Two Wildcats Clinch Spots in NYC for NCAA Championships

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By Northwestern Athletics

Final 2016 Big Ten Championships Brackets

IOWA CITY, Iowa – Jason Tsirtsis and Dominick Malone clinched automatic berths to the NCAA Championships in New York City during the final day at the 2016 Big Ten Championships.

Tsirtsis earned a fourth-place finish at 149 lbs. after going 3-2 during the championships. He received a first-round bye before dropping a quarterfinal match to Michigan’s Alec Pantaleo. The Northwestern junior bounced back with consecutive wins over Alex Griffin of Purdue, No. 17 Jake Short of Minnesota and No. 3 Jake Sueflohn of Nebraska. Pantaleo knocked off Tsirtsis again in the third place match.

Tsirtsis will make his third appearance at the NCAA championships in as many years. He was the 2014 national champion at 149 lbs. and earned his second All-American nod with a third-place finish last season.

Malone will also make his third consecutive appearance at NCAAs. The Northwestern senior won his ninth-place bout at 133 lbs. to earn the final automatic bid at 133 lbs. He avenged a first round loss to Michigan’s Rossi Bruno in the deciding match with a 6-2 decision. He beat Purdue’s Luke Welch in the preceding match by 11-1 major decision.

The Wildcats’ 133-pounder grew up in Granby, Conn., which is just 130 miles from Madison Square Garden. He will be making his second appearance at MSG after Chicago’s Big Ten Team competed in the Grapple at the Garden earlier this season.

Northwestern will wait to hear about potential at-large bids, which will be announced in the coming week.

The NCAA championships take place March 17-19.

Session III Results
133: (9) Dominick Malone (NU) dec. (8) Rossi Bruno (MICH), 6-2
149: (4) Jason Tsirtsis (NU) dec. (3) Jake Sueflohn (NEB), 3-2
174: (7) Nick Wanzek (MINN) dec. (10) Mitch Sliga (NU), 7-2

3rd Place Match
149: (5) Alec Pantaleo (MICH) dec. (4) Jason Tsirtsis (NU), 8-4