EAST LANSING, Mich. — Joey McKenna followed in 125-pound Nathan Tomasello’s footsteps and became the second Ohio State wrestler to be named a Big Ten champion on Sunday.
McKenna won the 141-pound individual championship with a 13-0 major decision against Illinois’ No. 3 Mike Carr. They hadn’t faced each other during the regular season.
McKenna jumped out early with a series of a two-point near fall and two four-point near falls in the first period.
No points were scored in the second, but McKenna had a takedown in the third period to balloon the lead to 12-0, where it stayed.
Carr failed to get any real shots in on McKenna, who controlled the entire match.
Before transferring to Ohio State last summer from Stanford, McKenna had found plenty of success. He was a two-time Pac-12 champion, and finished third at nationals in 2016, not to mention his team USA success.
Now that he is in the Big Ten, he has brought it to another level. He entered the weekend as the No. 1 seed at 141 pounds. McKenna earned that top seed by only dropping one match during the regular season.
McKenna defeated Purdue’s No. 5 Nate Limmex 6-0 in the semi-final Saturday night. McKenna also outwrestled Limmex by the exact same score on Jan. 28 when Ohio State faced Purdue at Graham High School in St. Paris, Ohio.