Big Ten Announces Preliminary Wrestling Seeds
Feb. 27, 2012
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa junior Matt McDonough has been named the top preliminary seed at 125 pounds for this weekend's Big Ten Wrestling Championships in West Lafayette, Ind. The preliminary seeds, announced today by Big Ten officials, are determined by a vote of conference head coaches. The official Big Ten tournament brackets will be set Friday afternoon.
McDonough, ranked No. 1 in nation by Amateur Wrestling News, Intermat and W.I.N. Magazine, is one of nine Hawkeyes to earn a preliminary seed. He owns a 27-1 overall record with a team-high nine falls. McDonough has won his last 19 matches and enters the tournament as the top preliminary seed for the second straight season. He won the Big Ten 125-pound title in 2011 and finished runner-up in 2010.
Sophomore Tony Ramos and redshirt freshman Mike Evans each earned No. 2 seeds. Ramos won 7-of-8 Big Ten matches at 133 pound and Evans owns a 6-2 conference mark at 165 pounds. Senior Montell Marion (149) and sophomore Ethen Lofthouse (174) each earned No. 3 seeds.
Other pre-seeded Hawkeyes include junior Grant Gambrall (184-4th), sophomore Derek St. John (157-6th), redshirt freshman Bobby Telford (285-6th) and redshirt freshman Michael Kelly (149-10th). Senior Vinnie Wagner, who has wrestled just two matches this season at 197 pounds, was the only Hawkeye without a preliminary seed.
The pre-seeds rank the top eight wrestlers in seven weight classes, but Kelly earned the No. 10 seed due to the Big Ten receiving nine or more NCAA Championships qualifier allocations in the 149-pound weight class. The same rule applied at 174 and 285 pounds, where all 12 schools received a seeded wrestler.
Minnesota and Penn State each enter the conference tournament with three top seeds. The Gophers are represented by Kevin Steinhaus (184), Sonny Yohn (197) and Tony Nelson (285). Penn State's top seeds include Frank Molinaro (149), David Taylor (165) and Ed Ruth (174). Rounding out the group of No. 1 seeds are Ohio State's Logan Stieber (133), Michigan's Kellen Russell (141) and Northwestern's Jason Welch (157). Five of this year's top seeds look to defend Big Ten titles from last season, as McDonough (125), Russell (141), Molinaro (149), Taylor (157) and Ruth (174) each took home crowns in 2011.
For more information on the 2012 Big Ten Wrestling Championships, visit the Big Ten Championships Central page at purduesports.com.