March 4, 2012
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue wrestling team earned five automatic qualifying spots for the 2012 NCAA Championships and finished in ninth place with 51.5 team points at the Big Ten Championships, hosted by the Boilermakers at Mackey Arena on Saturday and Sunday. Purdue sophomore Cashé Quiroga was the top finisher for the Old Gold and Black, taking fifth place at 133 pounds.
Other placewinners for the Boilermakers included sophomore Camden Eppert, junior Ivan Lopouchanski, senior A.J. Kissel, junior Tommy Churchard and freshmen Brandon Nelsen and Braden Atwood. Eppert, Lopouchanski and Kissel finished sixth at 125, 149 and 197, respectively, while Atwood was seventh at 184 and Churchard and Nelsen were eighth at 141 and 157.
The only highlight of the day's first session was a seventh-place victory at 184 pounds for Purdue freshman Braden Atwood. The 20th-ranked and sixth-seeded rookie received a default win from Ohio State's fifth-seeded C.J. Magrum, earning three team points and an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships.
The only other win of the day came from Quiroga, who topped Minnesota's Chris Dardanes in the fifth-place match, 4-1. Quiroga had the only takedown of the match, scoring on Dardanes in the first period, and went on to add an escape and a riding time point to cap the total.
The Boilermakers await word of any at-large bids to the NCAA Championships, which will be released later this week. Churchard, Nelsen and Vukobratovich are the only three eligible for an at-large bid. The national championships are set for March 15, 16 and 17, at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis.
149: Dan Osterman (MSU) def. Mike Kelly (IA), D 3-1
174: Ryan LeBlanc (IU) def. Frank Cousins (WIS), D 6-2
285: Ben Apland (MICH) def. Peter Capone (OSU), Default