 in the nation. After winning an individual conference title at 197 last season, Brandvold holds a No. 3 ranking entering the weekend, while Rutt is ranked No. 2 at 184.
Reigning national champion Matt McDonough holds a 20-1 record at 125 for Iowa this season en route to the class' top seed. The Hawkeye sophomore is ranked No. 2 in the country entering the championships. Michigan's Kellen Russell boasts a 30-0 record this season, earning the top seed at 141. Russell, a two-time Big Ten Champion, enters the weekend as the top-ranked grappler at 141.
Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin will each bring nine seeded wrestlers to the championships, while Penn State boasts eight and Northwestern holds seven. After clinching their fourth-straight conference regular season dual-meet title this season, the Hawkeyes will look to earn their fourth consecutive Big Ten Championships title. The 2011 Big Ten Wrestling Championships pre-seeds can be found below.
2011 Big Ten Wrestling Championships Pre-Seeds