By Northwestern Athletics
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Sophomore Johnny Sebastian topped Ohio State’s Cody Burcher, 2-1, in the final day of the Big Ten Championships to qualify for the 2017 NCAA Championships.
Despite being unseeded and facing off against the top ranked wrestler in the nation to start the tournament, Sebastian was able to notch three victories to finish in seventh place at 165 pounds.
“Johnny wrestled a tough tournament, and he wrestled with a lot of passion,” head coach Matt Storniolo said. “He probably had the deepest weight here and to come in unseeded and knock off a couple of guys to qualify for a spot is a testament to how hard Johnny works. I’m happy to see him accomplish this.”
This will be the Ramsey, New Jersey, native’s first trip to the NCAA Championships.
Two other Wildcats earned spots on the podium during Session III.
Shayne Oster, also unseeded at 141 pounds, upset seventh-seeded Eric Barone of Illinois in a 5-3 decision and became the first Northwestern true freshman to place at Big Tens since Kaleb Friedley finished sixth in 2011.
At heavyweight, Conan Jennings finished in eighth place after winning a pair of bouts over two days of competition, including a pin over fifth-ranked Collin Jensen in Session I. This is the first time the redshirt-sophomore placed at the Big Ten Championships.
The 2017 NCAA Championships are at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri, on March 16-18. Information and tickets are available on the NCAA’s website.
184: (7) Nicholas Gravina (RUT) dec. (9) Mitch Sliga (NU), 3-1 (SV1)
149: Shayne Oster (NU) dec. (7) Eric Barone (ILL), 5-3
165: Johnny Sebastian (NU) dec. Cody Burcher (OSU), 2-1
285: (7) Youssif Hemida (MD) dec. Conan Jennings (NU), 4-1
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