VIDEO: Penn State Wrestler Interviews - NCAA Session III
ST LOUIS, Mo. - The Nittany Lions will send five wrestlers into the national semifinals on Friday night at the NCAA Wrestling Championships after a strong morning session in the Scottrade Center. Penn State extended its lead in the team standings heading into session IV.
Freshman Nico Megaludis kicked off the morning action with a superb victory over second-seeded Zachary Sanders to earn his first trip to the semifinals at 125 pounds. Frank Molinaro (149), David Taylor (165), Ed Ruth (174) and Quentin Wright (184) will join Megaludis in the semifinals on Friday night.
Dylan Alton (157) and Cameron Wade (285) will also be in action on Friday night in the consolation quarterfinals. Frank Martellotti (133) and Morgan McIntosh (197) wrapped up competition in their first NCAA Championships appearance.
Team Scores after Session III:
1. Penn State - 78.5 (5 semifinalists, 2 consolation)
2. Cornell - 61.5 (4 semifinalists, 1 consolation)
3. Iowa - 58.5 (4 semifinalists, 2 consolation)
4. Minnesota - 56.0 (3 semifinalists, 5 consolation)
5. Oklahoma State - 50.0 (3 semifinalists, 1 consolation)
As a team the Nittany Lions are 21-6 for the tournament after going 5-4 in Session III.
Here is a roundup from all nine Nittany Lions competing at the NCAA Championships.
125: #10 Nico Megaludis (3-0) - Championship Semifinals
After dropping two matches by a combined score of 12-4 during the season against No. 2 Zachary Sanders from Minnesota, true freshman Nico Megaludis said on Thursday night that he wanted to avenge the setbacks with more effort on Friday. True to his word, Megaludis struck first with an escape and takedown in the first period for a 3-1 lead. He added one more crucial takedown in the third period, and then hung on for a 5-4 victory. The Penn State corner of the arena erupted as Megaludis tallied a huge victory in his first trip to the NCAA Championships. He is an All-American as a freshman, but he is not done yet. Megaludis has looked like anything but a freshman in St. Louis.
Next Up: #6 Frank Perrelli (Cornell) in the championship semifinals
Perrelli knocked off Megaludis twice during the season (9-3, 6-4).
149: #1 Frank Molinaro (3-0) - Championship Semifinals
Senior Frank Molinaro was not happy with his performance on Friday night. Despite scoring a 6-5 win in the second round, Molinaro expects more out of himself. He roared back on Friday morning with a 10-2 major decision over Michigan's Eric Grajales. After a scoreless first, Molinaro scored a takedown and two near-fall points to claim a 4-0 lead after two. Two more takedowns, an escape and riding time handed the Lion senior a 10-2 major and All-America status for the fourth year in a row. He is Penn State's fifth four-time All-American.
Next Up: Justin Accordino (Hofstra) in the championship semifinals
157: #7 Dylan Alton (2-1) - Consolation Quarterfinals
Two weeks ago, redshirt freshman Dylan Alton squared off with No. 2 Derek St. John of Iowa. St. John clipped Alton with a takedown in overtime for a 3-1 sudden victory. The duo met again on Friday morning inside the Scottrade Center with an identical outcome. St. John and Alton battled for 7:00 with the score knotted at 1-1. Alton moved in for a single-leg takedown in overtime, but St. John countered with a takedown for a 3-1 sudden victory. Alton will be back in action in the consolation quarterfinals.
Next Up: Joshua Kreimier (Air Force) in the consolation quarterfinals
165: #1 David Taylor (3-0) - Championship Semifinals
David Taylor didn't even crack a sweat during Friday morning's quarterfinals. The Nittany Lion sophomore put No. 8 Robert Kokesh (Nebraska) into a cradle just 29 seconds into the match for his third-straight pin. Taylor has three pins in St. Louis, all coming in the first period. He has wrestled a total of 4:07 in three matches at the NCAA Championships. Taylor, who is now a two-time All-American, has been nothing short of dominant.
Next Up: #4 Bekzod Abdurakhmono (Clarion) in the championship semifinals
174: #1 Ed Ruth (3-0) - Championship Semifinals
Although he did not score his third-straight pin, like Taylor, Ed Ruth remained dominant on Friday morning with an 11-4 victory over No. 9 Nick Heflin from Ohio State. Ruth struck first with an early takedown, but Heflin came right back with a reversal. Nonetheless, Ruth added an escape, stalling point and a second takedown in the second to build a 6-3 lead. From there, the Lion sophomore wore down Heflin for an 11-4 victory and a spot in the semifinals. Ruth is now a two-time All-American.
Next Up: #4 Logan Storley (Minnesota) in the championship semifinals
Ruth defeated Storley by a score of 13-2 in the Big Ten Championship finals.
184: #6 Quentin Wright (3-0) - Championship Semifinals
Defending national champion Quentin Wright said that it doesn't matter where you are seeded at the national tournament. Regardless of his seed, Wright said that if you keep winning you will eventually meet the best wrestlers in the nation. Wright moved into the national semifinals with an exclamation point victory against No. 3 Ben Bennett of Central Michigan. Wright put Bennett in a cradle and nearly had the CMU veteran pinned several times before repositioning and securing a pin at the 2:25 mark to earn All-America status for the third time.
Next Up: #2 Robert Hamlin (Lehigh) in the championship semifinals
Wright defeated Hamlin by a score of 5-2 to win the 2011 national championship match at 184 pounds.
285: #6 Cameron Wade (2-1) - Consolation Quarterfinals
Senior Cameron Wade suffered a 7-0 setback to No. 3 Clayton Jack from Oregon State in the quarterfinals on Friday. Wade will be back in action on Friday night in the consolation quarterfinals.
Next Up: Nick Gwiazdowski (Binghamton) in the consolation quarterfinals
133: Frank Martellotti (1-2) - Tournament Complete
Frank Martellotti suffered 19-9 setback to No. 6 Devin Carter from Virginia Tech in the consolation round of 16 on Friday morning.
Next Up Tournament Complete
197: Morgan McIntosh (1-2) - Tournament Complete
Freshman Morgan McIntosh finished his first trip to the NCAA Championships with an 8-3 setback to Andrew Campolattano from Ohio State.
Next Up: Tournament Complete
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