Behind a dominant performance from the teams’ two senior stars, the Penn State wrestling team has won the Big Ten team championship for the fourth straight year. David Taylor and Ed Ruth also won individual championships, becoming the first four-time winners in school history.
The Nittany Lions earned the team title by scoring 140.5 points throughout the weekend, 5.5 more points than second-place Iowa. With the overpowering display in Madison, Wisconsin, Penn State became the only school to send all ten wrestlers to the NCAA Championships. Head coach Cael Sanderson also won the Big Ten Coach of the Year award.
With Penn State trailing in the overall team race, David Taylor wrestled against Iowa’s Nick Moore for the 165 lb. championship. Taylor took down Moore four times and earned a 14-5 major victory to become the first four-time winner in Penn State’s storied history. Taylor, who went 29-0 on the year and finished his career undefeated against conference foes, was also named Big Ten’s Outstanding Wrestler of the Year after the match.
Taylor’s win set up an opportunity for Ed Ruth to clinch a team victory at 184 lbs. against Iowa’s Ethen Lofthouse. Ruth, as he’s done against so many opponents in his career as a Nittany Lion, dominated the match with four takedowns and earned a 10-2 victory to give Penn State the team title.
Three other Nittany Lions finished second in the conference, as Nico Megaludis fell to Illinois’ Jesse Delgado, Morgan McIntosh lost to Ohio State’s Nick Heflin, and Ohio State’s Logan Steiber avenged his only loss of the year against true freshman Zain Retherford. The loss was the first in Retherford’s career.
Matt Brown placed 3rd overall earlier in the weekend. James English placed 5th, Jon Gingrich finished 6th, Jimmy Gulibon placed 7th, and Dylan Alton finished 8th. All ten wrestlers will compete in the NCAA Championships in Oklahoma City starting on March 20.
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