Molinaro, Taylor and Wright Head to National Finals as Lions Lead the Field at 2011 NCAA Wrestling Championships

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Head coach Cael Sanderson and assistant coach Casey Cunningham help make the call in Quentin Wright's pin over Iowa's Grant Gambrall in the national semifinals.

Head coach Cael Sanderson and assistant coach Casey Cunningham help make the call in Quentin Wright's pin over Iowa's Grant Gambrall in the national semifinals.

Complete Team Scores and Bracket in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

March 18, 2011

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team will send three wrestlers into the national finals at the 2011 NCAA Wrestling Championships at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pa., and will carry a 17.5 point lead into the final day of competition. Junior Frank Molinaro (Barnegat, N.J.), freshman David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio) and sophomore Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.) will all wrestle for national titles tomorrow night.

The Nittany Lions sit alone in first with 92.5 points while Cornell is in second with 75.0. Iowa is a close third at 74.0 while Oklahoma State is in fourth with 65.5. Penn State went 3-1 in the semifinals while Cornell posted a 1-3 mark.

Andrew Long (Creston, Iowa), the third seed at 133 and now a two-time All-American, battled second seed Andrew Hochstrasser hard for seven minutes but came up short in a 7-4 loss. Hochstrasser notched a takedown and two near fall points to break open a lead that Long could not come back from. Long will wrestle in the consolation semifinals tomorrow morning, still eyeing a third place finish.

Freshman Andrew Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), the sixth seed at 141, suffered a heart-breaking 5-4 upset loss to 12th-seeded Zach Kemerer of Penn in the `round of 12'. Alton gave up a first period takedown and a third period takedown and could not break through Kemerer's defensive style to notch any of his own. The loss ends Alton's tournament just one win shy of All-America status. The true freshman went 2-2 in his first trip to NCAAs with a pin and a major and ends his freshman season with a 30-10 record.

Junior Frank Molinaro (Barnegat, N.J.), the second seed at 149 and now a three-time All-American, moved into his first NCAA final with a dominating 4-1 win over sixth-seed Jason Chamberlain of Boise State. Molinaro notched a takedown, an escape a plenty of riding time to roll to victory. The Nittany Lion will take on fourth-seed Kyle Dake of Cornell in the finals. Molinaro heads to the championship bout with a 32-2 overall record.

Red-shirt Freshman David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio), the third seed at 157, put on another show against second-seeded Steve Fittery of American. Taylor dominated the match from start to finish, using a reversal and two back points in the second period to roll to a 7-1 win over the previously unbeaten Fittery. Taylor now moves into the national title bout against Arizona State's Bubba Jenkins tomorrow night. Taylor will carry a 38-0 mark into the national final, with 34 of them earning bonus points.

Sophomore Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.), the ninth seed at 184 and now a two-time All-American, thrilled the Penn State faithful at the event by pinning Iowa's Grant Gambrall in his national semifinal. Wright turned a 5-0 second period lead into a pin at the 3:53 mark. Wright had a takedown and three back points in the first period and then in the second caught Gambrall's shoulders, tossed him to the mat and the worked to a cradle that ended the match and sent Wright into the finals. Wright will face second-seeded Robert Hamlin of Lehigh in the finals.

Red-shirt freshman Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.), the second seed at 174, rebounded from an injury in his quarterfinal match that forced him to default to become Penn State's fifth All-American. Ruth used two reversals to squeak out a hard-fought win over Purdue's Luke Manuel in the `round of 12'. He then met sixth-seed Ben Bennett of Central Michigan in the conso quarters. Ruth turned a 0-0 second period tie into another Nittany Lion pin, turning Bennett and getting the fall at the 4:10 mark. Ruth will now continue his quest for third place tomorrow morning in the medal round.

Junior Cameron Wade (Twinsburg, Ohio), the ninth seed at heavyweight, tried valiantly to come back from an injury in his quarterfinal match, taking Indiana's Ricky Alcala to sudden victory before losing. Alcala got a takedown midway through the extra period to get the 4-2 win and end Wade's tournament one win shy of All-America honors. Wade ends his tournament with a 2-2 record and posted a 30-8 record over the course of the season.

Penn State went 5-3 in session four and is now 24-8 after two full days of the tournament. The Nittany Lions picked up four more important bonus points thanks to pins from Wright and Ruth. The Nittany Lions have 14.5 bonus points from five pins, three majors and a tech fall. Penn State's five All-Americans up the all-time total at Penn State to 171 and is the most All-Americans for Penn State in one year since the team had five in 1993. The record is eight set in 1987.

The 2011 NCAA Championships continue Saturday, March 19, at 11 a.m. with the medal rounds. ESPN U will cover the event live in HD at 11 a.m. (ESPNU & ESPN3 simulcast). Session six, the championship finals, are at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN HD. 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 GoPSUsports.com 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 4
Thursday, March 18, 2011 - Wells Fargo Center - Philadelphia, Pa.


1: PENN STATE - 92.5
2: Cornell - 75.0
3: Iowa - 74.0
4: Oklahoma State - 65.5
5: American - 56.0
6: Lehigh - 53.5
7: Arizona State - 52.5
8: Boise State - 52.0
9: Minnesota - 49.5
10: Wisconsin - 44.5


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

125: Brad Pataky, Sr., (Clearfield, Pa.) - unseeded - 12-7 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: L, 1-8 dec. Sean Boyle, Michigan


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 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. Pataky then met Michigan's Sean Boyle in the next consolation round but dropped a tough 8-1 bout. Boyle countered a number of early Pataky shots for takedowns to grab the victory. Pataky went 1-2 in his third trip to NCAAs and posted a 12-7 record during an injury plagued season.

133: Andrew Long, So. (Creston, Iowa) - 3rd seed - 18-2 overall 2011 ALL-AMERICAN

1st Rd: W, 8-1 dec. Casey Cruz, Northern Colorado
2nd Rd: W, 7-5 (sv) dec. David Thorn, Minnesota
Quarters: WBF over #11 Scotti Sentes, Central Michigan (2:46)
Semis: L, 4-7 dec. #2 Andrew Hochstrasser, Boise State


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.

The Iowa native became a Penn State All-American with a pin over Central Michigan's Scotti Sentes in the quarterfinals. Now a two-time All-American, Long used a thrilling first period move to grab the pin. Sentes notched an early takedown in the bout and controlled Long for much of the first period, but the third seeded sophomore worked his way into a quick reversal and pin of Sentes at the 2:46 mark.

In the national semifinals, Long battled second seeded Andrew Hochstrasser hard for seven minutes but came up short in a 7-4 loss. Hochstrasser notched a takedown and two near fall points to break open a lead that Long could not come back from. Long will wrestle in the consolation semifinals tomorrow morning, still eyeing a third place finish.



141: Andrew Alton, Fr. (Mill Hall, Pa.) - 6th seed - 30-10 overall

1st Rd: WBF over Anwar Goeres, Binghamton (2:20)
2nd Rd: W, 13-4 maj. dec. #11 Michael Mariarcher, American
Quarters: L, 0-2 dec. #3 Boris Novochkov, Cal Poly
Conso Rd. 4: L, 4-5 dec. #12 Zach Kemerer, Penn


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.

The Penn State freshman then dropped a hard-fought 2-0 decision to No. 3 seed Boris Novochkov of Cal Poly in his quarterfinal bout. Neither wrestler had a takedown, but Novochkov rode Alton out in the second period and then picked up an escape in the third for the 2-0 win.

Alton, the sixth seed, then suffered a tough 5-4 upset loss to 12th-seeded Zach Kemerer of Penn in the `round of 12'. Alton gave up a first period takedown and a third period takedown and could not break through Kemerer's defensive style to notch any of his own. The loss ends Alton's tournament just one win shy of All-America status. The true freshman went 2-2 in his first trip to NCAAs with a pin and a major and ends his freshman season with a 30-10 record.



149: Frank Molinaro, Jr. (Barnegat, N.J.) - 2nd seed - 32-2 overall 2011 ALL-AMERICAN

1st Rd: W, 9-0 maj. dec. Zac Cibula, Rider
2nd Rd: W, 6-3 dec. Derek Valenti, Virginia
Quarters: W, 4-2 dec. #7 Mario Mason, Rutgers
Semis: W, 4-1 dec. #6 Jason Chamberlain, Boise State


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 Ten and NCAAs).

Molinaro became a three-time All-American with a solid 4-2 decision over seventh-seed Mario Mason of Rutgers in the quarterfinals. The Nittany Lion junior used a first period takedown and two escapes to offset a late Mason takedown. Molinaro becomes Penn State's 19th three-time All-American.

The Lion junior then moved into his first NCAA final with a dominating 4-1 win over sixth-seed Jason Chamberlain of Boise State. Molinaro notched a takedown, an escape a plenty of riding time to roll to victory.



157: David Taylor, Fr. (St. Paris, Ohio) - 3rd seed - 38-0 overall 2011 ALL-AMERICAN

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: W, 6-3 dec. #6 Derek St. John, Iowa
Semis: W, 7-1 dec. #2 Steve Fittery, American


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 St. Paris, Ohio, native stayed undefeated with a decisive 6-3 decision over No. 6 Derek St. John of Iowa in the quarterfinals. Taylor was not taken down by the Hawkeye and used two takedowns, an escape and a riding time point to grab the victory. He becomes Penn State's first freshman All-American since Molinaro and Quentin Wright turned the trick in 2009 and improves to 37-0 on the year.

In the semis, the Lion freshman put on another show against second-seeded Steve Fittery of American. Taylor dominated the match from start to finish, using a reversal and two back points in the second period to roll to a 7-1 win over the previously unbeaten Fittery.

174: Ed Ruth, Fr., (Harrisburg, Pa.) - 2nd seed - 36-2 overall

1st Rd: WBF over Royal Brettrager, Liberty (0:24)
2nd Rd: W, 5-3 dec. Scott Glasser, Minnesota
Quarters: L, def. #7 Nick Amuchastegui, Stanford
Conso Rd. 4: W, 7-6 dec. Luke Manuel, Purdue
Conso Qtr: WBF #6 Ben Bennett, Central Michigan (4:10)


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.

Seventh-seed Nick Amuchastegui of Stanford ended Ruth's quest for a national title as the Nittany Lion freshman was injured during the second period and had to default into consolation action. Ruth notched a first period takedown but Amuchastegui got a takedown at the end of the first period to lead 3-2 after one. Ruth chose down to start the second and the Cardinal turned him three times to lead 9-2 at the end of the second. During the ride-out, Ruth was injured and could not continue and shifted to the consolations.

In the consos, Ruth rebounded from the injury to become Penn State's fifth All-American. Ruth used two reversals to squeak out a hard-fought win over Purdue's Luke Manuel in the `round of 12'. He then met sixth-seed Ben Bennett of Central Michigan in the conso quarters. Ruth turned a 0-0 second period tie into another Nittany Lion pin, turning Bennett and getting the fall at the 4:10 mark.

184: Quentin Wright, So. (Wingate, Pa.) - 9th seed - 20-6 overall 2011 ALL-AMERICAN

1st Rd: W, 8-4 dec. Jonathan Fausey, Virginia
2nd Rd: W, 8-4 dec. #8 Kevin Steinhaus, Minnesota
Quarters: W, 7-3 dec. #1 Chris Honeycutt, Edinboro
Semis: WBF over #12 Grant Gambrall, Iowa (3:53)

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.

Wright then dominated the tournament's top seed at 184, Chris Honeycutt of Edinboro. He took the Scot grappler down once in the first period and twice in the third to roll to an impressive 7-3 win and become a two-time All-American. The Centre County native has reeled off seven straight wins in the post-season (four to win the Big Ten title and three here at NCAAs).

In the semifinals, the Loin sophomore thrilled the Penn State faithful at the event by pinning Iowa's Grant Gambrall in his national semifinal. Wright turned a 5-0 second period lead into a pin at the 3:53 mark. Wright had a takedown and three back points in the first period and then in the second caught Gambrall's shoulders, tossed him to the mat and the worked to a cradle that ended the match and sent Wright into the finals.



285: Cameron Wade (Twinsburg, Ohio.) - 9th seed - 30-8 overall

1st Rd: W, 9-2 dec. Clayton Jack, Oregon State
2nd Rd: W, 4-1 dec. #8 Tony Nelson, Minnesota
Quarters: L, def. #1 Zach Rey, Lehigh
Conso Rd. 4: L, 2-4 (sv) Ricky Alcala, Indiana


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.

The ninth-seeded Wade was taken down in the first period by top-seeded Zach Rey of Lehigh in his quarterfinal match-up. During a scramble late in the period, Wade suffered an injury and, while he did continue into the second period, was not able to continue early in the middle stanza and defaulted into the consolation bracket.

In the consos, Wade tried valiantly to come back from an injury in his quarterfinal match, taking Indiana's Ricky Alcala to sudden victory before losing. Alcala got a takedown midway through the extra period to get the 4-2 win and end Wade's tournament one win shy of All-America honors. Wade ends his tournament with a 2-2 record and posted a 30-8 record over the course of the season.

 

 

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