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Rutgers Wrestling: Big Ten Championships, The Finals & a Rutgers Champion

ANTHONY ASHNAULT. ANTHONY ASHNAULT. ANTHONY ASHNAULT. Rutgers probably stunned a lot of people with its showing. And especially with the fact that a Knight won a title.

Here's the bottom line for me:  I have been waiting for something like this since 1976, the men's Final Four.  Not even since the 2006 Louisville football game.  It's been a long time coming for this kind of statement.

I wrestled in high school; certainly wasn't good enough to wrestle in college.  I might have gone to two or three wrestling matches when I was an undergrad.  During those years, Rutgers went 21-29-2 under head coach Deane Oliver.  Oliver went 158-147-9 over 21 years.  Rutgers wrestling was....well, it was there.

John Sacchi upped the ante a bit in his 17 years, going 166-102-5 and sending 23 wrestlers to the NCAAs.  But with a renewed commitment to the sport, Scott Goodale has made Rutgers a national name.  Nine years and a 141-50-1 record.  And before this year, 42 competitors at the NCAAs.

Add at least nine more to that number, a school record. And a fifth place finish in....tell me if you've heard this before....the best wrestling conference in the country.

There were ten place winners, as every wrestler made it to the medal round.  There were two last year in the first year in the Big Ten.

And a Big Ten CHAMPION. Anthony Ashnault was dominating in his win at 141.  And he beat a guy from Penn State; what's not to like?

During the tournament, Heavyweight Billy Smith became the 16th Rutgers wrestler to record 100 career wins.

For more details and information - including results - on the tournament, check here.

Rutgers Placewinners

Every Rutgers wrestler made it to the medal round.  Want me to repeat that?

Every Rutgers wrestler made it to the medal round. "Nuff said.

Championship Round

141 No. 3 Anthony Ashnault vs.No. 8 Jimmy Gulibon (PSU) wins 9-0 Big Ten Champion

Third Place Consolation

184 No. 5 Nick Gravina vs. No. 1 Dom Abounader (Mich) Lost 11-0 finishes in fourth place in his first Big Ten Championships

Hwt No. 4 Billy Smith vs. No. 5 Michael Kroells (Min) Overtime....again.  Lost 4-1 in tiebreakers. finishes in fourth place

Fifth Place Consolation

133 No. 3 Anthony Giraldo vs. No. 5 Eric Montoya (Neb)  Lost 7-3  finishes in sixth in his first Big Ten Championships

149 Tyson Dippery vs. No. 3 Jake Sueflohn (Neb)   Lost 12-3 finishes in sixth place

157 No. 3 Richie Lewis vs. No. 4 Jake Ryan (OSU)  Wins 5-2 finishes in fifth place

197 No. 7 Hayden Hrymack vs. No. 4 Max Huntley (Mich) Lost by fall at 5:52  finishes in sixth place qualifies for first NCAA tournament

Session 3 Results

Sixth Place: 165 Anthony Perrotti forced to take a medical default in the semifinal and a medical forfeit in the 5/6 match. Still eligible for NCAA

Seventh Place: 174 No. 9 Phil Bakuckas Win by Fall 3:20 over No. 8 Ricky Robertson (Wis)

Eighth Place: 125 Sean McCabe  He will need to receive an at-large bid from the NCAA to make the tournament

Big Ten and Tournament Awards

Wrestler of the Year:  Zane Retherford, 149 lbs, PSU

Freshman of the Year:  Jason Nolf, 157 lbs, Penn State

Coach of the Year: Cael Sanderson, Penn State

Wrestler of the Championships:  Isaiah Martinez, 157 lbs, Illinois

Final Team Scoring

Team Points
1 Penn State 150.5
2 Iowa 127
3 Ohio State 126
4 Nebraska 117
5 RUTGERS 106.5
6 Michigan 89.5
7 Illinois 88
8 Wisconsin 67.5
9 Minnesota 51.5
10 Purdue 34
11 Indiana 30.5
12 Northwestern 11.5
13 Michigan State 10.5
14 Maryland 7.5