COLUMBUS, Ohio – After 64 years, the wait is over. Ohio State is the 2015 Big Ten Wrestling Co-Champion, the Buckeyes’ first conference title since 1951. And it came with home help from Northwestern’s Mike McMullan in the championships final match.
McMullan, going against Iowa’s Bobby Telford in the 285-pound final, overcame a 3-0 deficit to claim a 4-3 decision, ensuring a tie for the conference title for the first since 1932. It is the sixth time in Big Ten history that co-champions have been crowned. Both Ohio State and Iowa finished with 120 points while Minnesota was third with 108 points.
The Buckeyes, who had four finalists, got the finals session started in a big way as redshirt freshman Nathan Tomasello avenged an earlier loss to Iowa’s Thomas Gilman with a 3-2 decision in the 125 pound final. Tomasello, 31-4 on the year, led 3-0 after two period and held off a rally from Gilman late in the third, sending the crowd of over 9,000 at St. John Arena into a frenzy.
Two matches, Logan Stieber took his place in Ohio State and Big Ten history, defeating Iowa’s Josh Dziewa by technical fall, 16-1, in the 141 pound final. Stieber is Ohio State’s first four-time Big Ten champion and the 14th in conference history. He was named the Big Ten’s Most Outstanding Wrestler and the Outstanding Wrestler of the Championships. Stieber dominated early and often against Dziewa, taking a 14-1 first period lead and then quickly getting a second-period takedown for the final margin. He’s the first Buckeye in school history to be named the conference’s Most Outstanding Wrestler.
Another key win for Ohio State came at 174 pounds, where Mark Martin worked his way through the wrestlebacks and earned a fifth-place showing, and scored an overtime takedown to defeat Illinois’ Zach Brunson. Also in the consolation round, redshirt junior Johnni DiJulius started off the day with a 7-3 decision over Jimmy Guilbon of Penn State before falling to Cory Clark of Iowa in the third place match, 2-1.
In the 165 pound final, redshirt freshman Bo Jordan suffered his first loss of the 2014-15 campaign, dropping a 3-2 decision to his cousin, Isaac Jordan of Wisconsin. The final point was awarded in Isaac favor thanks to over a minute of riding time. Ohio State’s other finalist on Sunday, true freshman Kyle Snyder at 197 pounds, lost to Morgan McIntosh of Penn State 4-1.
Overall on Sunday, both Ohio State and Iowa had two finalists and the Buckeyes went 2-2 while the Hawkeyes were 0-4. Additionally, it is the first time since 1994 that the host school won the conference title. The Buckeyes’ Tom Ryan was also named the Big Ten’s Coach of the Year.
Ohio State will now send nine wrestlers to the NCAA Championships, which take place March 19-21 at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri.