Two historic dual meets on tap for three-time defending champions this weekend
3X ALL-AM, `12 HODGE WINNER
Three-time All-American David Taylor, one of the most decorated wrestlers in Penn State grappling history, carries a national title and a Hodge Trophy with him into his final year as a Nittany Lion. Taylor, who is coming off an outstanding freestyle summer, making both the U.S. National Freestyle Team (74 kg) and the World University Games Team (74 kg), will be looking to become a four-time All-American and win his second NCAA title. Taylor, who is a three-time first team NWCA Academic All-American and Academic All-Big Ten pick, has already earned his degree and is enrolled in graduate school this year. The Nittany Lion has never lost to a Big Ten foe (44-0) and is currently chasing Penn State's all-time pins record. Parents: Kathy and Dave Taylor -- `13 Grad: RPTM/Business; Pursuing Masters' in Education Administration.
Lion Career 2012-13: Ranked No. 2 by Intermat...dropped 2-1 (TB) dec. to #1 Kyle Dake in U.S. Marine Corps All-Star Classic on 11/3...opened up season with two 20-5 tech falls, over Lehigh's Eric Hess (5:46) on 11/16 and West Virginia's Dominic Prezzia (6:04) on 11/18....rolled to 2012 NLO title on 12/2 with 5-0 mark, including three pins and two tech falls, pinned #13 Mark Lewandowski of Buffalo in finals at 5:42 mark...majored #18 Ryan LeBlanc of Indiana 9-0 on 12/9...went 4-1 at Southern Scuffle on 1/1-2 to place second with two pins, a tech fall and a major...lost close late decision to #1 Kyle Dake of Cornell in finals...pinned Purdue's Doug Welch in first period (2:41) in road dual on 1/20...16-1 tech fall over Nebraska's Tyler Koehn on 1/27...18-2 tech fall over #13 Nick Moore at Iowa on 2/1...strong 13-7 win over #8 Conrad Polz at Illinois on 2/3...20-6 major over #17 Tyler Wilps of Pitt on 2/8...pinned Ohio State's Mark Martin (2:55) on 2/10...ends third year of Big Ten dual action unbeaten in conference duals (24-0)...pinned #20 Ramon Santiago of Rider (3:48) on 2/17.
Big Ten Championships (3-0, 1st, NCAA Qualifier): Became Penn State's third three-time Big Ten Champion with 3-0 run through 2013 B1G Championships on 3/9, including 15-0 TF of #12 Nick Moore of Iowa and 9-1 major over #8 Conrad Polz of Illinois in finals.
NCAA Championships (4-1, 2nd, All-American/National Runner-Up): Pinned his way to his third NCAA title bout in three years and went 4-1 to become a three-time All-American, finishing second at 165...pinned North Carolina's John Staudenmayer (2:51), Zach Strickland of Appalachian State (2:41), #7 Conrad Polz of Illinois (0:24) and #3 Peter Yates of Virginia Tech (3:24)...dropped tough 5-4 decision on riding time to #1 Kyle Dake in the national title bout...won 2013 Gorriaran Award at NCAA Championships for most pins in the least amount of time.
2011-12: 21-6 tech fall over Nick Fischer in Intrasquad on 11/3...pinned Bloomsburg's Kevin Hartnett in season opening dual on 11/13...sizzling 16-1 tech fall in just 4:29 over #8 Cody Yohn of Minnesota on 11/20, win put him over the 100 career dual meet point mark in just his 21st dual meet...went 4-0 with four pins to win the 2011 Nittany Lion Open on 12/4 plus downed former All-American Steve Fittery, a NC entry, 14-6 in the finals (which does not count on his record)...downed #9 Brandon Hatchett of Lehigh on 12/9 at LU...rolled to the 2012 Southern Scuffle title, earning OW honors as well, with three pins, a tech and a major...pinned #10 Cody Yohn of Minnesota at the 2:34 mark in the finals...20-5 TF over NU's Pierce Harger on 1/13 and a pin of UW's Alex Yde at 2:28 on 1/15...dominated #6 Mike Evans of Iowa 9-4 in dual on 1/22 with over 3:00 riding time...18-3 TF (6:20) over Ohio State's Derek Garcia on 1/29...closed out second straight unbeaten Big Ten dual season with 13-3 major over #6 Robert Kokesh on 2/3 and 15-0 TF of #14 Dan Yates of Michigan on 2/5...is 16-0 all-time in Big Ten duals through two years...has 159 career dual meet points...23 falls is top 20 all-time at PSU...first team Academic All-American (NWCA) and a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree.
Big Ten Championships (4-0, 1st, NCAA Qualifier): Won second straight Big Ten title (and first at 165) with sizzling 4-0 run through 2012 Big Ten Championship field...advanced to semis with a tech fall and a pin and then majored #12 Conrad Polz of Illinois in semis before majoring #6 Mike Evans of Iowa in finals...was named 2012 Big Ten Wrestler of the Year for second straight year...now 2x Big Ten champ...has never lost to a Big Ten foe in regular season or post-season.
NCAA Championships (5-0, NCAA Champion): Stormed his way to his first NCAA championship, pinning his way to the finals at 165 before scoring an all-time finals record 22 points in 22-7 tech fall win over Lehigh's Brandon Hatchett in the title bout...pinned Corey Lear of Bucknell (1:40)...Brandon Wright of Chattanooga (1:51)...#8 Robert Kokesh of Nebraska (0:29)...and Bekzod Abdurakhmonov of Clarion (4:46)...won 2012 NCAA Championship Gorriaran Award and 2012 NCAA Most Dominant Wrestler Award...capped year off with 2012 Hodge Trophy as top collegiate wrestler in the country.
2010-11: Tech falled Frank Hickman of Bloomsburg in dual debut on 11/12...then pinned Sean Bilodeau of Lehigh in Rec Hall dual debut on 11/14...continued perfect start to collegiate career with 3-0 showing at Sprawl and Brawl Duals, including a pin and two majors (the final major a 13-3 dismantling of #18 Daryl Cocozzo of Rutgers)...blazed through the Nittany Lion Open field on 12/5, going 6-0 with three majors, a pin and a tech fall; downed Virginia Tech's Jesse Dong 9-3 (w/ over 5:00 riding time)...19-4 tech fall over Lock Haven's Seth Creasy on 12/12...dominated #13 Colt Sponseller of Ohio State in Big Ten dual meet debut on 12/19, nearly picking up a tech fall with a 14-1 win including 5:56 in riding time...perfect 6-0 with four tech falls and two pins to blaze his way to 157-pound crown at Southern Scuffle on 12/29-30...dominated #9 Paul Young of Indiana for an 18-2 tech fall in only 4:06 in the title bout...named Most Outstanding Wrestler at the 2011 Virginia Duals after going 4-0 with a pin, two tech falls and a major...tech fall over Pitt's Donnie Tasser (26-11) on 1/21...dominating 14-3 major over #5 Paul Young of Indiana on 1/23...majored #14 Derek St. John of Iowa on 1/30...20-5 tech fall over MSU's Sean McMurray on 2/4...pinned #20 Brandon Zeerip of Michigan in just 1:01 on 2/6...26-10 tech fall over Illinois' Jackson Morse on 2/11...tech fall over Minnesota's Matt Mincey on 2/13 (16-1 in 6:15)...completed perfect regular season with eighth Big Ten dual meet win, getting a TF over Wisconsin's Kalvin York on 2/18 (18-2).
Big Ten Championships (3-0, 1st, NCAA Qualifier): Continued his undefeated run for the season with a perfect 3-0 showing at Big Tens to earn the 2011 Big Ten championship at 157. Taylor notched a pin and a major and then beat #7 Derek St. John soundly in the final, 8-3....named 2011 Big Ten Wrestler of the Year on 3/6 and 2011 Big Ten Freshman of the Year on 3/6 as well.
NCAA Championships (4-1, 2nd, All-American/National Runner-Up): Went 4-1 at first NCAA tournament, blazing to NCAA finals with four straight wins, including a major and a tech, downed #2 Steve Fittery 7-1 in national semifinals and ended record setting freshman year as 2011 NCAA Runner-Up at 157...named Intermat's National Freshman of the Year.
2009-10: Red-shirt season...posted 21-2 record as an unattached competitor...wrestled in five open tournaments, winning three and taking second in the other two...won W&J Open on 1/14...second at ESU Open on 11/22...won Mat-Town on 11/28...second at NLO on 12/6 (losing to Lion All-American Cyler Sanderson 9-7 in finals)...won National Collegiate Open on 2/20...competed all season at 157...7-0 in pins, 10-0 in technical falls and 2-0 in majors.
Outstanding career at St. Paris Graham High School...Falcons reeled off a stunning nine consecutive Ohio State Division II state titles, including the 2008 DII National Championship...received the prestigious Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award for the nation...posted an amazing 180-2 overall record in four years and won four consecutive Ohio State Championships (won two titles at 103, one at 112 and last one at 135)...2009 Ohio State Wrestling Tournament's Outstanding Wrestler...Ohio Wrestler of the Year in each of the past two seasons...two-time Asics First Team All-American and has claimed the Beast of the East crown and won the Ironman title an unprecedented four times (he is the only wrestler in that tournament's long and storied history to win four titles)...won three Cadet and two Junior National titles in both freestyle and Greco-Roman competition...member of 4-H Club...ranked in the top 10 of his class...4.0 GPA.