McDonough Earns Top Pre-Seed

Feb. 28, 2011

PARK RIDGE, Ill. — Hawkeye sophomore Matt McDonough has earned the top preliminary seed at 125 pounds for this weekend’s Big Ten Wrestling Championships at Northwestern. All matches will be held at Welsh-Ryan Arena in Evanston. Conference officials announced the preliminary seeds Monday, which are determined by a vote of conference head coaches. The official Big Ten tournament brackets will be set Friday afternoon.

Four different schools have No. 1 seeds in the 10 weight classes. Penn State leads the way with five top seeds, while Wisconsin has three, and Iowa and Michigan each have one. Nine of Iowa’s 10 wrestlers earned pre-seeds, which are assigned to the top eight wrestlers in each weight class.

McDonough enters the tournament ranked No. 1 in the nation by Intermat and W.I.N. Magazine, and No. 2 by Amateur Wrestling News with a 20-1 record. He went 16-0 in dual competition and 8-0 in Big Ten duals, scoring 80 team points in dual competition and scoring bonus points in 17 bouts. The Marion, Iowa, native leads the team with 11 pins this season. In 2010, McDonough was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year after placing second at 125 at the conference meet. He went on to win his first NCAA title.

The other top Big Ten pre-seeds are Andrew Long (133), Frank Molinaro (149), David Taylor (157), Ed Ruth (174) and Cameron Wade (Hwt.) of Penn State; Andrew Howe (165), Travis Rutt (184) and Trevor Brandvold (197) of Wisconsin; and Kellen Russell (141) of Michigan.

Hawkeye senior Luke Lofthouse (197), junior Montell Marion (141) and redshirt freshman Derek St. John (157) all earned second seeds, while junior Blake Rasing (Hwt.), sophomore Grant Gambrall (184) and redshirt freshman Tony Ramos (133) are seeded third. Also earning pre-seeds are Iowa senior Aaron Janssen (165-4th) and redshirt freshman Ethen Lofthouse (174-5th).

Luke Lofthouse enters his second Big Ten tournament with a 17-4 record and a six-match winning streak. Ranked No. 6 by Intermat and No. 7 by AWN and WIN, he went 13-2 in dual competition with a spotless 7-0 Big Ten dual record. Marion, who placed third at the 2010 conference meet, is ranked second by AWN and Intermat, and fourth by WIN. He posted a 7-1 season record after being reinstated to the team in January. St. John brings a 15-3 record to his first Big Ten tournament. The Parnell, Iowa, native is ranked No. 7 by Intermat and No. 8 by AWN and WIN, with a 14-1 dual and 7-1 Big Ten dual record. Rasing, Gambrall, Ramos, Janssen and Ethen Lofthouse will also be making their Big Ten Championships debut. Rasing is ranked No. 10 by Intermat, No. 13 by WIN and No. 15 by AWN with a 14-5 record, going 13-3 in duals and 5-3 in Big Ten duals. He knocked off two ranked opponents (Michigan’s Ben Apland and Minnesota’s Tony Nelson) in the last two weeks of the regular season. Gambrall is ranked 11th in the nation with a 17-5 record, going 14-2 in duals and 7-1 in Big Ten duals. Ramos, who posted a 3-2 decision over top-seed Andrew Long in the Iowa-Penn State dual in January, enters the tournament with a perfect 8-0 Big Ten dual mark and an 18-3 season record. He is ranked seventh by Intermat and 10th by AAWN and WIN. Janssen has a 22-6 season record, earning a No. 14 ranking by Intermat, and No. 16 by AWN and No. 18 by WIN. Lofthouse is ranked No. 13 by AAWN and WIN, and No. 14 by Intermat with a 15-7 season record.

The three-session competition is set to get underway Saturday at 10 a.m. (CT) at Welsh-Ryan Arena. Saturday night’s championship semifinals and consolation bouts will start at 5 p.m. Sunday’s third session will start at 1 p.m. The Big Ten Network will air the championship finals and placing matches live at 3 p.m. Brackets and team standings will be available throughout the tournament at and Tickets are available from the Northwestern University ticket office at 888-467-8775.

Following is a complete list of pre-seeds for the 2011 Big Ten Championships.

125 Pounds
1. Matt McDonough, IOWA
2. Brandon Precin, NU
3. Zach Sanders, MINN
4. Brad Pataky, PSU
5. Sean Boyle, MICH
6. Justin Brooks, IND
7. Camden Eppert, PUR
8. Tom Kelliher, WIS

133 Pounds
1. Andrew Long, PSU
2. Tyler Graff, WIS
3. Tony Ramos, IOWA
4. B.J. Futrell, ILL
5. Levi Mele, NU
6. David Thorn, MINN
7. Zac Stevens, MICH
8. Ian Paddock, OSU

141 Pounds
1. Kellen Russell, MICH
2. Montell Marion, IOWA
3. Mike Thorn, MINN
4. Jimmy Kennedy, ILL
5. Andrew Alton, PSU
6. Kaleb Friedly, NU
7. Jake Fleckenstein, PUR
8. Shane McQuade, WIS

149 Pounds
1. Frank Molinaro, PSU
2. Andrew Nadhir, NU
3. Kurt Kinser, IND
4. Eric Terrazas, ILL
5. Cole Schmitt, WIS
6. Eric Grajales, MICH
7. Dan Osterman, MSU
8. Danny Zilverberg, MINN

157 Pounds
1. David Taylor, PSU
2. Derek St. John, IOWA
3. Jason Welch, NU
4. Colton Salazar, PUR
5. Paul Young, IND
6. Brandon Zeerip, MICH
7. Sean McMurray, MSU
8. Matt Mincey, MINN

165 Pounds
1. Andrew Howe, WIS
2. Colt Sponseller, OSU
3. Cody Yohn, MINN
4. Aaron Janssen, IOWA
5. Conrad Polz, ILL
6. Dan Yates, MICH
7. Ryan LeBlanc, IND
8. Kevin Bialka, NU

174 Pounds
1. Ed Ruth, PSU
2. Nick Heflin, OSU
3. Scott Glasser, MINN
4. Luke Manuel, PUR
5. Ethen Lofthouse, IOWA
6. Ben Jordan, WIS
7. Justin Zeerip, MICH
8. Curran Jacobs, MSU

184 Pounds
1. Travis Rutt, WIS
2. Kevin Steinhaus, MINN
3. Grant Gambrall, IOWA
4. Ian Hinton, MSU
5. Tony Dallago, ILL
6. A.J. Kissel, PUR
7. Cody Magrum, OSU
8. Quentin Wright, PSU

197 Pounds
1. Trevor Brandvold, WIS
2. Luke Lofthouse, IOWA
3. Logan Brown, PUR
4. Matt Powless, IND
5. Sonny Yohn, MINN
6. Anthony Biondo, MICH
7. Joe Barczak, ILL
8. Peter Capone, OSU

285 Pounds
1. Cameron Wade, PSU
2. Ricky Alcala, IND
3. Blake Rasing, IOWA
4. Tony Nelson, MINN
5. Ben Apland, MICH
6. Eric Bugenhagen, WIS
7. Joe Rizqallah, MSU
8. Ben Kuhar, NU