Nittany Lions Hold First Place after First Session of 2012 Big Ten Wrestling Championships
March 3, 2012
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -
The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team, led by head coach Cael Sanderson, sits in first place after the opening session of the 2012 Big Ten Championships at Purdue University. Penn State had 78.5 points with Iowa at 69.0 and Minnesota at 59.0. The Nittany Lions posted a superb 13-2 overall record in the first session and have eight wrestlers in the conference semifinals, slated to begin tonight at 5 p.m.
Advancing to tonight's Big Ten semifinals are No. 8 Nico Megaludis (Murrysville, Pa.) at 125, three-time All-American and top-seeded Frank Molinaro (Barnegat, N.J.) at 149, No. 2 seed Dylan Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.) at 157, All-American and top seeded David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio) at 165, All-American and top seeded Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.) at 174, two-time All-American and second-seed Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.) at 184, No. 3 seed Morgan McIntosh (Santa Ana, Calif.) at 197 and No. 2 seed Cameron Wade (Twinsburg, Ohio) at heavyweight.
Penn State had five first round match-ups leading into the quarterfinals and took full advantage of each one, going 5-0 and picking up 6.5 important bonus points right out of the gates. Megaludis, junior Bryan Pearsall (Lititz, Pa.), Alton, Taylor and Wright all grabbed wins. Megaludis got a major, Pearsall picked up a pin, Taylor a tech fall and Wright a pin.
In the second round, Megaludis, the No. 3 seed at 125, downed No. 6 seed Johnni DeJulius of Ohio State 6-2. Sophomore Frank Martellotti (Pittsburgh, Pa.) made his Big Ten tournament debut against top-seeded Logan Stieber of Ohio State and fell 13-3. Pearsall dropped a tough 6-0 decision to defending national champion Kellen Russell of Michigan. Molinaro picked up Penn State's third pin with a 2:18 fall over Northwestern's Kaleb Friedley before Alton majored Purdue's tommy Churchard 15-6 at 157. Taylor posted Penn State's fourth pin, getting a fall over NU's Pierce Harger at the 1:40 mark. Ruth posted a 14-2 major over Illinois' Jordan Blanton in his first bout at 174 and Wright notched a tough 7-2 (sv) win over Tony Dallago at 18Sophomore Frank Martellotti (Pittsburgh, Pa.) made his Big Ten tournament debut against top-seeded Logan Stieber of Ohio State and fell 13-3.
Pearsall dropped a tough 6-0 decision to defending national champion Kellen Russell of Michigan. Molinaro picked up Penn State's third pin with a 2:18 fall over Northwestern's Kaleb Friedley before Alton majored Purdue's tommy Churchard 15-6 at 157. Taylor posted Penn State's fourth pin, getting a fall over NU's Pierce Harger at the 1:40 mark. Ruth posted a 14-2 major over Illinois' Jordan Blanton in his first bout at 174 and Wright notched a tough 7-2 (sv) win over Tony Dallago at 184. McIntosh used nearly all of sudden victory, using a takedown with :01 left to notch a 3-1 (sv) win over sixth-seed Andrew Campolattano of Ohio State. Wade closed out Penn State's superb quarterfinal round with a 10-0 major over Michigan State's Steve Andrus.
Penn State picked up another 7.0 bonus points in the quarterfinals, giving them 13.5 bonus points in the opening session to go along with a 13-2 record.
The 2012 Big Ten Championship Tournament is being contested at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., on March 3-4. Session two is set for tonight, Saturday, at 5 p.m. Tomorrow's first session begins at 1 p.m. with the championship finals starting at 3 p.m. The finals will air live on the Big Ten Network.
The full season slate of live dual meet and tournament action will air locally on WRSC AM (1390 AM) with Friday evening duals being simulcast on WRSC FM (103.1 FM). Lock Haven's WBPZ (1230 AM) will also carry the entire season live, WIEZ (670 AM) in Huntingdon/Lewistown carries all Sunday events. The regular season schedule of radio broadcasts will be streamed live at www.GoPSUsports.com as part of Penn State's All-Access package. Fans are encouraged to follow Penn State wrestling via twitter at www.twitter.com/pennstatepat and on Penn State Wrestling's facebook page at www.facebook.com/pennstatewrestling. The 2011-12 Penn State Wrestling season is presented by The Family Clothesline.
True freshman Nico Megaludis opened up his first Big Ten Championship bout with a dominating 12-3 major over Michigan's Grant Pizzo. Megaludis notched a bevy of takedowns and built up 4:45 in riding time in the win. In the quarterfinals, Megaludis dominated No. 17 Johnni DeJulius of Ohio State, the 6th-seed, with a 6-2 decision, sending him to the semifinals.
Top seed Frank Molinaro opened up defense of his Big Ten title with a swift and decisive pin of 8th-seeded Kaleb Friedley of Northwestern. Molinaro took Friedley down early, worked a tilt and then got the pin at the 2:18 mark. The win moved him into the semifinals.
157: #5 Dylan Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), Fr. - 2nd seed - 22-4 overall
174: #2 Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.), So. - 1st seed - 24-0 overall