It may not have been the clean sweep Coach Cael Sanderson was hoping for at Saturday's NCAA Division I Wrestling Championship finals, but Penn State did manage to take home two more singles titles than the previous year. Already the team winners two years in a row heading in, Penn State had 5 finalists and 3 victories.
Nicholas Megaludis was unable to overcome the 2010 125 lbs NCAA Champion Matt McDonough of Iowa, losing a decision of 4-1. McDonough is now a two time champion, and the 2011 runner up when he lost to Anthony Robles who was serving as the third man in the commentary booth at the Scottrade Center in St Louis, Missouri last night.
Frank Molinaro finished his collegiate career with a title win at 149 lbs, also taking a 4-1 decision but against opponent Dylan Ness of Minnesota. Molinaro's knee seemed fine throughout the match, despite it being heavily wrapped and padded.
The pin fall victory evaded David Taylor this time out, but the wrestling prodigy was still able to score a Tech Fall win in an action packed 165 lbs final against Lehigh's Brandon Hatchett.
Ed Ruth got his revenge over Stanford's Nick Amuchastegui in a rematch from last year's Quarter Final, becoming Penn State's third singles champion of the night at 165 lbs in another decision win.
Finally, last year's champion at 184 lbs Quentin Wright was unable to repeat when losing in Over Time to Cornell's Steve Bosak, when the Big Red scored a Sudden Victory takedown.
Cornell had two other singles finalists and managed to go 3 for 3 last night, as #1 seed Cam Simaz managed to edge Edinboro's Christopher Honeycutt in a back and forth 197 lbs bout, while 157 lbs Kyle Dake not only managed to win his third singles championship in a row, but to be the first Wrestler to ever win the NCAA Championship in 3 different weight classes. If Dake manages to make it 4 in a row next year -- though I expect him to stick with the 157 lbs division - he becomes only the third man to ever win 4 NCAA titles, alongside Cael Sanderson and Pat Smith.
Related: NCAA Division I Wrestling Results: Penn State Officially Win Team Title For Second Year Running | NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships Semi-Finals Results | NCAA Division I Wrestling Championship Quarter Final Results | NCAA Division I Wrestling Championship Session 2 Results | NCAA Division I Wrestling Championship Session 1 Results
In the most controversially called match of the night, Ohio State's Logan Stieber upset defending champion Jordan Oliver (Oklahoma State) at 133 lbs by a 4-3 decision, when with seconds to go in the 3rd Period Oliver was denied 2 points for a takedown that clearly put Stieber on his butt. The referee's positioning and perspective however meant the takedown was not called, much to the dismay of Oliver's coach, John Smith who like countless others believed Oliver should have been given the nod 5-4. If both compete in the same weight class and make it to the finals next year, it should make for one heck of a rematch.
Michigan's Kellen Russell was able to put to rest the controversy surrounding last year's Semi-Finals match with Iowa's Montell Marion, when Russell clearly beat Marion at this year's 141 lbs final via a Sudden Victory takedown in Over Time.
In perhaps the biggest upset of the night, Minnesota's red-shirt sophomore Anthony Nelson beat defending champion Zachery Rey of Lehigh, by a 4-1 decision scoring a last second takedown in the 3rd Period. Nelson joints Brock Lesnar and Cole Konrad as Golden Gopher Heavyweight champions.
In Team Standings, Minnesota managed to hold on to second place while third place went to Iowa, edging Cornell by just 5 points.
Full event play-by-play and results after the jump.
Team Results (via TrackWrestling.com)
1. Penn State 143.0
2. Minnesota 117.5
3. Iowa 107.5
4. Cornell 102.5
5. Ohio St. 68.5
6. Oklahoma St. 66.0
7. Illinois 62.0
8. Lehigh 61.0
9. Northwestern 42.5
10. Oregon St. 40.5
Quick Results (via Trackwrestling.com)
125 lbs Matt McDonough (Iowa) 36-1 won by decision over Nicholas Megaludis (Penn State) 28-8 (Dec 4-1)
133 lbs Logan Stieber (Ohio St.) 33-2 won by decision over Jordan Oliver (Oklahoma St.) 28-2 (Dec 4-3)
141 lbs Kellen Russell (Michigan) 33-1 won in overtime over Montell Marion (Iowa) 31-4 (OT 6-4)
149 lbs Frank Molinaro (Penn State) 33-0 won by decision over Dylan Ness (Minnesota) 24-9 (Dec 4-1)
157 lbs Kyle Dake (Cornell) 35-0 won by decision over Derek St. John (Iowa) 21-3 (Dec 4-1)
165 lbs David Taylor (Penn State) 32-0 won by tech fall over Brandon Hatchett (Lehigh) 22-4 (TF 22-7)
174 lbs Edward Ruth (Penn State) 31-0 won by major decision over Nick Amuchastegui (Stanford) 24-1 (Maj 13-2)
184 lbs Steve Bosak (Cornell) 33-4 won in overtime over Quentin Wright (Penn State) 30-4 (OT 4-2)
197 lbs Cam Simaz (Cornell) 31-1 won by decision over Christopher Honeycutt (Edinboro) 40-2 (Dec 7-5)
285 lbs Anthony Nelson (Minnesota) 32-2 won by decision over Zachery Rey (Lehigh) 26-3 (Dec 4-1)
KJ's Play-by-Play Results
125 Matt McDonough vs Nicolas Megaludis
1st Period - Feeling each other out and McDonough in with a quick Single-Leg, Megaludis with a hard Whizzer, limp-arms out of it, both struggle for the first minute until out of bounds for a neutral reset.
With a heavy tripod on the Front-Headlock, McDonough is looking to clear and get a leg but unable to. McDonough remains the aggressor in the match but unable to get an advantage leading to a 0-0 1st Period.
2nd Period - McDonough chooses to start out in down position, and escapes for 1 point. Both lock up looking to get their hips lower and further in than the other in a really tiring bicep and collar tie battle. Megaludis shoots but McDonough sprawls easily until out of bounds and a neutral reset. Constant struggling until Period runs out, 1-0 for McDonough.
3rd Period - Megaludis on bottom, McDonough trying to break-down and control the right leg and gets about 20 seconds riding time before Megaludis escapes for 1 point. McDonough in on a takedown immediately and works hard to score, bringing it to 3-1 in his favour. McDonough Single-Leg rides with a 1-on-1 Bar-Arm, but gets warned for riding parallel and therefore potentially stalling. McDonough has the riding time point from over 1:30 clocked up, keeps trying for a takedown but doesn't get it, but does get the 4-1 Decision giving him his second NCAA Championship.
133 Jordan Oliver vs Logan Stieber
Quick start with a takedown for Oliver and escape for Stieber in the first 20 seconds. Feeling each other out and testing for any holes in their defenses. Stieber tries to turn the corner on a Single, transitions to a High-Single, but Oliver able to hip heist and prevent 2 points being score on him.
2nd Period - Stieber chooses down position and works his way to an escape in the first 10 seconds tying the score at 2-2. Stieber in on a Low Ankle-pick attempt, Oliver defends and gets himself up while in a High-Single, Oliver struggles but Stieber gets the takedown and is now up 4-2 against Oliver.
3rd Period - Stieber relentless going for a takedown, trying for the Ankle-pick from behind but Oliver gets it out of bounds for a neutral reset. Escape from Oliver bringing the score to 4-3 but time is running out. Oliver trying to get his own takedown to get ahead, out of bounds with 11 seconds left. Oliver tries for a takedown and Stieber is able to stall out on the mat and picks up the upset win, Coach John Smith furious it wasn't counted as a takedown for Oliver. Replays show Stieber was in fact on his butt and should have had the takedown scored against him, but Referee's perspective didn't see it.
141 Kellen Russell vs Montell Marion in a grudge match.
1st Period - Both lock up with Marion controlling the mat and pushes Russell out. This is also a rematch of their Big 10 finals as well. Both constantly looking for an inside tie and wrist control until Russell is able to slip to a Single-Leg and follows through for a take down, giving him a 2-0 lead. Marion having trouble with his head gear as it comes off mid-takedown.
Marion tries to escape from down position and gets to his feet, only to be belly-to-back slammed by Russell back to the mat, Marion landing on his shoulder and head. No points scored under the Folkstyle rules as the focus is on Russell's riding and control. Marion escapes bringing the score to 2-1 by the end of the first Period.
2nd Period - Marion on Russell's back, Russell to his feet and a 1 point escape. More looking for inside tie and wrist control by both wrestlers, Marion dropping to a knee for an attempted duck-under that's defended, Marion does get a single though and gets 2 points bringing the score to 3-3. Referee cautions Marion for locking hands. Russell in down position trying to escape Marion, another caution against Marion for locking hands. Russell gets the escape and drives Marion to out of bounds.
4-3 Russell and Marion is looking for a level change only to have Russell beat him to the shot, and is in on a Single-Leg attempt but the Period ends.
3rd Period - Russell on top now as Marion stands to try and escape, another belly to back slam to ride on Marion, and again, but none are scoring under Folkstyle rules. Russell tries a Half-Nelson, but lets go, Marion stands up but taken down again, and again Marion is still on his front. All this adds up to riding time for Russell. Marion pops his hips for an escape and ties the score 4-4 . With 40 seconds left, there's a little bit of desperation from Russell as he's 1 second away from a riding time point. Both fight from the inside tie and wrist control and it looks like we're going to over time.
OT1: Russell tries to shoot straight away for a high crotch, but Marion blocks. Russell blocks the shot from Marion, stuffs the head and spins around to take Marion down for a Sudden Death victory of 6-4.
149 #1 Frank Molinaro vs #7 Dylan Ness.
1st Period - Both circle, Molinaro looking for an inside tie control with his left and a snap down with his right, both measure distance with their lead arms straight, Molinaro tries for an inside tie and has his other wrist blocked, Ness in with a low Sweep-Single that Molinaro Whizzers, Molinaro back to the front and works his way to a Front-Headlock, back to their feet with neither scoring as it goes out of bounds. Molinaro in with a single, head outside, Ness nearly gets a back-rolling Cow Catcher reversal but doesn't score and they scramble to out of bounds.1 minute left and Molinaro tries a high crotch that gets blocked, Ness tries a shot of his own but to out of bounds. Molinaro in on a single switching from head inside to outside, then switches to a double leg and gets the first 2 points of the match. 17 seconds left and Molinaro is trying a breakdown from the back, only for Ness to get back to his feet as time runs out. 2-0 Molinaro
2nd Period - Molinaro chooses down position, scrambles to an escape and tries to control with a Front-Headlock on their knees that's partially blocked until a stalemate returns them to neutral. Molinaro looks for a high crotch that's blocked, Ness with a takedown but it's out of bounds and doesn't score. 3-0 Molinaro still, Ness increases the aggression as the period ends.
3rd Period - Ness in down position, works his way back to the feet and Molinaro with a non-scoring takedown to out of bounds. Molinaro clocks up riding time and gets his 1+ minute. Referee calls for a stalemate that causes the crowd to boo. Ness trying for an escape again but Molinaro all over him until he locks in a Cross-body ride that he tries to follow through into a Leg Turk but to out of bounds. Molinaro with an over leg ride and a tight waste, Molinaro lost control and Ness scores an escape finally. 3-1 to Molinaro + 1 point riding time with 15 seconds left, and Molinaro does enough to hang on for a points decision, giving Penn State their first 149 lbs champion.
157 Kyle Dake vs Derek St. John John
1st Period - Dake starts low and posts on his rear hand, looking for a shot opportunity with St. John matching his levels for the most part until Dake is able to seize an opening and gets a 2 point takedown at less than a minute in. Dake riding St. John as they squirm to out of bounds. Dake continues to control from the back around the waist and clocks up over 40 seconds of riding time, needing over a minute to get a point added at the end of the match. St. John trying to work on the ankle of Dake to stop it hooking in and becoming a more secure ride. Dake has 1m:20s riding time with 50 seconds left in the first period and continues to amass seconds of control. St. John doing well to get out of bounds but without an escape has to reset in down position every time. St. John constantly moving to create escapes, but Dake is masterful at keeping the ride. Dake has just over 2 minutes riding time getting him an additional point to add on later. 2-0 Dake by the end of the 1st.
2nd Period - Dake chooses to go down position, works an escape but St. John rides just as well and controls him standing with an ankle-pick / toehold from the back. Dake gets the escape and a point, 3-0 for Dake. both fight from neutral as Dake is looking for another takedown opening with just over 30 seconds left in the period. Dake gets accidentally poked in the eye, and it seems to have upset his contact lens! It gets sorted out and they continue with 25 seconds left, Dake looks to re-counter a takedown with one of his own only he is unable to score.
3rd Period - Dake chooses to go neutral and looks for his shots still, though potentially risking a stall call in the process. St. John needs a time out for blood with 59 seconds left. They continue and St. John tries to stay heavy with an inside tie and clubbing snap down attempts to wear Dake out, St. John warned for stalling now, but Dake manages to take the victory 4-1 decision, becoming the first ever 3 time national champion in 3 different weight classes.
165 #1 David Taylor vs #11 Brandon Hatchett
1st Period - In less than 3 seconds Taylor was in on an Ankle-pick for 2 points and begins his ride from the back. Hatchett back to his feet and an escape for 1 point himself. Taylor with another takedown via a low angle Single, and Taylor working a riding time of 48 seconds so far. Taylor with another Ankle-pick ride and gets 1:05. They start touch-optional with Hatchett down, Taylor allows Hatchett back up for an escape point but Taylor in with another takedown making it 6-2 with 50 seconds in the period left. Hatchett trying to stop Taylor getting a Single Leg Ride but unable to escape. Out of bounds and back to a reset where time runs out.
2nd Period - Taylor starts on bottom and gets a 2 point reversal, 8-2 to Taylor. Taylor works wrist control with two 1-on-1 bar-arms until both wrestlers worm their way to out of bounds. Reset and Hatchett scores an escape but is still 5 points behind with just over a minute left. Taylor with another 2 point takedown, 10-3 Taylor. Taylor gets another 2 points for a near fall, and has nearly 3 minutes riding time. 12-3 Taylor and 6 points away from a Tech Fall. Taylor rides and tries to use a Claw, has 3:12 total riding time at the end of the period.
3rd period - Hatchett chooses neutral, but Taylor scores a 2 point take down taking the score to 14-3. Hatchett with an escape and it's now 14-4. 2 point takedown for Taylor again, 16-4. Optional touch reset with Hatchett down. Escape from Hatchett and it's 16-5, takedown by Taylor 18-5, escape by Hatchett 18-6, High Crotch takedown from Taylor 20-6 and the Tech Fall with 1:10 left in the period. Complete dominance by Taylor, even though no pin. Final score 22-7 due to riding time.
174 #1 Ed Ruth vs #3 Nick Amuchastegu
1st Period - Amuchastegui tries first shot, Ruth stuffs and tries for his own until they're out of bounds for a neutral reset. Ruth gets the takedown and begins his riding time, Amuchastegui back to the feet but no escape as they go out of bounds. Amuchastegui reset in down position, Ruth looks to lock up a cradle and roll but can't secure as Amuchastegui able to go back to belly down on the mat. Ruth gets 2 near fall points though and leads 4-0. Ruth gets over a minute riding time which will count for later. Amuchastegui trying for a reversal rather than escape and gets it giving him 2 points. Amuchastegui begins his ride of Ruth, Ruth tries to escape to his feet and Amuchastegui takes him down but out of bounds. Reset with Ruth on bottom. Ruth turns into Amuchastegui and elevator rolls Amuchastegui back towards out of bounds but only gets an escape point by the end of the first period.
2nd period - 5-2 to Ruth at the beginning, Ruth starts on bottom, stands up and scores the escape. Ruth with a near side cradle takedown and locked up, but only gets the takedown points, now leading 8-2. Ruth on top now with Amuchastegui looking for the escape, Ruth rides well and keeps the pressure to stop the escape with 45 seconds left in the period. Ruth has over 1:30 riding time now, Amuchastegui tries to stand but Ruth Crab Ride trips Amuchastegui from the back and continues to ride him to the end of the period.
3rd Period - Amuchastegui chooses neutral, Ruth in with a shot and goes behind Amuchastegui until he can get the takedown for 2 points. 10-2 to Ruth, constantly looking for a cross-face to setup his cradle. They work their way out of bounds and a reset with Amuchastegui in down position. Ruth constantly working and has 3 minutes riding time. Ruth now looking for a tilt for back points and gets 2 near fall points. 12-2 Ruth +1 point for riding and he takes the decision 13-2, avenging his loss to Amuchastegui from last year's NCAA's.
184 #6 Quentin Wright vs #4 Steve Bosak
1st Period - Wright looking to work from a right inside tie, until they separate. Wright takes a shot but Bosak defends with a Front-Headlock until a stalemate. Neither have scored half way through the first period, both cancelling each other out through hand fighting and clinch attempts. Inside vs outside tie now from Wright and Bosak respectively, Wright changes levels and tries a high crotch shot but is blocked. Scoreless first period, no clear advantage to either.
2nd Period - Wright chooses down position and tries to stand and escape, Bosak getting riding time although not from the cleanest of control. Bosak tries to get Wright on his back but can't, gets a two separate 1 counts but not enough for back points, Wright hits a reversal for 2 points and the first to score. Escape for Bosak and its 2-1 by the end of the period.
3rd Period - Bosak chooses bottom position, escape for Bosak to neutral tying the score 2-2. Bosak has 20 seconds riding time and needs to make it a minute to get ahead by the end of the period, but both continue to fight from neutral position. 1 minute left and both seem to be stalemating on the feet. Bosak warned for his hand on the throat of Wright. 30 seconds left and it looks like we might go to OT sudden victory. Wright tries for a low single in the last few seconds but fails to score.
OT 1 - Wright immediately tries to shoot for a single from an underhook setup but gets blocked. Both working form inside and outside ties, Bosak looking for the takedown but it's being called neutral by the Referee, Bosak continues to work and gets the sudden victory takedown, 4-2 decision much to the annoyance of opposing coach Cael Sanderson.
197 #1 Cam Simaz vs #2Chris Honeycutt
1st Period - Simaz looking to get lower than Honeycutt early on. Both measuring distance to look for their own takedown opportunities. Simaz in on a Low-Single with Honeycutt draped over and looking to pick a leg himself. Stalemate and back to neutral at the half way point of the period. Simaz with a shot easily sprawled out of by Honeycutt. Simaz again looking for a Low-Single but unable to score, Honeycutt might be able to counter and finally does with a 2 point takedown. Both scramble to out of bounds with 17 seconds left. Escape from Simaz for one point, Honeycutt leads 2-1 at the end of the period.
2nd Period - Honeycutt chooses down position, tries for a reversal first then gets a high double leg pick up and slam, getting him 2 reversal points, and leads 4-2. Simaz Ankle-pick takedowns and gets 2 points right at the edge of the match, both are tied at 4-4 with 59 seconds left. Reset with Honeycutt down, Simaz working his riding time until out of bounds at 46 seconds left. Honeycutt still unable to escape from bottom, Simaz with an over-leg, seatbelt and near half nelson. Honeycutt tries to escape and Simaz drags him back down. Simaz gets 1 minute riding time right at the whistle.
3rd Period - 4-4 but Simaz has a riding time point ace in the hole. Honeycutt takes some injury time. Simaz starts on bottom, both to standing and Honeycutt tries to sag the hips back but Simaz gets the escape and is up 5-4. Honeycutt looking for a shot but Simaz counters with his own and scores 2 points, now up 7-4. Honeycutt gets an escape point, Simaz has 56 seconds riding time after having some erased by Honeycutt. Both are neutral and looking for their own takedowns, Simaz looking to pick the ankle and Honeycutt looking to muscle his way into a Double-Leg. 30 seconds left and Simaz defends a takedown until a stalemate is called. 7-5 for Simaz, Simaz gets his first stalling warning. 10 seconds left, Honeycutt with a Double-leg that's defended but Simaz does enough to win a points decision 7-5.
285 Zachery Rey vs Tony Nelson
1st Period - Nelson in golden singlet as he's made it to the final, both are working for their own inside collar tie control. Rey with clubbing head control. Rey's legs look twice as thick as Nelson's. A minute left in the period and neither have scored and both continue to fight for collar and arm control. Stalemate called at 19 seconds left, Rey looks for a takedown and has the single leg, head inside but is unable to finish. 0-0 in the first period.
2nd Period - Rey starts in down position, Nelson looking to ride. Rey outweighs Nelson in this division, as Nelson only around 230lbs. Nelson continues to ride while Rey gets a stall warning. Referee calls a stalemate and Nelson has over a minute riding time. Rey cautioned for moving before the whistle. Rey Granby rolls and escapes and gets 1 point with just over 40 seconds left in the period. Both standing neutral and looking for a collar tie and wrist control. 1-0 Rey at the end of the period, Nelson has riding time on his side though.
3rd Period - Rey on top, Nelson stands up and manages an escape to tie the scores 1-1. Rey has erased some riding time, so Nelson has 58 seconds of riding time currently. 1 minute left and both continue to work from a tie up. Nelson tries to drop down for a single leg that gets easily defended. Nelson tries again, Rey tries to counter with a low single, Nelson reverses and gets a takedown! 2 points and Nelson leads 3-1, and has 1:00 riding time at just 6 seconds left and wins! Nelson upsets Rey 4-1.