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Penn State wins NCAA wrestling championship with Pokes a close second

USA TODAY Sports

Penn State scored 123 1/2 points to 119 1/2 to the Pokes while winning their 3rd consecutive national championship. OSU entered the finals trailing Penn State by 3 points and needed both of it's finalists to win while 4 of PSU's 5 finalists lost. Unfortunately for OSU Penn State senior Quentin Wright pulled off a mild upset of Dustin Kilgore at 197 pounds, which combined with Ed Ruth's powerful performance at 184 allowed the Nittany Lions to escape the Pokes by the skin of their teeth.

OSU crowned 2 individual champions, plus multiple All Americans, on the way to it's runnerup finish. OSU's champions were Jordan Oliver, undefeated national champion at 149 pounds, and Chris Perry, who won the title at 174 pounds in a nailbiting overtime victory over Matt Brown from PSU. Perry's last 3 matches in the tournament all went into overtime. Other placers for OSU were Jonathan Morrison 5th at 133 pounds, Alex Dieringer 3rd at 157 pounds, Tyler Caldwell 3rd at 165, Blake Rosholt 8th at 197 pounds, and Alan Gelogaev finished 3rd at Heavyweight.

The Pokes exceeded expectations for the most part. Dieringer, Caldwell, Morrison, and Rosholt exceeded their seeds. Chris Chionuma, the 9th seed at 184, failed to place, as did 125 pounder Eddie Klimara (who did win two matches) and Julian Feikert. Feikert and Chionuma both won 1 match. Alan Gelogaev had a 1 point lead over Tony Nelson of Minnesota and just had to avoid being taken down for a trip to the finals (where he would have been a heavy favorite over McMullan from Northwestern)....and inexplicably tried to perform the strange wrestling move "The Flying Squirrel". Seriously, you can't make stuff like this up. Nelson swatted him down like a fly and rode him out for the win. The loss, combined with Gelogaev's unsportsmanlike conduct penalty which cost OSU 1 team point, probably cost the Pokes the national title.

OSU loses only 3 wrestlers to graduation, Jordan Oliver (2 time national champion and 4 times All American) and Gelogaev (2 time All American), plus Chionuma. All in all a good performance by OSU, and they will be a contender again next season.