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Lovett upsets Murin, but Iowa holds the lead in the team race after the first session of the 2021 Big Ten Championships

by Mike Willis, USA Wrestling

Feature Photo courtesy of Sam Janicki

State College, Pa. – Iowa is in the driver’s seat after the first round of the Big Ten Championships. The Hawkeyes pushed eight wrestlers into the semifinals including returning NCAA champion Spencer Lee, who picked up an impressive, 19-4, technical fall over Michigan’s up-and-coming freshman Dylan Ragusin in the quarterfinals. Next round, he will see Michigan State’s Rayvon Foley, a 2019 All-American.

Nebraska trails Iowa by 12.5 points after a monster first session, putting seven wrestlers into the semifinals. The Cornhuskers scored a big upset in the 149 pound quarterfinals, where sophomore Ridge Lovett stunned Iowa’s Max Murin, 11-6. Lovett went big early, nearly pinning Murin in a six-point throw and never looked back. Lovett was the seventh seed while Murin was seeded second.

At 165 pounds, Nebraska’s Peyton Robb also reached the semifinals from the No. 7 seed. Robb knocked off the No. 2 seed Dan Braunagel of Illinois, 9-5, in the quarterfinals.

Other teams in the hunt are Michigan, with five in the semifinals, Penn State, with four in the semifinals and Ohio State and Minnesota, who both have 3 in the semifinals.

One weight class in particular to keep your eyes on is 141 pounds, where all four semifinalists are ranked in the top five in the most recent coaches poll. On the top half of bracket, No. 1 seed Jaydin Eierman of Iowa will square off with No. 4 seed Chad Red of Nebraska. Eierman bested Red earlier this season, 8-4. On the other side of the bracket, No. 2 seed Nick Lee of Penn State will face No. 3 seed Sebastian Rivera of Rutgers. Rivera, a two-time Big Ten champion for Northwestern, is looking to win his first Big Ten title for Rutgers at his third different weight class.

The second session begins at 7:30 p.m. EST and will be televised on the Big Ten Network.

Notable upsets

125 - No. 7 Devin Schroder (Purdue) DEC No. 2 Liam Cronin (Nebraska), 3-1 (SV1)
149 - No. 7 Ridge Lovett (Nebraska) DEC No. 2 Max Murin (Iowa), 11-6
149 - No. 6 Michael Blockhus (Minnesota) DEC Griffin Parriott (Purdue),  4-1
165 - No. 7 Peyton Robb (Nebraska) DEC No. 2 Dan Braunagel (Illinois), 11-5
184 - No. 6 Taylor Venz (Nebraska) DEC No. 3 Layne Malczewski (Michigan State), 13-6

First Round
125 - No. 13 Dylan Shawver (Rutgers) DEC No. 4 Patrick McKee (Minnestoa), 6-5
133 - No. 12 Kyle Lugis (Indiana) DEC No. 5 Jack Medley (Michigan), 6-0
141 - No. 11 Cayden Rooks (Indiana) DEC No. 6 Marcus Polanco (Minnesota), 5-4
165 - No. 11 Jonathan Spadafora (Maryland) DEC No. 6 Joe Lee (Penn State), 7-5 (SV1)

2021 Big Ten Championship Team Scores after first session

1.Iowa - 75.5
2.Nebraska - 63.0
3.Michigan - 49.0
4.Penn State - 45.0
5.Minnesota - 35.0
6.Ohio State - 33.0
7.Michigan State - 25.0
8.Northwestern - 24.0
9.Purdue -23.5
9.Rutgers - 23.5
11.Illinois - 17.5
12.Wisconsin - 11.5
13.Indiana - 7.5
14.Maryland - 2

Semifinalists by school
Iowa (8)
Nebraska (7)
Michigan (5)
Penn State (4)
Minnesota (3)
Ohio State (3)
Michigan State (2)
Northwestern (2)
Purdue (2)
Rutgers (2)
Illinois (1)
Wisconsin (1)

Semifinals matchups

No. 1 Spencer Lee (Iowa) vs. No. 5 Rayvon Foley (Michigan State)
No. 3 Malik Heinselman (Ohio State) No.7 Devin Schroder (Purdue)

No. 1 Roman Bravo-Young (Penn State) vs. No. 4 Chris Cannon (Northwestern)
No. 2 Austin DeSanto (Iowa) vs. No. 3 Lucas Byrd (Illinois)

No. 1 Jaydin Eierman (Iowa) vs. No. 4 Chad Red (Nebraska)
No. 2 Nick Lee (Penn State) vs. No. 3 Sebastian Rivera (Rutgers)

No. 1 Sammy Sasso (Ohio State) vs. No. 5 Kanen Storr (Michigan)
No. 6 Michael Blockhus (Minnesota) vs. No. 7 Ridge Lovett (Nebraska)

No. 1 Ryan Deakin (Northwestern) vs. No. 4 Kendall Coleman (Purdue)
No. 2 Kaleb Young (Iowa) vs. No. 3 Brayton Lee (Minnesota)

No. 1 Alex Marinelli (Iowa) vs. No. 4 Cameron Amine (Michigan)
No. 3 Ethan Smith (Ohio State) vs. No. 7 Peyton Robb (Nebraska)

No. 1 Michael Kemerer (Iowa) vs. No. 4 Logan Massa (Michigan)
No. 2 Mikey Labriola (Nebraska) vs. No. 3 Carter Starocci (Penn State)

No. 1 Aaron Brooks (Penn State) vs. No. 5 John Poznanski (Rutgers)
No. 2 Chris Weiler (Wisconsin) vs. No. 6 Taylor Venz (Nebraska)

No. 1 Eric Schultz (Nebraska) vs. No. 4 Cameron Caffey (Michigan State)
No. 2 Myles Amine (Michigan) vs. No. 3 Jacob Warner (Iowa)

No. 1 Gable Steveson (Minnesota) vs. No. 5 Christian Lance (Nebraska)
No. 2 Mason Parris (Michigan) vs. No. 3 Tony Cassioppi (Iowa)

Quarterfinal Results

Spencer Lee (Iowa) TF Dylan Ragusin (Michigan), 19-4
Rayvon Foley (Michigan State)TF Dylan Shawver (Rutgers), 20-4
Malik Heinselman (Ohio State)DEC Eric Barnett (Wisconsin), 3-2
Devin Schroder (Purdue) DEC Liam Cronin (Nebraska), 3-1 (SV1)

Roman Bravo-Young (Penn State) DEC Jacob Rundell (Purdue), 9-3
Chris Cannon (Northwestern) MD Kyle Lugis (Indiana), 19-6
Lucas Byrd (Illinois) DEC Boo Dryden (Minnesota), 12-5
Austin DeSanto (Iowa) Tucker Sjomeling (Nebraska)

Jaydin Eierman (Iowa) FALL Parker Filius (Purdue), 3:59
Chad Red (Nebraska) MD Dylan Duncan (Illinois), 12-3
Sebastian Rivera (Rutgers) DEC Cayden Rooks (Indiana), 6-1
Nick Lee (Penn State) TF Dylan D'Emilio (Ohio State), 17-1

Sammy Sasso (Ohio State) MD Peyton Omania (Michigan State), 9-1
Kanen Storr (Michigan) DEC Yahya Thomas (Northwestern), 4-3 (2-OT)
Michael Blockhus (Minnesota) DEC Griffin Parriott (Purdue), 4-1
Ridge Lovett (Nebraska) DEC Max Murin (Iowa), 11-6

Ryan Deakin (Northwestern) MD Elijah Cleary (Ohio State), 8-0
Kendall Coleman (Purdue) DEC Brady Berge (Penn State), 3-2
Brayton Lee (Minnesota) DEC Will Lewan (Michigan), 8-3
Kaleb Young (Iowa) DEC Chase Saldate (Michigan State), 4-0

Alex Marinelli (Iowa) DEC Gerrit Nijenhuis (Purdue), 8-2
Cameron Amine (Michigan) DEC Andrew Sparks (Minnesota), 5-2
Ethan Smith (Ohio State) MD Jonathan Spadafora (Maryland), 15-6
Peyton Robb (Nebraska) DEC Danny Braunagel (Illinois), 9-5

Michael Kemerer (Iowa) FALL Jared Krattinger (Wisconsin), 1:30
Logan Massa (Michigan) DEC Donnell Washington (Indiana), 9-3
Carter Starocci (Penn State) DEC Kaleb Romero (Ohio State), 2-0
Mikey Labriola (Nebraska) DEC Jackson Turley (Rutgers), 11-0

Aaron Brooks (Penn State) DEC Nelson Brands (Iowa), 14-8
John Poznanski (Rutgers) FALL Owen Webster (Minnesota), 4:55
Taylor Venz (Nebraska) DEC Layne Malczewski (Michigan State), 13-6
Christopher Weiler (Wisconsin) DEC Max Lyon (Purdue), 9-4

Eric Schultz (Nebraska) DEC Gavin Hoffman (Ohio State), 2-0
Cam Caffey (Michigan State) DEC Lucas Davison (Northwestern), 6-5
Jacob Warner (Iowa) DEC Thomas Penola (Purdue), 4-0
Myles Amine (Michigan) DEC Michael Beard (Penn State), 8-6 (SV1)

Gable Steveson (Minnesota) TF Tate Orndorff (Ohio State), 19-4
Christian Lance (Nebraska) DEC Luke Luffman (Indiana), 3-1 (SV1)
Tony Cassioppi (Iowa) MD Trent Hillger (Wisconsin), 9-1
Mason Parris (Michigan) Greg Kerkvliet (Penn State), 11-3

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