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Feb. 23, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -
The NCAA has announced the qualifier allocations for the 2012 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships and the Big Ten received 74 automatic slots to the championship. The final weight-by-weight RPI listings and coaches rankings have been released as well and head coach Cael Sanderson's squad is well represented.
Nine of Penn State's 10 entrants in the 2012 Big Ten Championships are ranked in the last RPI with eight grapplers ranked in the final coaches poll. Sophomore All-American David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio) is ranked No. 1 in both RPI and coaches poll at 165. Taylor heads to Big Ten's as the defending conference champion and with a perfect 23-0 record. Three-time All-American Frank Molinaro (Barnegat, N.J.) is ranked No. 1 in the coaches poll and No. 2 in RPI at 149. Molinaro is also the defending conference champion and is undefeated with a perfect 25-0 mark.
All-American Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.) is ranked No. 1 in RPI and No. 2 in the coaches poll at 174. Ruth is also the defending Big Ten champion and is, likewise, perfect on the year at 23-0. Two-time All-American Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.) is ranked No. 2 by the coaches and has a No. 4 RPI at 184. Wright, defending Big Ten and NCAA champion, heads to West Lafayette with a 22-2 mark. Senior heavyweight Cameron Wade (Twinsburg, Ohio) is has a No. 3 RPI and a No. 5 ranking in the coaches poll. Wade carries a 22-3 mark into Big Tens.
Red-shirt freshman Dylan Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.) is ranked No. 5 in the final coaches poll and is at No. 12 on the RPI list at 157. Alton is 20-4 heading to the conference championship. True freshman Nico Megaludis (Murrysville, Pa.) is ranked No. 7 in the coaches poll at 125 and has a No. 12 RPI as well. Megaludis heads to his first Big Ten tournament with a 21-5 mark. Fellow red-shirt freshman Morgan McIntosh (Santa Ana, Calif.) is ranked No. 12 in the coaches poll rankings at 197 and No. 13 in RPI. McIntosh heads to Purdue with a 15-6 mark. Junior Bryan Pearsall (Lititz, Pa.) has a No. 32 RPI at 141 and is unranked in the coaches poll. He carries a 12-10 record to his second conference tournament. Sophomore Frank Martellotti (Pittsburgh, Pa.) is unranked in both polls and heads to his first Big Ten tourney with a 6-7 mark.
Fully have of Penn State's line-up is listed in the top four of their respective RPIs and six are in the top five of the coaches poll. In all, nine Nittany Lions are ranked on at least one list with eight in the top 12 of the coaches poll and seven in the top 13 of the RPI. A weight-by-weight breakdown of the Big Tens qualifiers show the conference getting six automatic bids at 125, seven at 133, five at 141, nine at 149, six at 157, eight at 165, nine at 174, seven at 184, seven at 197 and ten at 285.
The Nittany Lions will look to defend their Big Ten Championship next weekend. Penn State will take part in the 2012 Big Ten Championship Tournament at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., on March 3-4. Session one on Saturday, March 3, is set for 10 a.m.
The full season slate of live dual meet and tournament action will air locally on WRSC AM (1390 AM) with Friday evening duals being simulcast on WRSC FM (103.1 FM). Lock Haven's WBPZ (1230 AM) will also carry the entire season live, WIEZ (670 AM) in Huntingdon/Lewistown carries all Sunday events and further affiliates may be added soon. The regular season schedule of radio broadcasts will be streamed live at www.GoPSUsports.com as part of Penn State's All-Access package, which will also feature live video streams of many home events. Ticket information is accessed easily online at www.GoPSUsports.com/tickets/m-wrestl-tickets.html . Fans are encouraged to follow Penn State wrestling via twitter at www.twitter.com/pennstatepat and on Penn State Wrestling's facebook page at www.facebook.com/pennstatewrestling. The 2011-12 Penn State Wrestling season is presented by The Family Clothesline.