Howe, Brandvold bring home individual Big Ten championships

first_imgANN ARBOR, Mich. — For the first time since 1997, the Wisconsin wrestling team has a pair of Big Ten champs.Sophomore Andrew Howe and junior Trevor Brandvold each won Big Ten individual titles on Sunday afternoon at the 2010 Big Ten Championships in Ann Arbor, Mich.Howe won at 165 lbs. and Brandvold accomplished the feat at 197 lbs., becoming the first UW pair of Big Ten champs since Eric Jetton (126 lbs.) and Kevin Wilmot (167 lbs.), who did so 13 years ago.Wisconsin finished third in the team race with 109 points, its best finish since taking second in 2007. It was also the Badgers’ second-highest point total ever, trailing only the 121.5 points scored in 1987.Top-ranked and undefeated Iowa won the team portion with 156.5 points, while Minnesota placed second with 119.5 points.All told, two Badgers finished third, another placed fourth and two finished fifth.The Badgers automatically qualified six wrestlers and will potentially have another at the NCAA tournament if redshirt freshman Cole Schmitt receives an at-large bid.Howe faced Ohio State’s Colt Sponseller in the championship match at 165 lbs. The bout was tied 1-1 with 1:02 left in the third period when Howe scored a takedown and held on to win the Big Ten title by a 4-2 decision.Howe qualifies for his second-straight NCAA Championship and becomes the first Badger to repeat as Big Ten champion since current UW associate head coach Donny Pritzlaff won three in a row from 1999-2001.Brandvold faced Sonny Yohn of Minnesota in the 197 lbs. championship. Brandvold scored the first points of the match with a reversal in the second period. After securing riding time, Brandvold allowed Yohn to escape.With a 3-1 decision, Brandvold joined Howe as Big Ten Champion and NCAA qualifier.Senior Kyle Ruschell defeated Penn State’s Frank Molinaro by pin at 4:27 to win the third place title, his best career finish at the event. Earlier in the day, he took on Michigan State’s Dave Cheza in his first match of the day at 149 lbs.Ruschell advanced to the third-place match with an 8-1 decision, scoring three takedowns, an escape and riding time.At heavyweight, junior Eric Bugenhagen took on Ben Berhow for third place. The match was tied 1-1 with 24 seconds left in the third period when Berhow scored a takedown and won by a 3-1 decision. Bugenhagen took fourth place and automatically qualifies for the NCAAs.Bugenhagen defeated Penn State’s Cameron Wade to advance to the third place match. He won the bout by a 2-1 decision, scoring a takedown right before time expired at the end of the second period.The first Badger to wrestle Sunday was redshirt freshman Tyler Graff against Ohio State’s Ian Paddock at 133 lbs. Graff jumped out to an early lead with two takedowns in the first period, adding a reversal and another takedown in the second period to win the bout by an 8-4 decision.Graff then took on Michigan State’s Franklin Gomez for third place at 133 lbs. Graff scored four escapes, losing the bout by a 10-4 decision, but still earned a fourth-place finish and NCAA Championship bid.Sophomore Travis Rutt took on Nick Palmieri of Michigan State in the fifth-place match at 165 lbs. Rutt needed a victory to earn an automatic bid to the NCAAs. He took matters into his own hands and pinned Palmieri at 1:42.In the consolation semifinals, Rutt lost to Dave Erwin of Penn State by a 6-2 decision. He scored two escapes in the matchup.Schmitt faced Montell Marion of Iowa in a 141 lbs. consolation bout. Schmitt needed to win the match to grab an automatic bid for the NCAA Championships.Schmitt scored the first takedown of the match, followed by a four-point Marion run to enter the third period down 4-2. After scoring seven additional points in the third, Marion won the bout by an 11-6 decision. Schmitt then battled Adam Lynch for fifth place at 141 lbs.He won that match with an 18-3 tech fall win, five takedowns, a reversal and six near fall points.At 157 lbs., junior Greg Burke faced Clinton Arlis of Illinois for seventh place. Arlis defeated Burke by a 7-3 decision. Burke scored a takedown and an escape in the bout to finish in eighth place.–UWBadgers.comlast_img

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