Penn State Wins Big Ten Wrestling Championships
March 6, 2011
EVANSTON, Ill. - The Penn State wrestling team earned its first Big Ten Championship on Sunday, scoring 139 points to edge Iowa by just one point. Five Nittany Lions won weight class titles to push Penn State to the crown. The Hawkeyes took second with 138 points, while Minnesota finished third with 109.5.
Penn State swept the Big Ten individual awards, as 157-pounder David Taylor earned conference Wrestler and Freshman of the Year accolades, 184-pounder Quentin Wright was named Outstanding Wrestler of the Championships and head coach Cael Sanderson picked up Coach of the Year honors.
Andrew Long, Frank Molinaro, Taylor, Ed Ruth and Wright all won titles in their respective weight classes for the Nittany Lions. Long picked up a 7-3 decision over No. 2 Tyler Graff in the 133 final to win his first conference title. Molinaro followed suit at 149, defeating No. 6 Eric Grajales of Michigan, 3-0, for his first title. Taylor remained perfect on the season, moving to 34-0 after taking down second-seeded Derek St. John of Iowa in the 157 final. Ruth won the 174 crown, defeating No. 2 Nick Heflin of Ohio State by an 8-5 decision. Wright, the No. 8 seed at 184, was one of two champions to not hold a No. 1 seed.
Iowa and Wisconsin each won two individual titles. The Hawkeyes' Matt McDonough won his first Big Ten title at 125, picking up a 3-1 decision over Northwestern's Brandon Precin in the final bout. Third-seeded heavyweight Blake Rasing also earned a crown for Iowa, defeating No. 4 Tony Nelson of Minnesota for his first title.
The Badgers' Andrew Howe won his third-straight Big Ten title at 165, nabbing an overtime victory against Ohio State's Colt Sponseller in the final. Fellow No. 1 seed Trevor Brandvold picked up his second-straight title, notching a 5-2 decision over Iowa's Luke Lofthouse in the 197 final. Michigan's Kellen Russell also won his third conference crown, winning the 141 title bout over Minnesota's Mike Thorn.
Individual Award Winners
Wrestler of the Year - David Taylor, Penn State
Freshman of the Year - David Taylor, Penn State
Coach of the Year - Cael Sanderson, Penn State
Outstanding Wrestler of the Championships - Quentin Wright, Penn State
First-Team All-Big Ten Honorees
Sportsmanship Award Honorees