Penn State holds off Gophers for Big Ten wrestling title

  • Article by: BOB ASMUSSEN , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 11, 2013 - 12:23 AM

The Gophers had two individual champions, but the Nittany Lions won key head-to-head matches.

view larger photos

  

 

– The Gophers wrestling team had its chances to win Sunday’s Big Ten meet. Penn State had other plans.

The two-time defending national champions won a pair of head-to-head matches against the Gophers in Sunday’s finals at Illinois’ Assembly Hall.

Penn State finished first with 151 points, followed by Minnesota at 139. Iowa, which also had a chance going into Sunday’s matches, finished third with 133.5.

“We had some opportunities there at the end,” Gophers head assistant coach Brandon Eggum said. “If we win our last three matches, I think we could have won.

“This morning, the guys really wrestled very, very well. A lot of these guys outperformed their seeds. The way they finished and competed was impressive. Hopefully, we can get some good seeds here at the national tournament.”

While they didn’t get the big prize, the Gophers won a pair of individual titles Sunday. At 149 pounds, Dylan Ness scored his second pin of the meet, stopping Nebraska’s Jake Sueflohn in 3:37.

“I’m always thinking bonus points for the team,” Ness said.

At one point in his match, Ness looked to be in danger of getting pinned.

“Dylan is always like that,” Eggum said. “As a coach, you pull your hair out watching him compete. But he’s calm as can be inside. If you start rolling around with him and you get in any kind of scramble, he ends up on top 99 percent of the time. And a lot of times, for a pin. That was a great start in the finals.”

Ness wasn’t nervous.

“I know I’m going to go for it,” Ness said. “I feel like they relax when they’ve got me on my back and that I’m going to give up. I know after I get off my back, the match isn’t going to be over.”

The final match of the day went to Minnesota too, with heavyweight Tony Nelson defeating Northwestern’s Mike McMullan 4-1.

The Gophers advanced all 10 wrestlers to the NCAA meet, scheduled for March 21-23 in Des Moines.

“We’ve got guys who can score points at all 10 weights,” Eggum said. “With the team event, it’s going to be crucial that each guy that goes down to the NCAA tournament puts some points on the board.”

One of Sunday’s losses came at 184 pounds, where Minnesota’s Kevin Steinhaus dropped a 5-3 decision to Penn State’s undefeated Ed Ruth, the Big Ten wrestler of the year.

“Steinhaus wrestled Ruth very, very well,” Eggum said.

If the Gophers hope to win the national tournament, they will need to outperform the Nittany Lions.

“They’ve got a great team,” Eggum said. “You can see their talent up and down the lineup as far as the blue chips they’ve pulled in. We proved this weekend we have some guys who are going to do very, very well.”

With the NCAA meet in nearby Des Moines, normally that would mean a big crowd of Gophers fans at Wells Fargo Arena. But the venue isn’t as large as recent NCAA wrestling sites.

“Great as far as travel and being close for our fans,” Eggum said. “Sad in the way that there are so many people who feel they can’t get tickets or that the price is so ungodly high because the venue doesn’t seat an appropriate amount of people.”

  • related content

  • Photo gallery: Big Ten wrestling

    Monday March 11, 2013

    Photos from the Big Ten Championships at Assembly Hall on Sunday, at the University of Illinois in Champaign.

  • Chart: Big Ten wrestling results

    Monday March 11, 2013

    Big ten tournamentFinal Team Scores1. Penn State, 151; 2. Gophers, 139; 3. Iowa, 133.5; 4. Ohio State 109.5; 5. Illinois,...

  • Dylan Ness

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Texas - WP: N. Martinez 5 FINAL
Miami - LP: N. Eovaldi 4
Seattle - LP: J. Paxton 3 FINAL
Philadelphia - WP: C. Hamels 4
Toronto - WP: R. Dickey 9 FINAL
Milwaukee - LP: J. Nelson 5
NY Mets - WP: Z. Wheeler 8 FINAL
Oakland - LP: J. Samardzija 5
Atlanta 1 Bottom 3rd Inning
Pittsburgh 0
Houston 0 Bottom 3rd Inning
NY Yankees 0
Arizona 0 Top 3rd Inning
Washington 1
LA Angels 0 Bottom 2nd Inning
Boston 2
Detroit 1 Bottom 3rd Inning
Tampa Bay 0
Cincinnati 0 Bottom 2nd Inning
St. Louis 0
San Francisco - J. Peavy 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - E. Jackson
Baltimore - W. Chen 7:10 PM
Chicago WSox - H. Noesi
Cleveland - T. House 7:10 PM
Minnesota - R. Nolasco
Kansas City - D. Duffy 7:40 PM
Colorado - J. De La Rosa
San Diego - E. Stults 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - R. Hernandez
Pittsburgh 8/21/14 6:30 PM
Philadelphia
Carolina 8/22/14 6:30 PM
New England
NY Giants 8/22/14 6:30 PM
NY Jets
Jacksonville 8/22/14 6:30 PM
Detroit
Oakland 8/22/14 7:00 PM
Green Bay
Chicago 8/22/14 9:00 PM
Seattle
Tampa Bay 8/23/14 3:30 PM
Buffalo
Tennessee 8/23/14 6:00 PM
Atlanta
Dallas 8/23/14 6:00 PM
Miami
Washington 8/23/14 6:30 PM
Baltimore
New Orleans 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Indianapolis
Minnesota 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Kansas City
St. Louis 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Houston 8/23/14 8:00 PM
Denver
San Diego 8/24/14 3:00 PM
San Francisco
Cincinnati 8/24/14 7:00 PM
Arizona
Los Angeles 8:00 PM
Colorado
San Jose 9:00 PM
Seattle
Montreal 8/22/14 7:30 PM
Winnipeg
Toronto 8/23/14 3:00 PM
Edmonton
Calgary 8/24/14 2:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 8/24/14 6:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which football team will have the best record in 2014?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close