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OSU takes fourth at Big Ten wrestling championships

Senior captain Lance Palmer topped off his career with his first conference title this weekend.

The Ohio State wrestling team met its goal of taking 10 wrestlers to the Big Ten Championships and finished fourth overall at the meet in Ann Arbor, Mich.

The number dropped to just three after Saturday’s session for who would compete for the conference title in their respective weight classes.

Junior Colt Sponseller joined Palmer and senior Reece Humphrey on the mat Sunday.

At 141 pounds, No. 1 Humphrey defeated No. 8 Cole Schmitt of Wisconsin 6-5 and recorded a major decision 14-4 over Penn State’s No. 4 Adam Lynch.

In a hard-fought match, Humphrey lost to No. 2 Mike Thorn of Minnesota 3-1.

At 149 pounds, No. 2 Palmer defeated Minnesota’s No. 7 Mario Mason 12-4 followed by a 2-1 decision over Wisconsin’s No. 3 Kyle Ruschell.

Palmer earned the conference title after a 9-3 decision against No. 1 Brent Metcalf, a sweet revenge after falling to Metcalf during the 2010 regular season and four career matchups.  

Palmer was named the Cliff Keen Wrestler of the meet. 

At 165 pounds, Sponseller added three victories to his resume Saturday afternoon after defeating Michigan, Michigan State and Iowa. 

In his third match of the afternoon, Sponseller faced No. 2 Ryan Morningstar of Iowa, but they were far from strangers. 

Sponseller fell to Morningstar in the 2009 postseason at both the Big Ten Championships and NCAA Championships and more recently in a regular season bout.

Sponseller broke his streak of bad luck after scoring a reversal late in the third and defeating Morningstar 3-1. 

Sponseller faced No. 1 Andrew Horne of Wisconsin Sunday for the conference title.

The bout ended with Sponseller on the short end, 4-2. 

The Buckeyes have two weeks to prepare for the NCAA Championships in Omaha, Neb.

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