Wrestler Bradley Shines at Big Tens

Defending Big Ten champion Eric Bradley (25-3) posted a pair of close wins to advance to the 184-pound final for the second straight season, as the junior co-captain led the Nittany Lions on the first day of competition Saturday at the Big Ten wrestling championships in Iowa City, Iowa.

Three Nittany Lions insured a ticket to the NCAA championships on the day while six others fell into seventh-place bouts and will wrestle for an NCAA bid on Sunday. The top seven placers in each weight class receive and automatic NCAA bid. In all, nine Nittany Lions remained alive in the tournament and will wrestle on Sunday. Penn State stood tied for eighth in the team standings with Northwestern with 56.5 points. Illinois (114.5) led the team race followed by Minnesota (95.5), Michigan (95), and Indiana (75) and Iowa (75) tied for fourth in the top five.

Senior Adam Smith and freshman Phil Davis joined Bradley in earning an NCAA bid on the day. Smith and Davis both advanced into the semifinal round of consolation action and can finish as high as third and no lower than sixth. Freshmen Bryan Heller (133) and Jack Decker (149), sophomores Nate Galloway (157) and James Yonushonis (174), and juniors DeWitt Driscoll (141) and Joel Edwards (hwt.) will all wrestle for seventh place.

Penn State stands 13-16 so far on the tournament after rebounding from a tough 3-9 opening session with a 7-1 run in the first round of consolation action.

Bradley, the No. 2 seed at 184 pounds, downed No. 7 seed Mike Tamillow 3-1 in his opening match and faced No. 6 seed Roger Kish of Minnesota, a 9-8 upset winner over No. 3 seed Brady Reinke, in the semifinals Saturday night. Bradley (25-3) used a second-period escaped and takedown to take a 3-1 lead into the third period. Kish started down and escaped but Bradley fought off attempts for a go-ahead takedown and posted a 3-2 decision.

He will face No. 1 seed Brian Glynn in Sunday's final. Bradley is 1-3 all-time against Glynn. The pair split two meetings this year with Bradley winning the first (3-2) at the Midlands Championship and Glynn taking a 2-1 win in the dual meet. If Bradley can prevail he will join Sanshiro Abe (1993, 1994 & 1996) and Kerry McCoy (1994, 1995 & 1997), both three-time Big Ten champions, as just the third Nittany Lion to claim two or more Big Ten titles.

Smith started the day off well for Penn State as he downed Ohio State's Nathan Costello 8-6 in the first round at 125 pounds. However, Smith, the No. 6 seed, dropped a 7-4 decision to No. 3 seed Joe Dubuque in the second round. Smith bounced back to post an 8-3 win over Jim Shutich of Michigan in the consolation bracket and then posted a 12-5 win over Brandon Tucker of Purdue to advance to the consolation semifinals where he will face No. 5 seed Bobbe Lowe of Minnesota. The victory insured Smith of his third straight NCAA tournament bid and no less than a sixth-place finish.

At 133, freshman Bryan Heller, the No. 7 seed, had a first-round bye and then came out and got the opening takedown against No. 2 seed Mack Reiter. Reiter, however, proved to be too strong on the mat and posted an 18-4 win. Heller returned to roll past Daniel Quintela 16-6 before falling 7-3 to No. 3 seed Tom Clum. Heller will face No. 8 seed Ryan Froese in the seventh place match.

At 141, No. 7 seed DeWitt Driscoll (27-14) posted a first-period fall over Tommy Owen in his first match but couldn't handle No. 2 seed Andy Simmons in the second round and fell 6-1. Driscoll returned to down Ben Sprunger of Purdue 10-2 consolation action. He faced a rematch of a hard fought loss earlier this season in No. 3 seed Casio Pero in his next match. Trailing 8-3 in the match, Driscoll re-injured the right knee he strained in Penn State's late-season dual meet with Northwestern. He injury defaulted out of the match and Penn State trainers will evaluate him tomorrow to determine if he can face Tommy Owen in the seventh-place bout.

At 149, freshman Jack Decker, the No. 8 seed, received a first-round bye and then ran into No. 1 seed Eric Tannenbaum. Tannenbaum posted a 21-4 technical fall over the Nittany Lion. Decker returned to down No. 7 seed Stephen Wolery 5-2 in his next match. He then lost a 5-0 decision to Quincy Osborn to fall into the seventh-place match, where he will face No. 3 seed Doug Withstandley.

At 157, No. 4 seed Nathan Galloway took on No. 5 seed Brandon Becker in his first match. Galloway had beaten Becker twice on the season (9-4 and 2-1). The two wrestled through a scoreless first two periods. Trailing 1-0 in the third after a Becker escape, Galloway went for a throw off a front headlock, missed it and ended up on his own back where Becker pinned him at 6:18. Galloway dropped into the consolation bracket where he posted a 16-6 win over John Vogel. However, he dropped a 5-2 decision to Colton Salazar in his next match and will face No. 6 seed Tyler Turner for seventh place.

At 174, No. 8 seed James Yonushonis took on No. 1 seed Pete Friedl in his first match. The top ranked Illini wrestler posted a takedown in each of the first two periods and two more in the third before Yonushonis closed the margin with a late takedown of his own. Friedl prevailed 10-6 and Yonushonis dropped into consolation action where he faced Iowa's Luke Lofthouse. Yonushonis prevailed with an 8-4 win over Lofthouse, but dropped his next match 3-2 to No. 4 seed Nick Roy, his third loss in the Big Ten tournament on his career to Roy. He will face No. 7 seed Gabriel Dretsch for seventh place.

At 197, freshman Phil Davis, the No. 4 seed, suffered a tough loss to No. 5 seed Tyrone Byrd, a wrestler he had twice beaten on the year. The pair wrestled through a scoreless first period and Byrd took down in the second. Davis rode him for the entire period to rack up two minutes of riding time. Davis then took down in the third, but was unable to get out until Byrd got his riding time under a minute. Ahead 1-0, Davis then gave up a takedown in the closing seconds as Byrd prevailed 2-1. Davis took on Michigan's Willie Breyer, a wrestler he lost to 5-2 earlier on the year, in the consolation bracket and dominated the match with a 7-0 victory. He then followed with a solid 6-3 win over No. 8 seed Matt Koz to advance to the consolation semifinals where he will take on No. 2 seed Nathan Moore, a wrestler he beat 8-0 earlier on the year.

At heavyweight, junior Joel Edwards, the No. 8 seed, ran into No. 1 seed Cole Konrad in his first match. Konrad made quick work of the lighter Edwards, pinning him in 36 seconds. Edwards dropped into the consolation bracket where he received the benefit of falling into a bye. He faced No. 5 seed Matt Fields in his next match, where he dropped a 5-3 decision. He will face No. 6 seed Kirk Nail for seventh place.

At 165, senior Jarrad Turner drew a first round match-up with No. 2 seed Mark Perry of Iowa. Perry pinned Turner in the first period earlier this season and duplicated that outcome this time, sticking Turner at 2:42. Turner then faced No. 8 seed Bryan Harney in the consolation bracket. Harney ended Turner's tournament and Penn State career with a 6-2 decision.

Wrestling continues tomorrow starting at 1:00 p.m. (ET) and can be heard live on WBLF (970 AM) in State College.

Penn State Big Ten Score

Tournament Overall: 13-16

First Round: 2-1

Second Round: 1-8

First Round Consolations: 7-1

Semifinal: 1-0

Second Round Consolations: 2-6

125 - (6) Adam Smith - NCAA Qualified

W, 8-6 vs. Nathan Costello (OSU)

L, 7-4 to (3) Joe Dubuque (IU)

Consolation Bracket

W, 8-3 over Jim Shutich (MI)

W, 12-5 vs. Brandon Tucker (PU)

Vs. (5) Bobbe Lowe (MN)

Season Record: 22-11 Tournament Record: 3-1

133 - (7) Bryan Heller


L, 18-4 to (2) Mack Reiter (MN)

Consolation Bracket

Season Record: 21-15 Tournament Record: 1-2

141 - (7) DeWitt Driscoll

W, F;2:59 vs. Tommy Owen (MN)

L, 6-1 to (2) Andy Simmons (MSU)

Consolation Bracket

W, 10-2 vs. Ben Sprunger (PU)

L, Def: 6:01 to (3) Casio Pero (IL)

7th Place Match

Vs. Tommy Owen (MN)

Season Record: 21-12 Tournament Record: 2-2

149 - (8) Jack Decker


L, TF21-4;5:09 to (1) Eric Tennenbaum (MI)

Consolation Bracket

W, 5-2 vs. (7) Stephen Wolery (OSU)

L, 5-0 to Quincy Osborn (MN)

7th Place Match

Vs. (3) Doug Withstandley (PU)

Season Record: 20-23 Tournament Record: 1-2

157 - (4) Nathan Galloway


L, F;6:18 to (5) Brandon Becker (IN)

Consolation Bracket

W, 16-6 John Vogel (OSU)

L, 5-2 to Colton Salazar (PU)

7th Place Match

Vs. (6) Tyler Turner (WI)

Season Record: 28-13 Tournament Record: 1-2

165 - Jarrad Turner - Out of Tournament

L, F;2:42 to (2) Mark Perry (IA)

Consolation Bracket

L, 6-2 to (8) Bryan Harney (MSU)

Season Record: 9-22 Tournament Record: 0-2

174 - (8) James Yonushonis


L, 10-6 to (1) Pete Friedl (ILL)

Consolation Bracket

W, 8-4 vs. Luke Lofthouse (IA)

L, 3-2 to (4) Nick Roy (MI)

7th Place Match

Vs. (7) Gabriel Dretsch (MN)

Season Record: 14-18 Tournament Record: 1-2

184 - (2) Eric Bradley - NCAA Qualified


W, 3-1 over (7) Mike Tamillow (NU)


W, 3-2 vs. (6) Roger Kish (MN)


Vs. (1) Brian Glynn (ILL)

Season Record: 25-3 Tournament Record: 2-0

197 - (4) Phil Davis - NCAA Qualified


L, 2-1 to Tyrone Byrd (ILL)

Consolation Bracket

W, 7-0 (6) Willie Breyer (MI)

W, 6-3 over (8) Matt Koz (MN)

Vs. (2) Nathan Moore (PU)

Season Record: 32-7 Tournament Record: 2-1

Hwt. - (8) Joel Edwards


L, F;0:36 to (1) Cole Konrad (MN)

Consolation Bracket


L, 5-3 to (5) Matt Fields (IA)

Seventh Place Match

Vs. (6) Kirk Nail (OSU)

Season Record: 21-14 Tournament Record: 0-2


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