Nittany Lions Perfect in Session 2 of 2011 NCAA Wrestling Championships to Maintain Hold on First Place

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March 17, 2011

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team remained in first place after the second session of the 2011 NCAA Wrestling Championships in Philadelphia. Head coach Cael Sanderson's crew closed out day one at the Wells Fargo Center by posting a perfect 8-0 record in session two and own a superb 15-1 record at the conclusion of day one of the event.

All seven of Penn State's seeded wrestlers won their second round matches and picked up one win in consolation action. Sophomore All-American Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.) and junior heavyweight Cameron Wade (Twinsburg, Ohio) each came up big as ninth-seeds, upsetting their eighth-seeded opponents to help spur the Lions on to the perfect session.

The Nittany Lions lead the team race with 30.5 points while Cornell is in second with 29.0. Iowa and Oklahoma State are tied for third with 25.0 each and American University is in fifth with 23.5.

Penn State came out roaring thanks to a sudden victory win and key bonus point victories. Sophomore All-American Andrew Long (Creston, Iowa), the third seed at 133, survived a four-point flurry from Minnesota's David Thorn and notched a takedown in sudden victory to post a 7-5 (sv) win to move into tomorrow's quarterfinals where he will face 11th-seed Scotti Sentes of Central Michigan. True freshman Andrew Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), the sixth-seed at 141, picked up yet another bonus point for Penn State, posting a strong 13-4 major over 11th-seed Michael Mariarcher of American. Combined with a first round pin this morning, Alton has picked up three bonus points for Penn State. He is also set for the quarterfinals tomorrow morning where he will meet third-seed Borislav Novachkov of Cal Poly.

Two-time All-American Frank Molinaro (Barnegat, N.J.), the second-seed at 149, continued to roll in the post-season. Molinaro notched a solid 6-3 win over Virginia's Derek Valenti and moves into the quarterfinals tomorrow where he will take on seventh-seed Mario Mason of Rutgers. The three points scored by Valenti are the first scored against Molinaro in post-season action (Big Tens or NCAAs). Red-shirt freshman David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio), the third-seed at 157, was dominant once again, posting a 20-3 technical fall over Northern Iowa's David Bonin at the 5:49 mark. Taylor used three takedowns and four three-point near fall points to roll to the victory and pick up 1.5 bonus points (giving him 2.5 for the tournament. Taylor will meet Iowa's Derek St. John, the No. 6 seed, in the quarterfinals tomorrow morning.

Red-shirt freshman Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.) then used a second period takedown and a late scramble to avoid a reversal to post an important 5-3 win over Minnesota's Scott Glasser at 174. Ruth, the No. 2 seed, will take on No. 7 seed Nick Amuchastegui of Stanford in the quarterfinals tomorrow. Wright bettered his Big Ten Championship win over Minnesota's Kevin Steinhaus with a dominating 8-4 win here in Philadelphia. Wright, the ninth seed, dominated the eight-seed Steinhaus with two takedowns in the third period to roll to the win. Wright will now meet top-seeded Chris Honeycutt of Edinboro in the quarterfinals tomorrow morning.

Wade, the ninth-seed, avenged a loss in the Big Ten Championship to eighth-seed Tony Nelson of Minnesota by rolling to a 4-1 win in his second round battle. Wade used a takedown and a reversal to dominate the match and move into the quarterfinals tomorrow morning against top-seed Zach Rey of Lehigh. Senior Brad Pataky (Clearfield, Pa.) rebounded from a first round loss this morning to handle Oregon State's Jason Lara 6-1 in the first round of consolations. Pataky used two takedowns, an escape and riding time to get the win and move into tomorrow morning's consolation action where he will face Sean Boyle of Michigan.

Penn State was a perfect 8-0 in session two and improves to 15-1 through two sessions of the tournament. The Nittany Lions picked up two more bonus point wins, getting a major from Alton and a technical fall from Taylor. Penn State now has 6.5 bonus points from two pins, three majors and a tech fall. Taylor's two wins improve him to 36-0 on the year with 34 bonus point wins. He now holds the Penn State single-season record for bonus point victories. Ruth's morning pin gives him 12 pins this year, tied for eighth all-time on Penn State's single-season list and he now has 23 bonus point victories, tied for 10th all-time with teammate Alton. Alton now has 23 bonus victories thanks to a pin and a major. His morning pin gives him 18 this year, fourth all-time at Penn State. The attendance for today's two sold out sessions was 17,289 for each one, making the one day total 24,578.

The 2011 NCAA Championships continue Friday, March 18, at 10:30 a.m. with session three. ESPN continues its full coverage of the three-day event tomorrow morning at 10:30 a.m. on ESPNU. Action then continues as follows: Friday, March 18 - Session four, 7 p.m. (ESPNU & ESPN3 simulcast); Saturday, March 19 - Session five, 11 a.m. (ESPNU & ESPN3 simulcast) - Session six/championship finals, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN). All broadcasts are in HD, including ESPN3. The All Penn State events will once again air live on Forever Broadcasting's WRSC (1390 AM) and WSQV (92.1 FM). All radio broadcasts are streamed live at as part of the All-Access package. The 2010-11 Penn State Wrestling season is presented by The Family Clothesline.

2011 NCAA Wrestling Championships - After Session 2
Thursday, March 17, 2011 - Wells Fargo Center - Philadelphia, Pa.

1: PENN STATE - 30.5
2: Cornell - 29.0
3: Iowa - 25.0
3: Oklahoma State - 25.0
5: American - 23.5
6: Arizona State - 21.0
7: Wisconsin - 20.0
8: Boise State - 19.5
9: Minnesota - 19.0
10: Nebraska - 18.5

The following is a weight-by-weight breakdown of Penn State's tournament to date:

125: Brad Pataky, Sr., (Clearfield, Pa.) - unseeded - 12-6 overall

1st Rd: L, 7-13 dec. #12 Jarod Garnett, Virginia Tech
Cons Rd. 1: W, 6-1 dec. Jason Lara, Oregon State
Cons Rd. 2: Tomorrow morning

Senior Brad Pataky, unseeded at 125, battled 12th-seed Jarrod Garnett tough but dropped a hard-fought 13-7 decision to the seeded Hokie in Penn State's first bout of the day. Pataky, Penn State's only unseeded grappler, moves into consolation action tonight where he took on Oregon State's Jason Lara.

Pataky used two takedowns, an escape and a riding time point to roll to a convincing 6-1 win over Lara. The Lion senior's win moves him into the next round of consolations tomorrow morning.

133: Andrew Long, So. (Creston, Iowa) - 3rd seed - 17-1 overall

1st Rd: W, 8-1 dec. Casey Cruz, Northern Colorado
2nd Rd: W, 7-5 (sv) dec. David Thorn, Minnesota
Quarters: Tomorrow morning

Sophomore Andrew Long, the third seed, dominated Northern Colorado's Casey Cruz 8-1 in his opening round match, getting a late takedown in each of the three periods to coast to the win. Long moved into the second round to face Minnesota's David Thorn.

Long broke out to an early lead on Thorn and was the pace setter in the match. But Thorn caught the Lion sophomore with a shoulder toss in the third period for a quick takedown and two near fall points, taking a 5-3 lead. Long, who already had the riding time point secured, escaped and went to sudden victory with Thorn where he used a scrambling takedown at the :30 mark to clinch the 7-5 win and move into tomorrow morning's quarterfinals.

141: Andrew Alton, Fr. (Mill Hall, Pa.) - 6th seed - 30-8 overall

1st Rd: WBF over Anwar Goeres, Binghamton (2:20)
2nd Rd: W, 13-4 maj. dec. #11 Michael Mariarcher, American
Quarters: Tomorrow morning.

True freshman Andrew Alton entered his first NCAA tournament as the 6th-seed at 141. The first year grappler made a superb NCAA tournament debut, pinning Binghamton's Anwar Goeres at the 2:20 mark. Alton took Goeres down three times in the first period before finishing off the match with the fall.

Alton met 11th-seed Michael Mariacher of American in the second round. Alton dominated the 11th-seed, collected five takedowns and two near fall points on his way to a 13-4 major. The major gives Alton three bonus points through two bouts and moves him into the quarterfinals tomorrow morning.

149: Frank Molinaro, Jr. (Barnegat, N.J.) - 2nd seed - 30-2 overall

1st Rd: W, 9-0 maj. dec. Zac Cibula, Rider
2nd Rd: W, 6-3 dec. Derek Valenti, Virginia
Quarters: Tomorrow morning

Two-time All-American Frank Molinaro is the No. 2 seed at 149 and the New Jersey native finds himself wrestling before something of a home crowd in Philadelphia. Molinaro was dominant in a 9-0 major decision over Rider's Zac Cibula, amassing 3:45 in riding time and taking the Bronc grappler down three times. Molinaro moved into the second round where he battled Virginia's Derek Valenti.

Molinaro controlled the bout with Valenti and rolled to a 6-3 win thanks to two takedowns, an escape and a riding time point. The three points for Valenti are the first scored on Molinaro during the post-season (Big Tens and NCAAs). Molinaro's win moves him into tomorrow's quarterfinals.

157: David Taylor, Fr. (St. Paris, Ohio) - 3rd seed - 36-0 overall

1st Rd: W, 13-2 maj. dec. Robert Erisman, Oklahoma State
2nd Rd: W, 20-3 tech fall over David Bonin, Northern Iowa (TF; 5:49)
Quarters: Tomorrow morning

Red-shirt freshman David Taylor took an undefeated 34-0 record into his first NCAA Championship and was the third seed at 157. Taylor met unseeded Big 12 champion Robert Erisman of Oklahoma State in the first round and used a flurry of near falls in the second period to roll to a 12-3 major over the Cowboy senior. Taylor turned Erisman twice after a reversal to start the period.

Taylor met Northern Iowa's David Bonin in the second round. The Lion dominated the Panther grappler, turning him for 12 back points and rolling to a 20-3 technical fall at the 5:49 mark. Taylor had three takedowns, four three point turns and a reversal in the win. The victory picked up 1.5 bonus points for the Nittany Lions. Taylor now has 2.5 in two bouts. The undefeated Lion freshman will wrestle in tomorrow's quarterfinals.

174: Ed Ruth, Fr., (Harrisburg, Pa.) - 2nd seed - 34-1 overall

1st Rd: WBF over Royal Brettrager, Liberty (0:24)
2nd Rd: W, 5-3 dec. Scott Glasser, Minnesota
Quarters: Tomorrow morning

Red-shirt freshman Ed Ruth took a superb 32-1 overall record into his first NCAA Championship and was the second seed at 174. Ruth wasted no time in making a splash at his first NCAA tournament. The Harrisburg native pinned Liberty's Royal Brettrager in just :24. Catching him with a near-side cradle and getting Penn State's second fall of the opening session.

Ruth took on Minnesota's Scott Glasser in the second round. Ruth fought off a late Glasser reversal attempt to post a hard-fought 5-3 win over the Gopher, using two takedowns and an escape for the victory. The red-shirt freshman now moves into tomorrow morning's quarterfinals.

184: Quentin Wright, So. (Wingate, Pa.) - 9th seed - 18-6 overall

1st Rd: W, 8-4 dec. Jonathan Fausey, Virginia
2nd Rd: W, 8-4 dec. #8 Kevin Steinhaus, Minnesota
Quarters: Tomorrow morning

Sophomore Quentin Wright, a 2009 All-American at 174 as a true freshman, returned to NCAAs at the No. 9 seed at 184. Wright continued his torrid March run by downing Virginia's Jonathan Fausey in the opening round. Wright did not give up a takedown, notched three of his own, and rolled to an 8-4 win.

Wright then took on eighth-seed Kevin Steinhaus of Minnesota in the second round in a rematch of the Big Ten title bout in Evanston on March 6. Wright was even more dominant over Steinhaus this time, using two third period takedowns to roll to an 8-4 win and move into the quarterfinals tomorrow morning. Wright has reeled off six straight wins in the post-season (four to win the Big Ten title and two today).

285: Cameron Wade (Twinsburg, Ohio.) - 9th seed - 30-6 overall

1st Rd: W, 9-2 dec. Clayton Jack, Oregon State
2nd Rd: W, 4-1 dec. #8 Tony Nelson, Minnesota
Quarters: Tomorrow morning

Junior Cameron Wade entered his second NCAA Championship as the No. 9 seed at heavyweight. Wade turned a first period takedown into a blowout win, turning Oregon State's Clayton Jack twice and rolling to a 9-2 win with over 4:00 in riding time. Wade moved into the second round where he met No. 8 seed Tony Nelson of Minnesota.

Wade, who lost to Nelson two weeks ago in the Big Ten Championships 3-0, avenged that loss with a superb 4-1 win over the Gopher big man. Wade got a first period takedown and a second period reversal to notch the victory, Penn State's fourth over Minnesota this round, and move into tomorrow's quarterfinals. Wade will meet No. 1 seed Zach Rey of Lehigh.




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