Chalfant Reaches Finals of Big Ten Championships
March 9, 2014
MADISON, Wis. - Three Hoosier grapplers claimed their bids to the NCAA Championships on Day One of the Big Ten Championships, including heavyweight Adam Chalfant advancing to the championship bout. On Sunday, he'll have a shot at becoming Indiana's first conference champion since Angel Escobedo brought back three straight from 2008-10.
Chalfant posted a pair of victories to reach the heavyweight finals, capped off with a 3-2 decision over Northwestern's Mike McMullan. It marks Chalfant's second triumph over the Wildcat this season, posting a 10-4 decision in the dual match. Following a first round bye, Chalfant topped Connor Medberry (Wisconsin), 7-2, to set up the semifinals meeting with McMullan. Awaiting Chalfant in the championship bout is two-time defending national champion Tony Nelson of Minnesota.
Taylor Walsh punched his NCAA ticket as well, winning three of four bouts at 157 pounds. The Cherry Hill, N.J., native remains in contention for third place after wins over Randall Languis (Ohio State), Roger Wildmo (Michigan State) and Zach Brunson (lllinois). The besting of Brunson came via a first period pin (1:14). It added to his school record 25 falls this season and pulled Walsh within one of tying Viktor Sveda (1998-2002) for the career IU record of 47 pins.
165-pounder Ryan LeBlanc has guaranteed his spot in Oklahoma City as well, notching two Day One victories to run his career wins total to 100. He will wrestle for seventh place on Sunday thanks to wins over Joe Grandominico (Ohio State) and Purdue's Pat Robinson. With 35 overall wins this season, LeBlanc is closing on cracking the school's all-time top-10 (39) in that category.
Luke Sheridan will compete in the seventh-placed bout as well, but needs to win it to clinch an NCAA qualification as the just the top-seven 184-pounders earn an automatic bid. Sheridan bounced the highest seed of the tournament's first round, hitting a sudden victory takedown to get past 7th-seeded Jackson Hein (Wisconsin). Two bouts later, Sheridan was back at it in dramatic fashion once again. He was able to ride out Purdue's Tanner Lynde in a tiebreaker for the 2-1 decision. It'll be a rubber match of sorts in the seventh-place bout, facing off against Michigan State's John Rizqallah for the third time after splitting the first two matchups.
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