By The Daily Item
MADISON, Wis. —
A strong, balanced performance helped the Penn State wrestling team claim its fourth straight Big Ten championship on Sunday, sparked by two historic individual champions.
The Nittany Lions got past second-place Iowa by 5.5 points. The Nittany Lions had 140.5 team points while the Hawkeyes ended with 135.0.
In addition to its fourth straight team trophy, Penn State returns with its first ever four-time individual champions, as seniors David Taylor and Ed Ruth made school and conference history with title runs. All 10 Penn State wrestlers are headed to the NCAA Championships in Oklahoma City, as the Nittany Lions eye a fourth straight NCAA crown.
Taylor was named the 2014 Big Ten Wrestler of the Year, the third time he’s claimed the award. He also was named Big Ten Championship Outstanding Wrestler. The win on Sunday helped coach Cael Sanderson win his fourth consecutive Big Ten Coach of the Year award.
At 165, the No. 1-seeded Taylor, defeated Iowa’s NicK Moore, 14-5, in a major decision with 3:29 in riding time. It made Taylor the 12th four-time Big Ten Champion in conference history, and the first ever for Penn State. Taylor is currently 29-0 on the year after his Big Ten run.
Ruth, who was the No. 1 seed at 184, ecame the school’s second four-time Big Ten champion thanks to a 10-2 major decision against Iowa’s Ethan Lofthouse, 10-2, with 3:35 in riding time.
True freshman, and former Line Mountain wrestler, Zain Retherford, who is the No. 1 seed at 141, faced Ohio State’s Logan Stieber. Despite his undefeated record going in, Retherford lost to Stieber, a 7-3 decision with 1:41 in riding time, handing Retherford the Big Ten runner-up title. The loss drops Retherford to 29-1 as he prepares for the NCAA Championships.
At 125, Nico Megaludis lost to Illinois’ Jesse Delgado, a 3-2 decision while Morgan McIntosh lost at 197 pounds to Ohio State’s Nick Heflin, a 5-3 decision.