EAST LANSING, Mich. — Ohio State’s Nathan Tomasello has reached the ceiling before. He has also seen the peak of the Big Ten championships, having won individual conference titles in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
On Sunday afternoon in East Lansing, Michigan, Tomasello again reached the peak of the conference, claiming the 2018 Big Ten championship at 125 pounds.
This achievement, winning four Big Ten championships at Ohio State, puts him in rare company. Tomasello is the the 15th Big Ten champion in conference history.
Rutgers No. 1 seed Nick Suriano medically forfeited after he advanced to the semifinal, which meant Tomasello met Minnesota No. 5 seed Ethan Lizak in the final.
After Tomasello earned a takedown early in the match, Lizak responded with a takedown of his own, including a two-point near fall to take a 5-3 lead. Tomasello scored back-to-back takedowns in the third period. After a challenge, Tomasello picked up an insurance takedown with less than 20 seconds remaining to win 10-7.
Tomasello last met Lizak during his home debut this season after coming back from injury. He won 18-3 via tech fall in a statement return win.
Tomasello scored a clutch takedown in the third period to beat Iowa No. 2 Spencer Lee in the semi-final Saturday night 2-1. No one registered a point until Lee escaped to start the third period. Once Tomasello scored the takedown, he held on to prevent Lee from escaping.
Tomasello’s win avenged his lone regular-season defeat. Lee was victorious in the first matchup between the two on Jan. 21 at the Schottenstein Center, by an also-low-scoring match of 3-2.
Tomasello, who entered the year as the top-ranked wrestler in his weight class, seemed to tread water, narrowly winning matches until his 20-5 tech fall victory against Michigan then-No. 9 Drew Mattin on Feb. 11.