Three-Peat! Nittany Lion Wrestlers Win 2013 Big Ten Title
March 10, 2013
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -
The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestlers, ranked No. 1 throughout the year on Intermat's national TPI ranking, lived up to that billing once again, winning their third straight Big Ten Championship. Head coach Cael Sanderson has now won three Big Ten crowns in his four years as mentor at Penn State. The Nittany Lions won with 151.0 points, Minnesota was second at 139.0 and Iowa third with 133.5.
Penn State went a perfect 4-0 in the finals and claimed half the post-season hardware as well. Junior Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.) was named 2013 Big Ten Wrestlers of the Year and Sanderson won his third straight Big Ten Coach of the Year (sharing this year's honor with Minnesota's J Robinson). In addition, to a third straight title and a bevy of conference laurels, all ten Nittany Lions will make their way to the NCAA Championships on March 21-23 in Des Moines, Iowa, as Penn State looks to win its third straight NCAA crown.
Junior David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio) was Penn State's first finalist. Taylor, ranked No. 2 nationally at 165 and the top seed, took on second seed Conrad Polz of Indiana in the finals. As the Illini played defense, and was for three stall calls, Taylor notched two takedowns, a reversal and over 3:00 in riding time to roll to a 9-1 major, picking up key bonus points and becoming Penn State's third three-time Big Ten Champion. Taylor went 3-0 on the day and heads to Des Moines to defend his national title with a 26-1 overall record.
Sophomore Matt Brown (West Valley City, Utah), ranked No. 7 nationally at 174 and the fifth seed, battled No. 3 Mike Evans of Iowa in the finals. After Evans, the No. 2 seed was given an early lead on a penalty point due to a pulled sock, Brown went on a rampage. The Nittany Lion sophomore escaped to start the second period and then bulled through a high double, taking Evans to his back to take a commanding 6-1 lead off the five point move. He tallied 2:29 in riding time after riding Evans out for most of the third period and rolled to the 7-3 win, becoming a Big Ten Champion in his first trip to the conference tournament. Brown went 4-0 over the course of the weekend and heads to NCAAs with a 25-4 record.
Junior Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.), ranked No. 1 nationally at 184 and the top seed, looking for this third straight Big Ten championship, Ruth met Minnesota's Kevin Steinhaus, ranked No. 5 nationally and the No. 2 seed, in the finals. Ruth took care of the Gopher and nearly clinched the team title with a 5-3 win, using takedowns in the first and third periods to roll to victory. Ruth, like Taylor, becomes a three-time Big Ten Champion, Penn State's fourth. Ruth went 3-0 at the tourney and heads to the NCAA Champion looking for a second straight national title with a perfect 28-0 record.
Senior Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.), ranked No. 2 nationally at 197 and the top seed, k Wright took on second-seed Scott Schiller of Minnesota in the finals. Never threatened, Wright rolled his way to a 5-3 win over Schiller, using second and third period takedowns for the margin. Wright's win gives him his second Big Ten title and clinched the team title for Penn State. Wright went 3-0 for his second title, clinching the team title for Penn State in the process. Wright heads to Des Moines looking to become a four-time All-American and two-time NCAA Champion with a perfect 27-0 record.
All-American Nico Megaludis (Murrysville, Pa.), ranked No. 3 at 125, was outstanding today, rebounding from a loss in the semifinals last night. Megaludis downed No. 13 Nikko Triggas of Ohio State 4-1 in the conso semis and then rolled past No. 16 Sean Boyle of Michigan, 4-1, with over 3:00 in riding time. The burst gives Megaludis a third place finish after going 3-1. Sophomore Andrew Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), ranked No. 13 at 149 and the sixth seed, went 1-1 in conso action. Alton picked up a 13-4 major over Michigan State's Dan Osterman in the conso semis. He then broke out to a 5-0 lead on No. 10 Ivan Loupochanski, the tournament's No. 2 seed. But in the second period, the Boilermaker grappler countered an Alton throw and pinned the Nittany Lion at the 4:06 mark. Alton's outstanding run to fourth place as the No. 6 seed came on a 4-2 mark and earned him a trip to NCAAs.
Red-shirt freshman Jordan Conaway (Abbottstown, Pa.), ranked No. 12 nationally at 133, dropped his consolation semifinal bout to sixth-ranked Chris Dardanes of Minnesota but rebounded for a resounding 4-1 win over 11th-ranked Daryl Thomas of Illinois. The win gave Conaway fifth place and a trip to NCAAs as a freshman. Conaway went 2-2 in his first Big Ten Championship. Senior Bryan Pearsall (Lititz, Pa.), having earned his first trip to the NCAA Championships, ended the Big Ten tournament with an outstanding win in the fifth place bout. After dropping his conso semifinal bout to No. 7 Nick Dardanes of Minnesota, Pearsall used a takedown in extra time to post the 4-2 (sv) win over Northwestern's Pat Greco. Pearsall went 4-2 to take fifth and earned his first trip to NCAAs.
All-American Dylan Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), ranked No. 5 nationally at 157, went 0-2 in consolation action and took sixth with a 3-3 record. Alton was beaten by No. 2 Derek St. John of Iowa and Minnesota's Danny Zilverberg in the fifth place bout. Alton had already secured a trip to NCAAs. Sophomore Jimmy Lawson (Tom's River, N.J.) took fifth seed Mike McClure of Michigan State into sudden victory before giving up a takedown and fall at the 6:36 mark. Lawson's eighth place finish moves him on to nationals as one of Penn State's ten-man contingent having gone 2-3.
Penn State closed out the tournament with a 31-13 record with all ten wrestlers placing in the top eight. Penn State stacked up 20.5 bonus points off of five pins, three tech falls and six majors. Taylor and Ruth become Penn State's third and fourth three-time Big Ten Champions as well. Kerry McCoy won three titles from 1994-97 and Sanshiro Abe won three from 1993-96. In addition to Ruth's Wrestler of the Year and Sanderson's Coach of the Year awards, all four champions (Taylor, Brown, Ruth and Wright) were named First Team All-Big Ten honorees. Wisconsin heavyweight Connor Medberry was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year and Illinois' Jesse Delgado was the tournament's Outstanding Wrestler to round out post-season honors.
The Nittany Lions will next head to Des Moines, Iowa, for the 2013 NCAA Wrestling Championships on March 21-23 in the Wells Fargo Arena. Penn State will be looking to win its third straight NCAA title. 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.
2013 Big Ten Wrestling Championships - Team Standings After Session 3
1st Rd: bye
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.
Megaludis took on No. 13 Nikko Triggas of Ohio State in the consolation semifinals. Megaludis used a second period takedown as the impetus for a 4-1 win and moved into the third place bout against Michigan's Sean Boyle. In the third place bout, Megaludis dominated the action, picking up a second period takedown and rolling up over 3:00 in riding time on his way to a 4-1 win.
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.
Conaway met No. 6 Chris Dardanes of Minnesota in the consolation semifinals and dropped a hard-fought 7-2 decision. The loss moved Conaway into the fifth place bout where he took Illinois' Thomas again. This time, Conaway did not need extra time, turning a third period takedown into a ride out and rolling to a 4-1 win to take fifth at 133 as a freshman and advance to the NCAA Championships.
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.
Pearsall met No. 7 Nick Dardanes of Minnesota in the consolation semifinals, the tournament's second seed. Dardanes ground out a 6-2 win over Pearsall, pushing the Nittany Lion senior into the fifth place bout against Northwestern's Pat Greco. Pearsall battled Greco through an even three periods and then countered a Greco shot to post a thrilling 4-2 (sv) win to take fifth place and earn the ticket to Des Moines.
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 fastest pin in Big Ten tournament history. 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 took to the mat against Michigan State's Dan Osterman in the consolation semis. The Nittany Lion sophomore came out of the gates fast with a five-point move and then rolled to a 13-4 major decision, moving him into the third place bout against second-seed Ivan Lopouchanski of Purdue, who was ranked No. 10 nationally. Alton led 5-2 early but Lopouchanski countered an Alton throw attempt and turned the Lion sophomore to his back for a pin. The loss gives Alton the fourth place nod as the sixth seed and sends him to Des Moines.
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.
Alton faced off against top-seeded Derek St. John in the consolation semifinals. The duo once again battled through two even periods. With the score tied late in the third period, Alton shot, St. John countered and notched a takedown that he turned into a pin at the 6:36 mark. The loss moved Alton into the fifth place bout against Minnesota's Danny Zilverberg. Alton led Zilverberg 2-0 with just :20 left but the Gopher reversed Alton late in the final stanza and took him to his back for three near fall points and, with riding time, posted a 6-2 win. Alton took sixth place with a 3-3 record and heads to NCAAs in two weeks.
Defending NCAA Champion David Taylor opened up his quest for a third straight Big Ten title with a first round bye. He then took on ninth seed Mark Martin of Ohio State in the quarterfinals. Taylor was once again workmanlike, rolling up points at will on his way to a 20-5 technical fall at the 5:45 mark. The win moved him into the semis and sends him to Des Moines.
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.
The defending Big Ten champion Taylor met Illinois' Conrad Polz, ranked No. 8, in the finals. Taylor was dominating from start to finish. As the Illini played defense, and was for three stall calls, Taylor notched two takedowns, a reversal and over 3:00 in riding time to roll to a 9-1 major, picking up key bonus points and becoming Penn State's third three-time Big Ten Champion.
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.
Brown battled No. 3 Mike Evans of Iowa in the finals. After Evans was given an early lead on a penalty point due to a pulled sock, Brown went on a rampage. The Nittany Lion sophomore escaped to start the second period and then bulled through a high double, taking Evans to his back to take a commanding 6-1 lead off the five point move. He tallied 2:29 in riding time after riding Evans out for most of the third period and rolled to the 7-3 win, becoming a Big Ten Champion in his first trip to the conference tournament.
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.
Looking for this third straight Big Ten championship, Ruth met Minnesota's Kevin Steinhaus, ranked No. 5 nationally, in the finals. Ruth took care of the Gopher and nearly clinched the team title with a 5-3 win, using takedowns in the first and third periods to roll to victory. Ruth, like Taylor, becomes a three-time Big Ten Champion, Penn State's fourth.
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.
Looking for his second Big Ten title, Wright took on second-seed Scott Schiller of Minnesota in the finals. Never threatened, Wright rolled his way to a 5-3 win over Schiller, using second and third period takedowns for the margin. Wright's win gives him his second Big Ten title and clinched the team title for Penn State.