Penn State in First Place after Day One of Big Ten Wrestling Championships
March 9, 2013
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -
The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestlers, ranked No. 1 throughout the year on Intermat's national TPI ranking, are in first place at the first day's conclusion of the 2013 Big Ten Wrestling Championships. A total of four Nittany Lions will be wrestling for Big Ten titles tomorrow and all ten Penn State wrestlers have already punched their tickets to the NCAA Championships later this month.
Head coach Cael Sanderson's team is looking for its third straight Big Ten title at the event, being contested today and tomorrow in Champaign, Ill. Penn State is in first place with 123.0 points while Minnesota is in second with 112.5. Iowa follows in third with 109.0.
Defending NCAA Champion David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio), ranked No. 2 at 165, became Penn State's first Big Ten finalist with an impressive technical fall over Iowa's Nick Moore in the semis at 165. Taylor rolled to the 15-0 TF at the 2:37 mark, using a takedown and a series of near falls. He was followed by sophomore Matt Brown (West Valley City, Utah), ranked No. 7 at 174, who dominated Michigan's Dan Yates on his way to a 5-1 decision and a trip to the Big Ten finals.
Defending 174-pound NCAA Champion Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 184, posted a strong 10-1 major decision over Iowa's Ethan Lofthouse, ranked No. 14. Ruth used a four-point first period and a five point third period to roll to the victory and into the finals tomorrow. Three-time All-American Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.), ranked No. 2 at 197, escaped with a 1-0 win over No. 15 Andrew Campolattano of Ohio State, making a second period escape stand and becoming Penn State's fourth finalist.
All-American Nico Megaludis (Murrysville, Pa.), ranked No. 3 nationally at 125, dropped a tough 6-3 decision to No. 4 Jesse Delgado of Illinois in the semifinals and will shift into the consolation semis tomorrow. Red-shirt freshman Jordan Conaway (Abbottstown, Pa.), ranked No. 12 at 133, was pinned by No. 1 Logan Stieber of Ohio State at the 1:28 mark and will also wrestle in the conso semis tomorrow. Both Megaludis and Conaway can still take third place.
Senior Bryan Pearsall (Lititz, Pa.), ranked No. 21 in the coaches poll, earned his first trip to NCAAs with a super 2-0 session at 141. Pearsall posted a hard-fought 6-4 win over Indiana's Alex Gregory in his first conso bout and then earned an NCAA bid with a 19-11 major over Michigan State's Camryn Jackson. Sophomore Andrew Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), ranked No. 13, is also headed to Des Moines after a 2-0 session of his own. Alton opened it up with a sizzling pin of Northwestern's Dylan Marriott in just :16. The Nittany Lion sophomore then took down the tournament's top seed, No. 7 Eric Grajales of Michigan 14-8 to earn a trip to Des Moines.
All-American Dylan Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), ranked No. 5, also went 2-0 in consolation action to advance to NCAAs, posting a quick first period pin of Purdue's Tommy Churchard (1:03). He then fought his way to a tough 3-2 win over Michigan State's Ryan Watts, the seventh-seed, to advance to the conso semis tomorrow. Megaludis, Conaway, Pearsall, A. Alton and D. Alton can all finish as high as third place.
Sophomore Jimmy Lawson (Tom's River, N.J.) made it a perfect ten for Penn State, advancing to NCAAs with a dominating 13-5 major over Nebraska's Spencer Johnson in his first conso bout. He dropped a tough 7-4 decision to sixth seed Adam Chalfant of Indiana to close out Penn State's session, which shifted him to the seventh place bout tomorrow, already an NCAA qualifier.
Penn State went 11-3 in the evening session and 4-2 in the semifinals. Penn State is 22-7 overall and has tallied 18.5 bonus points off five pins, three tech falls and four majors
The event continues tomorrow with consolation semifinal and some placing bouts at 12:30 p.m. Eastern/11:30 a.m. Central. The Championship Finals begin at 2:30 p.m. Eastern/1:30 p.m. Central and will air live on the Big Ten Network. Fans are encouraged to follow Penn State wrestling via twitter at www.twitter.com/pennstateWREST and on Penn State Wrestling's facebook page at www.facebook.com/pennstatewrestling. The 2012-13 Penn State Wrestling season is presented by The Family Clothesline.
In the semifinals, Megaludis took on fourth-ranked Jesse Delgado of Illinois, the third-seed. Megaludis fell behind early to the Illini and dropped a tough 6-3 decision. The loss sends Megaludis into tomorrow morning's consolation semifinals, still with the ability to take third place.
Conaway then met the nation's top-ranked wrestler, Ohio State's Logan Stieber, in the semifinals. The top-seeded Buckeye took Conaway down twice early and then turned him for a pin at the 1:28 mark. Conaway's loss moved him to the consolation semifinals, with third place still in his grasp.
In his first consolation bout, Pearsall took on Indiana's Alex Gregory. The Lion senior came back from a first period takedown and an early third period takedown to score four points late and win 6-4. The victory pushed him into a conso third round bout against Michigan's Camryn Jackson, the eighth-seed. Pearsall came back from an early 6-2 deficit to dominate the final four minutes, turning Jackson three times in the second period on his way to a 19-11 major decision, bonus points for the Lions, and his first trip to the NCAA Championships.
In consolation action, Alton took on Dylan Marriott of Northwestern and made short work of the Wildcat. Alton came out quickly, gained control of Marriott's shoulders and flipped him to his back for a pin in just 0:16. The fall moved Alton into the consolation third round against top-seed Eric Grajales of Michigan. Alton dominated the action from start to finish, using six takedowns to roll to a 14-8 win, punch his ticket to NCAAs and move into the conso semis.
Alton met Purdue's Tommy Churchard in his first consolation bout. Like his brother Andrew a few minutes before, Dylan wasted little time in moving on in the bracket. He quickly took Churchard down, allowed the Boiler an escape and then caught his shoulders, turned him to his back and picked up a first period pin at the 1:03 mark. Alton moved on to battle Michigan State's Ryan Watts and earned a trip to NCAAs with a 3-2 win.
Taylor met fourth-seed Nick Moore of Iowa in the semifinals and dismantled the talented Hawkeye, rolling to a 15-0 tech fall in the first period. Taylor used a takedown and a series of turns to end the match at the 2:37 mark and become Penn State's first finalist of the day.
In his semifinal match-up with Michigan's Dan Yates, Brown was dominant once again. The sophomore used takedowns in the second and third periods to roll to a 5-1 win and move into the finals tomorrow afternoon.
Ruth then took on Iowa's Ethan Lofthouse in the semifinals and rolled his way to a 10-1 major over the Hawkeye. Ruth used three takedowns and a two-point turn to open up his lead and move into the finals tomorrow.
Wright then faced Ohio State's Andrew Campolattano in the semifinals. In the semis, Wright used a second period escape to post a hard-fought 1-0 win and become Penn State's fourth finalist.
Sophomore Jimmy Lawson, the third member of the Nittany Lion line-up making his Big Ten Championships debut, picked up bonus points as well to round out a 5-0 first period for the Nittany Lions. Lawson posted a 9-1 major over Ohio State's Kosta Karageorge (with over 4:00 riding time). He then met second seed Mike McMullan of Northwestern in the quarterfinals. Lawson made a late comeback attempt but his flurry fell short in a 6-4 loss. The defeat dropped him into the consolation bracket, still alive for a top eight finish and a trip to NCAAs.
Lawson then met Nebraska's Spencer Johnson in his first consolation bout. Lawson punched his ticket to the NCAA Championship and picked up key bonus points with a dominating 13-5 major over Johnson. The win was highlighted by a late five point move (takedown and three near-fall) that gave Lawson the major. The Lion sophomore then met sixth-seed Adam Chalfant of Indiana, who was ranked No. 15 nationally. Lawson dropped a 7-4 decision and moved into the seventh place bout.