Morgan McIntosh Captures Big Ten 197-lb Championship
No. 4 Morgan McIntosh earned another individual Big Ten crown for Penn State’s wrestling program today, taking down No. 3 Kyle Snyder of Ohio State at 197 in front of Snyder’s hometown crowd in Columbus. Meanwhile, Nittany Lion No. 2 Matt Brown took home second place at 174, falling in his championship bout to No. 1 Robert Kokesh of Nebraska.
McIntosh and Snyder felt each other out in the first period, leaving the score at 0-0 entering the second. Snyder, while only a freshman, has proven to be one of the most dangerous wrestlers in the nation. He quickly escaped bottom in the second period to take a 1-0 lead. Then, things began to turn in “Mac’s” favor. McIntosh scored a single leg takedown to take a 2-1 lead, then accumulated 1:21 of riding time before the period closed. McIntosh started the third round on bottom, quickly escaping to take a 3-1 lead. Snyder was puzzlingly tentative throughout the remainder of the bout, appearing to have been mentally beaten by McIntosh. When the final whistle blew, it was Morgan McIntosh standing as the 197-pound Big Ten Champion. He will head to the NCAA Nationals with an impressive 26-2 record.
As for the 174 bout, Kokesh took Brown down in the first period, while Brown scored a point off an escape leaving Kokesh up 2-1 after the first period. The second period was closely contested throughout, but Kokesh countered a Brown near-takedown with a takedown of his own right before the buzzer to go up 4-2. Kokesh went on to control the third period, ultimately taking a 7-3 minor decision over Brown. Brown finished the tournament as Big Ten runner-up.
McIntosh finished as the team’s lone Big Ten Champion this season, while the Lions finished with one runner-up, one third place finisher, one fourth place finisher and three sixth place finishers. Overall, the team’s performance left it at sixth in the tournament, a disappointing performance by the Lions’ high standards. Fortunately, they have a few weeks to learn from their mistakes and regroup for the NCAA tournament.