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March 21, 2013
DES MOINES, Iowa - The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team is in first place at the end of the first day of the 2013 NCAA Wrestling Championships in Des Moines, Iowa. Penn State was nearly perfect in the evening session, dropping just one of 11 bouts in Wells Fargo Arena. The Nittany Lions went 6-0 in the championship bracket and will send six grapplers into tomorrow morning's national quarterfinals. Head coach Cael Sanderson's crew sits in first place with 32.5 points while Oklahoma State is in second with 29.0.
All-American Nico Megaludis (Murrysville, Pa.), the No. 4 seed at 125, posted a strong 5-2 win over Central Michigan's Christian Cullinan in the second round. Megaludis posted takedowns in the first and second periods and then had a third period escape. The win moves him into tomorrow morning's quarterfinals.
All-American Dylan Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), the No. 8 seed at 157, capped off a perfect 3-0 day with another major decision. Alton used five takedowns and 2:23 in riding time to roll to a 13-5 major over Rider's Zac Cibula and advance to the national quarterfinals where he will meet top seed Jason Welch of Northwestern.
Two-time All-American David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio), the defending champion at 165, began a flurry of Penn State pins. Taylor took Appalachian State's Zach Strickland down twice in the first period and turned the second one into his second first period pin of the day, this one at the 2:41 mark. The victory moves Taylor into tomorrow's national quarterfinals.
Sophomore Matt Brown (West Valley City, Utah), the No. 2 seed at 174, taking to the same mat right after Taylor, then bulled through a high double against Pitt's Nick Bonaccorsi in the first period. He finished off the move by planting the Panther's back for another first period pin, this one at 1:30. The win moves Brown into tomorrow's national quarterfinals as well.
Two-time All-American Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.), the top seed at 184 and last year's national champ at 174, made it three quick pins in a row, this one over Arizona State's Kevin Radford. Ruth rode a 2-1 lead into the second period and then took Radford down with a low single. He steadily worked his way into yet another cradle and picked up the pin at the 3:41 mark. The third straight quick pin for Penn State moved Ruth into the national quarterfinals.
Three-time All-American Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.), the No. 2 seed at 197 and the '11 champion at 184, took on Drexel's Branden Palik in the second round. Wright battled his way through two periods to a 1-1 tie and then iced the bout with a late takedown. The 3-2 decision makes Wright Penn State's sixth national quarterfinalist.
Red-shirt freshman Jordan Conaway (Abbottstown, Pa.), senior Bryan Pearsall (Lititz, Pa.), sophomore Andrew Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.) and sophomore Jimmy Lawson (Tom's River, N.J.) all stepped into the consolation bracket after first round losses earlier in the day.
Conaway picked up his first career NCAA Championship win, using a takedown midway through the second sudden victory period to post a thrilling 6-4 (sv2) win over Dylan Hyder of Air Force. The win moves Conaway into consolation action tomorrow morning. Pearsall added to Penn State's bonus total, picking up his first NCAA Championship win with an impressive 10-2 major over Maryland's Frank Goodwin. Pearsall turned the Terrapin once in the first period and added two reversals while racking up 2:52 in riding time. The win moves him into tomorrow morning's consolation action.
Andrew Alton then picked up Penn State's fourth pin of the session, planting Army's Daniel Young in the first period. Alton took Young down, gave up an escape and then took him down once more with shoulder control and, after :30 of work, got the fall at the 2:05 mark. Alton also moves into tomorrow morning's consolation action. Lawson began the session for Penn State with a consolation pigtail bout against Utah Valley's Adam Fager. Lawson rebounded from an early deficit with a second period takedown and a third period reversal to post a solid 5-4 win and move into the consolation first round. He met Michigan's Ben Apland in the next conso round. Lawson led into the third period but after choosing down, was turned for three back points and ridden out to drop a 7-3 decision. Lawson bowed out of the tourney with a 1-2 mark and ends his first season as a collegiate wrestler with a 23-9 mark.
The Nittany Lions were nearly perfect in session two with a 10-1 mark and are 17-5 after a day's action. The Nittany Lions have built up 17.5 bonus points off six pins, one tech fall and four majors. Penn State is looking to win its third straight NCAA title after claiming the crown in 2011 in Philadelphia and 2012 in St. Louis.
The event continues tomorrow morning with consolation bouts and the national quarterfinals. Action begins at 11 a.m. Eastern/10 a.m. Central in the Wells Fargo Arena. The three-day event runs through March 23, concluding Saturday night with the championship finals and the crowning of the team champion. 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 NCAA Wrestling Championships - Team Standings After Session 2 - -TOP FIVE
Thursday, March 21, 2013 - Wells Fargo Arena - Des Moines, Iowa
1: PENN STATE - 32.5
2: Oklahoma State - 29.0
3: Minnesota - 24.0
4: Iowa - 22.0
5: Oregon State - 16.0
The following is a weight-by-weight breakdown/agate of Penn State's tournament to date (rankings listed are NCAA Championship Seed):
125: #4 Nico Megaludis (Murrysville, Pa.), Sr. - 26-3 overall
1st Rd: vs. Kevon Powell, Ohio - W, 17-2 TF (6:25)
2nd Rd: vs. Christian Cullinan, Central Michigan - W, 5-2 dec.
Qtrs: vs. Dominic Parisi, Appalachian State - Tomorrow
All-American Nico Megaludis (Murrysville, Pa.), the tournament's No. 4 seed at 125, began his quest for a national title with a big win. Megaludis, last year's NCAA runner-up as a true freshman, opened the tournament against Ohio's Kevon Powell, and rolled to a 17-2 technical fall at the 6:25 mark. The win, including 1.5 bonus points, moved Megaludis into the second round.
Megaludis then drew Christian Cullinan of Central Michigan in round two. The Lion sophomore cruised to a 5-2 decision over Cullinan, using takedowns in the first two periods to roll to victory. The win moved him into the national quarterfinals.
133: #12 Jordan Conaway (Abbottstown, Pa.) Fr. - 17-9 overall
1st Rd: vs. Vincent Dellafave, Rutgers - L, 1-3 (SV)
Cn 1: vs. Dylan Hyder, Air Force - W, 6-4 (SV2)
Cn 2: vs. Dane Harlow, Boston - Tomorrow
Red-shirt freshman Jordan Conaway (Abbottstown, Pa.), the No. 12 seed at 133 as a red-shirt freshman, made his NCAA Championship debut against Rutgers' Vincent Dellafave. Conaway battled the Knight into sudden victory and nearly one on a single leg, but Dellafave countered and got the takedown himself for a 3-1 (sv) win. The loss dropped Conaway into consolation action.
Conaway then met Air Force's Dylan Hyder in the consolation bracket. In a thrilling bout, Hyder led throughout the bout but Conaway notched a takedown with under 1:00 left to take a 4-3 lead. Hyder escaped late to send the bout into extra time and the duo battled through a scoreless sudden victory period and a scoreless tiebreaker. Conaway then grabbed the win with a takedown midway through the second sudden victory period, posting the 6-4 (sv2) win and staying alive in consolation action.
141: Bryan Pearsall (Lititz, Pa.), Sr. - 24-10
1st Rd: vs. Joey Lazor, Northern Iowa - L, 4-12 maj. dec.
Cn 1: vs. Frank Goodwin, Maryland - W, 10-2 maj. dec.
Cn 2: vs. Steven Keith, Harvard - Tomorrow
Senior Bryan Pearsall (Lititz, Pa.) made his NCAA Championship debut at 141 against Northern Iowa's Joey Lazor, who won a pigtail match earlier in the day. Lazor won a battle of scrambles and worked his way to a 12-4 win, dropping the Nittany Lion into consolation action.
Pearsall met Frank Goodwin of Maryland in his first consolation bout. Pearsall rolled through Goodwin, turning him once in the first period and picking up two reversals while amassing 2:52 in riding time. The 10-2 major moved Pearsall into the second round of consolation action and added to Penn State's bonus point total.
149: #11 Andrew Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), So. - 27-5 overall
1st Rd: vs. Drake Houdashelt, Missouri - L, 1-4
Cn 1: Daniel Young, Army - WBF (2:05)
Cn 2: vs. #12 Eric Grajales, Michigan - Tomorrow
Sophomore Andrew Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.) entered the NCAA tournament as the No. 11 seed at 149 and opened the tournament against Drake Houdashelt of Missouri. Houdashelt used near fall points in the second period to escape with a tough 4-1 win, sending Alton into the consolation bracket.
Alton took on Army's Daniel Young in the first consolation round. Alton notched Penn State's fourth pin of the evening session. He took Young down early and the Black Knight escaped. But Alton then added another takedown and, gaining control of Young's shoulders, turned him to his back for a first period fall at the 2:05 mark. The win moved Alton along in the consolation bracket.
157: #8 Dylan Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), So. - 28-6 overall
Pigtail: vs. Jake O'Hara, Columbia - W, 10-2 maj. dec.
1st Rd: vs. Donnie Tasser, Pittsburgh - W, 8-4 dec.
2nd Rd: vs. Zac Cibula, Rider - W, 13-5 maj. dec.
Qtrs: vs. #1 Jason Welch, Northwestern - Tomorrow
Sophomore All-American Dylan Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), the No. 8 seed at 157, had Penn State's only pigtail and made it count with a 10-2 major over Columbia's Jake O'Hara, picking up bonus points and moving into a first round match-up with Pitt's Donnie Tasser. Alton then rolled up the takedowns in a thorough 8-4 win over the Panther, moving into the second round after a 2-0 morning.
Alton then faced off against Zac Cibula in round two, his third bout of the day. Like in his first two bouts, Alton was methodical with takedowns, getting one in the first, two in the second and two in the third to roll to a 13-5 major decision with 2:23 in riding time. Picking up his second bonus point of the day, Alton moved into the national quarterfinals with the win.
165: #2 David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio), Jr. - 28-1 overall
1st Rd: vs. John Staudenmayer, North Carolina - WBF (2:51)
2nd Rd: vs. Zach Strickland, Appalachian State - WBF (2:41)
Qtrs: vs. #7 Conrad Polz, Indiana - Tomorrow
Defending NCAA Champion David (St. Paris, Ohio), the No. 2 seed at 165, opened up defense of his 165-pound NCAA crown against North Carolina's John Staudenmayer. Taylor dominated from the start, turning the Tar Heel twice before picking up the first period pin at the 2:51 mark, grabbing key bonus points and moving into the second round.
Taylor then faced Appalachian State's Zach Strickland in the second round. In a near mirror image of his first bout, Taylor dominated from the start. He quickly picked up two takedowns and then after the second, turned Strickland once for two near fall, a second time for three and then finished off his foe with another first period pin, this one at the 2:41 mark. Picking up more bonus points for Penn State, Taylor moved into the national quarterfinals with the win.
174: #2 Matt Brown (West Valley City, Utah) -- 27-4 overall
1st Rd: vs. Todd Porter, Missouri - W, 10-1 maj. dec.
2nd Rd: vs. Nick Bonaccorsi, Pittsburgh - WBF (1:30)
Qtrs: vs. Tanner Weatherman, Iowa State - Tomorrow
Sophomore Matt Brown (West Valley City, Utah) entered his first NCAA Championship as the No. 2 seed at 174 and began his title quest against Missouri's Todd Porter. Brown was in charge from the start, using a takedown in each period and forced Porter to three stalls on his way to an impressive 10-1 major decision. The win, tacking on another team bonus point, moved Brown into the second round.
Brown then went up against Pitt's nick Bonaccorsi in round two. After fighting through a scoreless minute, Brown used a fast double to bull through Bonaccorsi and put the Panther to his back. Brown needed just seconds to pick up the fall, getting the first period pin at the 1:30 mark to continue Penn State's bonus point rally and advance to the national quarterfinals.
184: #1 Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.), Jr. - 30-0 overall
1st Rd: vs. Fred Garcia, Lock Haven - WBF (0:28)
2nd Rd: vs. Kevin Radford, Arizona State - WBF (3:41)
Qtrs: vs. Max Thomusseit, Pittsburegh - Tomorrow
Defending NCAA 174-pound champion Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.), the No. 1 seed at 184 with a 28-0 mark, opened up his third NCAA tournament against Lock Haven's Fred Garcia. After fighting off an early Garcia shot, Ruth put his patented cradle to work, taking Garcia down and quickly locking him up for a first period pin at the 0:28 mark. The win, which added more bonus points to Penn State's team score, moved Ruth into the second round.
Ruth met Arizona State's Kevin Radford in round two. Ruth worked a 2-1 lead into the second period, chose down and escaped. He then continued a flurry of Penn State pins (as Taylor and Brown had just picked up falls) by locking up a cradle and getting the fall at the 3:41 mark. The pin, Ruth's second of the day, moved him into the national quarterfinals.
197: #2 Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.), Sr. - 29-0 overall
1st Rd: vs. Donald McNeil, Rider - W, 7-3 dec.
2nd Rd: vs. Branden Palik, Drexel - W, 3-2 dec.
Qtrs: vs. #10 Scott Schiller, Minnesota - Tomorrow
Three-time All-American Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.), the undefeated No. 2 seed at 197, opened up the 2013 NCAA Championship against Rider's Donald McNeil. Wright controlled the action from start to finish three takedowns to roll to a 7-3 win and move into the second round.
Wright met Drexel's Branden Palik in the second round. The senior battled his way to a 1-1 tie through two periods and then, in the third, notched the bout's first takedown late and walked away with a hard-fought 3-2 win. The victory moved Wright into the national quarterfinals.
285: Jimmy Lawson (Tom's River, N.J.) - 23-9 overall - Season Complete
1st Rd: vs. Jeremy Johnson, Ohio - L, 3-4 dec.
Cn. PT: vs. Adam Fager, Utah Valley - W, 5-4 dec.
Cn. 1: vs. Ben Apland, Michigan - Tonight
Sophomore Jimmy Lawson (Tom's River N.J.) made his NCAA Championship debut at 285 against Ohio's Jeremy Johnson. Lawson tried to complete a comeback from a 4-0 deficit late with an escape and a late takedown but dropped a 4-3 decision. The loss pushed Lawson into the consolation bracket.
Lawson took on Utah Valley's Adam Fager in a pigtail consolation bout and notched his first-ever NCAA tournament win with a late comeback. After trailing early, Lawson used a second period takedown and a third period reversal to post a 5-4 win. The victory moved him into the consolation first round where he met Michigan's Ben Apland. Lawson dominated action early, notching two takedowns to lead 4-3 into the third period. The Nittany Lion sophomore then chose down and Apland turned him for three back points and rode him out for a 7-3 decision. Lawson ended his NCAA tournament with a 1-2 mark and his season with a 23-9 record.