Quentin Wright Claims 184-Crown as Penn State Wins 2011 NCAA Wrestling National Championship
March 19, 2011
Penn State's National Championship Wrestling squad will arrive back at Rec Hall between 11:15 a.m.-12 p.m. Sunday, March 20, for those interested in welcoming the team back to campus.
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - The Penn State Nittany Lions have won the 2011 NCAA Wrestling national championship in Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Center. It is the school's first title since 1953 and becoming the first east coast school to win the crown since that year. Sophomore Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.) claimed the individual national crown at 184 as Penn State outdistanced Cornell and Iowa for the championship.
Penn State head coach Cael Sanderson, the 2011 Big Ten Coach of the Year, earned his first collegiate national team title as a coach or wrestler as the Nittany Lions won the team race with 107.5 points. Cornell took second place with 93.5 and Iowa was third with 86.5.
Junior Frank Molinaro (Barnegat, N.J.), now a three-time All-American, opened up Penn State's championship session in the title tilt at 149. Molinaro took on Cornell's Kyle Dake but found the footing rough against last year's national champion at 141. The Cornell grappler notched an early takedown in the first, three back points in the second and a reversal and riding time point to notch an 8-1 win. The loss means Molinaro ends the season as the 2011 National Runner-Up at 149 pounds. He is Penn State's 19th three-time All-American, having finished 8th at 141 in 2009, 6th at 149 last year and 2nd at 149 this year. Molinaro ends the campaign with a 32-3 record after going 4-1 at this year's tournament. Molinaro heads into his senior season with an 88-29 overall record.
Red-shirt freshman David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio), a first time All-American for Penn State, took on Arizona State's Bubba Jenkins in the championship bout at 157. The duo wrestled evenly for the first period with Taylor taking two shots that Jenkins managed to counter and turn into stalemates. Taylor took down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 1-0 lead. The Lion freshman then got in on a single leg that Jenkins countered once more, forcing a scramble that Jenkins used to catch Taylor in a cradle. Jenkins pinned Taylor at the 4:14 mark, ending Taylor's unbeaten season. The loss means Taylor is the 2011 National Runner-Up at 157. The freshman All-American went 4-1 at his first NCAA tournament and posted a superb 38-1 overall record, with 34 of his wins earning bonus points.
Sophomore Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.), now a two-time All-American, battled Lehigh's Robert Hamlin in the national final at 184, coming away with a convincing 5-2 win. Wright and Hamlin battled each other evenly for the first period, with neither man scoring any point in the opening three minutes. Wright chose down to start the second period and escaped quickly to a 1-0 lead. From there the floodgates opened for the Penn State sophomore. He quickly took Hamlin down for a 3-0 lead and then, after a Hamlin escape, took the Mountain Hawk down one more time. Wright rode the 5-2 lead through the third period and claimed the 2011 NCAA National title at 184. Wright ends a stunning March with a 21-6 record after a perfect 5-0 run through nationals. Now a two-time All-American, Wright will head into his sophomore year with a 54-19 record.
Penn State ends the 2011 National Championships with a superb 29-10 overall record. The Nittany Lions collected 16.5 bonus points from six 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 1998. The record is eight set in 1987. While Penn State is the first east coast team to win the championship since the Nittany Lions won it in 1953, the only other team east of the Mississippi river to win a national title since that year was Michigan State, which won the crown in 1967. Freshman All-American Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.), the third place finisher at 174, won the tournament's Gorriaran Award, given to the wrestler who has the most pins in the least amount of time. Ruth had two pins in 1:06, including one in :24.
Fans wishing to purchase 2011 Penn State Wrestling NCAA Championship gear can do so now by visiting the online store at www.GoPSUsports.com/store . Season tickets for the 2011-12 season are disappearing fast as well. Fans may make deposits on new season tickets by following the information available online at is www.GoPSUsports.com/tickets/m-wrestl-tickets.html . A welcome celebration for the Nittany Lions will take place upon the team's arrival back in State College tomorrow in front of Rec Hall. Details will be available later tonight as it will be added to the TOP of this release, tweeted at www.twitter.com/pennstatepat and on Penn State Wrestling's facebook page at www.facebook.com/pennstatewrestling. The 2010-11 Penn State Wrestling season has been presented by The Family Clothesline.
UPDATE THREE FINALISTS LKJLKJLKJ
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
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 - 20-2 overall
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 met Cornell's Mike Grey, the eighth-seed, in a key consolation semifinal bout to start Penn State's session. The two-time All-American continued his quest for a third place finish by catching Grey with one arm, pushing him to his back and getting a thrilling pin with just one second left in the second period (4:59).
In the third place match, Long, who pinned Sentes in the quarterfinals on Friday, battled the CMU grappler hard again and used a third period takedown and riding time to notch a key 7-5 win and take third place. Long came back from a 4-1 deficit in the first period to claim the bronze medal and keep Penn State rolling towards a team title. Long, who was the third seed, claimed third place with a 5-1 record with two pins. His only loss was a tough 6-4 decision to second-seeded Andrew Hochstrasser of Boise State.
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.
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.
In national final, Molinaro, now a three-time All-American, opened up Penn State's championship session. He took on Cornell's Kyle Dake but found the footing rough against last year's national champion at 141. The Cornell grappler notched an early takedown in the first, three back points in the second and a reversal and riding time point to notch an 8-1 win. The loss means Molinaro ends the season as the 2011 National Runner-Up at 149 pounds.
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.
In the national finals, Taylor took on Arizona State's Bubba Jenkins in the championship bout at 157. The duo wrestled evenly for the first period with Taylor taking two shots that Jenkins managed to counter and turn into stalemates. Taylor took down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 1-0 lead. The Lion freshman then got in on a single leg that Jenkins countered once more, forcing a scramble that Jenkins used to catch Taylor in a cradle. Jenkins pinned Taylor at the 4:14 mark, ending Taylor's unbeaten season. The loss means Taylor is the 2011 National Runner-Up at 157.
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.
Ruth took on fifth-seed Chris Heinrich of Virginia in the consolation semifinals and, in a rematch of December's Southern Scuffle title bout won by Ruth, dominating the Cavalier once again. Ruth used a first period takedown, a strong ride in the second period and a reversal and takedown in the third to roll to a 7-2 win.
In the third place match, Ruth, who downed Lewnes in the Southern Scuffle semifinals, once again dominated the Big Red grappler. The Nittany Lion freshman took Lewnes down once in the first period and once in the second and added on an escape and a riding time point to notch a 6-2 win and claim third place. Ruth, who was injured in his semifinal match forcing him to take a default, rebounded for two wins today and leaves the tournament with his first All-America honor and a 5-1 record.
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.
In the championship final match-up, battled Lehigh's Robert Hamlin in the national final at 184, coming away with a convincing 5-2 win. Wright and Hamlin battled each other evenly for the first period, with neither man scoring any point in the opening three minutes. Wright chose down to start the second period and escaped quickly to a 1-0 lead. From there the floodgates opened for the Penn State sophomore. He quickly took Hamlin down for a 3-0 lead and then, after a Hamlin escape, took the Mountain Hawk down one more time. Wright rode the 5-2 lead through the third period and claimed the 2011 NCAA National title at 184.
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.