Champaign, Ill. – Jake Sueflohn (149) and James Green (157) won their semifinal matches in the second session of the Big Ten Championships to lead the Nebraska wrestling team on Saturday. The pair is looking to become the first wrestlers in Husker history to win Big Ten titles in Nebraska’s second year in the conference.
The Huskers are in seventh with 52 points after Session II. Penn State leads the team standings with 123 points.
After a win over Penn State’s Andrew Alton in Session I, fourth-seeded Sueflohn posted an 11-5 decision Ohio State’s Ian Paddock to earn a spot in the finals. The Husker sophomore will face No. 3-seed Dylan Ness of Minnesota in Session IV on Sunday. Sueflohn improves to 22-4 with both victories on Saturday.
No. 4-seed Green upset No. 1-seed Derek St. John of Iowa in the semifinals by a 5-4 decision. Green will take on No. 2-seed Jason Welch of Northwestern in a rematch of Green’s 9-8 win on Jan. 12. On Saturday, Green also defeated Indiana’s Taylor Walsh, 15-5. The Husker sophomore reached 20 wins for the season with his performance.
Senior Josh Ihnen (184) was the third Nebraska semifinalist, but fell by a 10-2 major decision to No. 2-seed Kevin Steinhaus of Minnesota. Ihnen won two matches in Session I and sits four wins shy of the 100th of his Husker career. He will face No. 8-seed CJ Magrum of Ohio State for a spot in the third-place match on Sunday.
Sophomore Robert Kokesh (174) lost in Session I but bounced back with two wins in Session II. He ousted Indiana’s Cheney Dale, 13-2, before taking down Purdue’s Chad Welch, 7-3. With those two victories, Kokesh became the 64th wrestler in Husker history to win 30 matches in a season. He will face No. 8-seed Dan Yates of Michigan for a spot in the third-place match.
At 133 pounds, Shawn Nagel won his first wrestleback match over Purdue’s Cashe Quiroga, 10-9, but lost in the next round to Minnesota’s Chris Dardanes, 6-5. Nagel will wrestle Michigan’s Rossi Bruno in the seventh-place match on Sunday, hoping to avenge his 5-3 first-round loss.
Eric Coufal (125), Ridge Kiley (141), Austin Wilson (165), Caleb Kolb (197) and Spencer Johnson (HWT) each lost both of their match