March 23, 2013
2013 NCAA Wrestling Championships – Finals
Site: Wells-Fargo Arena (Des Moines, Iowa)
Live Stats & Updated Brackets: TrackWrestling.com
NU Results: Two All-Americans • 17th / 32.5 points
2013 NCAA Wrestling Bracket & Team Standings
2013 NCAA Wrestling Championships Photo Gallery
DES MOINES, Iowa – Two Northwestern wrestlers competed in the finals of the 2013 NCAA Wrestling Championships Saturday evening at the Wells-Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa. Redshirt senior Jason Welch (157) and redshirt sophomore Mike McMullan (285) both wrestled hard-fought matches against their opponents but dropped narrow decisions.
“I’m incredibly proud of Jason and Mike in how they represent Northwestern University,” NU head coach Drew Pariano said. “Jason has been one of the most exciting wrestlers not only in NU wrestling history but in the history of college wrestling. His dedication over the last five years and leadership set the standard for the program. We are really looking forward to having Mike take on that leadership role. He’s gone from third to second and next year, he’ll be working from day one for the top spot on the podium.
“It’s incredibly hard work to position yourself to compete in the national championship match and to have two guys do that is a great testament to their dedication.”
With their runner-up finishes, Welch and McMullan achieved All-America status as Welch wraps up his career a three-time honoree and McMullan achieved back-to-back honors. Northwestern earned at least two All-America honors for the third consecutive season and the seventh time in the last eight years. It also was the first time since 2007 that the Wildcats had two wrestlers in the finals. Northwestern was one of just four teams, along with Penn State, Iowa and Oklahoma State, to advance at least two wrestlers to the finals.
Welch, a redshirt senior, wrestled his final match in a Northwestern singlet in the 2013 NCAA Championship match, facing No. 2 seed Derek St. John of Iowa at 157. After a scoreless first period, Welch chose down to start the second. The NU wrestler was unable to escape and with the scoreboard still showing 0-0, St. John took two minutes of riding time into the final frame. St. John began the third period down and early in the frame, the Northwestern coaches challenged that Welch had turned St. John for two backpoints. After an official review, no points were awarded and the match remained 0-0. St. John received a point in the period for a locked hands call against Welch, giving him the 1-0 lead and escaped to go ahead 2-0. With 1:03 left in the frame, Welch evened things up at 2-2, taking down St. John. Welch began to erase St. John’s riding time and had it down to 50 seconds before the Iowa wrestler escaped with 35 seconds remaining. That would be the final score as St. John hung on for the narrow victory.
Welch, a three-time All-American finishes his Northwestern career with a 116-22 record. He improved his placement at NCAA’s each year, finishing sixth in 2011, fourth in 2012 and second in 2013. He is in the NU record books for career wins (seventh all-time), career winning percentage (sixth; .841) and is just the sixth three-time All-American in Northwestern history.
Redshirt sophomore Mike McMullan competed in the NCAA finals at 285 against the defending national champion, Tony Nelson of Minnesota. McMullan was active early, going in for a single-leg shot that resulted in a stalemate call by the official. Nelson then went on the board first, scoring a takedown with 30 seconds left in the first. McMullan escaped late in the period, putting the score at 2-1 in favor of Nelson at the end of the frame.
Nelson began the second period down and escaped 11 seconds in, going up 3-1. McMullan again was active with his shots but was unable to score a takedown in the second. He began the third period down and cut the deficit to one at 3-2 with an escape at 1:50. Nelson tacked on a final takedown at the 1:09 mark and had 1:32 of riding time to take the match, 6-2.
McMullan, the No. 5 seed, was the lowest-seeded wrestler to advance to this year’s finals. After placing third in the country as a redshirt freshman in 2012, McMullan finishes his sophomore campaign as runner-up, officially becoming a two-time All-American. The Easton, Pa., native is the 16th two-time All-American in Northwestern history and caps his second season with the ’Cats with a 22-4 record.
The Wildcats finished 17th in the team standings with 32.5 points, marking the eighth top-20 finish in the last nine years.
157: No. 2 Derek St. John (Iowa) dec No. 1 Jason Welch (NU), 3-2
285: No. 2 Tony Nelson (Minnesota) dec No. 5 Mike McMullan (NU), 6-2
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