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Feb. 28, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -
The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team will head to West Lafayette, Ind., on March 3-4 to defend its conference crown at the 2012 Big Ten Wrestling Championships. The two-day event is hosted by Purdue University and begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 3. The Nittany Lions head into the post-season as the top ranked team in the nation in Intermat's Tournament Power Index.
The event, taking place in Mackey Arena, will serve as the national qualifier for the conference as all 12 conference teams look to qualify their wrestlers for the 2012 NCAA Championships in St. Louis on March 15-17. Nine of Penn State's 10 entrants in the 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.
All ten Lions received pre-seads on Monday. Molinaro was No. 1 at 149, Taylor No. 1 at 165, Ruth No. 1 at 174, Alton No. 2 at 157, Wright No. 2 at 184, Wade No. 2 at 285, Megaludis No. 3 at 125, McIntosh No. 3 at 197, Martellotti No. 8 at 133 and Pearsall No. 8 at 141.
Fully half 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.
Penn State will next trek to St. Louis to defend its national championship at the 2012 NCAA Wrestling Championships. The three-day event takes place on March 15-17 at the Scottrade Center. Action begins on Thursday, March 15, at 11 a.m. (Eastern)/10 a.m. (Central) and the entire event will be aired live by the ESPN family of networks. 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 and further affiliates may be added soon. WIEZ 670 AM (Huntingdon/Lewistown) will carry all Sunday duals during the regular season plus the Big Ten and NCAA Championships in March. 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.
PENN STATE'S 2012 BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT LINE-UP
#1 PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS (13-1, 7-1 B1G)
WT NAME EL HT/HS REC
125 #8 Nico Megaludis Fr. Murrysville, Pa./Franklin Regional 21-5
5-3 all-time vs. Big Ten 0-0 All-Time Big Ten Tournament #7 Coaches/#12 RPI
First ever appearance at Big Ten Championships
133 Frank Martellotti So. Pittsburgh, Pa./Shady Side 6-7
6-4 all-time vs. Big Ten 0-0 All-Time Big Ten Tournament NR Coaches/NR RPI
First ever appearance at Big Ten Championships
141 Bryan Pearsall Jr. Lititz, Pa./Warwick 12-10
5-13 all-time vs. Big Ten 0-2 All-Time Big Ten Tournament NR Coaches/#32 RPI
Did not place at 2010 Big Ten Championships
149 #1 Frank Molinaro Sr. Barnegat, N.J./Southern Regional 25-0
33-18 all-time vs. Big Ten 6-5 All-Time Big Ten Tournament #1 Coaches/#2 RPI
Defending Big Ten Champion (2011), also placed 4th (2010) and 8th (2009)
157 #5 Dylan Alton R-Fr. Mill Hall, Pa./Central Mountain 20-4
7-2 all-time vs. Big Ten 0-0 All-Time Big Ten Tournament #5 Coaches/#12 RPI
First ever appearance at Big Ten Championships
165 #1 David Taylor So. St. Paris, Ohio/St. Paris Graham 23-0
26-0 all-time vs. Big Ten 3-0 All-Time Big Ten Tournament #1 Coaches/#1 RPI
Defending Big Ten Champion (2011)
174 #2 Ed Ruth So. Harrisburg, Pa./Susquehanna Twp. 23-0
25-0 all-time vs. Big Ten 3-0 All-Time Big Ten Tournament #2 Coaches/#1 RPI
Defending Big Ten Champion (2011)
184 #2 Quentin Wright Jr. Wingate, Pa./Bald Eagle Area 22-2
28-9 all-time vs. Big Ten 7-1 All-Time Big Ten Tournament #2 Coaches/#4 RPI
Defending Big Ten Champion (2011), Big Ten Runner-Up (2009)
197 #12 Morgan McIntosh Fr. Santa Ana, Calif./Calvary Chapel 15-6
5-3 all-time vs. Big Ten 0-0 All-Time Big Ten Tournament #12 Coaches/#13 RPI
First ever appearance at Big Ten Championships
285 #5 Cameron Wade Sr. Twinsburg, Ohio/St. Peter Chanel 22-3
27-15 all-time vs. Big Ten 6-7 All-Time Big Ten Tournament #5 Coaches/#3 RPI
Has placed 5th (2011), 5th (2010) and 6th (2009) at Big Ten Championships
Indiv. Rankings Intermat as of 2/21; Team Rankings Intermat Tournament TPI as of 2/21
Coaches Individual Rankings and RPI as of 2/23
HEAD COACH Cael Sanderson
Cael Sanderson, now in his third year as mentor of the Nittany Lions, came to Penn State after three extremely successful years as the head coach at his alma mater. Sanderson's teams did not finish any lower than fifth at the NCAA Championships and never had a wrestler not qualify for nationals, getting 30 of 30 grapplers through to the championship tournament. In 2007, Sanderson's rookie campaign, he led ISU to a 13-3 dual meet record and the first of three straight Big 12 Championships. An NCAA Runner-Up finished in Detroit capped off a wildly successful year as the Cyclones crowned one national championship and Sanderson was honored as Big 12 Coach of the Year, National Rookie Coach of the Year and National Coach of the Year. The next year, Sanderson led ISU to a 16-4 dual meet mark, another Big 12 title and a fifth place finish at nationals. Iowa State's seven All-Americans in 2008 were the most at the school since 1993. In his final year at ISU, Sanderson's team went 15-3 in duals, won its third straight Big 12 title and took third place at the NCAA Championships in St. Louis (just 12 points out of first place). The Cyclones also crowned another national champion. In three years, Sanderson's teams went 44-10, won three conference crowns, qualified all 30 wrestlers for nationals, and earned 15 All-America awards and two individual national titles.
THE PENN STATE YEARS...
In his first year at Penn State (2009-10), he guided the Lions to a 13-6-1 dual meet mark, 5-3 in Big Ten action, and crowned his first Big Ten Champion. The Lions finished No. 10 in the final USA Today/Coaches dual meet poll and placed ninth at NCAAs. Last year, Sanderson guided the Nittany Lions to its first-ever Southern Scuffle Co-Championship (2010-11) and its first Virginia Duals Championship since 1991 (2010-11). In guiding Penn State to a 6-1-1 conference mark, Sanderson equaled the most Big Ten dual meet wins in Penn State history in just his second year at the helm of the Nittany Lions (Penn State won six Big Ten duals in 1998). Sanderson led Penn State to the school's first ever Big Ten Championship on March 5-6 and was named 2011 Big Ten Coach of the Year. Saving the best for last, he led the Nittany Lions to the 2011 NCAA National Championship in Philadelphia on March 17-19, Penn State's first since 1953 and Sanderson's first as a collegiate head coach. This year, Sanderson led Penn State to a school record 7-1 Big Ten dual record and a share of the 2012 Big Ten dual meet championship. Coach Sanderson now sports an 86-18-2 dual meet mark in his sixth year as a collegiate head coach. He is 42-8-2 in his third year at Penn State.
MOLINARO'S ASSAULT ON THE PSU RECORD BOOKS
Senior Frank Molinaro is currently moving up many of Penn State's all-time records lists. His 11-5 dismantling of Iowa's Mike Kelly on Jan. 22 was the 137th match of his Penn State career, moving him into the top 20 all-time. He is also top 20 in wins and dual meet wins. Here is a breakdown of where the Lion veteran sits on some Penn State lists: Matches wrestled (16th with 142); victories (12th with 113); dual meet victories (7th with 55).
WADE NOW 5TH ON ALL-TIME PINS LIST; WRIGHT MOVES INTO TOP 15
Cameron Wade entered the season with 21 career falls. The senior heavyweight has ten on the year and now has 31 for his career, 5th on Penn State's all-time list. Junior Quentin Wright had 12 after two full seasons and has 12 this year, giving him 24 for his career and putting him in 13th all-time at Penn State.
David Taylor AND Ed Ruth'S STUNNING DUAL MEET POINT AVERAGES
Just 22 matches into his collegiate dual meet career, sophomore David Taylor surpassed the 100 point mark in dual meet points. Taylor is now 33-0 in collegiate duals with 159 dual meet points. That's an average of 4.82 dual points per match. Classmate Ed Ruth passed the 100 point mark a mere 23 matches as well. Ruth is now is 30-0 with 140 career dual meet points for an equally impressive average of 4.67 dual points per match.
MOLINARO, TAYLOR, RUTH STILL PERFECT AND PILING UP BONUS WINS
The All-American trio of Frank Molinaro (149), David Taylor (157) and Ed Ruth (174) are all still perfect on the year and a combined 71-0 with 18 majors, 18 tech falls, 21 pins and an injury default victory. They have combined for 58 bonus point wins in 71 matches. Molinaro is 25-0 with 9 majors, 5 techs and three pins, giving him 17 bonus wins in 25 matches. Taylor is 23-0 with 10 pins, 7 tech falls and 4 majors, giving him 21 bonus point wins in 23 matches. Ruth is 23-0 with 8 pins, 6 techs, 5 majors and 1 injury default, giving him 20 bonus wins in 23 matches.
NITTANY LION WRESTLING ATTENDANCE SOARS IN `11-12
With the dual meet portion of its schedule now finished, the Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team has set a new standard for wrestling attendance in Happy Valley. All seven of Penn State's duals to date have topped the 6,000 fan mark, including sellouts against Minnesota, Iowa, Ohio State, Michigan and Pitt. Penn State averaged 6,481 fans per event, by far a school record since the Rec Hall reconfiguration two decades ago. Over 45,000 fans flowed through the Rec Hall turnstiles this year (45,364). With five of seven duals selling out, the high water mark this year was Penn State's win over Iowa on Jan. 22 when 6,796 filled the Rec. The season finale with Pitt on Feb. 19 was second with an attendance of 6,755.
8 RANKED INDIVIDUALS LEAD LION TO #1 TPI RANKING HEADING INTO POST-SEASON
Eight members of the Nittany Lion wrestling team continue to be ranked in the latest version of the Intermat national individual rankings. Four Nittany Lion All-Americans are ranked in the top two and all eight are listed in the top 12. Penn State ends the regular season 13-1 overall, 7-1 in the Big Ten, after 33-6 win over No. 9 Pitt on Sunday in front of yet another sold out Rec Hall crowd. Head coach Cael Sanderson's Lions head into the post-season ranked No. 1 in Intermat's Tournament Power Index. Three-time All-American Frank Molinaro (Barnegat, N.J.) is 25-0 on the year and ranked No. 1 at 149. All-American David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio) is 23-0 thus far and is No. 1 at 165 and All-American Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.) is 23-0 at ranked No. 2 at 174. Two-time All-American Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.) is No. 2 at 184 with a 22-2 mark. Red-shirt freshman Dylan Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.) is 20-4 at 157 and ranked No. 5 while senior Cameron Wade (Twinsburg, Ohio) is 22-3 at heavyweight and is ranked No. 5 as well. True freshman Nico Megaludis (Murrysville, Pa.) is 21-5 at 125 and ranked No. 8 while classmate Morgan McIntosh (Santa Ana, Calif.) is 15-6 at 197 and ranked No. 12. The Nittany Lions are No. 1 on the Intermat Tournament Power Index heading into the post-season with 107.5 points while Minnesota is No. 2 at 78.5. Iowa checks in at No. 3 with 74.0 and Oklahoma State is No. 4 with 65.5. Penn State, which owns the nation's longest dual meet win streak with 12 straight victories by a lopsided margin of nearly 28 points per win during that span, is ranked No. 2 in the latest USA Today/NWCA Coaches Poll. The top five consist of Minnesota at 14-3 with nine first place votes, Penn State at 13-1 with one first place vote, Oklahoma State at 17-2, Iowa at 14-4 and Illinois at 16-4.
GINGRICH WINS NATIONAL COLLEGIATE OPEN CROWN
Four Nittany Lion wrestlers closed out their seasons at the National Collegiate Open in Richmond, Va., today. Three of the four Nittany Lion entries placed, led by red-shirt freshman Jon Gingrich (Wingate, Pa.), who won the title at heavyweight. Gingrich ends his red-shirt freshman season with an outstanding 21-4 mark, collecting three pins and six majors in the process. Red-shirt freshman Matt Brown dropped a 10-6 decision in the finals at 174 to former American University All-American Steve Fittery. The Lion freshman was dominant getting to the finals, posting two majors and a pin to go 3-0. The loss against Fittery does not count towards his overall record as Fittery was a non-collegiate entry into the tournament. Brown ends a super season with a 27-2 record, including multiple wins over ranked wrestlers at both 174 and 197. He was 5-0 in duals, 2-0 in Big Ten duals and had 10 majors, 4 technical falls and seven pins. Red-shirt freshman Dirk Cowburn ended the tournament with a 4-1 record and a fifth place finish at 165. He went 10-2 on the year. Sophomore Andrew Church went 2-2 at 174 and closes out his season with a solid 22-12 record.
WADE & MOLINARO LEAD LIONS OVER #9 PITT IN THEIR FINAL COLLEGIATE DUAL MEETS
The senior duo of 149-pounder Frank Molinaro and heavyweight Cameron Wade closed out their collegiate dual meet careers in fine fashion by leading Penn State to a 33-6 dismantling of #9 Pittsburgh in sold out Rec Hall. Molinaro dominated #12 Tyler Nauman 5-2 and Wade pinned Joel Yahner at the 3:56 mark as Penn State won eight of ten bouts in front of 6,755 SRO fans. The crowd, the second largest of the year for Penn State, was also treated to a last-second Bryan Pearsall pin at 141, a Nico Megaludis double-SV victory over #15 Anthony Zanetta at 125 and majors from David Taylor, Matt Brown and Quentin Wright.
RECORD CROWD GREETS NITTANY LIONS IN ROAD DUAL AT UTAH VALLEY, LIONS ROLL TO VICTORY
Nearly 5,500 Utah wrestling fans (5,470) packed Utah Valley's UCCU Center on Saturday, Feb. 11, to watch the Penn State Nittany Lions take on the Utah Valley Wolverines. The dual set a Utah-state record for Division I wrestling attendance at a dual meet. The Nittany Lions won nine of ten bouts to roll to a 39-3 victory. Penn State got a major from Nico Megaludis at 125, a major from Bryan Pearsall at 141, a 6-0 Frank Molinaro win over #14 Josh Wilson at 149, a decision from Dylan Alton at 157, a pin from David Taylor at 165, a major from Matt Brown at 174, a pin from Quentin Wright at 184, a decision from Morgan McIntosh at 197 and a pin from Cameron Wade at 285.
MOLINARO DOMINATES #14 WILSON OF UVU FOR 200TH CAREER DUAL MEET POINT
Three-time All-American Frank Molinaro downed #14 Josh Wilson of Utah Valley 6-0 (with 4:35 riding time) on 2/11. The decision pushed the Nittany Lion senior to 200 career dual meet points. He ends his Penn State career with 203 dual meet points.
COWBURN TAKE THIRD AT EDINBORO OPEN TO LEAD FOUR NITTANY LION PLACERS
Penn State sent seven wrestlers to the Edinboro Open on Saturday, February 11, with four of them earning places at the event. Red-shirt freshman Dirk Cowburn went 6-1 to take third place at 165 in his season debut. Cowburn has steadily been working his way back from an injury and posted two pins, a major and a tech fall to earn the third place finish. Andrew Church placed fourth at 174 with a 3-2 mark, Justin Ortega was fourth at 197 with a 4-2 record and Derek Reber was 4-3 to finish 6th at 133. Cameron Kelly, Seth Beitz and Rex Lutz also competed. Lutz went 3-2 with two pins at 165.
MOLINARO WINS TITLE REMATCH, NAMED B1G WoW
Frank Molinaro has been named the Big Ten Wrestler of the Week for the week ending February 5, 2012. The honor is the first for Molinaro and Penn State's fourth of the year. He won the award after a superb weekend that saw him go 2-0 with a major and amassing, amazingly, over 8:00 riding time in two match-ups. Molinaro posted a 14-6 major over Nebraska's Skylar Galloway on Friday night with 4:53 riding time. His win helped spark Penn State to a 31-6 win at No. 7 Nebraska. Two days later, Molinaro thrilled a sold-out Rec Hall crowd in a rematch of last year's Big Ten Championship bout at 149. The Lion senior dominated No. 7 Eric Grajales of Michigan 6-1 with 3:13 in riding time, leading Penn State to a 34-7 win over 12th-ranked Michigan and a share of the 2012 Big Ten Dual Meet crown.
WADE'S WICKED GOOD WEEKEND
Senior heavyweight Cameron Wade had a superb first weekend of February, helping Penn State win two conference duals with two resounding wins over top-10 Big Ten foes. Wade downed #8 Tucker Lane of Nebraska 8-2 with 1:31 riding time in Lincoln on 2/3 and followed that up by pinning #10 Ben Apland of Michigan at the 3:58 mark in the final big ten dual of his career on 2/5 in Rec Hall.
RUTH AND TAYLOR STILL UNBEATEN IN BIG TEN DUALS
Sophomore All-Americans Ed Ruth and David Taylor have concluded two full Big Ten dual meet seasons and the duo remains unbeaten for their careers. Ruth closed out his second straight 8-0 regular season with a 12-1 major over #8 Justin Zeerip of Michigan on 2/5 and is now 16-0 all-time in conference duals. Twelve of Ruth's 16 conference dual wins are for bonus points (five pins, techs and four majors). Taylor posted a 15-0 technical fall over #14 Dan Yates of Michigan on 2/5 and, like Ruth, went 8-0 this year and is now 16-0 all-time. All but one of Taylor's 16 conference dual wins are for bonus points (eight techs, five majors and two pins).
BROWN GIVES UP 23, PICKS UP 2, WOWS SELL OUT CROWD IN REC HALL DUAL MEET DEBUT
Red-shirt freshman Matt Brown stepped in for injured true freshman Morgan McIntosh in a big way the weekend of February 3-5. Brown weighed in at 174 for duals at Nebraska on 2/3 and home vs. Michigan on 2/5, gave up 23 pounds to move up two weight classes, and came up big for the Nittany Lions with two dual meet wins. Brown downed starting Nebraska 197-pounder, senior James Nakashima, 2-1 in Lincoln on 2/3 to help Penn State to a 31-6 win. Two days later, the Utah-native made his Rec Hall dual meet debut in Penn State's big ten finale against Michigan. This time, Brown beat #15 Max Huntley 3-1, using a last-second takedown to send a sold out Rec Hall to its feet and help Penn State to a 34-7 win over the Wolverines.
SCHOOL RECORD FOR B1G WINS GIVE LIONS SHARE OF REGULAR SEASON DUAL MEET CROWN WITH MINNESOTA
The Nittany Lions' 34-7 win over #12 Michigan on 2/5 helped Penn State set a new school record for conference dual wins in a season (7). The victory allowed Penn State to end the conference dual meet campaign with a 7-1 mark, sharing the 2012 Big Ten regular season dual meet title with fellow conference power Minnesota.
RUTH'S QUICK PIN OVER #8 HEFLIN LEADS LIONS TO 34-9 ROUT OVER #5 OHIO STATE
Sophomore All-American Ed Ruth made short work of 8th-ranked Nick Heflin of Ohio State in a marquee match-up at 174 to lead Penn State to a resounding 34-9 thumping over the 5th-ranked Buckeyes on 1/29. The dual, in a sold out Rec Hall, saw Penn State win eight of ten bouts, post a 16-4 takedown edge and amass a number of lopsided riding time advantages. Penn State got wins from #8 Nico Megaludis at 125 (over #15 Johnnie Dejulius), #1 Frank Molinaro at 149 (a 12-0 major), #7 Dylan Alton at 157 (4-0 over #20 Josh Demas), #1 David Taylor at 165 (a tech fall), #2 Quentin Wright at 184 (a pin), #12 Morgan McIntosh at 197 (a 5-4 win over #20 Andrew Campolattano) and #6 Cameron Wade at 285 (a 9-0 major over #16 Peter Capone.
RUTH AND McINTOSH LEAD LIONS OVER IOWA
All-American Ed Ruth posted a major at 174 and true freshman Morgan McIntosh clinched the deal with a win over a returning All-American as Penn State downed Iowa 22-12 in front of nearly 7,000 fans in a sold out Rec Hall on Sunday, Jan. 22. Ruth's 10-1 major over No. 9 Ethan Lofthouse at 174 helped keep the momentum going in what would be seven straight wins by Penn State to close out the dual. McIntosh thrilled the capacity crowd with a 5-3 sudden victory win over All-American Grant Gambrall at 197, clinching the victory. Penn State got consecutive wins from Frank Molinaro (149), Dylan Alton (157), David Taylor (165), Ruth (174), Quentin Wright (184), McIntosh (197) and Cameron Wade (285). The Lions dominated the dual in terms of wins (7), riding time points (4-0 edge) and takedowns (18-10).
IOWA CROWD LARGEST SINCE REC HALL RECONFIG!
The crowd of 6,796 fans that saw Penn State take down Iowa 22-12 on 1/22 was the largest Rec Hall crowd since the building was reconfigured in the early/mid-1990s. The crowd out-distanced last year's Penn State/Iowa crowd of 6,686 on Jan. 30, 2011.
THREE WEEKENDS, THREE ROAD TRIPS, SUCCESS!
Penn State left for the Southern Scuffle in Chattanooga, Tenn., on New Year's Eve Day to compete in the Scuffle on Jan. 1-2. Add to that three straight Big Ten road duals over the next two weekends and the Nittany Lions have been living, and feasting, on the road for quite a while. Penn State won the Southern Scuffle, running away from Minnesota and Cornell in the process; won nine of ten bouts in a 36-6 dual win at Michigan State on 1/8; won nine of ten bouts in a 38-3 dual win at Northwestern on 1/13; and won all ten bouts in a 43-0 shutout at Wisconsin on 1/15 (Penn State's first ever Big Ten dual shutout and the first shutout of UW since 1958). All in all, that's a major national tournament title with four individual champions and three Big Ten road duals by a combined score of 117-9 (with a 28-2 record).
RUTH NABS LIONS' THIRD BIG TEN WoW HONOR
Penn State Nittany Lion wrestler Ed Ruth was named Big Ten Wrestler of the Week for the week ending Jan. 15, 2012. The honor is the second for the Nittany Lion sophomore and he shares this week's with Ohio State's Logan Stieber. The Lion All-American, ranked No. 2 at 174, was unstoppable in a 2-0 road weekend for Penn State in Big Ten action. Ruth made short work of No. 9 Lee Munster of Northwestern, blistering the top-ten Wildcat to the tune of an 18-3 technical fall at the 5:37 mark. Ruth helped spark Penn State to a 38-3 dismantling of No. 17 Northwestern in Evanston. Two days later, Ruth posted an equally quick 17-2 tech fall over Wisconsin's Matt Liegel at the same 5:37 mark. Ruth's win was part of Penn State's 43-0 shutout of Wisconsin in Madison. The shut-out was Penn State's first ever in a Big Ten dual and was the first shut-out of Wisconsin since 1958. The honor was the third for Penn State this year as junior Bryan Pearsall won on Dec. 20 and sophomore All-American David Taylor won on Jan. 3.
NITTANY LIONS POST FIRST EVER BIG TEN DUAL SHUTOUT AT WISCONSIN; HAND BADGERS FIRST ZERO SINCE 1958
Two days after downing Northwestern 38-3 on 1/13, Penn State posted a resounding 43-0 shutout win at Wisconsin on 1/15. The shutout, highlighted by All-American Frank Molinaro's 12-0 major over #9 Cole Schmitt at 149, marks the first time that Penn State notched a shutout in a Big Ten dual, home or away. The blanking of the Badgers was the first against UW since Iowa shut out the Badgers in 1958. MEGALUDIS DOWNS #7 MELE; RUTH TECHS #9 MUNSTER AS LIONS ROLL 38-3 AT NORTHWESTERN True freshman Nico Megaludis handed #7 Leve Mele of Northwestern a 7-3 loss at 125 and All-American Ed Ruth hammered #9 Lee Munster at 174 to the tune of an 18-3 technical fall at the 5:37 mark of the second period. The wins highlighted a 38-3 dismantling of the Wildcats in Evanston. Penn State's only loss was #9 Dylan Alton's close 2-1 decision on riding time to #3 Jason Welch at 157.
RUGGEAR TAKES THIRD AT HITCHCOCK INVITATIONAL
Red-shirting sophomore Nick Ruggear had a fine day at Sunday's Floyd `Shorty' Hitchcock Invitational on the campus of Millersville University. The Nittany Lion heavyweight led a contingent of Penn Staters who competed unattached at the open event. Ruggear, who started at 197 for Penn State last year and is red-shirting this season, went 5-1 at heavyweight with a pin. He advanced to the semifinals before losing to Lehigh's John Delia by decision. Ruggear then wrestled back to take third place.
MOLINARO AND ALTON DOWN RANKED FOES IN NITTANY LIONS' WIN OVER MICHIGAN STATE
Senior Frank Molinaro and red-shirt freshman Dylan Alton made short work of Michigan State's ranked grapplers in Penn State's 36-6 win over Michigan State in Battle Creek's Kellog Arena on January 8. Molinaro downed #18 Dan Osterman 9-3 and Alton took care of #14 Anthony Jones 1-0 to lead Penn State to the victory.
NITTANY LIONS CLAIM SECOND STRAIGHT SOUTHERN SCUFFLE CHAMPIONSHIP, THIS TIME OUTRIGHT
After tying Cornell for the Southern Scuffle championship last year, Penn State rolled away from the competition by crowning four champions and won the 2012 Southern Scuffle outright on Jan. 1-2 in Chattanooga. Penn State won the title with 191.5 points while Minnesota was second with 177.5. The Nittany Lions entered day two with a slim 7.5 point lead over the gophers and used a superb 6-3 run in the semifinals and a 4-2 showing in the finals to claim the crown. All-American David Taylor won the 165-pound title and was named Outstanding Wrestler. Joining Taylor as champs were All-American Frank Molinaro at 149, All-American Ed Ruth at 174 and All-American Quentin Wright at 184. Penn State posted a superb 56-23 overall mark among its 15 wrestlers, collecting 18 pins, nine tech falls and 11 majors along the way. 38 of Penn State's 56 wins were of the bonus point variety.
TAYLOR BLAZES HIS WAY TO SCUFFLE TITLE TO EARN TOURNEY OW AND BIG TEN WoW HONORS
All-American David Taylor blazed his way to his second straight Southern Scuffle title and was named the tournament's Outstanding Wrestler (teammate Ed Ruth won the honor last year). Top-ranked Taylor took on No. 10 Cody Yohn of Minnesota in the finals at 165. Already owning a tech fall over the 10th-ranked Gopher, Taylor did it one better this time with a team-title clinching pin in the first period (2:36). Taylor, who claimed his second Scuffle crown, went 5-0 with three pins, a tech and a major. He was also named Big Ten Wrestler of the Week (1/3) for his efforts.
MOLINARO STRONG ON HIS WAY TO SCUFFLE CROWN AND 100TH CAREER WIN
No. 1 Frank Molinaro met No. 11 Dylan Ness of Minnesota in the finals of the 2012 Southern Scuffle and the bout belonged in full to the three-time Nittany Lion All-American. Molinaro scored big for Penn State with a dominating 9-1 major over Ness and won his first Scuffle title with a 5-0 mark, including two techs and a major. His first win of the event was the 100th for his career, making him the 26th member of Penn State's 100-win club.
RUTH'S PERFECTION LEADS TO SECOND SCUFFLE CROWN
All-American Ed Ruth, last year's Scuffle Outstanding Wrestler, won his second straight title in an All-PSU final at 174. Ruth downed talented teammate Matt Brown, posting a 6-3 decision. Ruth's win gave him his second straight Scuffle title and he went 6-0 with three pins, a tech and a major.
WRIGHT HAMMERS #4 BOSAK ON WAY TO SCUFFLE TITLE
Defending National Champion Quentin Wright and put the exclamation point on Penn State's Southern Scuffle team title by dominating fourth-ranked Steve Bosak of Cornell to the tune of a 10-3 win in the 184-pound final.. Wright claimed his first Scuffle title with the victory as he went 5-0 with three pins.
ALTON AND BROWN TAKE SECOND AT SOUTHERN SCUFFLE
The red-shirt freshmen tandem of Dylan Alton and Matt Brown advanced to the finals of the 2012 Southern Scuffle to help Penn State claim the team title in Chattanooga. Alton, ranked No. 10, met No. 1 Kyle Dake of Cornell in the finals at 157. Alton battled the two-time NCAA champ tough before dropping a 3-0 decision to take second place in his first Scuffle. Alton went 4-1 with two pins and a major. Brown lost to teammate #2 Ed Ruth in the 174-pound title and ended an outstanding tournament with a 4-1 mark, including wins over the No. 7 and No. 11-ranked wrestlers.
PEARSALL PINS #14 BONSON TO LEAD LIONS TO 50-0 WIN AT LOCK HAVEN; NAMED BIG TEN WRESTLER OF THE WEEK
Junior Bryan Pearsall pinned nationally ranked Matt Bonson of Lock Haven to lead the Nittany Lions to a 50-0 shut-out win at Lock Haven on 12/18. Pearsall pinned No. 14 Bonson in the second period of their battle at 141. The fall was one of four for Penn State in the dual (Nico Megaludis, Frank Molinaro and Cameron Wade added pins as well), which featured a 41-0 takedown edge for the Nittany Lions. Pearsall was named Big Ten Wrestler of the Week for the week ending 12/18, the first such honor of his career.
BROWN GETS TF IN PENN STATE DUAL DEBUT
Matt Brown got the call at 174 in Penn State's 50-0 shut-out win at Lock Haven on 12/18 and posted a convincing 19-4 technical fall in just 3:47 over LHU's Aaron McKinney. The win helped Penn State earn its first shut-out since a 48-0 win over LHU back in December of `10.
WRIGHT PINS #17 RYAN TO LEAD LIONS TO 34-6 WIN OVER WEST VIRGINIA
Defending national champion Quentin Wright, ranked No. 5 at 184, pinned No. 17 Matt Ryan of West Virginia in the first period (1:57) to spark Penn State to a 34-6 win over WVU in a packed Rec Hall. Over 6,000 fans watched Penn State post a 35-2 edge in takedowns in the lopsided win on 12/11.
LIONS RUN AWAY FROM #10 LEHIGH FOR ROAD WIN IN 100TH MEETING BETWEEN TWO TEAMS
Penn State built up a huge early lead and coasted to a 24-12 win at No. 10 Lehigh on 12/9. Penn State got a key win from David Taylor over No. 9 Brandon Hatchett (8-5) and majors from Bryan Pearsall, Frank Molinaro and David Taylor while Ed Ruth, leading 12-1 at the time, got an injury forfeit win at 174. The win gave Penn State a 63-34-3 lead in the all-time series as the dual was the 100th meeting between the two eastern powers.
LIONS CROWN SIX CHAMPS AT `11 NLO
Penn State crowned six champions at the 2011 Nittany Lion Open. Freshman Nico Megaludis won the title at 125; senior Frank Molinaro won the title at 149 (his third Open crown); sophomore David Taylor won the title at 165 (his second Open crown); sophomore Ed Ruth won the 174-pound bracket (his first NLO gold); junior Quentin Wright won the 184-pound title (his first as well); and senior Cameron Wade won the championship at heavyweight (his second). Wins over ranked wrestlers for the champions included: Molinaro with an 8-0 major over #20 Steve Santos of Columbia and a first period pin (1:23) of #9 Donnie Vinson of Binghamton; Taylor with a pin (4:40) of #14 Peter Yates of Virginia Tech and a 14-6 major over former American All-American Steve Fittery; and Ruth with a 7-4 win over #17 Jimmy Sheptock of Maryland.
PENN STATE WITH 18 PLACE WINNERS AT `11 NLO
In addition to the above six champions, Penn State had 12 other place winners at the 2011 Nittany Lion Open, headed by finalists/runners-up Dylan Alton at 157 and Morgan McIntosh at 197. Jordan Conaway was fourth at 125, Frank Martellotti was eighth at 133, Andrew Alton was third at 149, Seth Beitz was fifth at 149, James Vollrath was third at 157, Nick Fischer was fourth at 157, Matt Brown was fifth at 174, Justin Ortega was eighth at 197, Nick Ruggear was fourth at 285 and Jon Gingrich was fifth at 285.
THREE LIONS GRAB WINS IN MINNESOTA DUAL
Penn State's loss to Minnesota on 11/20 in front of a sold out Rec Hall crowd of over 6,200 including three dominating wins from a trio of Penn State All-Americans. No. 1 David Taylor handled No. 8 Cody Yohn with ease, notching a 16-1 technical fall in only 4:29 at 165. No. 1 Frank Molinaro roughed up No. 5 Dylan Ness, notching five takedowns to roll to a 16-10 win at 149. No. 2 Ed Ruth pinned Gopher Eric Ortiz at the 2:27 mark at 174.
FIVE LIONS WIN TITLES AT LAKER OPEN
Five of Penn State's ten-man contingent taking part unattached at the Mercyhurst Laker Open came home with first place titles with seven of the nine playing in the top three. Penn State earned five firsts, a second and a third place showing in Erie. Red-shirt freshman Kyle Moran went 4-0 at 141 to win the first place title while classmate Seth Beitz was 5-0 with a pin at 149 to win the title. Red-shirt freshman Matt Brown was superb with a 5-0 mark to win the crown at 174. Brown notched two pins and three tech falls to roll to the title. Brown defeated teammate Andrew Church in the finals at 174. Church was 3-1 with a major to place second in front of a hometown crowd. Junior Justin Ortega was a perfect 4-0 at 197 to win the title while red-shirt freshman Jon Gingrich won another heavyweight title, this time going 4-0 with three pins to win it all. Also competing for Penn State was true freshman Mike Waters, who went 2-2 at 141; true freshman Rex Lutz, who won once at 165, and red-shirt freshman Brandon Phillips, who was 3-2 at 174.
LION FRESHMEN SHINE IN PENN STATE DEBUTS
Plenty of new faces picked up big wins for Penn State in their collegiate debuts in the Nittany Lions' 39-3 win over Bloomsburg in the season opener on 11/13. True freshman Nico Megaludis pinned Bloomsburg's Sean Boylan at the 2:15 mark at 125, giving Penn State an early leg up in the dual. Red-shirt freshman Dylan Alton downed No. 14 Frank Hickman 10-8 at 157. True freshman Morgan McIntosh then posted a 6-0 win over Huskie Richard Perry at 197.
LIONS USE THREE FIRST PERIOD PINS TO BLAST HUSKIES
Penn State used three early pins to rout the Bloomsburg Huskies before 6,059 fans in the team's season opener in Rec Hall on 11/13. True freshman Nico Megaludis got a pin over BU's Sean Boylan at the 2:15 mark at 125, getting the Nittany Lion season off to a fast start. All-American David Taylor pinned BU's Kevin Hartnett at the 2:21 mark at 165 and All-American Quentin Wright pinned Huskie Mike Mirra at the 1:55 mark at 184. Penn State also picked up tech fall from All-American Frank Molinaro at 149 and a major from Cameron Wade at HWT.
SIX LIONS WIN CROWNS AT ESU OPEN
Eighteen Nittany Lion wrestlers trekked to East Stroudsburg University for the ESU Open on Saturday with six Penn Staters grabbing individual crowns. In all, 14 of Penn State's 18 entrants placed at the event. Red-shirt freshman Matt Brown went 5-0 with two pins and three majors to win the title at 174. True freshman Jordan Conaway went 4-0 with a pin and a major to win the title at 125. One win, the major, was against a non-collegiate wrestler, meaning Conaway was officially 3-0 on the day. True freshman Luke Frey was 4-0 at 141, winning the title and picking up two tech falls along the way. Sophomore Andrew Alton dominated 149, going 5-0 with two pins and two majors to win the title. One pin was against a non-collegiate wrestler, meaning Alton went 4-0 with a pin officially. Sophomore James Vollrath was 5-0 with a pin, a tech and a major to win the title at 157. Rounding out Penn State's champions was red-shirt freshman Jonathan Gingrich, who went 5-0 with a major and a pin at heavyweight. His pin was against an NC grappler, giving him a 4-0 official mark on the day.
FREY, CHURCH AND CONAWAY PLACE AT CLARION OPEN
Six members of Penn State's wrestling team competed unattached at the 2011 Clarion Knight Point Open on Sunday. True freshmen Jordan Conaway and Luke Frey and sophomore Andrew Church each placed at their respective weights. Frey, a true freshman from Montoursville, took the runner-up spot at 141, advancing to the finals with three wins including a major and a tech fall before dropping a 5-1 decision in the finals to unattached Daniel Neff. Conaway, an Abbottstown native, placed third at 125 with a 4-1 mark that included two tech falls and a 13-7 loss in the semifinals to the eventual champion. Church, an Erie native, went 3-1 at 174 and advanced to the finals before losing to take the runner-up spot. Other Nittany Lions competing included Michael Waters, who went 2-2 at 141; and Brandon Phillips, who went 2-2 at 174.