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Ruth and Taylor lead Penn State to fourth-straight championship
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — With superstars David Taylor and Ed Ruth adding additional individual championships to their personal resumes, these 165-pound and 184-pound seniors helped Penn State win a fourth-straight team championship Saturday night in Chesapeake Energy Arena.
The top five teams were Penn State 109.5, Minnesota 104, Oklahoma State 98.5, Iowa 78.5 and Edinboro, 62.
Minnesota, which led the Nittany Lions by a 104-101.5 margin heading into the finals, saw its two finalists — 157-pound Dylan Ness and heavyweight Anthony Nelson — lose their championship bouts.
Other notable champions included Ohio State’s 141-pound junior Logan Stieber, who became his school’s first three-time champion; Illinois’ Jesse Delgado who captured his second straight title at 125 pounds and a pair of freshmen champions: 149-pound Jason Tsirtsis of Northwestern and Missouri’s 197-pound J’den Cox, who became the 14th-s all-time true freshman to win a title.
The following are highlights from the championship matches in the order they were wrestled.
174 — No. 1 Chris Perry (Oklahoma State) dec. No. 2 Andrew Howe (Oklahoma), 4-0 — Perry got the only offensive points of the match with a takedown on the edge of the mat 50 seconds into the second period to take a 3-0 lead after he got an escape to start the period. Howe chose neutral in the third period, but was not able to score and Perry added a riding-time point for the 4-0 win. Perry celebrated his second straight championship, when he ran to the corner and jumped into the arms of his uncle and coach John Smith and assistant Zach Esposito. With a huge contingent of OSU orange faithful going crazy with the epic win over former NCAA champion Andrew Howe and Bedlam rival, Perry joined in the O-S-U chant with the Cowboy fans in the stand.
197 — No. 2 J’den Cox (Missouri) dec. No. 1 Nick Heflin (Ohio State), 2-1 — A stalling point against the Buckeye with in the final 30 seconds provide the winning margin for the true freshman from Columbia, Mo. Despite that, Heflin nearly won the match when he body-locked Cox and threw him to the mat as time expired. A video review up held the call.
184 — No. 2 Ed Ruth (Penn State) dec. No. 1 Jimmy Sheptock (Maryland), 7-2 — Penn State’s first-ever three-time NCAA champion needed just 15 second to score the first of two takedowns; the second coming a minute later before the Nittany Lion added a third-period reversal and 3:26 riding time advantage.
Hwt — No. 2 Nick Gwiazdowski (NC State) dec. No. 1 Tony Nelson (Minnesota), 4-2 — Even after the two-time defending champion from Minnesota rode out the Wolfpack heavyweight for the entire second period, Gwiazdowski scored two takedowns in the final period, including a clincher with 20 seconds left.
125 — No. 1 Jesse Delgado (Illinois) dec. No. 2 Nahshon Garrett (Cornell), 4-1 — The difference was Garrett’s inability to finish repeated double-leg attempts on defending champ from Illinois. Meanwhile, Delgado got a double-leg takedown late in the second period to go up 3-0. Garrett benefitted from a couple stall calls in the third period, but couldn’t get a takedown. Delgado added a 1:14 riding-time advantage.
133 — No. 3 Tony Ramos (Iowa) dec. No. 5 Tyler Graff (Wisconsin), 3-1 tb— After the Badger rode Ramos for 30 seconds in the first phase of the tiebreaker, the Hawkeye did more than ride out Graff for the win; he was able to pull the Badger to his back for a two-count and nearfall points. Wisconsin challenged the call, but the call was upheld
141 — No. 2 Logan Stieber (Ohio State) major dec. No. 4 Devin Carter (Virginia Tech), 10-1 — Stieber dominated from start to finish, taking Carter down four times in the 141-pound final. Carter didn’t have an answer for Stieber from his feet, and the Buckeye rolled up 3:38 in riding time for his third straight championship.
149 — No. 5 Jason Tsirtsis (Northwestern) vs. No. 11 Josh Kindig (Oklahoma State), 3-1 — Tsirtsis became the second freshman NCAA champ of the night when he was able to get the takedown with :16 left in the sudden victory period for a 3-1 win. The two traded escapes in regulation.
157 — No. 3 Alex Dieringer (Oklahoma State) major dec. No. 9 Dylan Ness (Minnesota), 13-4 — The first of four takedowns by the Cowboys put Ness on his back for a three-point nearfall with 18 seconds left in the first period. The native of Wisconsin added his two final takedowns in the third period and ended up with a 2:34 riding time advantage. This loss clinched the team championship for Penn State.
165 — No. 1 David Taylor (Penn State) dec. No. 2 Tyler Caldwell (Oklahoma State), 6-0 — The four-time finalist and three-time champion ended his careere by scoring two takedowns — an inside singe with two minutes left in the first and an ankle pick with a minute left in the match before he added a 2:50 riding time advantage.