VIDEO: Penn State Individual Big Ten Champions - Molinaro,
Taylor & Ruth
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Head onto the floor with the back-to-back Big Ten Wrestling champion Penn State Nittany Lions after clinching the 2012 crown inside Mackey Arena on Sunday.
Penn State won its last 11 bouts to secure its second-consecutive conference crown. Also, hear from Big Ten Coach of the Year Cael Sanderson after clinching the team title.
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VIDEO: Penn State Individual Big Ten Champions - Molinaro,
Taylor & Ruth
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - With a dominant effort in the final session of the 2012 Big Ten Championships and three individual conference champions, the Nittany Lions clinched their second-straight Big Ten team championship on Sunday afternoon.
Penn State entered the final day of competition down by 6.0 points to Minnesota. When head coach Cael Sanderson met with the team after Saturday's evening session, he walked into the room laughing and with a smile on his face. Coach Sanderson told the team that he couldn't wait to watch how the squad responded to a tough session on Saturday.
From top to bottom, the Nittany Lions were on a mission from the moment they stepped onto the mat. Penn State won 13 of its last 14 matches on the second day, including its last 11 bouts. All 10 Nittany Lion starters won in the placing rounds on Sunday. The end result was a 149.0-134.0 victory over Minnesota to clinch a second-straight Big Ten title.
Senior Frank Molinaro, sophomore David Taylor and sophomore Ed Ruth all won their second-straight Big Ten individual championship. Last year's Big Ten title was decided by one point. In 2012, the Lions won going away with an outstanding effort inside Mackey Arena on Sunday afternoon.
Take a look through the final day of competition at the Big Ten Championships below.
149 - #1 Frank Molinaro - 3-0 - Big Ten Champion
Top-seeded and unbeaten Frank Molinaro said that he made it a personal goal to not give up a single point at the Big Ten Championships. Sunday's championship final against third-seeded Dylan Ness Minnesota capped off a truly dominant weekend in West Lafayette. Molinaro jumped out to a 5-0 lead after one. From there, he scored a reversal and eight back points en route to a 15-0 tech fall victory at the 4:50 mark. Molinaro finished the Big Ten Tournament with a pin and two shutout tech falls. He is a man on a mission heading to the national tournament in St. Louis.
165 - #1 David Taylor - 4-0 - Big Ten Champion
Unbeaten and top-seeded David Taylor became Penn State's second Big Ten champ of the afternoon with an 11-2 major decision against second-seeded Mike Evans from Iowa. Evans tried to slow the pace with Taylor in the opening period, but the Lion sophomore remained patient. He took a 2-0 lead into the second period before maneuvering his way to a reversal in the second for a 4-0 lead. Taylor wore down Evans in the third period with back-to-back takedowns and two back points just before the final whistle to make it a major decision, thus giving the Lions another bonus point. Taylor said after the match that it was his goal to ensure he got the maximum number of points possible for the team race.
174 - #1 Ed Ruth - 3-0 - Big Ten Championship Match
Just after Taylor stepped off of mat as a Big Ten champ, No. 1 and top seeded Ed Ruth took the mat for a dominant outing against Minnesota's Logan Storley in the 174-pound championship match. Ruth wasted little time building a lead. Three takedowns and a reversal put the sophomore on top by a score of 8-2 heading into the third. Ruth turned Storley twice in the third period for four back points. With riding time, Ruth walked off the mat a 13-2 victor for his second-straight Big Ten title. Ruth's bout was a special victory on many fronts. Not only did it cap off an undefeated Big Ten season, Ruth's major clinched Penn State's second-straight Big Ten team title.
125 - #3 Nico Megaludis - 3-2 - Fifth Place
The third-seeded freshman Nico Megaludis stepped onto the mat first for the Nittany Lions on Sunday. In a consolation semifinal bout against fifth-seeded Levi Mele from Northwestern, Megaludis nearly finished two takedown attempts in the first period but came up empty. Nonetheless, the Lion freshman battled back from a 3-1 deficit to send the bout into overtime. Megaludis again looked to be on his way to a takedown, but Mele turned the Lion rookie and scored a pin. From there, Megaludis wrestled for fifth spot. In the fifth-place match against Purdue's Camden Eppert, Megaludis scored a first-period takedown, two escapes and riding time to score a 4-1 victory en route to securing fifth in his first Big Ten Championships appearance.
133 - Frank Martellotti -2-2 - Seventh Place
Sophomore Frank Martellotti will wrestle at the NCAA Championships by virtue of a narrow 4-3 decision against Ridge Kiley from Nebraska. Martellotti wrestled very well at the Big Ten Championships, and will now head to St. Louis in two weeks.
141 - #8 Bryan Pearsall - 2-1 - Seventh Place
Eighth-seeded Bryan Pearsall finished seventh in the Big Ten at 141 after defeating Brandon Nelson from Purdue. Pearsall tallied an 8-2 decision in the seventh-place bout.
157 - #2 Dylan Alton - 3-1 - Third Place
Redshirt freshman Dylan Alton moved into the third-place match with a hard fought battle against Ohio State's Josh Demes. Alton used a third-period escape to score a 3-2 victory for a matchup against Michigan State's Anthony Jones in third-place match. Alton and Jones scrapped for seven minutes on mat No. 3, but that was not enough. The duo went into overtime knotted at 1-1. Alton scored an escape to secure a third-place effort in his first Big Ten appearance.
184 - #2 Quentin Wright - 4-1 - Third Place
Second-seeded Quentin Wright rolled past Ian Hinton from Michigan State to earn a spot in the third-place match. Wright scored a crucial bonus point with a 9-0 major decision win against Hinton. Coming off a dominant morning match, Wright got a second look at Illinois' Tony Dallago. The Lion junior and Dallago scrambled their way to a 5-5 tie after an entertaining first period. Wright secured a takedown and an escape point to make it 8-6 after two. Wright held off Dallago in the final period to score an 8-7 victory and a third-place finish at 184 pounds.
197 - #3 Morgan McIntosh - 2-2 - Fifth Place
Freshman Morgan McIntosh dropped his second-straight tight match against top-seeded Sonny Yohn. Yohn used three near-fall points in the second period to score a 4-2 victory. McIntosh scored fifth-place after Purdue's A.J. Kissel forfeited after an injury.
285 - #2 Cameron Wade - 3-1 - Third Place
Senior Cameron Wade capped off a big consolation round for the Nittany Lions with a pin against Indiana's Adam Chalfant. Wade turned Chalfant for a pin at the 2:09 mark to give Penn State 2.0 more bonus points. Wade finished off a clean sweep in the final round for the Nittany Lions with a 4-3 victory over Northwestern's Mike McMullan. Wade finished third in the tournament at heavyweight.
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Nittany Lion wrestling team will head into the final day of the 2012 Big Ten Championships in the thick of a three-way title race.
Penn State trails Iowa by 1.5 points and Minnesota by six points after two sessions inside Mackey Arena on Saturday. Three Lions - Frank Molinaro, David Taylor and Ed Ruth - will all wrestle for Big Ten individual titles on Sunday afternoon, and all 10 Penn State wrestlers are still alive in the draw. Penn State will have several crucial consolation matches beginning at 1 p.m. The championship matches begin at 3 p.m.
Overall, the Nittany Lions went 18-9 on the first day of the Big Ten Championships. Take a look at a blow-by-blow account of Saturday night's session at Mackey Arena.
125 - #3 Nico Megaludis - 2-1 - Big Ten Consolation Semifinals
The third-seeded freshman Nico Megaludis battled second-seeded Zach Sanders from Minnesota in his semifinal match. Sanders scored a quick takedown in the first period right after the opening whistle. Megaludis fought for an escape point, but Sanders added a takedown in the second period to make it 4-2. Both wrestlers really tried to push the pace, but it was Sanders who scored the only two takedowns of the match en route to a 6-2 decision. Megaludis will wrestle in the consolation semifinals on Saturday afternoon.
149 - #1 Frank Molinaro - 2-0 - Big Ten Championship Match
Top-seeded and unbeaten Frank Molinaro took control of fourth-seeded Ivan Lopouchanski in the semifinals from the opening whistle forward on Saturday night. Molinaro notched a takedown and four back points in the first period on his way to a commanding 6-0 lead. His lead grew to 11-0 after two periods. With the major decision in hand, Molinaro worked to turn Lopouchanski. His pin attempt fell short, but Molinaro earned a 16-0 tech fall (6:07) decision to punch a ticket into the championship match for the second-straight season. Molinaro will wrestle third-seeded Dylan Ness in the title match.
157 - #2 Dylan Alton - 2-1 - Big Ten Consolation Semifinals
Redshirt freshman Dylan Alton and Iowa's Derek St. John wrestled a superb match in the semifinals. Both wrestlers blocked shot after shot before heading into extra time knotted at 1-1. St. John scored the lone takedown in the match to claim a 3-1 sudden victory. Alton was disappointed as he walked off the mat, but the semifinal bout was a very hard-fought seven minutes of wrestling. Alton returns to action Sunday in the consolation semifinals.
165 - #1 David Taylor - 3-0 - Big Ten Championship Match
Unbeaten and top-seeded David Taylor marched past fifth-seeded Conrad Polz from Illinois in a workmanlike fashion. Like Molinaro, Taylor built a 6-0 lead with four back points and a takedown. From there, Taylor tallied three more near-fall points on his way to a dominant 12-0 major decision. Taylor will wrestle for his second-straight Big Ten title against second-seeded Mike Evans from Iowa.
174 - #1 Ed Ruth - 2-0 - Big Ten Championship Match
Just after Taylor stepped off of mat No. 1, top seeded Ed Ruth trotted onto the same mat for his semifinal match against fifth-seeded Nick Heflin from Ohio State. The Nittany Lion sophomore found himself in a battle after one period. Ruth took a 7-5 edge into the second period. From there, he scored a takedown to go on top by a count of 9-6 after two. But Ruth got stronger as the bout went on. He went on to hand the Lions a major decision and crucial bonus points for their team score. Ruth will wrestle Minnesota's Logan Storley in the championship on Sunday.
184 - #2 Quentin Wright - 2-1 - Big Ten Consolation Semifinals
Second-seeded and defending Big Ten champion Quentin Wright fell short of a return to the Big Ten title match following a 3-1 setback to Josh Ihnen from Nebraska in the semifinals. Ihnen scored a first-period takedown and two escape points to rally past Wright. The Nittany Lion junior will be back in action on Sunday in the consolation semifinals.
197 - #3 Morgan McIntosh - 1-1 - Big Ten Consolation Semifinals
Freshman Morgan McIntosh did everything necessary to earn a victory against second-seeded Matt Powless in the semifinals but close out the match. McIntosh took a 3-1 lead into the third period and a 6-5 advantage into the final seconds, but Indiana's Powless caught McIntosh from behind with three seconds to wrestle for a dramatic 7-6 victory. McIntosh will look to regroup in the consolation semifinals on Sunday.
285 - #2 Cameron Wade - 1-1 - Big Ten Consolation Semifinals
Senior Cameron Wade rounded out the semifinals matches against Iowa's Bobby Telford. Telford used two reversals and riding time for a 5-0 victory against the Nittany Lion senior. Wade will be back in action on Sunday afternoon in the consolation semifinals.
133 - Frank Martellotti - 1-2 - Big Ten Consolation Rounds
Unseeded Frank Martellotti remained alive with a superb outing against Joe Duca from Indiana in consolation action. Martellotti took a 3-1 lead into the third period before three near-fall points sealed an 8-2 major decision for the Nittany Lion sophomore. Fourth-seeded Chris Dardanes from Minnesota ousted Martellotti by a score of 7-3 in consolation action, and Martellotti will wrestle for seventh on Sunday for an automatic qualifier spot for the NCAA Championships on the line.
141 - #8 Bryan Pearsall - 2-1 - Big Ten Consolation Rounds
Eighth-seeded Bryan Pearsall has wrestled better than the results have indicated over the past month. In consolation action, Pearsall rolled past Indiana's Matt Ortega for a 13-2 major decision. Fifth-seeded Jake Sueflohn from Nebraska ousted Pearsall by a score of 5-3 in consolation action, and Pearsall will wrestle for seventh place on Sunday.
Follow GoPSUsports.com Media Specialist Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Nittany Lion wrestling team wrapped up the
opening session at the Big Ten Wrestling Championships with an 9.5-point lead
over second-place Iowa (78.5-69.0). In
all, eight Nittany Lions earned a spot in the championships semifinals.
The Nittany Lions opened session one in perfect fashion with a 5-0 mark in the preliminary round. Bryan Pearsall (141) and Quentin Wright (184) tallied pins, while David Taylor (165) scored a tech fall. All 10 Nittany Lions moved into the quarterfinals.
Penn State posted an 8-2 mark in the semifinals with pins from Molinaro (149) and Taylor (165) and major decisions from Dylan Alton (157), Ed Ruth (174) and Cameron Wade (285). Nico Megaludis (125), Wright (184) and Morgan McIntosh (197) all advanced with decisions. Take a blow-by-blow look through session one inside Mackey Arena.
125 - #3 Nico Megaludis - 2-0 - Big Ten Championship Semifinals
The third-seeded freshman Nico Megaludis kicked the tournament off with an impressive match in his preliminary round matchup against Michigan's Grant Pizzo. He scored five takedowns en route to a 12-3 major decision. Megaludis then moved into the semifinals with a hard fought 6-2 decision against sixth-seeded Johnni DiJulius from Ohio State, who received a bye. Megaludis scored takedowns in the first and third periods to punch a ticket into Saturday night's semifinals. Megaludis is slated to wrestle second-seeded Zach Sanders from Minnesota.
133 - Frank Martellotti - 0-1 - Big Ten Consolation Rounds
Unseeded Frank Martellotti dropped his first match of the tournament in the quarterfinals against top-seeded Logan Stieber. Stieber scored a 13-3 major decision, sending Martellotti into the consolation bracket. Martellotti will wrestle Joe Duca from Indiana in consolation action.
141 - #8 Bryan Pearsall - 1-1 - Big Ten Consolation Rounds
Eighth-seeded Bryan Pearsall trotted onto the mat against Wisconsin's Thomas Glenn. Pearsall threw Glenn on his back just 1:38 into the first period to score a pin. Pearsall then met three-time defending Big Ten champion and top-seeded Kellen Russell from Michigan in the quarterfinals. Russell scored an early takedown and an escape point in the second to go on top, 3-0. Pearsall battled every second of the seven-minute bout, but the defending national champion moved to the semifinals with a 6-0 victory. Pearsall will be back in consolation action where he will wrestle Indiana's Matt Ortega.
149 - #1 Frank Molinaro - 1-0 - Big Ten Championship Semifinals
Top-seeded and unbeaten Frank Molinaro received a first-round bye. He went right to work on Kaleb Friedley (Northwestern) in the quarterfinals. The Lion senior scored a takedown in the first period before turning Friedley for a pin at the 1:28 mark to earn a spot in the semifinals. Molinaro will wrestle fourth-seeded Ivan Lopouchanski in the semis on Saturday night.
157 - #2 Dylan Alton - 2-0 - Big Ten Championship Semifinals
Redshirt freshman Dylan Alton scored two takedowns in the first period on his way to a 4-2 decision against Danny Zilverberg from Minnesota. Alton took control with two back points and a takedown in the first period for a 4-0 lead against seventh-seeded Tommy Churchard from Purdue. Churchard closed to within one after a Churchard takedown, but Alton came right back to make it 9-6 after two. From there, the redshirt senior cruised to a 15-6 major decision for a spot in the semifinals. Alton will wrestle Iowa's Derek St. John in the semifinals.
165 - #1 David Taylor - 2-0 - Big Ten Championship Semifinals
Unbeaten David Taylor rolled past Ohio State's Derek Garcia in the preliminary round of the championships with a 20-5 tech fall victory at the 7:00 mark. In the quarterfinals, Taylor turned eighth-seeded Pierce Harger from Northwestern at the 1:40 mark for some big bonus points after a fall. Taylor moves into the semifinals for a match against fifth-seeded Conrad Polz from Illinois.
174 - #1 Ed Ruth - 1-0 - Big Ten Championship Semifinals
Top seeded Ed Ruth received a bye in the first round of the championships. He wrestled Jordan Blanton (Illinois) in the quarterfinals. Ruth wasted little time scoring a takedown, but he seemed to get stronger as the match wore on. Ruth tallied three back points and riding time in the third period for a 14-2 major decision victory. Ruth is slated to wrestle fifth-seeded Nick Heflin from Ohio State.
184 - #2 Quentin Wright - 2-0 - Big Ten Championship Semifinals
Second-seeded Quentin Wright put an exclamation point on the preliminary round for the Nittany Lions after turning Luke Sheridan for a pin at the 2:17 mark. In the quarterfinals, Illinois' Tony Dallago pushed Wright into overtime in the quarterfinals. Wright took a 2-1 lead on a reversal in the second period, but a late escape from Dallago sent the match into extra time. Wright notched five near-fall points in sudden victory to claim a 7-2 decision. The defending Big Ten champion will wrestle Josh Ihnen from Nebraska in the semifinals.
197 - #3 Morgan McIntosh - 1-0 - Big Ten Championship Semifinals
Freshman Morgan McIntosh received a first-round bye in his first appearance at the Big Ten Championships. McIntosh wrestled sixth-seeded Andrew Campolattano (Ohio State) in the quarterfinals. Like the dual season, McIntosh and Campolattano battled throughout their bout. On the heels of Wright's overtime match in the quarterfinals, McIntosh scored a sudden victory with a takedown. He moves on to wrestle second-seeded Matt Powless in the semifinals.
285 - #2 Cameron Wade - 1-0 - Big Ten Championship Semifinals
Senior Cameron Wade received a first-round bye at heavyweight. Wade finished off the first session with a dominant performance against No. 10 Steve Andrus (Michigan State) in the championship quarterfinals. Wade took a 5-0 lead after one period before rolling to a 10-0 major decision with 5:01 of riding time. Wade will wrestle Iowa's Bobby Telford in the semifinals.
Follow GoPSUsports.com Media Specialist Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -
The defending Big Ten wrestling champion Nittany Lions will begin their title
defense at 10 a.m. on Saturday inside Mackey Arena at Purdue.
The first session of the 2012 Big Ten Wrestling Championships will feature championship round prelims, championship quarterfinals and consolation prelims. Eight of the 10 Penn State wrestlers in action garnered a seeding of third or better.
The brackets for the tournament were released on Friday afternoon. Let's take a look at Penn State's session one matchups. The Lions received five first round byes.
125 - #3 Nico Megaludis (21-5)
The third-seeded freshman Nico Megaludis will go onto the mat at 10 a.m. with a match against Michigan's Grant Pizzo. Megaludis tallied a 22-10 major decision victory over Pizzo in Penn State's dual victory over the Wolverines in February. The winner of the Megaludis-Pizzo match will move on to face sixth-seeded Johnni DiJulius from Ohio State, who received a bye. Megaludis scored a 6-2 win over DiJulius during the dual match season.
133 - Frank Martellotti (6-7)
Unseeded Frank Martellotti is slated to meet Wisconsin's Shane McQuade in the preliminary round of the championship draw. The Nittany Lion sophomore scored a 14-6 major decision against McQuade during Penn State's dual match win over the Badgers. The winner of the Martellotti-McQuade match will meet top-seeded Logan Stieber from Ohio State. Stieber pinned Martellotti in the dual match between Ohio State and Penn State.
141 - #8 Bryan Pearsall (12-10)
Eighth-seeded Bryan Pearsall kicks off the tournament with a matchup against Wisconsin's Thomas Glenn. The Nittany Lion junior ousted Glenn by a score of 4-2 during Penn State's dual victory over Wisconsin. The winner of the Pearsall-Glenn bout will meet defending national champion and top-seeded Kellen Russell from Michigan.
149 - #1 Frank Molinaro (25-0)
Top-seeded and unbeaten Frank Molinaro received a first-round bye. He will wrestle the winner of the No. 9 Dan Osterman (Ohio State) and No. 9 Kaleb Friedley (Northwestern) in the quarterfinals. Molinaro did not wrestle Osterman this season. The Lion senior tallied a 10-0 major against Friedley in the dual match season.
157 - #2 Dylan Alton (20-4)
Redshirt freshman Dylan Alton will open his first Big Ten Championships appearance against Danny Zilverberg from Minnesota. Alton did not wrestle Zilverberg this season. The winner of the Alton-Zilverberg match will take on seventh-seeded Tommy Churchard from Purdue. Alton did not wrestle Churchard this season.
165 - #1 David Taylor (23-0)
Unbeaten David Taylor will wrestle Ohio State's Derek Garcia in the preliminary round of the championships. Taylor scored a tech fall victory at the 6:20 mark in the dual match meeting against Garcia. The Taylor-Garcia winner will move on to face eighth-seeded Pierce Harger from Northwestern. Taylor scored a tech fall at 7:00 against Harger in the dual match season.
174 - #1 Ed Ruth (23-0)
Top seeded Ed Ruth received a bye in the first round of the championships. He will wrestle the winner of a preliminary matchup between Lee Munster (Northwestern) and Jordan Blanton (Illinois). Ruth defeated Munster in a tech fall at 5:37 during the dual season. Ruth did not wrestle Blanton this season.
184 - #2 Quentin Wright (22-2)
Second-seeded Quentin Wright is slated to wrestle Luke Sheridan from Indiana in the preliminary round of the championships. Wright did not wrestle Sheridan this season. The Wright-Sheridan winner will move on to face Illinois' Tony Dallago, who received a bye. Wright did not wrestle seventh-seeded Dallago this season.
197 - #3 Morgan McIntosh (15-6)
Freshman Morgan McIntosh received a first-round bye in his first appearance at the Big Ten Championships. McIntosh will meet the winner of Nick McDiarmid (Michigan State) and sixth-seeded Andrew Campolattano (Ohio State). McIntosh defeated McDiarmid by a score of 7-5 in the dual match season. The Nittany Lion freshman edged Campolattano by a 5-4 margin in Penn State's dual victory over Ohio State.
285 - #2 Cameron Wade (22-3)
Senior Cameron Wade received a first-round bye at heavyweight. Wade is slated to meet the winner of No. 7 Adam Chalfant (Indiana) and No. 10 Steve Andrus (Michigan State) in the championship quarterfinals. Wade did not wrestle Chalfant during the regular season. The second-seeded Nittany Lion defeated Andrus by a score of 8-3 during the dual match season.
Stay tuned for coverage from Day I at the Big Ten Championships right here on GoPSUsports.com
Follow GoPSUsports.com Media Specialist Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony
By Kelsey Detweiler, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Lorenzo Wrestling Complex in Rec Hall played host once again to this year's Big Ten Tournament Media Day with the defending conference champion Nittany Lions. While the rest of his coaching staff drilled and threw a Nerf football with his athletes at practice on Tuesday, head coach Cael Sanderson addressed the media to preview the upcoming conference tournament, which will begin Saturday.
Sanderson identified the whereabouts and progress his 10 competing wrestlers, and touched on a few of the key things that his team will have to do in order to have success over the rest of a talented Big Ten conference.
New Year, Same Attitude
Last season, Penn State claimed its first ever Big Ten wrestling championship in the program's history. The Lions inched past then frontrunner Iowa by just one point with a team score of 139.0 to the Hawkeyes' 138.0 points. This year, Sanderson's team garnered top-12 rankings in the coaches' poll at eight of its 10 competing weight classes and two of those wrestlers, David Taylor and Frank Molinaro, hold top spots.
Sanderson said that this year he looks at the conference tournament less as an opportunity to defend last season's title and more of a chance to establish a consecutive winning program.
"Winning the Big Ten tournament last year, that was one of the thrills of my coaching career for sure," said Sanderson. "But overall the Big Ten tournament is very competitive and it's something that you've got to visualize yourself winning it and if you're doing that not smiling, you're probably in the wrong business. Next to the National Tournament it's probably the biggest thing in college wrestling."
Ruth is Good to Go
After a tough dual meet season and a recovery period for Ed Ruth, the 174 pounder was held out of the final two dual meets of the year on precautionary measures. Sanderson said that the sophomore was held out of competition strictly as a caution, and freshman Matt Brown stepped in where Ruth was not wrestling.
After a little bit of rest and some time off of the mat, Sanderson said that his entertaining athlete is ready to go.
"Ed Ruth is 100 percent," said Sanderson. "The minor potential injury that he had, he wrestled in the Michigan match with that same thing so he's 100 percent and a couple weeks off have only motivated him even that much more which is exciting. He's been one of the last guys, if not the last guy, to leave the room the last couple of weeks just because he's excited - and an excited and motivated Ed Ruth is a scary dude."
Having Fun and Wrestling Hard for Seven Minutes
The head coach also said that not much changes when his team heads into the postseason as far as the way it prepares and acts both in and out of the practice room. Like he and his coaching staff have preached all season long, the Nittany Lions are looking to wrestle their hardest against any competition for a full seven minute bout. But they are also going to do it with a smile on their face.
"I think there's a lot of the personality that we have on the team and they kind of realize and figure out and remember that this is fun," said Sanderson. "To do things well you've got to do things seriously but it helps to enjoy them and you don't need to be on-guard or on on-call 24 hours a day."
Sanderson went on to assure the media that he isn't worried about how his athletes will handle the big stage of postseason action, because he says they should be used to it by now.
"They know what to do," said Sanderson. "They're competitors and they've been down this road many times. The pressure is a complement. If they feel pressure then that means that they've done something that should warrant that pressure and that's a blessing."
By Kelsey Detweiler, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The same way that it started just over three months in Rec Hall, the Penn State wrestling team's regular season came to a close on Sunday afternoon. In true Nittany Lion fashion, the ending dual was nothing short of exciting.
Second-ranked Penn State downed ninth-ranked Pittsburgh in front of yet another
sold out crowd on its senior day by a score of 33-6. The Lions remained
dominant, as they have for the majority of their season, scoring more than 30
dual points for the 10th time this season. Head coach Cael Sanderson said that
he was especially satisfied with his team's attitude so close to the
"Especially two weeks from the Big Ten, your eyes are on the end and then you have a match before that so it's important to stay focused," said Sanderson. "That's a tough team there. Every weight class there is pretty tough and they came out wrestling hard."
Penn State put on a show for the 6,755 spectators that filled Rec Hall, and the entertainment that started with the first bout of the day carried through to the final contest.
The Lions took eight of the 10 bouts on the afternoon with three decisions, three major decisions and two pins. The faithful fans that came to watch the final competition of the season rose to their feet a total of seven times in standing ovation, but one of those was for a particularly last-second excitement.
With the dual score tied at three apiece, junior Lion Bryan Pearsall took the mat in the third bout of the day to face fellow 141-pounder Travis Shaffer. The bout started like any another, two wrestlers standing face-to-face and shaking hands, but ended with Shaffer on his back.
Pearsall had struggled in front of Rec Hall crowds heading into Sunday's match with four losses in all four appearances of his appearances at home duals. At the start of his match against Shaffer, it looked like the outcome would be a similar one.
The freshman Panther jumped to an early 4-0 lead in the first period with a takedown and two back points, and continued to control the battle throughout the second period as he tacked on another takedown. Trailing 6-0 at the start of the third period, it was Pearsall who struck next. The Nittany Lion delivered his first takedown of the bout within the first minute of the final period, and picked up a stalling point short after to cut Shaffer's lead to 6-3. Desperate for any kind of points he could get, Pearsall countered a late shot by Shaffer and locked him up in a cradle with just :08 to go and with only three seconds left, got the pin.
And the crowd went wild.
Sanderson made two fists and put his arms in the air as he walked back to his team's bench while associate head coach Cody Sanderson sported the same look paired with some jumping up and down with a big grin on his face.
After the match, Sanderson said that he was just as surprised as the rest of the crowd.
"Bryan needed that match and I'm really happy that he was able to turn it around the way that he did," said Sanderson. "It looked like he was getting his butt kicked and in the end he was able to come out on top and that's really an indicator that he's a worker and a fighter and I think everyone on this team, as we've seen at some point this season, they're all capable of the same."
Pearsall attributed his fighting performance to the way that his coaches have taught him to "wrestle hard and then wrestle even harder" no matter what period of the match it may be.
"It was nice to be able to show our fans and everyone that comes out to watch Penn State wrestling what I could do and what I have been able to do so far this season, this time just in Rec Hall," said Pearsall.
The final dual win gives Penn State an overall record of 13-1 for the 2011-'12 season and is the last competition that the team will see until the first week of March when it heads to the Big Ten Championships at Purdue.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -
Watch freshman Nico Megaludis score a sudden victory after a hard-fought bout
at 125 pounds. See what Penn State
football coach Bill O'Brien had to say on the microphone at intermission. Additionally, head into the media room for
post-match reaction from head coach Cael Sanderson and seniors Frank Molinaro
and Cameron Wade.
Welcome to Rec Hall for a Big Ten showdown between the second-ranked Nittany Lions and ninth-ranked Pittsburgh.
Penn State (12-1, 7-1) returns to action after a dominant victory at Utah Valley last weekend. The Nittany Lions will wrestle inside Rec Hall for the final time on Sunday. Senior starters Frank Molinaro and Cameron Wade will be taking the mat for the last time as Nittany Lions inside Rec Hall. Stay tuned for updates throughout the dual as the Lions cap off the regular season with an eye towards the month of March.
125: #8 Nico Megaludis Edges #15 Zanetta in Dramatic Overtime
Freshman Nico Megaludis and No. 15 Anthony Zanetta from Pittsburgh wrestled to a scoreless tie in the opening period of action. Zanetta got on the board first after a hard-fought escape 25 seconds into the second period. Megaludis returned the favor to open the third period with an escape point of his own. From there, the two wrestlers battled through a scoreless extra period. Zanetta scored an escape point in the first of two 30-second extra frames. Megaludis did the same at the start to the second 30-second extra period to make it 2-2. With another 60 seconds on the clock of sudden victory time, Megaludis worked for a double-leg takedown to score a sudden victory, bringing the Rec Hall crowd, including Penn State football coach Bill O'Brien to his feet. The victory set the overall match score at 3-0.
133: Mack Gets Late Takedown and Riding Time to Knock Off Frank Martellotti
In the second bout of the afternoon, sophomore Frank Martellotti scored a first period takedown to claim a 2-0 lead against Shelton Mack. Mack scored an escape point to make it 2-1 early in the second period. Martellotti added an escape point to set the score at 3-1, but Mack answered with a clutch takedown to knot things at 3-3. From there, Mack built more than one minute of riding time in the final seconds of the third period to clip Martellotti on riding time by a score of 4-3. Mack's victory tied the overall match score at 3-3.
141: Bryan Pearsall Pins Shaffer in Final Seconds
Pittsburgh true freshman Travis Shaffer scored a takedown and two near-fall points in the opening minute against Bryan Pearsall to claim a 4-0 lead after one period. Shaffer also managed to build 2:51 of riding time after one. Shaffer was on top for all but nine seconds of the first period. In the second, he scored a second takedown to set the score at 6-0 after two periods. From there, it looked like Shaffer was going to cruise to a victory, but Pearsall was not done. He scored a takedown and a stalling point to trim the score down to 6-3. Pearsall kept working and turned Shaffer in the final three seconds for an improbable win by pinfall. It was truly an incredible turn of events after Shaffer built more than 4:20 of riding time and a 6-0 lead in the match.
149: #1 Frank Molinaro Defeats #12 Nauman in Final Home Match
Undefeated and top-ranked Frank Molinaro battled No. 12 Tyler Nauman in his final bout inside Rec Hall. Nauman scored the first takedown, but Molinaro rallied late in the first for an escape and a takedown to build a 3-2 lead. He added an escape to open the second to make it 4-2. Molinaro started the third period on top, and he used it to his advantage, building 1:53 of riding time on his way to a 5-2 victory. The Lion senior finished his regular season with a 25-0 record. His victory put the Lions up 12-3 after four matches.
157: #5 Dylan Alton Holds Off Tasser
Dylan Alton wasted little time scoring a takedown against Pittsburgh's Donnie Tasser. Tasser scored an escape point to set the score at 2-1. Alton scrambled for a second takedown to build a 4-1 cushion and 59 seconds of riding time after the first period. The Lion redshirt freshman worked for an escape point in the second period to push his lead to 5-1 after two. Tasser benefitted from a caution point and an escape point to open the third, and he quickly cut Alton's lead to 5-3. That is where the match would end with the Lions taking a 15-3 lead into the break.
165: #1 David Taylor Majors Wilps
Top-ranked David Taylor went to work early in the first period of his bout against Pitt's Tyler Wilps. Taylor scored four takedowns in the first period on his way to an 8-3 lead after one period. He also built 1:15 of riding time after one. Taylor's precision in the second led to three more takedowns and a 14-6 lead on the scoreboard. Taylor cruised to a 20-9 major decision for his 23rd victory of the season. Like Molinaro, Taylor ended the regular season undefeated. Taylor's major put the Lions up 19-3 on the scoreboard.
174: Matt Brown Dominates Tasser
After two-straight matches at 197 pounds, redshirt freshman Matt Brown took the mat for the Nittany Lions against Pittsburgh's P.J. Tasser at 174 pounds for the second-straight week. Brown wrestled for Ed Ruth, who is healing from some bumps in bruises to be at full strength for the month of March. Brown scored an early takedown and nearly caught Tasser on his back, but the Lion redshirt freshman took a 2-1 lead into the second period. He opened the second with an escape to make it 3-1. Again in the second period, Brown nearly put Tasser on his back, but the period whistle sounded. Nonetheless, he managed to score a takedown and two near-fall points for a 7-1 lead after two. Brown opened the third frame with a reversal to go up 9-1. Brown went on to score a 12-2 major decision victory to put the Lions up 23-3 on the scoreboard.
184: #2 Quentin Wright Cruises Past Vaughn
Defending national champion Quentin Wright continued his string of dominant performances against Pitt's Andy Vaughan. Wright quickly scored a takedown on the edge of the mat before two near-fall points to take a 4-0 lead. He took a 6-1 lead into the second period. Wright added to his lead with a takedown and an escape to set the score at 9-1 after two periods. The Lion redshirt junior tallied a reversal in the third before adding a riding time point to set the final score at 12-2. Wright's major decision gave the Lions a 27-3 overall edge in the match.
197: #4 Wilps Holds Off #12 Morgan McIntosh
Freshman Morgan McIntosh and Pittsburgh's No. 4-ranked Matt Wilps wrestled to a scoreless first period in the ninth match of the afternoon. Wilps opened the second with an escape and a takedown to score a 3-0 lead. However, McIntosh tallied a key reversal to make it 3-2 before Wilps notched a late escape to set the score at 4-2 heading into the final period. McIntosh closed within one point after an escape in the third. A shot late from McIntosh fell just short of a takedown, handing the fourth-ranked Wilps a narrow 4-3 victory. The Pitt victory set the overall score at 27-6.
285: #6 Cameron Wade Pins Yahner
Sixth-ranked Cameron Wade took a 2-0 lead over Pittsburgh's Joel Yahner after one period of action in his final bout inside Rec Hall. Wade added a second takedown to make it 4-0. From there, he turned Yahner on his back for a pin in his final home match. Wade waved to the crowd as he jogged off the mat one last time. His pin set the final score at 33-6, Nittany Lions.
The Nittany Lions claimed eight victories on the final day of regular season action for 2012. With two pins and three majors on Sunday afternoon, Penn State put an exclamation point on a superb dual match season. Following a 23-14 setback to then-No. 4 Minnesota on Nov. 20, the Nittany Lions scored 12-straight dual match victories to finish 13-1 in the regular season.
Sunday was an especially special day for Molinaro and Wade, who both scored victories in their final performances at Rec Hall. Wade put an exclamation point on a strong afternoon of wrestling with a pin. Molinaro scored a 5-2 victory at 149 pounds. The Penn State performance of the afternoon belonged to Bryan Pearsall. He rallied from 6-0 down in third period to score an improbable pin with three seconds to wrestle. Penn State will take a great deal of momentum into the postseason. The defending Big Ten Tournament champions and national champions have two weeks off before traveling to Purdue for Big Tens.
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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - For second-ranked Penn State, Sunday afternoon's dual meet against ninth-ranked Pittsburgh is the last scheduled contest of the 2011-'12 regular season.
Penn State carries a 12-1 overall record heading into the final weekend of the regular season, and will wrestle on its home mats for the seventh time this year. The Lions have won five of the six duals that they have hosted this season, as their only loss this year came against Minnesota in the team's second dual on the schedule.
Of those six contests that have come to Rec Hall, three of them have welcomed sold out crowds at a capacity level of more than 6,800 spectators. The other three home duals saw crowds of less than the capacity level, but each featured more than 6,000 attendees as well.
Sunday's match against the Panthers is another one to add to the list labeled, "Sold Out".
For senior Nittany Lions David Crowell, Frank Molinaro, Clay Steadman and Cameron Wade, the dual also marks the last competition that they will be a part of within the confinements of Rec Hall.
Molinaro and Wade have spent their last five years in the blue and white singlets and have been featured as parts of the starting roster for the last four. Both of the athletes were redshirted in their first season in State College.
Heading into his last dual under that one spotlight that shines above the Nittany Lion logo, heavyweight senior Wade said that when he thinks about it, it all seems pretty surreal.
"Looking back on my career it's just crazy to think that I had the opportunity to wrestle in Rec Hall," said Wade. "Every match we wrestle, whether it's home or away, there's a ton of people."
Wade said that compared to his debut season with the Lions in 2008, he has seen a noticeable change and increase in the fanbase that surrounds the Penn State wrestling program. The veteran said that aside from the fact that State College and its surrounding areas have always seemed to be interested in the sport, Nittany Lion fans have an added incentive to come and watch.
"I just think that people like the way that we wrestle - just hard for seven minutes," said Wade. "They come there on their Sundays and they just love to watch wrestling and I mean kids come up to you asking for autographs and they just really love everything about Penn State."
Wade said that spectators can thank the hard work of his coaches, and especially his head coach Cael Sanderson, for bringing a fresh mentality and even more dedicated work ethic than the program had seen two years ago. Wade said that he and his teammates are able to "try and kick each other's butts in practice" but still maintain that "perfect mixture" of having fun and being competitive.
In the same way that the heavyweight recognizes what he called a dedication from the fans toward the athletes, Wade said that wrestling in Rec Hall wouldn't have been the same without the people that have come to watch.
"The fans at Rec Hall, they're awesome," said Wade. "There is no doubt in my mind that we not only have the best facilities to wrestle in in this country, but also the best fans and support that wrestling has seen in this country."
Wade and his fellow Lions have already finished their conference season with a Big Ten regular season best record of 7-1 to share the regular season conference title with Minnesota, who posted the same record this year.
On Sunday, Penn State will look to add one more number to its win column and gain a 13th victory before gearing up for the postseason. In his last dual meet, Wade said that there's only one venue that he would want to be competing at.
"There's no place I would rather be and I'm so glad that I picked this school," said Wade. "It's tough wrestling here for other guys. The fact that we get nervous going out there in front of those fans, you can only imagine how nervous other people must be."
"It's the greatest place ever to wrestle."