Buckeyes Repeat As Kings Of The Mat

By Jeff Rapp, March 5th, 2018

Tom Ryan has built a superpower in the world of college wrestling.

On Sunday, the Ohio State coach guided the Buckeyes to their second-straight Big Ten championship, which was the program’s fifth overall.

OSU claimed the title with a team score of 164.5 while posting four individual titles from Nathan Tomasello (125 pounds), Joey McKenna (141), Kollin Moore (197) and Kyle Snyder (285).

Penn State finished in second place with 148 points followed by third-place Michigan with 118. Iowa finished in fourth place with 90.5 points and Nebraska rounded out the top five with 72.5 team points. Michigan State played host school for the meet, which was held in East Lansing, Mich.

Penn State’s Zain Retherford was named the Big Ten Wrestler of the Year, while Illinois’ Isaiah Martinez earned Outstanding Wrestler of the Championships honors. Ohio State’s Ryan was named Big Ten Coach of the Year and the Iowa’s Spencer Lee was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year.

Tomasello claimed the 125-pound title after defeating Minnesota’s No. 4 Ethan Lizak by a 10-7 decision. The Buckeye made history with his conference crown, becoming the 15th wrestler in the 106-year history of the Big Ten Championships to win four individual titles. At 133 pounds, Stevan Micic of Michigan posted a 7-4 decision over Luke Pletcher of Ohio State to win the 123rd individual title in Wolverines’ history.

McKenna earned a Big Ten title after defeating No. 3 seeded Michael Carr of Illinois with a 13-0 major decision to claim the 141-pound title. The 149-pound crown went to Retherford of Penn State, who earned a 2-0 decision over Iowa’s Brandon Sorensen. At 157 pounds, Alec Pantaleo of Michigan claimed the win over Micah Jordan of Ohio State with an 3-1 decision.

Illinois’ Martinez, the top-seeded 165-pound wrestler, posted a 4-1 decision over Vincenzo Joseph of Penn State to win his fourth-consecutive conference title. Martinez became the 16th wrestler in Big Ten history and the second wrestler of the day to win the fourth individual title of his career, joining his head coach Jim Heffernan in that elite club.

Mark Hall of Penn State picked up a Big Ten title, winning the 174-pound championship with an 4-3 decision over Myles Amine of Michigan. At 184 pounds, Penn State’s Bo Nickal, a No. 1 seed, claimed a 7-4 decision over No. 2 Miles Martin of Ohio State, earning his second-straight Big Ten title.

Top-seeded Moore of Ohio State successfully defended his 197-pound title, earning an 8-4 decision over Penn State’s Shakur Rasheed. Rounding out the group of individual Big Ten Champions was No. 2 Snyder, who claimed a 4-2 sudden victory over Adam Coon of Michigan for his third conference title. Snyder avenged a regular-season loss to the mammoth Coon, which is why he entered the postseason as the 2-seed.

The complete list of Big Ten individual awards and All-Big Ten honorees can be found below, while the full results are attached.

Wrestler of the Year: Zain Retherford, Penn State
Freshman of the Year: Spencer Lee, Iowa
Coach of the Year: Thomas Ryan, Ohio State
Outstanding Wrestler of the Championships: Isaiah Martinez, Illinois

Isaiah Martinez, Illinois
Stevan Micic, Michigan
Alec Pantaleo, Michigan
Joey McKenna, Ohio State
Kollin Moore, Ohio State
Nathan Tomasello, Ohio State
Kyle Snyder, Ohio State
Mark Hall, Penn State
Bo Nickal, Penn State
Zain Retherford, Penn State