Ihnen Falls in Finals, Huskers Qualify Six for NCAAs
West Lafayette, Ind. - The Nebraska wrestling team had four wrestlers record top-five finishes, including junior Josh Ihnen, who dropped his finals match to finish in second place on the last day of the 2012 Big Ten Wrestling Championships in West Lafayette, Ind., on Sunday. Ihnen and the Huskers finished the tournament in eighth place (65 points), while Penn State finished in first, followed by Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois and Ohio State to round out the top five.
No. 3 Ihnen dropped a heartbreaking match to Minnesota's Kevin Steinhaus in the finals, falling in sudden-victory overtime, 3-1. The pair exchanged escape points in the second and third periods sending the match into overtime. After 30 seconds of scoreless action, Steinhaus recorded a takedown after scramble where Ihnen nearly recorded a takedown of his own.
Ihnen was one of six Husker wrestlers to earn an automatic bid to the 2012 NCAA Wrestling Championships, which will take place on March 15-17 in St. Louis, Mo. Ihnen was joined by Jake Sueflohn (141), James Green (157), Robert Kokesh (165), James Nakashima (197) and Tucker Lane (Hwt) as Huskers who punched their ticket to the NCAA Championships.
Kokesh advanced after winning his consolation semifinal in the opening session against Pierce Harger (NW), 6-1, for a chance to wrestle for third place. Kokesh then defeated the tournament's No. 5 seed, Conrad Polz (ILL), 4-1, to capture third.
True freshman James Green and Jake Sueflohn both dropped their consolation semifinals to fall to the fifth-place round, where thy came out victories. After falling to Michigan State's Anthony Jones, Green responded with an 8-3 victory over Josh Demas (OSU). Sueflohn won a wild match against Illinois' Daryl Thomas to capture third, after falling to Hunter Stieber (OSU) in the consolation semifinals.
The Huskers won two of their three seventh-place matches in the first session. Tucker Lane (Hwt) was victorious over Cole Tobin (Wis.) by decision, 3-0, while James Nakashima (197) defeated Max Huntly (Mich.) after accumulating the most riding-time in the second tiebreaker. Ridge Kiley (133) fell to Frank Martellotti (PSU) to finish in eighth place.
Several Huskers will wait and see if they can earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Championships, which will be announced on March 7. Continue to check back to Huskers.com for more information on the Nebraska wrestling team as they begin their preparations for the NCAA Championships in two weeks.
184- #1 Kevin Steinhaus (MINN) by dec. over #3 Josh Ihnen (NU), 3-1 (SV)
165- #3 Robert Kokesh (NU) by dec. over #5 Conrad Polz (ILL), 4-1
141- #5 Jake Sueflohn (NU) by dec. over #6 Daryl Thomas (ILL), 15-10
157- #3 James Green (NU) by dec. over #5 Josh Demas (OSU), 8-3
133- #8 Frank Martellotti (PSU) by dec. over #7 Ridge Kiley (NU), 4-3
197- #7 James Nakashima (NU) by dec. over #4 Max Huntley (Mich.), 5-5 (TB2, riding time)
Hwt- #4 Tucker Lane (NU) by dec. over #11 Cole Tobin (Wis.), 3-0
141- #2 Hunter Stieber (OSU) by dec. over #5 Jake Sueflohn (NU), 7-4
157- #4 Anthony Jones (MSU) by pin over #3 James Green (NU), 4:44
165- #3 Robert Kokesh (NU) by dec. over #8 Pierce Harger (NW), 6-1