Despite two Buckeyes collecting individual titles, the Ohio State wrestling team couldn’t replicate that success across the board this weekend at the Big Ten championships, as it finished third at the two-day event hosted by the University of Iowa.
Penn State ran away with the victory, while Iowa squeaked by OSU to grab second place.
The Buckeyes earned top-five finishes in five weight classes but could not pick up enough points to catch the Nittany Lions. A win in the heavyweight class pushed OSU close to Iowa, but ultimately the team still came up one point short.
Redshirt sophomore Nathan Tomasello continued his dominance in the 125-pound weight class, as the Parma, Ohio, native swept the field on his way to his second straight Big Ten individual title.
Tomasello faced a familiar opponent in the finals in Nico Megaludis of Penn State. The two met in a dual-meet earlier this year when the Buckeyes traveled to State College, Pennsylvania.
Both times Tomasello was able to walk away with a 3-1 win, but he needed overtime to hold onto his conference title. A strong takedown midway through the extra period gave the redshirt sophomore the win.
Redshirt sophomore Bo Jordan failed to decipher his cousin, Isaac Jordan of Wisconsin, for the third time in 12 months in the 165-pound weight class.
Much like the two Jordans’ previous matches, there was little action in the first. Bo Jordan scored an escape in the second, but he was on the wrong side of riding time, which made the score technically 1-1. A quick takedown late by Isaac Jordan caught OSU’s wrestler off guard, and Bo Jordan lost 3-1.
Even with the loss, which was his second of the season, Bo Jordan will be representing OSU at 165 pounds in the national championships.
World champion and sophomore Kyle Snyder ended the tournament with a bang for the Buckeyes against Adam Coon of Michigan. The 7-4 decision for Snyder gave the Woodbine, Maryland, native his first Big Ten title.
Snyder had a dominant first two matches, picking up two technical falls. The final match was not as easy for the sophomore, as he had to go through Coon, a runner-up at heavyweight from last year’s national championship.
Freshman Myles Martin had a strong showing in his first Big Ten tournament on his way to a third-place finish. After earning a fall in his first bout against Shane Shadaia of Michigan State, Martin earned an 8-2 decision win before running into top-seeded Bo Nickal of Penn State.
Nickal pinned Martin, but the freshman recovered to win his next two matches and earn a third-place finish. Redshirt freshman Micah Jordan also finished in third.
A No. 1 seed for Micah Jordan did not make things anything easier for the St. Paris Graham High School product. After a 5-3 decision in the first bout, the redshirt freshman dropped an overtime decision to Jimmy Gulibon of Penn State.
Micah Jordan would recover in a convincing manner, picking up two major decisions, a technical fall and a fall in his next five matches. The fall came in the third-place match after Micah Jordan was trailing heading into the last period.
The 157-pound weight class was a bit of a tough go for redshirt freshman Jake Ryan. After a first-round bye, Ryan was on the wrong end of a close 2-1 decision against Iowa’s Edwin Cooper Jr.
Ryan won his next two matches, but he came up short against his last two opponents. The redshirt freshman ended the tournament in sixth place.
The Buckeyes had two seventh-place finishers with senior Mark Martin and redshirt senior Johnni DiJulius. Neither wrestler was able to capture a Big Ten individual title in his tenure at OSU.
Martin won two matches on the weekend, including the key bout to earn a seventh-place finish. The senior picked up a late takedown against Purdue’s Drake Stein, which gave Martin a 4-3 decision win.
DiJulius fell to the seventh-place bracket after losing to Jordan Conaway of Penn State. Even so, the tournament ended on a high note for DiJulius with a 19-2 technical fall.
The last two wrestlers from OSU finished in eighth. Both senior Kenny Courts and redshirt freshman Cody Burcher fought hard, but ultimately they couldn’t find the answer.
Burcher earned a fall in his third match, and Courts picked up a major decision in his first match of the tournament.
This is the fifth straight top-five finish for the Buckeyes as a team in the Big Ten tournament, and the seventh top-five finish overall for the Scarlet and Gray under coach Tom Ryan.
OSU will now set its sights on the NCAA national championships in New York City. The tournament is scheduled to be held from March 17 to 19 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.