With all four of their finalists winning their championship matches, the Penn State Nittany Lions won their third consecutive Big Ten Conference wrestling championship Sunday at the University of Illinois.
The next goal for Penn State will be winning their third straight NCAA national tournament. The NCAA Championships will be held March 21-23 in Des Moines.
Nittany Lions junior Ed Ruth, from Harrisburg, was named 2013 Big Ten Wrestler-of-the-Year, and Penn State coach Cael Sanderson shared conference Coach-of-the-Year honors with Minnesota’s J Robinson.
Ruth will head to nationals with a 28-0 record after a 5-3 decision over Minnesota’s Kevin Steinhaus in the finals of the 184-pound weight class. For Ruth, it marks his third straight Big Ten title.
Quentin Wright, a senior from Wingate, is now 27-0 after winning his second conference title with his own 5-3 decision over Minnesota’s Scott Schiller at 197 pounds. Wright will be seeking his second national championship.
Junior David Taylor, from St. Paris, Ohio, is now a three-time Big East champion following his 9-1 major decision over Conrad Potz, from host Illinois, in the final of the 165-pound class. Taylor is 26-1.
And, sophomore Matt Brown, from West Valley City, Utah, who was tagged with the #5 seed at the outset of the tournament, decisioned Iowa’s Mike Evans 7-3 to win the conference title at 174 pounds and improve to 25-4.
Penn State won 31 of 44 matches, and saw all ten of their wrestlers finish in the top eight and qualify for the NCAA Championships. The Nittany Lions won the team title with 151 points, while Minnesota scored 139, followed by Iowa (133.5), Ohio State (109.5) and Illinois (85.5).