Graff's second-place finish highlights eight podium spots for Badgers


March 9, 2014

Final Brackets  |  Championship Central

MADISON, Wis. -- Led by three-time All-American Tyler Graff at 133 lbs., the Wisconsin wrestling team sent eight wrestlers to the podium Sunday at the 2014 Big Ten Wrestling Championships in front of 10,011 fans at the Kohl Center.

Graff (2nd place), along with redshirt freshmen Ryan Taylor (3rd) and Isaac Jordan (3rd), highlighted the second day of the championships.

The Badgers finished seventh with 73 team points while Penn State claimed the Big Ten title with 140.5. Iowa placed second with 135 points and Minnesota took third with 118.5.

Graff was faced with dueling Iowa’s Tony Ramos for the fourth time in his career in the championship bout. Entering today, Graff held a 1-2 record against the senior. His win against Ramos came in their first matchup in the 2011 Big Ten Championships, while Ramos managed to beat Graff in the Big Ten Championships and the NCAAs last year.

Ramos earned an escape point in the second after a scoreless first period. Ramos then secured ride time with about a minute remaining in the third period while leading 1-0. Graff evened things up after an escape with 20 seconds remaining but was unable to score in the remainder of the match, ultimately falling 2-1.

Wrestling at 125 lbs., Taylor used a strong start in the first to defeat Iowa’s Cory Clark. He had three takedowns early in the first and never surrendered the lead. He ended up winning by decision, 9-5. Taylor previously lost to Clark in the regular season finale after being pinned.

Jordan had another nail-biting match for third place against Michigan’s Brian Murphy but found a way to win. They headed into sudden victory knotted at one, but it only took Jordan 20 seconds to record the takedown for the win.

Rylan Lubeck lost a close contest to Penn State’s James English at 149 lbs., that would have given him a fifth-place showing. Lubeck found himself down 2-0 late in the third and recorded a takedown in the final seconds but English had secured riding time.

Senior Scott Liegel fell by decision, 6-4, to Illinois’ Tony Dallago, giving him a sixth-place finish. The Spring Green, Wis., native now has an overall record of 18-13 on the season.

Redshirt freshman Jesse Thielke (141 lbs), redshirt junior Timmy McCall (197 lbs.) and Connor Medbery (Hwt.) all notched seventh-place finishes on the day, as well.

Thielke needed a strong showing for a chance at an at-large bid and delivered by defeating Purdue’s Danny Sabatello by major decision, 18-6. He led 12-2 after just the first period. At-large selections will be announced Monday, March 10.

Based on their performances in the Big Ten Championships, seven Badgers have received automatic bids for the 2014 NCAA Wrestling Championships.

Taylor, Graff, Lubeck, Jordan, Liegel, McCall and Medbery all received automatic bids and will compete in Oklahoma City, Okla. on March 20-22. Session I is set to begin at 11 a.m. on Thursday, March 20.


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