Nittany Lions Continue First Place Run at 2013 NCAA Wrestling Championships

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Defending NCAA Champion David Taylor pinned Illinois' Conrad Polz in only :24 to move into tonight's national semifinals and become a three-time All-American.


Defending NCAA Champion David Taylor pinned Illinois' Conrad Polz in only :24 to move into tonight's national semifinals and become a three-time All-American.

March 22, 2013

VIDEO: NCAA Championships Session III Roundup

VIDEO: Ed Ruth Wins 100th Career Match During NCAA Quarterfinals

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DES MOINES, Iowa - The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team continued its first place run through three sessions of the 2013 NCAA Wrestling Championships in Des Moines, Iowa. Head coach Cael Sanderson's squad pushed five wrestlers into the national semifinals, all of whom clinched All-America status, at Wells Fargo Arena. Penn State leads the team race with 77.5 points while Oklahoma State is in second with 65.5 (each team had completed action in session three at press time).

Sophomore Nico Megaludis (Murrsyville, Pa.) became a two-time All-American with a dominating 12-4 major over Appalachian State's Dominic Parisi as Penn State's first of six quarterfinalists. Megaludis tallied five takedowns (two in the first, two in the second and one in the third), an escape and 1:25 in riding time to advance to tonight's national semifinals against top-seed Alan Waters of Missouri.

Sophomore All-American Dylan Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.) took on No. 1 seed Jason Welch of Northwestern in his quarterfinal. Alton took an early lead off a first period takedown that he carried into the third period, leading 3-1. But Welch escaped and then caught the Lion sophomore on a throw for a late five point move that gave the Wildcat an 8-3 decision. Alton's loss moves him into tonight's `round of 12' against No. 4 James Green of Nebraska, still one win away from All-America status and still alive for third.

Defending NCAA 165-pound champion David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio) became a three-time All-American in swift fashion. Taylor stepped onto his quarterfinal mat against No. 7 Conrad Polz of Illinois and ended the match in just :24. The Lion junior locked up a cradle and pinned Polz to clinch All-American status and move into the national semifinals against Virginia Tech's Peter Yates, the No. 3 seed. It was Taylor's third pin in as many matches at this year's event (all in the first period).

Sophomore Matt Brown (West Valley City, Utah), the No. 2 seed at 174, earned his first All-America honor and a trip to the national semifinals with a dominating 13-5 major decision over Iowa State's Tanner Weatherman. Brown opened up a 6-1 lead off two takedowns and two near falls and never looked back. The 3:08 riding time point gave Brown the major and added to Penn State's lofty bonus point total. Brown will meet No. 6 seed Logan Storley of Minnesota in the semifinals tonight.

Defending NCAA 174-pound champion Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.), the No. 1 seed at 184, blazed through Pitt's Max Thomusseit in his quarterfinal bout. Ruth picked up four takedowns, an escape, a stall point and rolled up an amazing 5:00 in riding time to post the 11-1 major decision and move into the national semifinals. The win makes Ruth a three-time All-American and was his 100th career victory. Ruth will meet No. 4 seed and defending NCAA champ Steve Bosak of Cornell in the semifinals tonight.

Nittany Lion senior Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.) took on No. 10 Scott Schiller of Minnesota in his quarterfinal match. Wright joined the bonus point parade with a first period pin. After two-plus minutes of even action, Wright locked up a shoulder throw and planted Schiller's back to the mat at the 2:48 mark. The pin pushes Wright into the national semifinals and makes him Penn State's sixth four-time All-American. He will meet No. 3 Matt Wilps of Pittsburgh in tonight's semis.

Freshman Jordan Conaway (Abbottstown, Pa.) kept his All-American dreams alive early with a 6-4 decision over Boston's Dane Harlowe in the second consolation round. The Lion rallied for a late reversal to grab the victory. He then took on Michigan's Rosario Bruno in the conso third round and joined Penn State's pin parade. Conaway led 3-2 into the second period and then forced a scramble that he turned into a pin at the 4:17 mark. The win moved Conaway just one win away from earning All-America status as a freshman in the `round of 12'. He will face No. 8 Cody Brewer of Oklahoma tonight.

Senior Bryan Pearsall (Lititz, Pa.) and sophomore Andrew Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.) bowed out of the tournament with tough losses in consolation action. Bryan battled Harvard's Steven Keith in the second round of consolation and dropped an 8-3 decision. The loss ended Pearsall's tournament with a 1-2 mark and his season at 24-11. The Nittany Lion senior closes out his career with a 55-52 record as an NCAA qualifier. Andrew faced No. 12 seed Eric Grajales of Michigan, who finished off a five point move late in the third period and walked away with an 8-1 decision. The loss ends Alton's season at 27-6 after a 1-2 tournament with a pin.

The Nittany Lions went 7-3 in session three and are 24-8 to date at the event. Penn State has collected 26.5 bonus points off nine pins, one tech fall and seven 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 tournament continues tonight in the Wells Fargo Arena with the national semifinals and more consolation action, beginning at 7 p.m. Eastern/6 p.m. Central. 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.

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. - 27-3 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 - W, 12-4 maj. dec.
Semis: vs. #1 Alan Waters, Missouri -- Tonight

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.

Nico met Dominic Parisi of Appalachian State in the national quarterfinals. The Nittany Lion clinched his second All-America tag and a trip to the national semifinals with a dominating 12-4 major decision, picking up more bonus points for Penn State. Megaludis notched five takedowns, an escape and 1:25 in riding time to roll to the win.

133: #12 Jordan Conaway (Abbottstown, Pa.) Fr. - 19-9 overall

1st Rd: vs. Vincent Dellafave, Rutgers - L, 1-3 dec. (SV)
Cn 1: vs. Dylan Hyder, Air Force - W, 6-4 dec. (SV2)
Cn 2: vs. Dane Harlow, Boston - W, 6-4 dec.
Cn 3: vs. Rosario Bruno, Michigan - WBF (4:17)
Rd. 12: vs. #8 Cody Brewer, Oklahoma - Tonight

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.

Jordan faced off against Boston's Dane Harlow in the second round of consolations on Friday morning. The Nittany Lion came back from a first period takedown and rolled to a 6-4 decision to keep his All-America dreams alive. Conaway used a first period takedown of his own and then a reversal after a mad scramble late in the third to secure the win. In his second consolation bout, the Lion freshman met Michigan's Rosario Bruno and joined Penn State's pin parade. Conaway led 3-2 into the second period and then forced a scramble that he turned into a pin at the 4:17 mark. The win moved Conaway just one win away from earning All-America status as a freshman in the `round of 12'.

141: Bryan Pearsall (Lititz, Pa.), Sr. - 24-11 - Season Complete

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 - L, 3-8 dec.

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.

Bryan battled Harvard's Steven Keith in the second round of consolation and dropped an 8-3 decision. Keith used three early takedowns to grab the lead while Pearsall picked up three third period stall points. The loss ended Pearsall's tournament with a 1-2 mark and his season at 24-11. The Nittany Lion senior closes out his career with a 55-52 record as an NCAA qualifier.



149: #11 Andrew Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), So. - 27-6 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 - L, 1-8 dec.

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.

Alton, the No. 11 seed, met No. 12 seed Eric Grajales of Michigan in the second round of consolations. Alton and Grajales embarked on a battle of throws midway through the second period with each man looking to take the other to his back. But it was Grajales who finished off the five point move and walked away with an 8-1 decision. The loss ends Alton's season at 27-6 after a 1-2 tournament with a pin.



157: #8 Dylan Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), So. - 28-7 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 - L, 3-8 dec.
Rd. 12: vs. #4 James Green, Nebraska - Tonight

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.

In the national quarterfinals, Alton took on No. 1 seed Jason Welch of Northwestern. Alton took an early lead off a first period takedown that he carried into the third period, leading 3-1. But Welch escaped and then caught the Lion sophomore on a throw for a late five point move that gave the Wildcat an 8-3 decision. Alton's loss moved him into the `round of 12' conso quarters, still one win away from All-America status and still alive for third.



165: #2 David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio), Jr. - 29-1 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, Illinois - WBF (0:24)
Semis: vs. #3 Peter Yates, Virginia Tech - Tonight

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.

David then faced off against No. 7 seed Conrad Polz of Illinois in the national quarterfinals, a rematch of the Big Ten Championship two weeks ago. Taylor became a three-time All-American in swift fashion, ending the match in just :24. The Lion junior locked up a cradle and pinned Polz to clinch All-American status and move him into the national semifinals. It was Taylor's third pin in as many matches at this year's event (all in the first period).



174: #2 Matt Brown (West Valley City, Utah) -- 28-4 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 - W, 13-5 maj. dec.
Semis: vs. #6 Logan Storley, Minnesota - Tonight

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.

Matt then met Iowa State's Tanner Weatherman in the national quarterfinals. Brown earned his first All-America honor and a trip to the national semifinals with a dominating 13-5 major The Nittany Lion sophomore opened up a 6-1 lead off two takedowns and two near falls and never looked back. The 3:08 riding time point gave Brown the major and added to Penn State's lofty bonus point total. Brown moved into the national semifinals with the win.



184: #1 Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.), Jr. - 31-0 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, Pittsburgh - W, 11-1 maj. dec. (5:00 in riding time)
Semis: vs. #4 Steve Bosak, Cornell - Tonight

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.

In the national quarterfinals, Ruth took on Pittsburgh's Max Thomusseit. Ruth dominated Thomusseit in his quarterfinal bout. The Lion junior picked up four takedowns, an escape, a stall point and rolled up an amazing 5:00 in riding time to post the 11-1 major decision and moved into the national semifinals. The win made Ruth a three-time All-American and was his 100th career victory.

197: #2 Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.), Sr. - 30-0 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 - WBF (2:48)
Semis: vs. #3 Matt Wilps, Pittsburgh - Tonight

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.

Quentin then met 10th seed Scott Schiller in the quarterfinals in a rematch of the Big Ten Championship match. Wright joined the bonus point parade with a first period pin. After two-plus minutes of even action, Wright locked up a shoulder throw and planted Schiller's back to the mat at the 2:48 mark. The pin pushed Wright into the national semifinals and made him Penn State's sixth four-time All-American.

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 - L, 3-7 dec.

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.

 

 

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