McIntosh claims 197-pound title at Big Ten Championships

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Penn State junior Morgan McIntosh (Santa Ana, Calif.) capped off the 2015 Big Ten Championship on a high note, claiming the 197-pound Big Ten title in Penn State's final match of the tournament. Penn State ends the tournament with seven clinched NCAA qualifiers and will now prepare for the 2015 NCAA Wrestling Championships, held in St. Louis' Scottrade Center March 19-21.

McIntosh's win helped Penn State go 1-1 in the conference finals. Penn State also had senior Matt Brown (West Valley City, Utah) in the finals at 174. Brown was Penn State's first competitor in the finals, taking to the center mat at Ohio State's St. John Arena.

Brown, ranked No. 2 at 174 in the final NCAA Coaches Poll, met No. 1 Robert Kokesh of Nebraska in the Big Ten finals. The top two seeds at 174, Brown and Kokesh began the bout with plenty of tempo. Kokesh broke through with a swift takedown on the edge of the mat at the 1:32 mark, taking a 2-1 lead after a quick Brown escape. Brown nearly connected on a single leg on the edge of the mat but Kokesh was able to work out of bounds and the Husker carried the 2-1 lead into the second. Brown chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 2-2 tie. Brown continued to press the action, shooting Kokesh off the mat twice over the next minute-plus. Brown looked to take Kokesh down off a single leg, nearly stacking him for the pin. But Kokesh rolled through the move and countered as the period ended for another takedown to lead 4-2 after two. Kokesh chose down to start the third and escaped to a 5-2 lead. Kokesh shot low off the reset and connected on a third takedown to open up a 7-3 lead with :47 on the clock. The Husker would hold that score, taking the 7-3 win over Brown. Brown's second place finish sends him to NCAAs with a 24-3 record.

McIntosh, ranked No. 4 at 197, took on No. 3 Kyle Snyder of Ohio State in his Big Ten title bout. The duo battled evenly as the bout started, with action staying in the center circle with both wrestlers battling on their feet. A dead-even first period concluded with both wrestlers on their feet and in a scoreless tie. Snyder chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 1-0 lead. McIntosh got in on a fast low single, working Snyder's leg into the air and eventually finishing off the takedown in front of the Penn State corner for a 2-1 lead at the 1:15 mark. McIntosh then maintained control over a minute, building up a 1:21 riding time edge with a strong ride out. McIntosh chose down to start the third period and quickly escaped to a 3-1 lead, still with 1:12 in riding time. McIntosh continued to shoot down the stretch, forcing Snyder into defense and killing the clock. McIntosh's strong 4-1 decision with 1:12 riding time makes him the 2015 Big Ten Champion at 197 pounds. McIntosh heads to NCAAs with a 26-2 record.

Penn State ended the tournament with one champion, one runner-up, a third place finisher, a fourth place finisher and three sixth place finishers.

Junior Jordan Conaway (Abbottstown, Pa.), ranked No. 9 at 125, met No. 12 Conor Youtsey of Michigan in the consolation semifinals, needing one more win to clinch a spot at nationals. Conaway turned a low single into a scramble in the middle of the mat midway through the period but Youtsey forced a stalemate to keep the bout scoreless early. Tied at 0-0, Conaway chose down to start the second period and escaped to a 1-0 lead :28 seconds into the period, a score that carried into the third period. Youtsey countered with an escape of his own to start the third period and the bout was tied 1-1 early in the third. The bout moved into extra time tied 1-1 and then into a tie-breaker period. Conaway worked his way to an escape with :03 left to take a 2-1 lead. With Youtsey down next, Conaway was able to control Youtsey for the :30 and grabbed a 2-1 (tb) win.

The victory moved him into the consolation finals, wrestling No. 7 Jesse Delgado for third place. With Delgado battling injuries throughout the year, Conaway received an medical forfeit win over the Illini and took third place as the fifth-seed at the 2015 Big Ten Championships. Conaway heads to nationals in two weeks with a 23-6 record.

Red-shirt freshman Matt McCutcheon (Apollo, Pa.), ranked No. 20 at 184, met No. 15 T.J. Dudley of Nebraska in the consolation semifinals. The duo battled evenly for just over a minute before McCutcheon worked his way in on a low single. Dudley forced a scramble and eventually a stalemate at the 1:22 mark with no scoring. McCutcheon continued to be the aggressor as the period wound down, forcing Dudley backwards through a scoreless three minutes of wrestling. Dudley took down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 1-0 lead. McCutcheon continued to force the Husker grappler back towards the outside circle. He connected on a third low single and Dudley once again countered but this time McCutcheon was able to finish off the shot for the takedown. The Lion bulled his way through for three near fall points as well, nearly getting the pin as the period ended. Leading 5-1, McCutcheon chose down to start the third, escaped to a 6-1 lead and then immediately got in on a single leg. He took Dudley down for an 8-1 lead and built his riding time up above 1:00 before calling for injury time. Starting neutral after the break, McCutcheon fought off a late Dudley shot and, with the riding time point, rolled to a 9-1 major decision.

The victory moved him into the third place bout where he matched up against top-seed Sammy Brooks of Iowa again. After getting dinged in his major victory over Dudley earlier in the session, and with his first trip to NCAAs already secured and in just two weeks, McCutcheon did not wrestle in the third place bout. The medical forfeit does not count as a loss on the Lions' record and McCutcheon heads to NCAAs with a 24-12 record, the Big Ten's fourth place finisher as the eighth seed.

Sophomore Jimmy Gulibon (Latrobe, Pa.), ranked No. 4 at 133, met No. 10 Johnni DiJulius of Ohio State in the consolation semifinals. The duo battled through a scoreless first period with neither man breaking through for a real scoring threat. DiJulius chose down to start the second period and worked his way to an escape and a 1-0 lead at the 1:42 mark. Action resumed in the center circle and Gulibon took the Buckeye down with a swift low single to take a brief lead. DiJulius escaped quickly to tie the bout and action moved to the third period tied 2-2. Gulibon took down to start the third. DiJulius took a quick five count on the leg for a stall warning and Gulibon then escaped off the reset for a 3-2 lead with 1:40 on the clock. Gulibon fought off a quick low shot at the 1:04 mark and another at the :30 mark. But the Buckeye's pressure would pay off with a fast five point move (takedown and three near fall) at the :20 mark and Gulibon dropped a 7-3 decision in the waning seconds.

The loss moved Gulibon into the fifth place match against No. 8 Zane Richards of Illinois. In the fifth place bout, Gulibon fought off a tandem of early shots from Richards, keeping the bout scoreless. Gulibon connected on a low single and finished off the takedown with :29 left in the opening period to open up a 2-0 advantage. Richards managed an escape as the period ended and Gulibon led 2-1 after one. Gulibon chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 3-1 lead. Richards answered with a takedown with :03 left to tie the bout at 3-3 after two. The Illini took down to start the third and quickly escaped to a 4-3 lead. Gulibon appeared to be on his way to a takedown with :40 left but a stalemate was called, stopping action as the Lion worked for the go-ahead points. Richards backed away for the remainder of the period, only picking up one stall, and Gulibon dropped a 4-3 decision to place sixth. Gulibon heads to NCAAs with a 22-7 record.

Sophomore Zack Beitz (Mifflintown, Pa.), ranked No. 14 at 149, took on No. 9 Alec Pantaleo of Michigan in the consolation semifinals. The duo battled evenly for the opening minutes, with Beitz fending off a solid Pantaleo single leg at the 1:40 mark. The duo entered the second period in a scoreless tie and Beitz chose down to start the middle stanza. The Lion sophomore worked his way to a near reversal but settled for an escape and a 1-0 lead :20 in. Pantaleo notched a late escape to carry a 2-1 lead into the third period. Pantaleo chose down to start the third period and Beitz was able to maintain control for :35 seconds before the Wolverine escaped to a 3-1 lead. The second period takedown proved to be the difference and Beitz dropped a 3-1 decision.

Beitz was to take on Ohio State All-American Hunter Stieber in the fifth place bout. But, much like the situation at 125, Stieber had been battling injuries during the year did not compete, giving Beitz the win by medical forfeit and fifth place as the sixth-seed at his first Big Ten Championship. Beitz heads to NCAAs with an 18-9 record.

Senior Jimmy Lawson (Toms River, N.J.), ranked No. 7 at 285, faced off against No. 6 Adam Coon of Michigan in the consolation semifinals. Lawson wrapped Coon up in a body lock right off the buzzer and took Coon to the mat for a takedown, nearly picking up back points in the process. Coon tried to escape Lawson then called for an injury time out. After the reset, Coon took down and did escape to a 2-1 Lawson lead. Coon took a 3-2 lead with a takedown at the 1:05 mark. Lawson managed a late escape to tie the bout at 3-3 as the first period ended. Coon chose down to start the second stanza and quickly escaped to a 4-3 lead. The Wolverine then dominated the second stanza to lead 8-4 with 1:40 in time after two periods. The Wolverine would control action the rest of the way and posted the 9-5 win.

Lawson was set to meet No. 15 Michael Kroells of Minnesota in the fifth place bout. Similar to McCutcheon's situation with a slight injury in his prior match, Lawson did not compete for fifth place. The medical forfeit does not count as a loss and Lawson heads to NCAAs as the Big Ten's sixth place finisher with a 15-4 overall record.

Junior Luke Frey (Montoursville, Pa.), needing a win to place ninth at 157 and get into the pool for a potential at-large bid (announced on Wednesday), met No. 15 Michael Kelly of Iowa in the ninth place bout at 157. Kelly used a first period counter takedown to open up an early 2-0 lead. A dominant third period for Kelly led to a 7-3 Hawkeye decision, ending Frey's tournament and his season at 14-8.

Red-shirt freshman Garett Hammond (Chambersburg, Pa.), ranked No. at 165, already in the pool for a potential at-large bid at 165 (which will be announced on Wednesday), took on No. 11 Nick Moore of Iowa, for ninth place at 165. The duo battled through regulation tied 3-3 and then Hammond fought off two solid Moore shots to survive the sudden victory period. Hammond was not able to escape during his tie-breaker choice, then Moore did, giving the Hawkeye the 4-3 (tb) win. Hammond is in the pool for a potential at-large bid at 165. There will be eight at-large spots up for grabs and Hammond will find out his fate on Wednesday.

Red-shirt freshman Kade Moss (South Jordan, Utah) ended his season yesterday. Moss went 0-3 at his first Big Ten Championship and ends his freshman campaign with a 17-17 overall record at 141.

Penn State went 23-19 during the tournament and picked up 13.5 bonus points off six majors, one tech fall, one pin and two forfeits. The Nittany Lions took fifth place with 96.5 points. Iowa and Ohio State share the conference title with 120.0 points each. Penn State has seven wrestlers booked through to nationals with the potential for Hammond to earn an at-large qualifier at 165, to be announced on Wednesday.

Penn State will now head to the 2015 NCAA Wrestling Championships on March 19-21 in St. Louis, Mo. The three-day event will take place in the Scottrade Center and begins Thursday, March 19 at 12 p.m. Penn State has won the last four NCAA titles. Penn State Fans are encouraged to follow Penn State wrestling via twitter at www.twitter.com/pennstateWREST and on Penn State Wrestling's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pennstatewrestling. The 2014-15 Penn State Wrestling season is presented by The Family Clothesline.

2015 Big Ten Wrestling Championships Team Standings -- FINAL
Sunday, March 8, 2015 - St. John Arena, Ohio State University - Columbus, Ohio

1: Iowa - 120.0
1: Ohio State - 120.0
3: Minnesota - 108.0
4: Michigan - 101.5
5: Penn State - 96.5
6: Illinois - 96.0
7: Nebraska - 85.5
8: Wisconsin - 74.0
9: Northwestern - 72.0
10: Purdue - 37.5
11: Rutgers - 20.5
12: Indiana - 16.0
13: Michigan State - 12.5
14: Maryland - 10.5

2015 Big Ten Wrestling Championships Individual Championship Finals
Sunday, March 8, 2015 - St. John Arena, Ohio State University - Columbus, Ohio

# listed is tournament seed
125: #3 Nathan Tomasello OSU dec. #1 Thomas Gilman IOWA, 3-2
133: #1 Chris Dardanes MINN dec. #2 Ryan Taylor WIS, 7-2
141: #1 Logan Stieber OSU tech fall #6 Josh Dziewa IOWA, 16-1 (TF; 3:07)
149: #2 Jason Tsirtsis NU dec. #1 Brandon Sorensen IOWA, 2-1
157: #1 Isaiah Martinez ILL dec. #2 Dylan Ness MINN, 12-5
165: #2 Isaac Jordan WIS dec. #1 Bo Jordan OSU, 3-2
174: #1 Robert Kokesh NEB dec. #2 Matt Brown PSU, 7-3
184: #2 Dom Abounader MICH dec. #4 Brett Pfarr MINN, 7-6
197: #2 Morgan McIntosh PSU dec. #1 Kyle Snyder OSU, 4-1
285: #3 Mike McMullan NU dec. #4 Bobby Telford IOWA, 4-3

Last Updated March 13, 2015