March 3, 2012
Watch Video of Friday's Workout
Watch Highlights from Session I on Wildcats All Access!
Watch Highlights and Interviews from Session II on Wildcats All Access!
2012 Big Ten Wrestling Championships
Sat., March 3-Sun. March 4 All Day
Saturday: Session I - 9 a.m. CT / Session II - 4 p.m. CT
Sunday: Session III - Noon CT / Session IV - 2 p.m. CT
Site: Mackey Arena (West Lafayette, Ind.)
NU Standings: 6th/12 teams
Webstream: Sessions I-III on Big Ten Digital Network on Wildcats All-Access
TV: Big Ten Network - Session IV LIVE at 2 p.m. CT (Tim Johnson, Jim Gibbons, Shane Sparks)
Twitter Updates: @NU_SportsLIVE / #B1GWrestle
B1G Championships Website: PurdueSports.com
B1G Session II Brackets
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Top-seeded Jason Welch will wrestle in the 157 lbs. finals of the 2012 Big Ten Championships Sunday afternoon live on the Big Ten Network. Welch secured a spot in the finals, winning his semifinal match Saturday night in Mackey Arena, while four NU wrestlers are still fighting for third place and one will wrestle for seventh tomorrow. Northwestern is in sixth place with 61.5 points, five points ahead of seventh place Nebraska (56.5). Minnesota took over the team race with 117.0 points while Iowa (112.5) and Penn State (111.0) are second and third, respectively.
Northwestern also secured six of the Big Ten's 74 automatic qualifier spots at the 2012 NCAA Championships, tying for the second-highest qualifier total in school history (seven in 2006). Levi Mele (top six, 125), Kaleb Friedley (top nine, 149), Jason Welch (top six, 157), Pierce Harger (top eight, 165), Lee Munster (top nine, 174) and Mike McMullan (top 10, heavyweight) will all wrestle in St. Louis by placing within the automatic qualifier threshold for their weight class.
The 157 lbs. finals is a highly-anticipated match, featuring Welch and No. 6 seed Derek St. John of Iowa. St. John entered the season ranked No. 2 at 157 lbs. before being slowed by injury and Welch currently holds the No. 2 ranking and a perfect 23-0 record. The junior captain looks for his first win against St. John as three of his 17 career losses came at the hands of the Iowa grappler. Welch punched his ticket to the finals by defeating Michigan State's No. 4 Anthony Jones, 4-2, in the semifinals.
No. 5 Mike McMullan also competed in the semifinals, taking on top-seeded Tony Nelson of Minnesota. It took a point of riding time for Nelson to advance to the finals, 4-3. McMullan scored the match-tying takedown in the closing seconds but Nelson had 1:22 of riding time for the win. McMullan is still in the hunt for third place and faces No. 10 seed Steve Andrus of Michigan State.
No. 5 Levi Mele kept things rolling with two shutouts in the 125 lbs. consolation round. He began Session II with a 5-0 shutout of Michigan's Grant Pizzo and racked up more bonus points for Northwestern, blanking Wisconsin's Austin Hietpas, 12-0. Mele now faces a rematch with No. 3 seed Nico Megaludis of Penn State, who won the first meeting in January by a 7-3 decision.
No. 8 Pierce Harger went 2-0 at 165 in Session II, beginning with another fall for Northwestern, pinning Indiana's Preston Keiffer in 3:50. He then stayed alive in the fight for third place, edging MSU's David Cheza 5-3 in sudden victory. Harger scored the winning takedown with 29 seconds remaining in overtime. Harger will face Nebraska's No. 3 Robert Kokesh in the consolation semifinals tomorrow.
No. 9 Lee Munster also went 2-0 Saturday night and is still in the hunt for third at 174 lbs. He began the evening shutting out Indiana's No. 10 Ryan Leblanc, 4-0 and then avenged a loss to MSU's No. 6 seed Curran Jacobs, defeating the Spartan with a 9-1 major decision. Munster wrestles OSU's No. 5 Nick Heflin tomorrow.
No. 8 Kaleb Friedley won an exciting match against Iowa's No. 10 Mike Kelly in the consolation round at 149 lbs. Friedley jumped out to a 5-0 lead, but Kelly pulled within one point (7-6) in the third. Friedley was able to take down Kelly, extending the lead to 9-6 and then was awarded two nearfall points and received three more backpoints shortly after. Friedley was close to pinning Kelly, but emerged the 14-7 winner after Kelly added one more escape to end the match. With the win over Kelly, Friedley secured an automatic qualifier spot at 149 lbs. since the Big Ten received nine slots for the weight class. Friedley dropped his next match to Ohio State's No. 5 Cam Tessari, 12-1 and will meet Illinois' No. 7 Eric Terrazas in the seventh-place match tomorrow.
Two redshirt seniors fought hard in the consolation round, but saw their NU careers come to a close in Session II. Robert Kellogg wrestled a close match against Ohio State's No. 5 C.J. Magrum, but Magrum advanced with the 5-2 decision. Senior captain John Schoen also wrestled another close match against OSU's No. 6 Andrew Campolattano. He had the 2-0 lead and led 3-2 in the third period, but Campolattano scored a takedown in the closing seconds to advance, 4-3.
A pair of freshmen also saw their seasons come to an end in the consolation round. True freshman Jameson Oster closed out his first Big Ten championships as he was pinned by Minnesota's No. 4 seed Chris Dardanes at 133. Redshirt freshman Colin Shober also concluded his run in his first taste of the postseason, falling in a 15-5 major decision to Illinois' No. 6 Daryl Thomas at 141.
Session III begins at noon CT tomorrow with the first, third and fifth place bouts wrestled during Session IV at 2 p.m. CT.
Big Ten Championships - Session II Results
157: No. 1 Jason Welch (NU) dec Anthony Jones (MSU), 4-2
Hwt: No. 1 Tony Nelson (MN) dec No. 5 Mike McMullan (NU), 4-3
125: No. 5 Levi Mele (NU) dec Grant Pizzo (UM), 5-0
125: No. 5 Levi Mele (NU) maj dec Austin Hietpas (UW), 12-0
133: No. 4 Chris Dardanes (MN) pins Jameson Oster (NU), 1:29
141: No. 6 Daryl Thomas (IL) maj dec Colin Shober (NU), 15-5
149: No. 8 Kaleb Friedley (NU) dec No. 10 Mike Kelly (IA), 14-7
149: No. 5 Cam Tessari (OSU) maj dec No. 8 Kaleb Friedley (NU), 12-1
165: No. 8 Pierce Harger (NU) pins Preston Keiffer (IU), 3:50
165: No. 8 Pierce Harger (NU) dec David Cheza (MSU), 5-3, SV
174: No. 9 Lee Munster (NU) dec Ryan LeBlanc (IU), 4-0
174: No. 9 Lee Munster (NU) maj dec No. 6 Curran Jacobs (MSU), 9-1
184: No. 5 C.J. Magrum (OSU) dec Robert Kellogg (NU), 5-2
197: No. 6 Andrew Campolattano (OSU) dec John Schoen (NU), 4-3
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