Oklahoma City, OK (SportsNetwork.com) - In the final day of wrestling at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, the Penn State Nittany Lions won their fourth consecutive team title in a thrilling night of action.
Trailing Minnesota by 2.5 points heading into the finals, the Nittany Lions got wins from Ed Ruth and David Taylor to outpace the second place Golden Gophers, by 5.5 points. Rounding out the top five teams were Oklahoma State, Iowa and Edinboro. Approximately 100,000 fans attended the three-day tournament, selling out the Chesapeake Energy Arena for all six sessions.
125 LBS: In the 125-pound battle, two California natives traveled to Oklahoma to seek an NCAA title. Number one seed and defending national champion Jessie Delgado (Illinois) faced number two seed Nahshon Garrett (Cornell). Delgado started the scoring in the second period with an escape and takedown, giving him a 3-0 lead. That lead barely held up, with Delgado earning his second NCAA title with a 3-2 win.
The other All Americans at 125 pounds were:
Third: Nico Megaludis, Penn State; Fourth: Joey Dance, Virginia Tech; Fifth: Cory Clark, Iowa; Sixth: Dylan Peters, Northern Iowa; Seventh: Darian Cruz, Lehigh Eighth: Earl Hall, Iowa State.
133 LBS: After one of the toughest stare downs seen in NCAA wrestling history, Iowa's Tony Ramos and Wisconsin?s Tyler Graff faced off for the 133 pound title. The scoring started in period two, when Graff recorded an early escape. Ramos answered with a third period escape. The match went into overtime, where last year?s runner-up Ramos scored a surprise two-point nearfall to secure his first NCAA title, with a 3-1 win.
The other All Americans at 133 pounds were:
Third: Joe Colon, Northern Iowa; Fourth: A.J. Schopp, Edinboro; Fifth: David Thorn, Minnesota; Sixth: Mason Beckman, Lehigh; Seventh: Joe Roth, Central Michigan; Eighth: Cody Brewer, Oklahoma.
141 LBS: Logan Stieber (Ohio State) was seeking his third title when he faced off against Devin Carter (Virginia Tech) in the 141 pound final. Stieber started quickly with a first period takedown and ride out. The two-time defending champion added an escape and takedown to take a 5-0 lead into the third period. Stieber's domination continued in the last frame, with the Buckeye adding two takedowns and a riding point to earn a 10-1 major decision for his third NCAA title.
The other All Americans at 141 pounds were:
Third: Mitchell Port, Edinboro; Fourth: Evan Henderson, North Carolina; Fifth: Zain Retherford, Penn State; Sixth: Joey Lazor, Northern Iowa; Seventh: Stephen Dutton, Michigan; Eighth: Richard Durso, Franklin & Marshall.
149 LBS: Northwestern freshman Jason Tsirtsis stepped onto the mat as a favorite against eleven seed Josh Kindig from Oklahoma State, who was the lowest seeded wrestler to make the finals. Kindig started the scoring in the second period with an escape. The Wildcat freshman pushed the bout into overtime with a third period escape. Tsirtsis forced the action and secured a takedown late in the extra period to earn Northwestern a 149-pound national championship.
The other All Americans at 149 pounds were:
Third: Eric Grajales, Michigan; Fourth: David Habat, Edinboro; Fifth: Drake Houdashelt, Missouri; Sixth: Dustin Minotti, Lehigh; Seventh: James English, Penn State; Eighth: Kendric Maple, Oklahoma.
157 LBS: The 157 pound final pitted the tournament's most exciting wrestler, Dylan Ness (Minnesota) against third seed Alex Dieringer (Oklahoma State). Dieringer dominated the opening period with a takedown and three-point nearfall. Dieringer added an escape and takedown to extend his lead to 8-1 after two periods. Dieringer continued domination in the third period to cruise to a 13-4 major decision victory. Dieringer's win also clinched the team race for Penn State.
The other All Americans at 157 pounds were:
Third: James Green, Nebraska; Fourth: Ian Miller, Kent State; Fifth: Derek St. John, Iowa; Sixth: Brian Realbuto, Cornell; Seventh: Isaac Jordan, Wisconsin; Eighth: Anthony Perrotti, Rutgers.
165 LBS: Penn State's David Taylor faced Oklahoma State's Tyler Caldwell in the night's most anticipated bout. Entering the tournament, Taylor was the strongest favorite in any weight class. He did not disappoint, shutting out an overmatched Caldwell 6-0. Caldwell never threatened and the Nittany Lion earned his second NCAA title.
The other All Americans at 165 pounds were:
Third: Steven Monk, North Dakata State; Fourth: Nick Sulzer, Virginia; Fifth: Michael Moreno, Iowa State; Sixth: Turtogtokh Luvsandorj, The Citadel; Seventh: Daniel Zilverberg, Minnesota; Eighth: Pierce Harger, Northwestern.
174 LBS: With the tournament starting at the 174-pound weight class, the match between Chris Perry (Oklahoma State) and Andrew Howe (Oklahoma) had team title implications in addition to the individual championship. The 2010 national champion, Howe had no answer for the returning Oklahoma State national champion. Perry took a 3-0 lead going into the third period with an escape and an impressive fireman's carry takedown. Howe was unable to score in the third period, making Perry the 174 pound national champion.
The other All Americans at 174 pounds were:
Third: Logan Storely, Minnesota; Fourth: Robert Kokesh, Nebraska; Fifth: Matt Brown, Penn State; Sixth: Michael Evans, Iowa; Seventh: Tyler Wilps, Pittsburgh; Eighth: Bryce Hammond, Cal State Bakersfield.
184 LBS: Ed Ruth (Penn State) entered Chesapeake Energy Arena in search of his third consecutive national championship. Standing in his way was Maryland Terrapin Jimmy Sheptock, the number one seed. Sheptock however, never threatened Ruth in the match. Ruth started strong with two first period takedowns and took a 4-1 lead. He added a reversal and a riding time point to win 7-2 and become a three-time NCAA Champion for the Nittany Lions. Ruth's win gave Penn State a 1.5 point lead at that point in the night.
The other All Americans at 184 pounds were:
Third: Gabriel Dean, Cornell; Fourth: Jack Dechow, Old Dominion; Fifth: Kevin Steinhaus, Minnesota; Sixth: Lawrence Thomas, Penn; Seventh: Jacob Swartz, Boise State; Eighth: Ophir Bernstein, Brown.
197 LBS: The 197-pound final pitted freshman sensation J'Den Cox (Missouri) against number one seed Nick Heflin (Ohio State). The match ignited after Cox nearly threw Heflin off the elevated mat in a non-scoring flurry. Cox continually forced the action and was awarded a 1-point stalling penalty against Heflin. That penalty point proved to be the difference, as Heflin's last second takedown was waived off as the referee ruled that time had expired, giving Cox the 2014 197-pound national title.
The other All Americans at 197 pounds were:
Third: Scott Schiller, Minnesota; Fourth: Kyven Gadson, Iowa State; Fifth: Connor Hartmann, Duke; Sixth: Chris Penny, Virginia Tech; Seventh: Morgan McIntosh, Penn State; Eighth: Nathan Burak, Iowa.
285 LBS: Like 184-pound champion Ed Ruth, Minnesota's Tony Nelson entered the arena floor looking for his third consecutive NCAA championship. And just like Ruth's match, there were immense team implications. After a scoreless first two periods, NC State's Nick Gwiazdowski used two third period takedowns to crush Nelson's dream of a third championship, winning 4-2. The Wolfpack heavyweight's victory also greatly damaged Minnesota's hopes of knocking off Penn State for the team title.
The other All Americans at 285 pounds were:
Third: Michael McMullen, Northwestern; Fourth: Bobby Telford, Iowa; Fifth: Mike McClure, Michigan State; Sixth: Adam Chalfant, Indiana; Seventh: Jeremy Johnson, Ohio; Eighth: Austin Marsden, Oklahoma State.