EVANSTON, Ill. – For the second-consecutive season, senior Colt Sponseller of the Ohio State wrestling team will compete in the final of the Big Ten championships at 165 pounds. Joining Sponseller in the championships finals is redshirt-freshman Nick Heflin at 174 pounds. Both Buckeyes are No. 2 seeds.
A runner-up a year ago, Sponseller will look to win the title at 4 p.m. ET Sunday after beating Minnesota’s Cody Yohn, 2-0. Sponseller now has upped his consecutive win streak to 10. Heflin held on for a 2-1 overtime win against Ben Jordan of Wisconsin. With both wrestlers knotted up at 1 each at the end of regulation, Heflin chose bottom to start the first 30 second period. Managing to escape, Heflin literally held on to Jordan the next 30 seconds and earned his first trip to the league championships’ final in his first attempt.
In the team race, Penn State leads the field with 110.5 points, but Iowa is not far behind with 109 points. Minnesota rounds out the Top 3 with 96.5 points. Ohio State improved two places to seventh with 52.5 points.
The second session began with round one consolation action. Sophomore Ian Paddock won his opening match in wrestlebacks vs. Akif Eren of Purdue. Paddock’s match vs. Eren was a close affair with the Buckeye from Warsaw, N.Y., accumulating sufficient riding time (1:49) for the 3-2 win. Paddock kept his hopes of finishing as high as third alive when he rallied from a 3-2 deficit to beat No. 5 seed Levi Mele of Northwestern, 4-3, in his second match in less than 45 minutes.
Sean Nemec, who is competing in his final conference championships, triumphed in his first-round consolation bout. Nemec, who is unseeded, downed No. 8 Matt Mincey of Minnesota, 9-3. A trio of takedowns, in addition to a 2-point nearfall, help keep Nemec’s hopes of finishing in the Top 3 alive. However, in his next match, Nemec dropped an 8-3 decision to Purdue’s Colton Salazar and now will contend for a seventh-place finish Sunday.
Facing Michigan’s Hunter Collins, C.J. Magrum held on for the 4-2 victory in wrestleback action. Magrum jumped out to a 2-1 lead in the first period and increased his advantage to 3-1 in the second, but Collins countered with an escape in the final period to cut Magrum’s lead to 3-2. However, the Buckeye from Oak Harbor, Ohio, owned a riding time of 1:20 to secure the victory. Trailing 1-0 most of the match vs. Purdue’s A.J. Kissel, Magrum scored a takedown with 10 seconds remaining in the match to earn the win and increase his chances of finishing in the Top 3 Sunday.
Peter Capone rounded out Buckeye winners in first round consolation matches Saturday evening following his 9-3 win vs. John Schoen of Northwestern. Three takedowns and a pair of escapes allowed Capone to advance and make his case for a third-place finish. Although Capone won his opening bout, he dropped his following contest, 6-4, to Michigan State’s Tyler Dickenson and now will compete for a seventh-place finish.
Four Buckeyes in Bo Touris (125), Randy Languis (141), Mike Fee (149) and Zach Stolarsky (285) were eliminated from competition after losses in their opening matches in wrestleback competition.
Continued wrestleback action and the Top 6 matches will be contested at 2 p.m. ET Sunday. The fifth and third-place matches and finals of the championships will air live at 4 p.m. ET on Big Ten Network.
Also follow along with live updates on the Ohio State wrestling team’s twitter page at twitter/wrestlingbucks or NWCA Stat Tracker at nwcaonline.com.
2011 Big Ten Championships
Team Standings (Session II)
Place Points School
1 110.5 Penn State
2 109.0 Iowa
3 96.5 Minnesota
4 85.5 Wisconsin
5 73.0 Michigan
6 53.0 Northwestern
7 52.5 Ohio State
8 51.0 Illinois
9 44.5 Purdue
10 38.5 Michigan State
11 35.5 Indiana
No. 3 Zach Sanders (Minnesota) Tech. Fall Bo Touris (Ohio State), 22-7 (6:42)
No. 4 Brad Pataky (Penn State) tech fall Bo Touris (Ohio State), 17-2 (4:57)
No. 8 Ian Paddock BYE
No. 1 Andrew Long (Penn State) dec. No. 8 Ian Paddock (Ohio State), 6-2
No. 8 Ian Paddock (Ohio State) dec. Akif Eren (Purdue), 3-2
No. 8 Ian Paddock (Ohio State) dec. Levi Mele (Northwestern), 4-3
No. 4 James Kennedy (Illinois) mdec. Randy Languis (Ohio State), 12-3
No. 6 Kaleb Friedley (Northwestern) pinned Randy Languis (Ohio State), 3:17
No. 7 Dan Osterman (Michigan State) dec. Mike Fee (Ohio State), 8-1
No. 8 Daniel Zilverberg (Minnesota) pinned Mike Fee (Ohio State), 4:29
No. 2 Derek St. John (Iowa) pinned Sean Nemec (Ohio State), 2:05
Sean Nemec (Ohio State) dec. No. 8 Matt Mincey (Minnesota), 9-3
Colton Salazar (Purdue) dec. Sean Nemec (Ohio State), 8-3
No. 2 Colt Sponseller BYE
No. 2 Colt Sponseller (Ohio State) dec. No. 7 Ryan Leblanc (Indiana), 8-1
No. 2 Colt Sponseller (Ohio State) dec. No. 3 Cody Yohn (Minnesota), 2-0
No. 2 Nick Heflin BYE
No. 2 Nick Heflin (Ohio State) dec. No. 7 Justin Zeerip (Michigan), 2-1
No. 2 Nick Heflin (Ohio State) dec. No. 6 Ben Jordan (Wisconsin), 2-1
No. 7 C.J. Magrum (Ohio State) dec. Aaron Jones (Northwestern), 3-1
No. 2 Kevin Steinhaus (Minnesota) dec. No. 7 C.J. Magrum (Ohio State), 6-0
No. 7 C.J. Magrum (Ohio State) dec. Hunter Collins (Michigan), 4-2
No. 7 C.J. Magrum (Ohio State) dec. A.J. Kissel (Purdue), 2-1
No. 8 Peter Capone BYE
No. 1 Trevor Brandvold (Wisconsin) dec. No. 8 Peter Capone (Ohio State), 6-2
No. 8 Peter Capone (Ohio State) dec. John Schoen (Northwestern), 9-3
Tyler Dickenson (Michigan State) dec. No. 8 Peter Capone (Ohio State), 6-4
No. 7 Joe Rizqallah (Michigan State) dec. Zach Stolarsky (Ohio State), 5-4
No. 8 Ben Kuhar (Northwestern) dec. Zach Stolarsky (Ohio State), 4-0