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Northwestern claimed two Big Ten champions March 8 as Jason Tsirtsis and Mike McMullan each won thrilling one-point decisions to claim their spots on top of the podium.

 

Tsirtsis and McMullan become the 40th and 41st Northwestern wrestlers, respectively, to win a conference championship.


"It is rewarding to watch them achieve their goals," head coach Drew Pariano said. "They are setting themselves up well for NCAAs. I am just really happy for Mike and Jason."

 

Tsirtsis won his second consecutive title at 149 lbs. with a 2-1 decision over Iowa's Brandon Sorensen. The match was wrestled just as tight as the first meeting between the two, but the outcome was very different the second time around.

 

McMullan took on Iowa's Bobby Telford for the eighth time in his career and picked up his fifth and most important win over the Iowa senior. McMullan fell behind 3-0 early in the second period but battled back to tie it up, and then quickly escaped after starting down to begin the third period.

 

McMullan fended off Telford for the remainder of the match to hold onto his 4-3 lead and claim his first Big Ten title. "I am so excited. I have put in so much work," McMullan said. "To do this at this time in my career is pretty special."


2015 marks the third consecutive year that a Northwestern wrestler has stood atop the podium as a Big Ten champion. Tsirtsis is the first repeat champion since Jake Herbert went back-to-back in 2006 and 2007. The 2015 Big Ten Championships marks the first time since 2007 that Northwestern has claimed multiple conference champions. Jake Herbert, Ryan Lang and Mike Tamilow all won titles for the Wildcats in that season.


Northwestern placed ninth with 72 team points, the most since the Wildcats scored 75 in 2012.

 

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