Five Wildcats Place at 2018 Big Ten Championships

By Northwestern Athletics

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Highlighted by redshirt junior Johnny Sebastian’s career-best fourth-place finish, five Wildcats placed at the 2018 Big Ten Championships at the Breslin Center.

For Northwestern, five place-winners are its most since placing six in 2015.

Sebastian (174) started the day with a grind-it-out, 3-2 decision over Iowa’s Joey Gunther to advance to the third-place match, where he fell to No. 2 seed Bo Jordan (OSU). His finish was the highest for NU since Jason Tsirtsis finished in fourth in 2016.

As a team, the Wildcats finished in 10th place, its best finish since being ninth in 2015.

The next-best finish for the Wildcats came from Sebastian Rivera (125), who took home a fifth-place medal in his Big Ten Championships debut. After a setback to No. 2 seed Spencer Lee (Iowa) in the consolation semifinals, he received an injury default by top-seeded Nick Suriano (Rutgers) to finish in fifth place.

Also finishing in fifth place was Conan Jennings (285) — his second-straight year placing at Big Tens. Jennings posted a clutch, 3-2 decision over Maryland’s Youssif Hemida, ranked the sixth-best heavyweight in the nation. It was Jennings’ second win over a top-seven wrestler this season.

Ryan Deakin (149), also participating in his first Big Ten Championships, did not wrestle on Sunday, as he medically forfeited his two matches. He finished in sixth place.

Sebastian, Rivera, Deakin, and Jennings all earned automatic berths to the NCAA Championships with their finishes. It will be the second-straight trip to NCAAs for both Sebastian and Jennings.

The Wildcats will be back in action on March 15-17 for the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships in Cleveland, Ohio, at Quicken Loans Arena. More information is available at the NCAA’s website.

Session IV Results

3rd Place Match
174: (2) Bo Jordan (OSU) dec. (5) Johnny Sebastian (NU), 9-5

5th Place Match
125: (4) Sebastian Rivera (NU) MFF (1) Nick Suriano (RUT)
149: (7) Alfred Bannister (MD) MFF (3) Ryan Deakin (NU)
285: (6) Conan Jennings (NU) dec. (5) Youssif Hemida (MD), 3-2

Session III Results

Consolation Semifinals
125: (2) Spencer Lee (IOWA) maj. dec. (4) Sebastian Rivera (NU), 12-0
149: (4) Colton McCrystal (NEB) MFF (3) Ryan Deakin (NU)
174: (5) Johnny Sebastian (NU) dec. (7) Joey Gunther (IOWA), 3-2
285: (4) Sam Stoll (IOWA) Fall (6) Conan Jennings (NU), 1:47

7th Place Match
197: (8) Eric Schultz (NEB) dec. (7) Zack Chakonis (NU), 3-1 (SV1)

9th Place Semifinal
141: (7) Cole Weaver (IND) Fall Alec McKenna (NU), 3:43
157: Shayne Oster (NU) dec. Griffin Parriott (PUR), 6-4
184: Mitch Sliga (NU) dec. Buddy Conley (IND), 6-0

9th Place Match
157: Kyle Langenderfer (ILL) Fall Shayne Oster (NU), 0:58
184: (5) Nick Gravina (RUT) Fall Mitch Sliga (NU), 4:31

Four ‘Cats Earn Trips to NCAAs in Day One of Big Ten Championships
Deakin, Sebastian Advance to Big Ten Championships Semifinals

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Written by Mike Bare

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