Dec. 7, 2008
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - The 13th-ranked Penn State wrestling team dominated the 2008 Nittany Lion Open, crowning five champions at the prestigious event. Penn State got titles from three returning All-Americans, a red-shirt freshman and a veteran heavyweight.
All-American Jake Strayer (South Fork, Pa.) went 6-0 at 133, crushing the field with three majors and three pins. His opening round victory was a 10-2 major over teammate No. 20 Tim Haas (Camp Hill, Pa.). Red-shirt freshman Frank Molinaro (Barnegat, N.J.) was also outstanding, going 5-0 with three pins and a major to claim the title at 133. All-American Bubba Jenkins (Virginia Beach, Va.), ranked No. 2 at 149, stayed perfect on the year by going 5-0 to win the crown. Jenkins dominated the field with four majors and a technical fall. Jenkins' final major was a 10-2 win over No. 7 Bryce Saddoris of Navy.
All-American Dan Vallimont (Lake Hopatcong, N.J.) also went 5-0 at 157. Vallimont, ranked No. 8 at 157, used two majors, a tech fall and a pin to claim the NLO title. Senior John Laboranti (Pittston, Pa.), wrestling unattached at heavyweight, was superb in winning his second Nittany Lion Open title Laboranti clinched his title with a 5-2 win over No. 11 Rashard Goff of Cleveland State in the title tilt. In addition to its five champions, Penn State had a sixth finalist as freshman Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.) took second at 174. Wright went 4-0 to advance to the finals before falling to two-time ACC Champion Mike Letts, unattached of Maryland (Letts is red-shirting this year).\
In addition to its six finalists, Penn State had three other grapplers post strong performances and place at the event. Sophomore Brad Pataky (Clearfield, Pa.) rebounded from an upset loss via defensive pin in the second round to win five straight in wrestle-backs to take fifth place. Pataky went 6-1 on the day and is now 12-4 on the year. Junior Adam Lynch (Mifflinburg, Pa.) went 5-2 on the day to take sixth at 133 and red-shirt freshman Tim Darling (Nazareth, Pa.) was very strong at 165, going 5-1 and taking fifth place.
The other five champions were Navy's Prescott Garner at 125, Maryland's Brian Letters at 165, Letts at 174, Josh Patterson of Binghamton at 184 and George Mason's Cayle Byers at 197.
Penn State's next action is slated for Sunday, Dec. 14, when West Virginia invades Rec Hall for a 1 p.m. dual. Fans can purchase season tickets by calling 814-863-1000 or 800-NITTANY. Season tickets are $32 for adults and $24 for youth. Single event tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for youth. Penn State students get in FREE with a Penn State ID. All Penn State dual meets and post-season action can be heard live in the Centre Region on WRSC (1390 AM State College), WHUN (1150 AM Huntingdon) and live at www.GoPSUsports.com as part of the All-Access package.
2008 NITTANY LION OPEN FINALS RECAP: Sunday, Dec. 7, 2008 - Rec Hall - State College, Pa.
125: Prescott Garner NAVY pinned Scotty Morgan UPJ, WBF (6:22)
133: Jake Strayer PSU 12-4 maj. dec. Joe Stanzione UA
141: Frank Molinaro PSU pinned Trevor Melde UA-Rutgers (3:48)
149: #2 Bubba Jenkins PSU 10-2 maj. dec. #7 Bryce Saddoris NAVY
157: #8 Dan Vallimont PSU 14-4 maj. dec. Steve Fittery UNATT.
165: Brian Letters MD med. forf. Josh Asper UA-MD
174: Mike Letts UA-MD 12-6 dec. #18 Quentin Wright PSU
184: #14 Josh Patterson BING pinned #17 Chris Daggett LIB (0:22)
197: #9 Cayle Byers GMU pinned #5 Hudson Taylor MD (4:27)
HWT: John Laboranti UA-PSU 5-2 dec. #11 Rashard Goff CSU
Penn State's weight-by-weight summary: UA - Note that UA indicates unattached collegiate wrestler UANR - Note that UANR indicates a Non-Collegiate opponent and that result does NOT count towards individual's win/loss record. * - Note that an (*) by a Penn State name indicates a PSU wrestler who is competing unattached.
125: Sophomore Brad Pataky (Clearfield, Pa.) was stunned in the second round by Navy's Prescott Garner, giving up a defensive pin and losing his shot at a Nittany Lion Open title. But the Clearfield native rebounded to win five straight and take fifth place. Pataky went 6-1 on the day with two pins and a technical fall. Sophomore Eric Caschera (South Williamsport, Pa.) also competed at 125, going 0-2.
Penn State's 125 agate:
L, 1-5 dec. Allan Stein NAVY
L, 2-3 dec. Ilyass Elmsaquri RIDER
Caschera DNP, 0-2 on the day
W, 4-0 dec. Jordan Keller, CLEVELAND ST.
LBF Prescott Garner NAVY (defensive)
WBF Mike DeMarco RUTGERS (2:16)
W, 16-1 tech. fall Jason Malmberg BINGHAMTON (4:39)
WBF Allan Stein NAVY (5:13)
W, 7-3 dec. Troy Opfer UA
5th Place: W, 13-8 dec. Joey Langel UA Pataky
5th place, 6-1 on the day
133: Penn State's day at 133 began with a key intra-squad battle between No. 20 Tim Haas (Camp Hill, Pa.) and 2007 All-American Jake Strayer (South Fork, Pa.), meeting in a pig-tail. After a close early battle, Strayer notched two first period takedowns and a three-point near fall in the second period to roll to a convincing 10-2 major decision. With pig-tail losers not getting into consolations, Haas ended his day early.
Strayer, on the other end, was a dominant fixture on the day. The senior All-American advanced to the championship finals with five dominant wins: two majors (including the one over No. 20 Haas) and three pins. In the finals, Strayer man-handled unattached Joe Stanzione, posting a 12-4 major decision. On the day, the senior earned the 2008 Nittany Lion Open title by going 6-0 with three majors and three pins.
Junior Adam Lynch (Mifflinburg, Pa.) opened up his day with a win and a loss but rebounded from the second round defeat to win four straight and place sixth. A solid 5-2 record gave Lynch the sixth place finish, his best at the Open.
Bryan Pearsall (Lititz, Pa.) went 2-2 on the day while Jack Chidester (Conestoga, Pa.) was 0-2. Both Pearsall and Chidester wrestled unattached.
Penn State's 133 agate:
L, 1-8 dec. Aaron Kalil NAVY
L, 4-8 dec. Brad Gentzle PITT
Chidester DNP, 0-2 on the day
#20 Tim Haas:
L, 2-10 maj. dec. Jake Strayer PSU
Haas DNP, 0-1 on the day
W, 14-9 dec. Russell Davidson UA
LBF Christian Smith LIBERTY (2:25)
W, 8-0 maj. dec. Mike Margherita UA
W, 9-8 dec. Aaron Kalil HAVY
W, 9-3 dec. Rob Slavin BINGHAMTON
W, 14-0 maj. dec. George Ester LOCK HAVEN
5th Place: L, 5-10 dec. Brad Gentzle PITT
Lynch 6th place; 5-2 on the day
* Bryan Pearsall:
WBF, Austin Clouse NAVY (0:49)
L, 8-15 dec. Tommy Lorenzo RIDER
W, 3-2 dec. Marty Borowsky PENN
L, 6-8 dec. Paul Grogan RUTGERS Pearsall
DNP, 2-2 on the day
W, 10-2 maj. dec. #20 Tim Haas PSU
W, 11-2 maj. dec. Craig Montgomery UA
WBF George Ester LOCK HAVEN (4:22)
WBF Eric Morrill UA-EDINBORO (1:29)
WBF Drew Herndon GEORGE MASON (2:49)
Finals: W, 12-4 maj. dec. Joe Stanzione UA Strayer
1st place, 6-0 on the day
141: Nittany Lion freshman Frank Molinaro (Barnegat, N.J.) opened his tournament with two pins and a major at 141 and then survived a semifinal scare with a rousing comeback to earn a trip to the finals at 141. In the finals, the New Jersey native made short work of unattached Rutgers grappler Trevor Melde, pinning him at the 3:48 mark in the second period. A perfect 5-0 day for Molinaro (with three pins and a major) earned him his first NLO title and improved his season record to 13-2.
Freshman Jarret Freeman (Maspeth, N.Y.) was 0-1 unattached while Colby Pisani (Ridgway, Pa.) went 0-1 in the blue and white singlet.
Penn State's 141 agate:
L, 4-14 maj. dec. John Del Gado GEO MASON
Freeman DNP, 0-1 on the day
WBF Tim Rich UANR (1:25)
W, 16-4 maj. dec. Kareem Naguib BINGHAMTON
WBF Abby Rush BOSTON (1:33)
W, 13-9 dec. David Greenwald RUTGERS
Finals: WBF Trevor Melde UA (3:48)
Molinaro 1st place; 5-0 on the day
L, 0-4 dec. Derek Royster CITADEL
Pisani DNP, 0-1 on the day
149: Junior All-American Bubba Jenkins (Virginia Beach, Va.) blazed his way to a finals meeting with No. 7 Bryce Sadoris of Navy at 149. The defending national runner-up, Jenkins easily handled Sadoris, downing the Midshipman with a 10-2 major to post a perfect 5-0 record on the day to claim his second straight NLO crown. Jenkins used four majors and a technical fall to post the 5-0 record on the day and stay perfect for the season at 10-0.
Sophomore Christian Harr (Hollidaysburg, Pa.) also had a solid afternoon, winning his first round bout and posting a 3-2 record on the day with wins over wrestlers from Pitt, Navy and Maryland.
Penn State's 149 agate:
W, 8-4 dec. Kyle Patton PITT
L, 6-10 dec. Nick Weaver RIDER
W, 7-3 dec. Eric Hess UANR
W, 9-4 dec. Cory Vernon NAVY
W, 3-2 dec. Steve Fehnel MARYLAND
L, 3-8 dec. Bret McCurdy PENN
Harr DNP, 3-2 on the day
#2 Bubba Jenkins
W, 20-8 maj. dec. Nick Standish, COLUMBIA
W, 18-3 tech. fall Cory Vernon NAVY
W, 15-4 maj. dec. Justin Sparrow THE CITADEL
W, 15-7 maj. dec. Justin Lister BINGHAMTON
Finals: 10-2 maj. dec. #7 Bryce Saddoris NAVY
Jenkins 1st place; 5-0 on the day
157: All-American Dan Vallimont (Lake Hopatcong, N.J.), ranked No. 8 at 157, shook off the ghosts of a slow start to the season by coasting to a 5-0 mark and his second straight Nittany Lion Open title. The junior from New Jersey used a pin, a technical fall and two majors to claim the title, downing unattached Steve Fittery in the finals with a 14-4 major decision. Vallimont is now 7-3 on the year.
Red-shirt freshman Shane Everett (Saylorsburg, Pa.) went 1-2 on the day while true freshman Nick Fischer (Unionville, Pa.) was 0-1 unattached.
Penn State's 157 agate:
W, 5-3 dec. Keith Ryan UA
L, 1-16 TF Steve Fittery UA
L, 5-8 dec. Corey Carlo CLEVELAND ST.
Everett DNP, 1-2 on the day
L, 0-6 John Bastings CORNELL
Fischer DNP, 0-1 on the day
#8 Dan Vallimont:
W, 16-0 tech. fall Chas Aungst UA
W, 12-3 maj. dec. Greg Zanette RUTGERS
W, 8-2 dec. Glenn Shober NAVY
WBF, Nate Patterson BINGHAMTON (1:55)
Finals: W, 14-4 maj. dec. Steve Fittery UA
Vallimont 1st place, 5-0 on the day
165: Red-shirt freshman Tim Darling (Nazareth, Pa.) bolted out of the gates with two wins before falling in the quarterfinals at 165. The Nazareth native rebounded from that loss to win three straight in consolations to take fifth place. Darling went 5-1 on the day and upped his season record to 8-3. His win in the consolation finals (for fifth place) was a thrilling third period pin of Cleveland State's Robbie Michaels (after trailing throughout the bout).
Senior Mark Friend (Libertyville, Ill.) was upset in the first round and forfeited out of the tournament, officially going 0-2 on the day. Shane Donnelly (East Smithfield, Pa.) was 0-1 unattached.
Penn State's 165 agate:
WBF Sean Quinn, WAGNER (1:15)
W, 9-4 dec. Kramer Whitelaw GEORGE MASON
L, 10-12 dec. Josh Asper UA
WBF Chris Hrunka UA-EDINBORO (4:08)
W, 4-2 dec. Sli Bostleman UA 5th Place:
WBF Robbie Michaels, CLEVELAND ST. (6:03)
Darling 5th place, 5-1 on the day
L, 0-8 maj. dec. Tim Burkle UA
Donnelly DNP, 0-1 on the day
L, 2-3 dec. Matt Pletcher RUTGERS
L, forfeit Tony Bradberry ASHLAND
Friend DNP, 0-2 on the day
174: True freshman Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.), ranked No. 18 in the nation at 174, looked to make it two straight Nittany Lion Open titles after winning the 165-pound crown last season as a high school senior. Wright had an outstanding day, but finished just one step short of his goal, placing second at 174. The Bald Eagle Area grad won four straight to begin the tournament before dropping a tough 12-6 decision to unattached Maryland grappler Mike Letts. Letts, red-shirting at Maryland this year, is a two-time defending ACC Champion.
Junior Matt Dodds (Leola, Pa.) won his first round bout and went 1-2 on the day.
Penn State's 174 agate:
W, 3-2 dec. Anthony Esposito BINGHAMTON
L, 5-21 tech. fall Mike Letts MARYLAND
L, 3-7 dec. Nick Knowles LIBERTY Dodds
DNP, 1-2 on the day
#18 Quentin Wright:
WBF Ryan Malloy UA (2:59)
W, 12-1 maj. dec. Cory Beaver PENN
W, 10-4 dec. Corey Peltier MARYLAND
W, 7-3 dec. Hunter Meyes BOSTON
Finals: L, 6-12 dec. Mike Letts UA-MARYLAND
Wright 2nd place, 4-1 on the day
184: Senior Phil Bomberger (Port Royal, Pa.), ranked No. 16, faced stiff competition in his first round bout when he took on No. 14 Josh Patterson of Binghamton. Patterson dominated the first four minutes and then turned Bomberger for a pin at the 4:07 mark. Bomberger forfeited out of the tournament and ended the day with a 0-2 mark.
Penn State's 184 agate:
#16 Phil Bomberger
LBF #14 Josh Patterson BINGHAMTON (4:07)
L, forfeit Brian Hurley CITADEL Bomberger
DNP, 0-2 on the day
197: With Clay Steadman (McKean, Pa.) not wrestling, 197-pound contenders Nathan Andrews (Spring Mills, Pa.), J.R. Brown (Bellefonte, Pa.) and Jack Decker (Roseland, N.J.) took to the mat for Penn State. Each won their first round bouts, but only Decker advanced to the quarterfinals. After an opening round pin, Decker downed Navy's Phil Neese in the quarterfinals before being pinned by No. 5 Hudson Taylor of Maryland in the quarterfinals. Decker went 2-1 on the day and did not place.
Andrews had a solid afternoon, going 2-2, while Brown went 1-1.
Penn State's 197 agate:
W, 11-10 dec. Corey Waite BINGHAMTON
L, 4-6 dec. John Hall BOSTON
W, 16-0 tech. fall Tommy Sitar MARYLAND
L, 3-9 dec. Martin Porter UA Andrews
DNP, 2-2 on the day
W, 5-3 dec. Henry Turner UA
L, 5-14 maj. dec. Josh Ohl ASHLAND
L, 5-7 Bobby Gray UANR Brown
DNP, 1-1 on the day
WBF Jack Callender UA (5:30)
W, 8-4 dec. Phil Neese NAVY
LBF #5 Hudson Taylor MARYLAND (1:10)
Decker DNP, 1-2 on the day
HWT: With starter Cameron Wade (Twinsburg, Ohio) not competing, senior John Laboranti (Pittston, Pa.) wrestled unattached as Penn State's only competitor at heavyweight. The Pittston native was outstanding on the day, winning his first three out of the games, including one pin, to push his way to the semifinals. In the semis, Laboranti escaped in his half of the :30 tie-breaker to post a 3-2 win and advance to the finals where he took on No. 11 Rashard Goff of Cleveland State. Laboranti roared to his second Nittany Lion Open crown by downing the ranked Viking 5-2. He went 5-0 on the day and upped his unattached record to 8-1.
Penn State's HWT agate:
W, 9-7 dec. (SV) Dominick Russo, Rutgers
WBF Robert Ryhal UA (2:31)
W, 8-4 dec. David Craig UA
W, 3-2 dec. (TB) Pat Gilmore, MARYLAND
Finals: W, 5-2 dec. #11 Rashard Goff CLEVELAND STATE
Laboranti 1st place, 5-0 on the day