Big Ten Wrestling Championships Slated For This Weekend
March 1, 2012INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
All 12 Big Ten teams head to West Lafayette, Ind., for conference championships
The 2012 Big Ten Wrestling Championships are set for this Saturday and Sunday, March
3-4, in Purdue University's Mackey Arena.
The event gets underway at 10 a.m. ET on Saturday, with the preliminary and
quarterfinal matches taking place in Session I. Session II begins at 5 p.m., as
semifinals and the opening rounds of wrestlebacks conclude the day's action.
Consolation semifinals and seventh-place matches get underway at 1 p.m. on Sunday,
while first-, third- and fifth-place matches begin at 3 p.m.
BTN will offer its most extensive championships coverage ever, with all four
sessions receiving either live television or online coverage. As part of the Big Ten
Digital Network's subscription package and for the first time, BTN will provide
live, whip-around Student U streaming coverage of the preliminaries and quarterfinal
matches. Streaming coverage will continue with select matches in Sessions II and
III, while the championship rounds will be carried live on the network. Tim Johnson,
Jim Gibbons and Shane Sparks will call the action.
Penn State enters the championships looking to defend its first Big Ten Championship
after earning the title in 2011 by a one-point margin over second-place Iowa. The
Nittany Lions earned 139 team points, followed by the Hawkeyes' 138. Six reigning
weight class champions return for this year's championships, with Iowa's Matt
McDonough (125 pounds), Michigan's Kellen Russell (141), and Penn State's Frank
Molinaro (149), David Taylor (157), Ed Ruth (174) and Quentin Wright (184) each
taking home crowns at last year's event.
The championships' 10 top seeds are spread across six schools, with Minnesota and
Penn State leading the way with three each. The Golden Gophers' Kevin Steinhaus
(184), Sonny Yohn (197) and Tony Nelson (285) earned top billing in their weight
classes, while the Nittany Lions' Molinaro (149), Taylor (165) and Ruth (174) each
took the top spots in their classes. Rounding out the group of No. 1 seeds are
Iowa's McDonough (125), Ohio State's Logan Stieber (133), Michigan's Russell (141)
and Northwestern's Jason Welch (157).
Nine Big Ten teams enter the championships ranked in the NWCA/USA Today Division I
Coaches Poll or InterMat Tournament Rankings. Minnesota is ranked No. 1 in the NWCA
poll and No. 2 in InterMat's rankings, while Penn State is ranked No. 1 by InterMat
and No. 2 by the NWCA. The Gophers are followed by No. 4/3 Iowa, No. 5/16 Illinois,
No. 7/8 Ohio State, No. 8/14 Nebraska, No. 14/6 Michigan, No. 18/19 Northwestern and
No. 25/35 Purdue.