March 3, 2012
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue wrestling team dropped to ninth place in the second session of the 2012 Big Ten Championships, hosted by the Boilermakers on Saturday at Mackey Arena. Purdue has 47.5 points after the first day of action, with seven wrestlers still set to compete in tomorrow's final rounds.
The Boilermakers got off to another fast start in the evening session as sophomore Camden Eppert, freshman Brandon Nelsen and junior Tommy Churchard won the first three bouts of the night. Eppert moved on to the consolation quarterfinals with a 7-2 decision over Nebraska's Shawn Nagel, while Nelsen downed Wisconsin's Thomas Glenn, 8-5, and Churchard dispatched Michigan's Brandon Zeerip, 3-2.
Sophomore Kyle Mosier and freshman Drake Stein were the first two Boilermakers out of the tournament as Mosier suffered a 14-3 major decision loss to Michigan's sixth-seeded Dan Yates at 165 pounds, while Stein fell to fourth-seeded Wolverine Justin Zeerip by technical fall, 16-1. Sixth-seeded freshman Braden Atwood righted the ship for the Old Gold and Black at 184 pounds, scoring a 6-2 decision over Michigan's Dave Johnson.
The next round of matches was tough for the Boilermakers as they won just one of their seven contests, including losses in all three championship semifinals. However, Purdue's one win was a big one as seventh-seeded sophomore Camden Eppert guaranteed himself his second consecutive trip to the NCAA Championships at 125 pounds, topping sixth-seeded Johnni DiJulius of Ohio State, 8-3. Eppert is the fourth guaranteed qualifier for the national championships, joining his three teammates who advanced to the semifinals.
In the semifinals, fifth-seeded sophomore Cashé Quiroga suffered a 9-6 loss to the top-seeded Logan Stieber of Ohio State at 133 pounds, fourth-seeded junior Ivan Lopouchanski dropped a 15-0 technical fall to top-seeded and top-ranked Frank Molinaro of Penn State at 149 pounds and No. 8 seeded senior A.J. Kissel was pinned by fifth-seeded Mario Gonzalez of Illinois at 197 pounds.
Freshman Brandon Nelsen, junior Tommy Churchard and freshman Braden Atwood will wrestle for seventh place tomorrow morning at 141, 157 and 184 pounds, as they all fell in their consolation quarterfinal bouts. Nelsen lost to sixth-seeded Daryl Thomas of Illinois, 13-9, Churchard suffered a 9-6 loss to No. 3 seed James Green of Nebraska and Atwood was pinned by seventh-seeded Tony Dallago of Illinois in 23 seconds.
Minnesota leads the team race with 117 points, while Iowa is close behind with 112.5 and Penn State is in third with 111. Action resumes tomorrow at 1 p.m. (ET) with the ninth-place and seventh-place contests.
Ninth-Place Bracket Matches
149 Don Osterman (MSU) defeated Frank Baer (WI) Fall 4:13
149 Mike Kelly (IA) defeated Skylar Galloway (NE) D 2-1
174 Frank Cousins (WI) defeated Tyler Koehn (NE) D 13-9
174 Ryan LaBlanc (IN) defeated Drake Stein (PUR) MD 14-2
285 Ben Apland (MI) defeated Pat Walker (IL) Fall 4:54
285 Peter Capone (OSU) defeated Roger Vukobratovich (PUR) TF 16-0; 3:24