Welch, McMullan Into Big Ten Finals, Four Wildcats Secure NCAA Bids
March 9, 2013
2013 Big Ten Wrestling Championships
Saturday, March 9-Sunday, March 10 • All Day
Saturday: Session I - 10 a.m. CT / Session II - 5 p.m. CT
Sunday: Session III - 11:30 a.m. CT / Session IV - 1:30 p.m. CT
Site: Assembly Hall (Champaign, Ill.)
Live Tweets: @NU_SportsLIVE / @NU_Wrestle / #B1GWrestle
Session I-III Live Video Links
TV: Sunday's finals air live on Big Ten Network (1:30 p.m.)
NU Result After Session II: 8th/12 teams (50.0 points)
2013 Big Ten Championships Website
Northwestern Big Ten Championships Notes 2013 Big Ten Wrestling Brackets
TrackWrestling.com play-by-play & updated brackets
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – Two Northwestern wrestlers will be competing for Big Ten titles tomorrow as senior Jason Welch (157) and sophomore Mike McMullan (285) both won their semifinal bouts to cap Session II of the 2013 Big Ten Wrestling Championships. Those two, along with sophomores Pat Greco (141) and Pierce Harger (165), all secured spots at the 2013 NCAA Wrestling Championships with automatic bids. Greco and Harger are still alive in the consolation round and competing for third place in their respective weight classes.
Second-seeded Jason Welch earned his third trip to the Big Ten finals with the 2-0 shutout of OSU’s No. 6 seed Josh Demas in the 157 semifinals. After a scoreless first period, Welch chose down to start the second. He was unable to escape and though the scoreboard stood at 0-0, Demas racked up two minutes of riding time. Demas chose a neutral start for the third and Welch scored a timely takedown with 1:01 remaining for the first points of the match. Welch then rode Demas the rest of the way, erasing his riding time all the way down to 59 seconds to secure the 2-0 win.
Welch has a chance for redemption in the 157 lbs. finals as he will face No. 4 seed James Green of Nebraska, who was the only wrestler to defeat the NU senior this year. The two-time Northwestern All-American is making his third appearance in the Big Ten finals, finishing runner-up twice. He took third as a sophomore in 2011.
Sophomore heavyweight Mike McMullan earned his first trip to the Big Ten Championship finals with a narrow 5-4 decision over No. 3 Connor Medbery of Wisconsin. Second-seeded McMullan scored the first takedown and had the 2-1 lead after one. Medbery evened things up at 2-2 with an escape in the second but McMullan had racked up significant riding time at that point. McMullan had the 3-2 edge after a third-period escape and then Medbery went ahead 4-3 with a takedown. With riding time still on McMullan’s side, he escaped with 45 seconds remaining to tie things up at 4-4. McMullan had 1:04 of riding time and fought off a late Medbery shot to take the 5-4 victory.
McMullan will wrestle top-seeded Tony Nelson from Minnesota in tomorrow’s finals. These two met twice last season with Nelson winning both bouts.
Competing in his first Big Ten Championships, No. 7 seed Pat Greco, punched his ticket to the 2013 NCAA Championships at 141 lbs. He stayed alive in the consolation round, winning his first match 10-5 over MSU’s Nick Trimble. Greco scored four takedowns while adding an escape and riding time in the victory. He then met Wisconsin’s Tom Kelliher in the consolation quarterfinals and took the 4-3 victory, ensuring a top-six placement and automatic bid to the 2013 NCAA Wrestling Championships. Greco’s two takedowns were all he needed in the victory over Kelliher as the redshirt sophomore will compete in his first NCAA Championships.
Greco is still competing for third place at 141 lbs., and faces Purdue’s No. 5 seed Brandon Nelsen in tomorrow’s consolation semifinals.
Redshirt sophomore Pierce Harger officially earned his second trip to the NCAA Championships with his 10-3 win over MSU’s Nick Proctor in the consolation round. He had the 5-0 lead after the first and stayed ahead 8-1 after two. Proctor added a takedown in the third and Harger tacked on riding time in the win. That victory ensured Harger would finish in the top eight, which is the amount of automatic NCAA qualifiers at 165 lbs.
Later in the session, sixth-seeded Harger met No. 7 seed Ryan LeBlanc of Indiana and after a marathon match, took the 4-3 win in the second tiebreaker. LeBlanc scored the first points of the match with a second-period reversal but Harger had accumulated more than a minute of riding time before that. In the third, Harger escaped, putting the score at 2-1 but regulation ended in a 2-2 tie with Harger’s 1:13 of riding time. A scoreless sudden victory period sent the match to the tiebreaker and each wrestler traded escapes to again tie things at 3-3. Neither wrestler scored in the second sudden victory and Harger started the second tiebreaker down. He escaped quickly and kept LeBlanc down to take the 4-3 victory.
Harger is still in contention for third place at 165 and meets No. 4 seed Nick Moore of Iowa in tomorrow’s consolation semifinals.
Four Northwestern wrestlers secured spots at the 2013 NCAA Wrestling Championships with automatic bids during the first day of Big Ten’s. Senior Jason Welch (157) is making his fourth trip, sophomores Pierce Harger (165) and Mike McMullan (285) are going for a second time and sophomore Pat Greco (141) will be a first-time participant.
No. 7 seed Lee Munster had the task of facing top-seeded Logan Storley of Minnesota in the consolation round. After a scoreless first, Munster escaped quickly to start the second and lead 1-0. Storley scored a reversal in the third to go ahead 2-1 but Munster escaped with 59 seconds left to even things up. With riding time not a factor, the score remained at 2-2 at the end of regulation. After a scoreless sudden victory, Storley began the first tiebreaker down and escaped with 21 seconds left to go ahead 3-2. Munster then was unable to escape in the second 30-second period as Storley emerged the 3-2 winner.
Munster, who was a 2012 NCAA qualifier and ranked No. 9 in the last coaches’ poll, will now await an at-large bid for the 2013 NCAA Championships. He has the opportunity to bolster his at-large resume as he defeated Indiana’s Cheney Dale, 10-0, in a bonus match and will wrestle again tomorrow.
No. 9 seed Alex Polizzi was wrestling in his first Big Ten Championships and took on No. 7 Jackson Hein of Wisconsin in the consolation round at 197. Hein emerged the 7-5 winner, bouncing Polizzi from the tournament but the NU wrestler still has a chance to wrestle another bout tomorrow to help secure an NCAA bid. Polizzi will not receive an automatic bid but he is ranked No. 25 in the coaches’ poll and No. 24 in RPI and will try for an at-large selection.
Four first-time competitors at Big Ten’s saw their time in the tournament come to an end in the consolation round. True freshmen Dominick Malone (125), Garrison White (133) and Jacob Berkowitz (184), along with redshirt sophomore Dylan Marriott (149) dropped wrestleback matches.
Session III begins Sunday at 11:30 a.m. CT with first, third and fifth-place bouts beginning at 1:30 p.m. CT.
157: No. 2 Jason Welch (NU) dec No. 6 Josh Demas (OSU), 2-0
285: No. 2 Mike McMullan (NU) dec No. 3 Connor Medbery (WIS), 5-4
125: Joe Duca (IU) dec No. 8 Dominick Malone (NU), 6-2
133: No. 5 Daryl Thomas (ILL) maj dec Garrison White (NU), 20-8
141: No. 7 Pat Greco (NU) dec Nick Trimble (MSU), 10-5
141: No. 7 Pat Greco (NU) dec Tom Kelliher (WIS), 4-3
149: No. 5 Andrew Alton (PSU) pins Dylan Marriott (NU), 0:16
165: No. 6 Pierce Harger (NU) dec No. 12 Nick Proctor (MSU), 10-3
165: No. 6 Pierce Harger (NU) dec No. 7 Ryan LeBlanc (IU), 4-3 TB2
174: No. 1 Logan Storley (MIN) dec No. 7 Lee Munster (NU), 3-2, TB
184: No. 8 CJ Magrum (OSU) dec Jacob Berkowitz (NU),
197: No. 7 Jackson Hein (WIS) dec Alex Polizzi (NU), 7-5
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