**Courtesy of Penn State SID Pat Donghia**
The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestlers, ranked No. 1 throughout the year on Intermat's national TPI ranking, lived up to that billing once again, winning their third straight Big Ten Championship. Head coach Cael Sanderson has now won three Big Ten crowns in his four years as mentor at Penn State. The Nittany Lions won with 151.0 points, Minnesota was second at 139.0 and Iowa third with 133.5.
Penn State went a perfect 4-0 in the finals and claimed half the post-season hardware as well. Junior Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.) was named 2013 Big Ten Wrestlers of the Year and Sanderson won his third straight Big Ten Coach of the Year (sharing this year's honor with Minnesota's J Robinson). In addition, to a third straight title and a bevy of conference laurels, all ten Nittany Lions will make their way to the NCAA Championships on March 21-23 in Des Moines, Iowa, as Penn State looks to win its third straight NCAA crown.
Junior David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio) was Penn State's first finalist. Taylor, ranked No. 2 nationally at 165 and the top seed, took on second seed Conrad Polz of Indiana in the finals. As the Illini played defense, and was for three stall calls, Taylor notched two takedowns, a reversal and over 3:00 in riding time to roll to a 9-1 major, picking up key bonus points and becoming Penn State's third three-time Big Ten Champion. Taylor went 3-0 on the day and heads to Des Moines to defend his national title with a 26-1 overall record.
Sophomore Matt Brown (West Valley City, Utah), ranked No. 7 nationally at 174 and the fifth seed, battled No. 3 Mike Evans of Iowa in the finals. After Evans, the No. 2 seed was given an early lead on a penalty point due to a pulled sock, Brown went on a rampage. The Nittany Lion sophomore escaped to start the second period and then bulled through a high double, taking Evans to his back to take a commanding 6-1 lead off the five point move. He tallied 2:29 in riding time after riding Evans out for most of the third period and rolled to the 7-4 win, becoming a Big Ten Champion in his first trip to the conference tournament. Brown went 4-0 over the course of the weekend and heads to NCAAs with a 25-4 record.
Junior Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.), ranked No. 1 nationally at 184 and the top seed, looking for this third straight Big Ten championship, Ruth met Minnesota's Kevin Steinhaus, ranked No. 5 nationally and the No. 2 seed, in the finals. Ruth took care of the Gopher and nearly clinched the team title with a 5-3 win, using takedowns in the first and third periods to roll to victory. Ruth, like Taylor, becomes a three-time Big Ten Champion, Penn State's fourth. Ruth went 3-0 at the tourney and heads to the NCAA Champion looking for a second straight national title with a perfect 28-0 record.
Senior Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.), ranked No. 2 nationally at 197 and the top seed, k Wright took on second-seed Scott Schiller of Minnesota in the finals. Never threatened, Wright rolled his way to a 5-3 win over Schiller, using second and third period takedowns for the margin. Wright's win gives him his second Big Ten title and clinched the team title for Penn State. Wright went 3-0 for his second title, clinching the team title for Penn State in the process. Wright heads to Des Moines looking to become a four-time All-American and two-time NCAA Champion with a perfect 27-0 record.
All-American Nico Megaludis (Murrysville, Pa.), ranked No. 3 at 125, was outstanding today, rebounding from a loss in the semifinals last night. Megaludis downed No. 13 Nikko Triggas of Ohio State 4-1 in the conso semis and then rolled past No. 16 Sean Boyle of Michigan, 4-1, with over 3:00 in riding time. The burst gives Megaludis a third place finish after going 3-1. Sophomore Andrew Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), ranked No. 13 at 149 and the sixth seed, went 1-1 in conso action. Alton picked up a 13-4 major over Michigan State's Dan Osterman in the conso semis. He then broke out to a 5-0 lead on No. 10 Ivan Loupochanski, the tournament's No. 2 seed. But in the second period, the Boilermaker grappler countered an Alton throw and pinned the Nittany Lion at the 4:06 mark. Alton's outstanding run to fourth place as the No. 6 seed came on a 4-2 mark and earned him a trip to NCAAs.
Red-shirt freshman Jordan Conaway (Abbottstown, Pa.), ranked No. 12 nationally at 133, dropped his consolation semifinal bout to sixth-ranked Chris Dardanes of Minnesota but rebounded for a resounding 4-1 win over 11th-ranked Daryl Thomas of Illinois. The win gave Conaway fifth place and a trip to NCAAs as a freshman. Conaway went 2-2 in his first Big Ten Championship. Senior Bryan Pearsall (Lititz, Pa.), having earned his first trip to the NCAA Championships, ended the Big Ten tournament with an outstanding win in the fifth place bout. After dropping his conso semifinal bout to No. 7 Nick Dardanes of Minnesota, Pearsall used a takedown in extra time to post the 4-2 (sv) win over Northwestern's Pat Greco. Pearsall went 4-2 to take fifth and earned his first trip to NCAAs.
All-American Dylan Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), ranked No. 5 nationally at 157, went 0-2 in consolation action and took sixth with a 3-3 record. Alton was beaten by No. 2 Derek St. John of Iowa and Minnesota's Danny Zilverberg in the fifth place bout. Alton had already secured a trip to NCAAs. Sophomore Jimmy Lawson (Tom's River, N.J.) took fifth seed Mike McClure of Michigan State into sudden victory before giving up a takedown and fall at the 6:36 mark. Lawson's eighth place finish moves him on to nationals as one of Penn State's ten-man contingent having gone 2-3.
Penn State closed out the tournament with a 20-9 record with all ten wrestlers placing in the top eight. Penn State stacked up 20.5 bonus points off of five pins, three tech falls and six majors. Taylor and Ruth become Penn State's third and fourth three-time Big Ten Champions as well. Kerry McCoy won three titles from 1994-97 and Sanshiro Abe won three from 1993-96. In addition to Ruth's Wrestler of the Year and Sanderson's Coach of the Year awards, all four champions (Taylor, Brown, Ruth and Wright) were named First Team All-Big Ten honorees. Wisconsin heavyweight Connor Medberry was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year and Illinois' Jesse Delgado was the tournament's Outstanding Wrestler to round out post-season honors.
The Nittany Lions will next head to Des Moines, Iowa, for the 2013 NCAA Wrestling Championships on March 21-23 in the Wells Fargo Arena. Penn State will be looking to win its third straight NCAA title. Fans are encouraged to follow Penn State wrestling via twitter at www.twitter.com/pennstateWREST and on Penn State Wrestling's facebook page at www.facebook.com/pennstatewrestling. The 2012-13 Penn State Wrestling season is presented by The Family Clothesline.
2013 Big Ten Wrestling Championships - Team Standings After Session 3
Sunday, March 10, 2013 - Assembly Hall - Champaign, Ill.
1: PENN STATE - 151.0
2: Minnesota - 139.0
3: Iowa - 133.5
4: Ohio State - 109.5
5: Illinois - 85.5
6: Michigan - 75.0
7: Nebraska - 61.0
8: Northwestern - 56.0
9: Purdue - 38.0
10: Wisconsin - 37.0
10: Indiana - 30.5
12: Michigan State - 22.0
2013 Big Ten Wrestling Championships - FINALS AGATE (# listed here is SEED)
125: #3 Jesse Delgado, Illinois - 10-4 dec.
#1 Matt McDonough, Iowa
133: #1 Logan Stieber, Ohio State - 3-1 (sv) dec.
#2 Tony Ramos, Iowa
141: #1 Hunter Stieber, Ohio State - 8-3 dec.
#3 Mark Ballweg, Iowa
149: #3 Dylan Ness, Minnesota - WBF (3:27)
#4 Jake Sueflohn, Nebraska
157: #2 Jason Welch, Northwestern - WBF (6:38)
#4 James Green, Nebraska
165: #1 David Taylor, PENN STATE - 9-1 maj. dec.
#2 Conrad Polz, Illinois
174: #5 Matt Brown, PENN STATE - 7-4 dec.
#2 Mike Evans, Iowa
184: #1 Ed Ruth, PENN STATE - 5-3 dec.
#2 Kevin Steinhaus, Minnesota
197: #1 Quentin Wright, PENN STATE - 5-3 dec.
#2 Scott Schiller, Minnesota
285: #1 Tony Nelson, Minnesota - W, 4-1
#2 Mike McMullan, Northwestern
The following is a weight-by-weight breakdown/agate of Penn State's tournament to date (rankings listed are NCAA Coaches Rankings):
125: #3 Nico Megaludis (Murrysville, Pa.), Sr. - #2 seed - 24-3 overall - NCAA QUALIFIER - 3rd Place
1st Rd: bye
Qtrs: vs. #12 David Thorn, Minnesota (7th seed) - W, 4-2 dec.
Semis: vs. #4 Jesse Delgado, Illinois (3rd seed) - L, 3-6 dec.
Con Semis: vs. #13 Nikko Triggas, Ohio State (5th seed) - W, 4-1 dec.
3rd Place: vs. #16 Sean Boyle, Michigan (4th seed) - W, 4-1 dec.
Sophomore All-American Nico Megaludis opened up the tournament with a bye and then met seventh-seed David Thorn of Minnesota. Megaludis used a second period takedown to post a 4-2 win over seventh-seed David Thorn of Minnesota in the quarterfinals, moving to the semis and securing a spot in the NCAA tournament.
In the semifinals, Megaludis took on fourth-ranked Jesse Delgado of Illinois, the third-seed. Megaludis fell behind early to the Illini and dropped a tough 6-3 decision. The loss sends Megaludis into tomorrow morning's consolation semifinals, still with the ability to take third place.
Megaludis took on No. 13 Nikko Triggas of Ohio State in the consolation semifinals. Megaludis used a second period takedown as the impetus for a 4-1 win and moved into the third place bout against Michigan's Sean Boyle. In the third place bout, Megaludis dominated the action, picking up a second period takedown and rolling up over 3:00 in riding time on his way to a 4-1 win.
133: #12 Jordan Conaway (Abbottstown, Pa.) Fr. - #4 seed - 16-8 overall - NCAA QUALIFIER - 5th Place
1st Rd: bye
Qtrs: vs. #11 Daryl Thomas, Illinois (5th seed) - W, 6-5 dec. (TB2)
Semis: vs. #1 Logan Stieber, Ohio State (1st seed) - LBF (1:28)
Con Semis: vs. #6 Chris Dardanes, Minnesota (6th seed) - L, 2-7 dec.
5th Place: vs. #11 Daryl Thomas, Illinois, (5th seed) - W, 4-1 dec.
Red-shirt freshman Jordan Conaway made his Big Ten tournament debut as the fourth seed at 133 and, after a first round bye, took on fifth-seed Daryl Thomas of Illinois, who was ranked No. 11 nationally in the final NCAA coaches poll. Conaway came out on top in an epic battle between the two grapplers, grinding to a 6-5 TB2 win. Each wrestler traded takedowns in regulation and Conaway fought off two strong takedown attempts in sudden victory. He then rode Thomas out in the second tiebreaker after escaping in his period to post the 6-5 win. The victory moved him into the semifinals and qualified him for the NCAA Championships as a freshman.
Conaway then met the nation's top-ranked wrestler, Ohio State's Logan Stieber, in the semifinals. The top-seeded Buckeye took Conaway down twice early and then turned him for a pin at the 1:28 mark. Conaway's loss moved him to the consolation semifinals, with third place still in his grasp.
Conaway met No. 6 Chris Dardanes of Minnesota in the consolation semifinals and dropped a hard-fought 7-2 decision. The loss moved Conaway into the fifth place bout where he took Illinois' Thomas again. This time, Conaway did not need extra time, turning a third period takedown into a ride out and rolling to a 4-1 win to take fifth at 133 as a freshman and advance to the NCAA Championships.
141: #21 Bryan Pearsall (Lititz, Pa.), Sr. - #4 seed - 23-9 - NCAA QUALIFIER - 5th Place
1st Rd: vs. Tom Kelliher, Wisconsin - WBF (1:24)
Qtrs: vs. #23 Brandon Nelsen, Purdue (5th seed) -- L, 1-2 dec.
Conso Rd. 2: vs. Alex Gregory, Indiana - W, 6-4 dec.
Conso Rd. 3: vs. Camryn Jackson, Michigan (8th seed) - W, 19-11 maj. dec.
Cons Semis: vs. #7 Nick Dardanes, Minnesota (2nd seed) - L, 2-6 dec.
5th Place: vs. Pat Greco, Northwestern (7th seed) - W, 4-2 (sv) dec.
Senior Bryan Pearsall got Penn State started in the tournament, taking to the mat for Penn State's first bout and getting a quick first period pin over Tom Kelliher of Wisconsin. Pearsall turned a single leg into a scramble and then a cradle, finishing off the move by pulling Kelliher in off the edge of the mat and turning him to his back for a fall at the 1:24 mark. Pearsall then met fifth seed Brandon Nelson of Purdue in the quarters and dropped a tough 2-1 decision, giving up a reversal late in the third period. Pearsall dropped into consolation action, still looking for top six finish at his weight to get to NCAAS.
In his first consolation bout, Pearsall took on Indiana's Alex Gregory. The Lion senior came back from a first period takedown and an early third period takedown to score four points late and win 6-4. The victory pushed him into a conso third round bout against Michigan's Camryn Jackson, the eighth-seed. Pearsall came back from an early 6-2 deficit to dominate the final four minutes, turning Jackson three times in the second period on his way to a 19-11 major decision, bonus points for the Lions, and his first trip to the NCAA Championships.
Pearsall met No. 7 Nick Dardanes of Minnesota in the consolation semifinals, the tournament's second seed. Dardanes ground out a 6-2 win over Pearsall, pushing the Nittany Lion senior into the fifth place bout against Northwestern's Pat Greco. Pearsall battled Greco through an even three periods and then countered a Greco shot to post a thrilling 4-2 (sv) win to take fifth place and earn the ticket to Des Moines.
149: #13 Andrew Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), So. - #5 seed - 26-4 overall - NCAA QUALIFIER - 4th Place
1st Rd: vs. Josh Dziewa, Iowa - W, 3-2 dec.
Qtrs: vs. #11 Jake Sueflohn, Nebraska (4th seed) - L, 6-10 dec.
Conso Rd. 2: vs. Dylan Marriott, Northwestern - WBF (0:16)
Conso Rd. 3: vs. #7 Eric Grajales, Michigan (1st seed) - W, 14-8 dec.
Conso Semis: vs. Dan Osterman, Michigan State (7th seed) - W, 13-4 maj. dec.
3rd Place: vs. #10 Ivan Lopouchanski, Purdue (2nd seed) - LBF (4:06)
Sophomore Andrew Alton, the No. 5 seed, picked up an important 3-2 decision over Iowa's Josh Dziewa in the opening round, turning a first period takedown and a third period escape into the win. Alton then took on fourth-seed Jake Sueflohn of Nebraska in the quarters. Alton dropped a tough 10-6 decision to the 11th-ranked Husker and moved into consolation action, still alive for a top seven finish and a trip to NCAAs.
In consolation action, Alton took on Dylan Marriott of Northwestern and made short work of the Wildcat. Alton came out quickly, gained control of Marriott's shoulders and flipped him to his back for a pin in just 0:16, the fastest pin in Big Ten tournament history. The fall moved Alton into the consolation third round against top-seed Eric Grajales of Michigan. Alton dominated the action from start to finish, using six takedowns to roll to a 14-8 win, punch his ticket to NCAAs and move into the conso semis.
Alton took to the mat against Michigan State's Dan Osterman in the consolation semis. The Nittany Lion sophomore came out of the gates fast with a five-point move and then rolled to a 13-4 major decision, moving him into the third place bout against second-seed Ivan Lopouchanski of Purdue, who was ranked No. 10 nationally. Alton led 5-2 early but Lopouchanski countered an Alton throw attempt and turned the Lion sophomore to his back for a pin. The loss gives Alton the fourth place nod as the sixth seed and sends him to Des Moines.
157: #5 Dylan Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), So. - #3 seed - 25-6 overall - NCAA QUALIFIER
1st Rd: vs. Kalvin York, Wisconsin - W, 8-3 dec.
Qtrs: vs. Josh Demas, Ohio State (6th seed) - L, 1-6 dec. (TB2)
Conso Rd. 2: vs. Tommy Churchard, Purdue - WBF (1:03)
Conso Rd. 3: vs. Ryan Watts, Michigan State (7th seed) - W, 3-2 dec.
Conso Semis: vs. #2 Derek St. John, Iowa (1st seed) - LBF (6:36)
5th Place: vs. vs. Danny Zilverberg, Minnesota (8th seed) - L, 2-6 dec.
Sophomore All-American Dylan Alton breezed to an 8-3 decision over Wisconsin's Kalvin York in the first round, notching three first period takedowns to bolt out to an early lead. Alton then took on sixth-seed Josh Demas of Ohio State in the quarterfinals battled the buckeye through two sudden victory periods before dropping a 6-1 TB2 decision. Alton dropped to the consolation round, still working towards third place and a trip to NCAAs.
Alton met Purdue's Tommy Churchard in his first consolation bout. Like his brother Andrew a few minutes before, Dylan wasted little time in moving on in the bracket. He quickly took Churchard down, allowed the Boiler an escape and then caught his shoulders, turned him to his back and picked up a first period pin at the 1:03 mark. Alton moved on to battle Michigan State's Ryan Watts and earned a trip to NCAAs with a 3-2 win.
Alton faced off against top-seeded Derek St. John in the consolation semifinals. The duo once again battled through two even periods. With the score tied late in the third period, Alton shot, St. John countered and notched a takedown that he turned into a pin at the 6:36 mark. The loss moved Alton into the fifth place bout against Minnesota's Danny Zilverberg. Alton led Zilverberg 2-0 with just :20 left but the Gopher reversed Alton late in the final stanza and took him to his back for three near fall points and, with riding time, posted a 6-2 win. Alton took sixth place with a 3-3 record and heads to NCAAs in two weeks.
165: #2 David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio), Jr. - #1 seed - 26-1 overall - NCAA QUALIFIER
1st Rd: bye
Qtrs: vs. Mark Martin, Ohio State (9th seed) - W, 20-5 tech fall (TF; 5:45)
Semis: vs. #12 Nick Moore, Iowa (4th seed) - W, 15-0 tech fall (TF; 2:37)
Finals: vs. #8 Conrad Polz, Illinois (2nd seed) - W, 9-1 maj. dec.
Defending NCAA Champion David Taylor opened up his quest for a third straight Big Ten title with a first round bye. He then took on ninth seed Mark Martin of Ohio State in the quarterfinals. Taylor was once again workmanlike, rolling up points at will on his way to a 20-5 technical fall at the 5:45 mark. The win moved him into the semis and sends him to Des Moines.
Taylor met fourth-seed Nick Moore of Iowa in the semifinals and dismantled the talented Hawkeye, rolling to a 15-0 tech fall in the first period. Taylor used a takedown and a series of turns to end the match at the 2:37 mark and become Penn State's first finalist of the day.
The defending Big Ten champion Taylor met Illinois' Conrad Polz, ranked No. 8, in the finals. Taylor was dominating from start to finish. As the Illini played defense, and was for three stall calls, Taylor notched two takedowns, a reversal and over 3:00 in riding time to roll to a 9-1 major, picking up key bonus points and becoming Penn State's third three-time Big Ten Champion.
174: #7 Matt Brown (West Valley City, Utah) - #5 seed - 25-4 overall - NCAA QUALIFIER
1st Rd: vs. Cheney Dale, Indiana (12th-seed) - WBF (6:15)
Qtrs: vs. #6 Nick Heflin, Ohio State (4th-seed) - W, 7-1 dec.
Semis: vs. #11 Dan Yates, Michigan (8th seed) - W, 5-1 dec.
Finals: vs. #3 Mike Evans, Iowa (2nd seed) - W, 7-4
Sophomore Matt Brown made his Big Ten tournament debut picking up big bonus points for Penn State by pinning Indiana's Cheney Dale at the 6:15 mark. Brown was nearing a tech fall in the third period when he got the fall with :45 left in the bout. He then faced fourth seed Nick Heflin of Ohio State in the quarterfinals. Brown was dominant in the match, setting the tempo throughout the bout, with the pressure paying off in the third when the Lion sophomore took the sixth-ranked Buckeye down and added three back points. Brown's 7-1 win moved him into the semifinals and punched his ticket to his first NCAA Championship.
In his semifinal match-up with Michigan's Dan Yates, Brown was dominant once again. The sophomore used takedowns in the second and third periods to roll to a 5-1 win and move into the finals tomorrow afternoon.
Brown battled No. 3 Mike Evans of Iowa in the finals. After Evans was given an early lead on a penalty point due to a pulled sock, Brown went on a rampage. The Nittany Lion sophomore escaped to start the second period and then bulled through a high double, taking Evans to his back to take a commanding 6-1 lead off the five point move. He tallied 2:29 in riding time after riding Evans out for most of the third period and rolled to the 7-4 win, becoming a Big Ten Champion in his first trip to the conference tournament.
184: #1 Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.), Jr. - #1 seed - 27-0 overall - NCAA QUALIFIER
1st Rd: bye
Qtrs: vs. Cody Magrum, Ohio State (8th seed) - W, 18-3 tech fall (TF; 5:58)
Semis: vs. #14 Ethan Lofthouse, Iowa (5th seed) - W, 10-1 maj. dec.
Finals: vs. #5 Kevin Steinhaus, Minnesota (2nd seed) - W, 5-3 dec.
Defending NCAA 174-pound champion Ed Ruth, now up at 184, began his quest for a third straight Big Ten title with a bye as well. He then took on Ohio State's Cody Magrum, the eighth seed, in the quarterfinals. Ruth, like Taylor, was steady, rolling up points on his way to an 18-3 technical fall at the 5:58 mark. Ruth's win moved him into the semifinals and pushed him on to NCAAs as well.
Ruth then took on Iowa's Ethan Lofthouse in the semifinals and rolled his way to a 10-1 major over the Hawkeye. Ruth used three takedowns and a two-point turn to open up his lead and move into the finals tomorrow.
Looking for this third straight Big Ten championship, Ruth met Minnesota's Kevin Steinhaus, ranked No. 5 nationally, in the finals. Ruth took care of the Gopher and nearly clinched the team title with a 5-3 win, using takedowns in the first and third periods to roll to victory. Ruth, like Taylor, becomes a three-time Big Ten Champion, Penn State's fourth.
197: #2 Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.), Sr. - #1 seed - 27-0 overall -- NCAA QUALIFIER
1st Rd: bye
Qtrs: vs. Max Huntley, Michigan (8th seed) - WBF (1:20)
Semis: vs. #15 Andrew Campolattano, Ohio State (4th-seed) - W, 1-0 dec.
Finals: vs. #9 Scott Schiller, Minnesota (2nd seed) - W, 5-3 dec.
Three-time All-American Quentin Wright, looking for his second Big Ten crown, had a first round bye at 197. He then faced off against eighth-seed Max Huntley. He made short work of his Wolverine foe, using a shoulder throw to toss Huntley to his back and secure the first period pin at the 1:20 mark. The win pushed him into the semifinals and will send Wright to his fourth NCAA Championship.
Wright then faced Ohio State's Andrew Campolattano in the semifinals. In the semis, Wright used a second period escape to post a hard-fought 1-0 win and become Penn State's fourth finalist.
Looking for his second Big Ten title, Wright took on second-seed Scott Schiller of Minnesota in the finals. Never threatened, Wright rolled his way to a 5-3 win over Schiller, using second and third period takedowns for the margin. Wright's win gives him his second Big Ten title and clinched the team title for Penn State.
285: #12 Jimmy Lawson (Tom's River, N.J.) - #7 seed - 22-7 overall -- NCAA QUALIFIER 8th Place
1st Rd: vs. Kosta Karageorge, Ohio State (10th seed) - W, 9-1 maj. dec.
Qtrs: vs. #8 Mike McMullan, Northwestern (2nd seed) - L, 4-6
Conso 2: vs. Spencer Johnson, Nebraska (9th seed) - W, 13-5 maj. dec.
Conso 3: vs. #15 Adam Chalfant, Indiana - L, 4-7
7th Place: vs. Mike McClure, Michigan State (5th seed) - LBF (SV; 6:36)
Sophomore Jimmy Lawson, the third member of the Nittany Lion line-up making his Big Ten Championships debut, picked up bonus points as well to round out a 5-0 first period for the Nittany Lions. Lawson posted a 9-1 major over Ohio State's Kosta Karageorge (with over 4:00 riding time). He then met second seed Mike McMullan of Northwestern in the quarterfinals. Lawson made a late comeback attempt but his flurry fell short in a 6-4 loss. The defeat dropped him into the consolation bracket, still alive for a top eight finish and a trip to NCAAs.
Lawson then met Nebraska's Spencer Johnson in his first consolation bout. Lawson punched his ticket to the NCAA Championship and picked up key bonus points with a dominating 13-5 major over Johnson. The win was highlighted by a late five point move (takedown and three near-fall) that gave Lawson the major. The Lion sophomore then met sixth-seed Adam Chalfant of Indiana, who was ranked No. 15 nationally. Lawson dropped a 7-4 decision and moved into the seventh place bout.
Lawson met Michigan State's Mike McClure, the No. 5 seed, in the seventh place bout. A furious third period featured McClure getting a late takedown to take a 4-2 lead but Lawson reversing the Spartan with just :08 left to send the bout to sudden victory. McClure then countered a Lawson shot in sudden victory, got the takedown and then picked up a fall at the 6:36 mark. Lawson went 2-3 in his first Big Ten Championship, placing eighth and advancing to NCAAs.