The Daily Northwestern

Wrestling: 2 Northwestern wrestlers fail to capture national championships

Redshirt senior Jason Welch competes in a home dual from this past season. Both Welch and redshirt sophomore Mike McMullan lost in their national championship bouts on Saturday.

Daily file photo by Jai Broome

Redshirt senior Jason Welch competes in a home dual from this past season. Both Welch and redshirt sophomore Mike McMullan lost in their national championship bouts on Saturday.

Rohan Nadkarni, Reporter

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Northwestern sent two wrestlers to the NCAA finals Saturday night, but both failed to capture a national championship in Des Moines, Iowa.

In the last match of his career, redshirt senior Jason Welch fell to Iowa’s Derek St. John at 157 pounds. Earlier that night, redshirt sophomore Mike McMullan lost to Minnesota’s Tony Nelson in the heavyweight final.

Welch ended his collegiate career with his best finish in the NCAA Championships — but also winless against his Big Ten rival, St. John. Their match picked up intensity in the second period, when St. John rode Welch the whole time. Starting in the down position in the third period, St. John picked up two points on locked hands and an escape, but Welch tied the bout on a takedown.

Afterwards, Welch could not hold on to St. John, who picked up the championship-clinching point on an escape with less than a minute to go. Welch’s furious attempts at a takedown were rebuffed as the clock ticked to zero. The Walnut Creek, Calif., native and former No. 1 overall recruit won a Big Ten championship earlier this season and was a three-time All-American in his four seasons at NU.

McMullan fell 6-2 to Nelson in the championship round. The fifth-seeded McMullan held his own in the NCAA tournament, upsetting wrestlers — including a sudden-death win in the semifinals — en route to the heavyweight final. But Nelson proved to be too much for McMullan, defeating him for the second time in a championship match. Nelson also toppled McMullan for the Big Ten heavyweight title earlier in the year.

McMullan improved from his third-place finish at least year’s NCAA Championships, earning his second straight All-American honor.

Saturday was the first time the Cats had two wrestlers in the finals since 2007. Coach Drew Pariano and NU are still searching for the school’s first national champion since Jake Herbert in 2009.

Comments

About the Writer
Rohan Nadkarni, Gameday Editor

Rohan Nadkarni is the Gameday editor of The Daily and a Medill junior. His past positions include Sports editor, assistant Sports editor and football beat...