Iowa, Ohio State battle to a tie, each earn a share of the Big Ten title
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Iowa earned a share of the 2015 Big Ten Championship on Sunday afternoon inside St. John Arena. Iowa and Ohio State tied atop the team race with 120 points to share the title for just the sixth time in conference history and the first time in 83 years.
The co-championship is the first for Iowa and the 35th Big Ten wrestling team title in school history.
"It stings any time you share the hardware," said UI head coach Tom Brands. "You look back and find what could have gone your way, but they can say the same thing. Ultimately our individuals will determine our team fate. It's important to us and it's important our athletic department."
The Hawkeyes placed seven wrestlers in the top three, including four runner-ups, but did not win an individual title. Iowa was winless in four championship bouts, losing three matches by a combined three points.
Thomas Gilman lost 3-2 at 125; Brandon Sorensen lost 2-1 at 149; and Bobby Telford lost 4-3 at 285.
Gilman gave up a takedown on the edge of the mat near the end of the first period and was unable to close the gap or chase down Ohio State's Nathan Tomasello. Gilman trailed 3-0 after a Tomasello escape in the second, eventually got on the board with an escape in the third, and closed within the final 3-2 after being awarded a point for stalling.
"I was taking a lot of shots but I wasn't quite getting to him," said Gilman. "I was kind of pushing him away too much and I need to pull him in. I need to pull him in and shoot instead of keeping him out and shooting.
"I have got to learn from it, I have to watch the film, I have to talk about it, and I have to put it behind me."
Sorensen and defending champion Alex Tsirtsis (Northwestern) exchanged escapes in the second and third, but Tsirtsis used 1:25 of riding time to win the 149-pound title.
Telford escaped to start the second and scored a takedown on the edge to build a 3-0 lead, but Northwestern's Mike McMullan answered with the same combination to tie the score 3-3 entering the third. McMullan escaped to start the third and held on for the 4-3 win.
Cory Clark, Mike Evans and Sammy Brooks won their respective consolation brackets. Brooks won by forfeit in the 184-pound consolation finals. It was his fourth consecutive win on the backside after dropping his opening match of the tournament.
Evans won 2-1 against Logan Storley with a rideout in the second tiebreak of the 174-pound finals.
Clark used 1:42 of riding time to defeat Ohio State's Johnny DiJulius 2-1 at 125.
"Improvements have been made but there is still work to do," said Clark, who defeated DiJulius two times this weekend after losing to him in a regular season dual. "There is not a lot of time left in the year, but there is not a lot of work left to do, so I have to do what it takes to win a national title and anything less than that I'm not really satisfied with."
Nathan Burak finished fourth for Iowa at 197. Burak gave up a takedown late in the third period to fall 3-2 to Minnesota's Scott Schiller. Josh Dziewa placed runner-up at 141, falling to four-time champion Logan Stieber, 16-1. Stieber was named wrestler of the year and outstanding wrestler of the championships.
All eight of Iowa's placewinners automatically qualify for the 2015 NCAA Championships on March 19-21 in St. Louis. The NCAA will announce the tournament field Wednesday.
"This isn't the culminating event of the year," said Brands. "The culminating event of the year is in St. Louis. That's where we're headed. We have a Big Ten Championships as a team, and that's the way we're headed."
|2015 BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM STANDINGS|