Day 1 Session 2 Big 10 | 6 Badgers Qualify for NCAA Tournament, so far
Wisconsin Session Two Results
Big Ten Wrestling Championships Assembly Hall Bloomington Indiana
Day 1 Session 2 Big 10| 6 Badgers Qualify for NCAA Tournament, so far |
Abigail Ruckdashel @ARuckdashel| Wisconsin Wrestling Online| March 4, 2017
Even with one full day of wrestling left, the Wisconsin Badgers already guaranteed six on the podium, and subsequently to the NCAA Tournament to be held in St. Louis.
At 141 lb, eighth seeded Cole Martin (R Fr) has a record of 2-2 on the day. He began by knocking off ninth seeded Sal Profaci (R Fr) of Nebraska in the opening round. He then faced the top seed in Anthony Ashnault (R Jr) of Rutgers. Ashnault got the best of Martin, but he bounced back to beat tenth seeded Alec Mckenna (R Fr) from Northwestern to claim a spot on the podium. Martin then took on fourth seeded Colton McCrystal (Jr) of Nebraska. In a hard-fought match McCrystal picked up the victory. Martin will wrestle tomorrow morning for seventh, and again in two weeks at the NCAA Tournament.
Isaac Jordan (R Sr) also qualified for the NCAA Tournament at 165 lbs. Jordan is last years defending Big Ten Champion and was looking to claim a second heading into the NCAAs. Unfortunately, he ran into foe Logan Massa (R Fr) of Michigan for the third time this season in the semifinal round. In what was maybe a questionable stalling call, Jordan fell to Massa again, losing 3-4, meaning he’ll have to settle for the third-place matchup tomorrow night instead of the championship.
The third badger qualifying for the NCAA tournament is Ryan Christensen (R So) at 174 lbs. Christensen is 3-1 on the first day. He began by knocking off sixth seeded Jordan Pagano (R So) of Rutgers. He then went head to head with third seed Zach Brunson (R Sr) of Illinois. Brunson got the best of Christensen, but he came back with a resounding back to back wins over twelfth seeded Drew Barnes (R Sr) from Michigan State and Jacob Morrissey (R Jr) of Purdue to put himself in position to claim a third or fifth place finish tomorrow.
Hunter Ritter was the second Freshman to qualify to the NCAA Tournament for the Badgers. Ritter is 2-2 on the day. He took down #9 Mitch Sliga (R Jr) of Northwestern to begin. He then matched up with top ranked Jason Nolf (R So) of Penn State. Nolf ended up pinning Ritter, but he came back with a vengeance knocking off seventh seed Nicholas Gravina (R Jr) of Rutgers to claim a spot on the podium. Ritter would end the day with a loss to TJ Dudley (R Sr) from Nebraska, but will wrestle Minnesota’s Bobby Steveson for 7th tomorrow morning.
Tricky Ricky Robertson (R Jr) qualified for his second NCAA Tournament bid at 197 lb. After a rough start to the day, losing his opening match in overtime to unseeded Matt Correnti (Fr) from Rutgers, Robertson won out putting himself in position to take home a third if his win streak continues. Robertson took down the 6th and 7th seeds in the process, giving him momentum heading into tomorrow.
Lastly, Connor Medbery (R Sr) qualified for his second NCAA Tournament. After redshirting last season, he returns with not only a big ten, but an NCAA title on his mind. Medbery is the only Badger to go undefeated during the first day of competition. With two easy victories, the first two rounds, Medbery was easily in the semis. In the semifinal round Medbery narrowly beat the third seeded Nick Nevills (R So) of Penn State, with a 3-2 decision. He will meet with defending national champion and gold medalist Kyle Snyder (Jr) of Ohio State tomorrow afternoon in the finals.
Eli Stickley (R Fr) is still in the hunt for an NCAA qualifier. The 133 lb grappler went 2-2 on the day. “Stick” lost his first two, but received a bye and took a narrow last second victory over Purdue’s Luke Welch (R Jr) to claim a spot in the 9th place bout. He needs to win his match tomorrow morning to take 9th to steal a spot in St. Louis.