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March 4, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -
The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team (13-1, 7-1 B1G), ranked No. 1 nationally in Intermat's TPI, will head to Champaign, Ill., and the campus of the University of Illinois for the 2013 Big Ten Wrestling Championships. The two-day event, taking place on March 9-10 in the Illini's Assembly Hall, will serve as the national qualifier for the conference's 12 teams. Penn State has won the last two Big Ten titles (2011 at Northwestern and 2012 at Purdue).
Penn State is coming off a superb regular season that saw it begin the season as the No. 1 team on Intermat's TPI and end it that way as well. Head coach Cael Sanderson led Penn State to a 13-1 overall record, including a 7-1 mark in Big Ten duals. The Nittany Lions won yet another Southern Scuffle title in the process as well. Penn State outscored its 14 dual meet opponents by a gaudy 508-77 margin, including a lop-sided 279-58 Big Ten total. Sanderson led Penn State to five shut-outs, an all-time school best, including three in Big Ten action. Two of Penn State's shut-outs were on the road (at No. 8 Illinois and at Rutgers to close out the season).
The Nittany Lions feature one of the nation's deepest and most-balanced line-ups. All ten of Penn State's starters earned the Big Ten an automatic qualifying spot at their respective weights. The Big Ten will have 74 automatic qualifiers: 7 at 125; 7 at 133; 6 at 141; 8 at 149; 7 at 157; 8 at 165; 8 at 174; 6 at 184; 8 at 197; and 9 at 285. For the Nittany Lions to earn trips to Des Moines, each wrestler must finish in within that qualifier range at their respective weights. The NCAA will announce any at-large bids the conference might earn the week after the qualifying tournaments end.
Heading into action for Penn State at 125 will be sophomore All-American Nico Megaludis, last year's NCAA runner-up. Megaludis ended the season ranked No. 3 by the coaches and with a No. 7 RPI. He is 21-2 overall, including a 7-1 mark in Big Ten duals. Red shirt freshman Jordan Conaway has burst onto the scene at 133, earning a No. 12 ranking from the coaches and No. 13 RPI. Conaway sports a 14-6 overall mark and went 6-2 in Big Ten duals. Senior Bryan Pearsall is ranked No. 21 by the coaches at 141 and has an RPI set at 18. Pearsall carries a career-best 19-7 record into Big Tens and went 6-1 in Big Ten dual meets. Sophomore Andrew Alton is ranked No. 13 by the coaches at 149 and has a lofty RPI of 6. Andrew has a super 22-2 mark overall and went 3-2 in Big Ten duals.
Sophomore All-American Dylan Alton enters the tournament ranked No. 5 by the coaches and holds the nations No. 1 RPI at 157. Dylan is 22-3 overall and went 4-1 in Big Ten duals. Two-time All-American and defending NCAA Champion David Taylor will look for his third straight Big Ten title and carries a 23-1 overall mark into Champaign. Taylor, the two-time Big Ten Wrestler of the Year, is ranked No. 2 by the NCAAs coaches and has the No. 1 overall RPI at 165. He was a perfect 8-0 in Big Ten duals and has never lost to a Big Ten opponent (40-0). Sophomore Matt Brown is ranked no. 7 by the coaches and has a No. 6 RPI at 174. Brown is 21-4 overall and went 5-3 in Big Ten duals.
Two-time All-American and defending NCAA Champion (at 174) Ed Ruth will carry a 25-0 mark into Big Tens, looking for his third straight conference title, this time at 184. Ruth went 8-0 in conference duals this year and has never lost to a Big Ten foe (39-0). He is ranked No. 1 by the coaches and has a No. 2 RPI. Three-time All-American and 2011 NCAA Champion at 184, Quentin Wright will bring a 24-0 mark into the Big Ten Championships, wrestling at 197. Wright went 8-0 in Big Ten duals this year. He is ranked No. 2 by the coaches and has a No. 4 RPI. Sophomore Jimmy Lawson is ranked No. 12 by the coaches at 285 and has a No. 10 RPI. Lawson owns a 20-4 overall mark and went 2-0 in Big Ten duals.
With pre-seeds announced on Monday, March 4, Megaludis is the No. 2 pre-seed at 125, Conaway No. 4 at 133. Pearsall is No. 4 at 141 and Andrew Alton is No. 6 at 149. Dylan Alton is No. 3 at 157. Taylor is one of Penn State's three No. 1 pre-seeds with the one-spot at 165 and Brown is No. 5 at 174. Ruth is No. 1 at 184 and Wright is No. 1 at 197 while Lawson is No. 7 at 285. The pre-seeds are NOT FINAL OR OFFICIAL as the seeds become finalized and the brackets drawn on Friday afternoon, March 8, in Champaign.
Penn State will be looking to win its third straight Big Ten title. Since Sanderson's arrival prior to the 2010-11 season, Penn State has won two NCAA Championships, two Big Ten Championships, two Southern Scuffle titles, the Big Ten regular season title, posted an 18-5-1 mark in Big Ten duals and gone 57-9-2 overall in duals. Sanderson's Lions have earned nine Big Ten Champions, 23 national qualifiers, 14 All-Americans and four National Champions in just three seasons. Last season, Penn State won the team title with 149.0 points, 15 points ahead of any other team. The Nittany Lions advanced three wrestlers to the title bout at their respective weights, with all three (Frank Molinaro at 149, David Taylor at 165 and Ed Ruth at 174) winning championships. Penn State had five Big Ten Champions the year before (2011) and one in Sanderson's first season at the helm (2010, younger brother Cyler Sanderson, who was Cael's first Big Ten Champion).
Action begins at 11 a.m. Eastern, 10 a.m. Central, on Saturday March 9. The Big Ten Network will not be airing the first three sessions but will be broadcasting the finals live on Sunday, March 10. All other rounds will be streamed live through the Big Ten's (and Penn State's) All-Access online video feed, which is a pay-per service.
The Nittany Lions will next head to Des Moines, Iowa, for the 2013 NCAA Wrestling Championships on March 21-23 in the Wells Fargo Arena. The Big Ten Championships also serves as the national qualifier for the Big Ten, with the Nittany Lion wrestlers looking to punch their respective tickets to the NCAA Championships. 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.
PENN STATE'S B1G LINE-UP
#1 PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS (13-1, 7-1 B1G)
WT NAME EL HT/HS REC
125 Nico Megaludis So. Murrysville, Pa./Franklin Regional 21-2
#3 Coaches/#7 RPI/#3 Intermat/Pre-seed #2
133 Jordan Conaway Fr. Abbottstown, Pa./New Oxford 14-6
#12 Coaches/#10 RPI/#13 Intermat/Pre-seed #4
141 Bryan Pearsall Sr. Lititz, Pa./Warwick 19-7
#21 Coaches/#18 RPI/NR Intermat/Pre-seed #4
149 Andrew Alton So. Mill Hall, Pa./Central Mountain 22-2
#13 Coaches/#6 RPI/#13 Intermat/Pre-seed #6
157 Dylan Alton So. Mill Hall, Pa./Central Mountain 22-3
#5 Coaches/#1 RPI/#5 Intermat/Pre-seed #3
165 David Taylor Jr. St. Paris, Ohio/St. Paris Graham 23-1
#2 Coaches/#1 RPI/#2 Intermat/Pre-seed #1
174 Matt Brown So. West Valley City, Utah/Cyprus 21-4
#7 Coaches/#6 RPI/#7 Intermat/Pre-seed #5
184 Ed Ruth Jr. Harrisburg, Pa./Susquehanna Township 25-0
#1 Coaches/#2 RPI/#1 Intermat/Pre-seed #1
197 Quentin Wright Sr. Wingate, Pa./Bald Eagle Area 24-0
#2 Coaches/#4 RPI/#2 Intermat/Pre-seed #1
285 Jimmy Lawson So. Tom's River, N.J./Manchester Township 20-4
#12 Coaches/#10 RPI/#12 Intermat/Pre-seed #7
Team Rankings is Intermat TPI as of 2/26/13
Individual rankings as of 2/26/13 (Intermat)
Coaches Rankings and RPI as of 2/28/13 (NCAA official)
Pre-seeds listed are as of 3/4 and NOT OFFICIAL (official seeds become final on 3/8, post-press)
HEAD COACH Cael Sanderson
Cael Sanderson, last year's Intermat National Coach of the Year, is in his fourth season as head coach of the Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team. The veteran head coach now has two straight NCAA and Big Ten titles in hand as the 2012-13 season unfolds.
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.
In 2010-11, Sanderson guided the Nittany Lions to its first-ever Southern Scuffle Co-Championship and its first Virginia Duals Championship since 1991. 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.
Last 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. Sanderson then made it two in a row by leading Penn State to the 2012 Big Ten Championship at Purdue on March 3-4 and was named 2012 Big Ten Coach of the Year, earning the honor for the second straight season. Two weeks later, Sanderson led Penn State to a second straight NCAA crown, helping Penn State to become just the fourth team in NCAA history to win back-to-back titles.
In three years as Penn State's coach, Sanderson has led the Nittany Lions to two-straight conference titles, two straight national titles, collected 14 All-Americans, three national champions, two Gorriaran winners, one NCAA tourney OW and one Hodge Trophy winner.
This year, Penn State went 13-1 overall in dual meets this year and won its third straight Southern Scuffle title in early January. Coach Sanderson now sports a 100-19-2 dual meet mark in this, his seventh year as a head coach. He is 57-9-2 and in his fourth year at Penn State.
THE IOWA STATE YEARS...
Sanderson 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.
LAWSON'S LAST-SECOND WIN PRESERVES 34-0 SHUTOUT AT RUTGERS
New Jersey native Jimmy Lawson used a last second reversal in his tie-breaker period to turn a one point deficit into a 3-2 win over Billy Smith, capping off a 34-0 shut-out victory for the Nittany Lions on 2/24. Lawson's performance was also bolstered by a pin from Bryan Pearsall at 141, a major from David Taylor at 165, Matt Brown's 6-2 win over #14 Greg Zannetti at 174 and Ed Ruth's 11-4 win over #10 Dan Rinaldi at 184. The shut-out was Penn State's fifth of the year, an all-time school best for shut-outs in a season.
Cael Sanderson NOTCHES 100TH CAREER COACHING VICTORY IN WIN AT RUTGERS
With Penn State's 34-0 shut-out win at Rutgers on 2/24, Nitttany Lion head coach Cael Sanderson claimed his 100th career dual meet victory as a head coach. Sanderson now sports a 100-19-2 career record, including a 57-9-2 mark as Penn State's head coach. Sanderson is in his seventh year as a head coach and his fourth at Penn State. He now owns the top winning percentage in Nittany Lion history for a head coach with more than ten duals to his credit. Sanderson sits at .853 all-time with the 57-9-2 record. Charlie Speidel is Penn State's all-time leader in coaching victories with 191 in 34 seasons as head coach (1927-42, 47-64).
FREY LEADS LIONS AT NATIONAL COLLEGIATE OPEN
Red-shirt freshman Luke Frey led the way with a runner-up finish at 149 at the 2013 National Collegiate Open on 2/24. The Lion freshman went 3-1 with a major to get to the finals before dropping a hard-fought sudden victory decision in the finals. Frey improved his record to 13-4 on the year. Red-shirt freshman Scott Syrek also placed at 197, going 4-3 with a pin to take sixth. Two true freshmen who wrestled unattached were Penn State's other placers. Freshman Jimmy Gulibon went 4-2 at 133, including two tech falls, to take fourth place. Classmate Zack Beitz went 6-2 at 141, with two majors, to finish fourth as well.
LIONS TALLY FIVE PINS IN HOME FINALE, SHUTOUT RIDER
The Nittany Lions closed out a fully sold out home schedule with a 48-0 shut-out of Rider on 2/17, using five pins, three majors and two decisions to roll to victory. Nico Megaludis (125), Bryan Pearsall (141), David Taylor (165), Matt Brown (174) and Ed Ruth (184) all got falls while Jordan Conaway (133), Andrew Alton (149) and Quentin Wright (197) had majors. Dylan Alton (157) and Jimmy Lawson (285) won by decision. The shut-out was the fourth of the year for Penn State (and the eighth under head coach Cael Sanderson), marking the first time in the school's long and storied history that the team has tallied four shut-outs in one season.
PEARSALL AND WRIGHT LEAVE HOME IN STYLE
Seniors Bryan Pearsall (141) and Quentin Wright (197) left Rec Hall in fine fashion on 2/17, posting big wins in their final appearances on the Lion mat at home. Pearsall thrilled an SRO sell-out crowd of over 6,500 with a pin of Rob Cigna at the 2:01 mark while Wright majored Donald McNeil 12-4. The duo helped lead Penn State to a 48-0 win over the visiting Broncs.
LIONS COMPLETE FULL HOME SLATE OF SOLD OUT HOME DUALS WITH PERFECT RECORD
The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team closed out the home portion of its schedule this year in front of one final SRO sell-out crowd against Rider on 2/17. 6,532 fans packed Rec Hall for the Senior Day win over Rider (48-0 shut-out). The Nittany Lions also beat Lehigh in front of 6,422 on 11/16 (29-6), downed Indiana in front of 6,152 (52-0 shut-out) on 12/9, bested Lock Haven in front of 6,292 on 12/15 (42-3), hammered Michigan State in front of 6,353 on 1/14 (41-0 shut-out), beat Wisconsin in front of 6,515 on 1/18 (36-6) and took down Nebraska in front of a season-high 6,618 on 1/27 (33-9). In all, Penn State averaged 6,411 fans per dual, which is the second highest per season average in the last 30 years (since a Rec Hall reconfiguration and new fire safety standards capped attendance capacity). The top mark in that span was last year's 6,481 per dual.
RUTH AND TAYLOR WRAP UP THIRD SEASON OF UNBEATEN BIG TEN DUAL ACTION
Juniors Ed Ruth (184) and David Taylor (165) wrapped up their third season of Big Ten dual meet action with pins at Ohio State on Sunday in the final conference dual of the season. With the wins, the duo posted identical 8-0 Big Ten dual meet records this year, matching their perfect 8-0 marks as freshmen and sophomores. The tandem is now 24-0 through three years as starters in Big Ten dual meets.
RUTH & TAYLOR LEAD LIONS TO BIG WIN AT #6 OHIO STATE
After a hot start by the homestanding Ohio State Buckeyes in the conference dual finale on 2/10, juniors Ed Ruth and David Taylor helped Penn State pin its way to a big 29-18 win in front of over 6,000 fans in Columbus. Taylor picked up his ninth pin of the year at 165 while Ruth notched his ninth at 184. Nico Megaludis majored No. 12 Nikko Triggas at 125, Quentin Wright picked up a major at 197, Jimmy Lawson was up 6-0 on No. 12 Peter Capone when the Buckeye had to take an injury default. Penn State closed out the conference dual season with a 7-1 mark.
WRIGHT PINS #2 WILPS, CONAWAY DOWNS #16 MACK AS LIONS WIN AT PITT
Senior Quentin Wright won the night's marquee bout with a first period pin of then second-ranked Matt Wilps in the 197-pound showdown on 2/8. Wright's pin, combined with Jordan Conaway's 5-3 sudden victory over #16 Shelton Mack, helped Penn State roll to a 31-7 win in front of a sold out crowd in Pittsburgh.
RUTH AND MEGALUDIS GET PINS IN 37-0 ROAD SHUT-OUT AT ILLINOIS; CONAWAY DOWNS #8 THOMAS
All-American's Ed Ruth and Nico Megaludis pinned nationally ranked opponents and freshman Jordan Conaway beat yet another top-ten opponent as Penn State rolled to a 37-0 Big Ten road shut-out at Illinois on 2/3. Ruth got a first period pin over #20 Tony Dallago at 184 (0:47) and Megaludis used a late scramble to pin #5 Jesse Delgado with just fifteen seconds left (6:45) at 125. Conaway dominated the action in an 8-6 win over #8 Daryl Thomas at 133, his second win over a top-ten ranked grappler as of 2/3.
LIONS NOTCH THIRD BIG TEN DUAL SHUT-OUT; FIRST ROAD SHUT-OUT SINCE LAST YEAR
Penn State rolled to a 37-0 shut-out win at Illinois on 2/3. The win was Penn State's third Big Ten dual shut-out of the year and the first road shut-out in conference action for the Nittany Lions since a 43-0 win in Madison last January. Penn State also shut out Indiana (52-0) and Michigan State (41-0), both in Rec Hall.
LAWSON PICKS UP FIRST BIG TEN DUAL WIN AT ILLINOIS
Sophomore Jimmy Lawson picked up his first career Big Ten dual meet victory, posting a 9-4 win over Illinois' Chris Lopez on 2/3. The win secured a 37-0 Big Ten road shut-out victory for Penn State in Champaign.
LIONS' 20-DUAL WIN STREAK SNAPPED AT #3 IOWA
The Penn State Nittany Lions had their 20-dual win streak snapped at No. 3 Iowa on 2/1, dropping three one-point decisions on the way to a hard-fought 22-16 loss. David Taylor (a tech fall at 165), Andrew Alton (a major at 149), Ed Ruth (a major at 184) and Quentin Wright (a decision at 197) picked up wins for the Nittany Lions. The loss was Penn State's first since a set-back to Minnesota last season in November of 2011.
PEARSALL DOWNS #19 KILEY, ALTON TAKES DOWN #4 GREEN AS NITTANY LIONS HAMMER #12 NEBRASKA 33-9
In a dual featuring a number of outstanding performances, senior Bryan Pearsall and sophomore Dylan Alton posted signature wins as Penn State beat visiting Nebraska 33-9 on 1/27. Pearsall continued his unbeaten ways in Big Ten duals, beating #19 Ridge Kiley 2-0 at 141. Alton used a third period takedown to defeat No. 4 James Green 3-1 at 157. Top-ranked Ed Ruth dismantled #8 Josh Ihnen 18-3, getting the tech fall at 184.
SYREK WINS MESSIAH OPEN CROWN
Four members of the Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team competed at the Messiah Open on Saturday, with three earning a place at the event. Red-shirt freshman Scott Syrek won the 197-pound title to lead the Nittany Lions. Syrek went 4-0 at 197 with a pin to claim his crown. Red-shirt freshman Michael Waters took second at 141, going 2-1 with a pin. Red-shirt freshman David Owens placed fifth at 149, going 5-2 with three pins. Josh Rogers also competed, going 1-2 at 197.
TAYLOR, RUTH AND CONAWAY LEAD LIONS TO ROAD WIN AT PURDUE
All-Americans David Taylor and Ed Ruth both notched pins to lead Penn State to a rousing 35-3 road dual victory at Purdue on 1/20. Taylor picked up the pin over Doug Welch at the 2:41 mark of the first period while Ruth got the fall over Dion Crowder at the 3:42 mark. Conaway stayed, at the time, unbeaten in dual meets with a 13-4 major over Danny Sabatello. Quentin Wright posted a 7-1 win over #17 Braden Atwood and Nico Megaludis downed #17 Camden Eppert 5-1.
WRIGHT PINS #20 HEIN FOR 100TH CAREER WIN
Senior Quentin Wright got his 100th career win in rousing fashion, pinning #20 Jackson Hein of Wisconsin in the final bout of Penn State's 36-6 blowout win over the Badgers. Wrestled in front of a sold our Rec Hall crowd of over 6,500 fans on 1/18, Wright turned a first period takedown into a spladle at the 1:24 mark to hit the century mark in career victories. It was also, at the time, his 34th career pin. CONAWAY'S WIN OVER #3 GRAFF SPURS PENN STATE ONTO 36-6 VICTORY OVER WISCONSIN Red-shirt freshman Jordan Conaway came back from a 7-3 third period deficit to beat #3 Tyler Graff of Wisconsin on 1/18, bringing a sold out Rec Hall crowd of 6,515 to hits feat and leading Penn State to a 36-6 win over the visiting Badgers. Conaway wore the UW All-American down, notching two third period takedowns to tie the bout and then securing the 10-8 (sv) win with a takedown midway through the sudden victory period.
FOUR LIONS WIN TITLES AT HITCHCOCK
Thirteen members of the Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team took park in the Floyd `Shorty' Hitchcock Memorial Tournament held at Millersville University. With five finalists, the Nittany Lions came home with four coming home champions. Sophomore Andrew Alton won at 149, sophomore Dylan Alton won at 157, senior Nick Fischer won at 165 and sophomore Jimmy Lawson won at 285, beating teammate Nick Ruggear in the finals.
GINGRICH DOWNS #4 McCLURE TO SPARK LIONS IN WIN OVER MICHIGAN STATE; NAMED B1G WRESTLER OF WEEK
Sophomore Jon Gingrich used a four-point move late in the third period to break a 1-1 tie and roll to a 5-3 win over #4 Michael McClure of Michigan State on 1/13, securing Penn State's second straight Big Ten dual meet shutout in a 41-0 win. The victory, in front of over 6,300 fans in Rec Hall, was also Gingrich's second over a top-ten Big Ten foe to secure a shut-out (Gingrich beat then #8 Adam Chalfant of Indiana in Penn State's 52-0 win over the Hoosiers). Gingrich was named Big Ten Wrestler of the Week (1/15) for his efforts.
VOLLRATH DOWNS #19 CHEZA OF MICHIGAN STATE
Junior James Vollrath got the nod at 157 against #19 David Cheza of Michigan State in the Nittany Lions' 41-0 dual meet win over the Spartans on 1/13. Vollrath came away with a convincing 6-4 win in helping Penn State secure the shut-out. PENN STATE SHUTS OUT MICHIGAN STATE FOR 2ND STRAIGHT BIG TEN DUAL SHUT-OUT Head coach Cael Sanderson led Penn State to its second straight shut-out in a Big Ten dual as his Lions blanked Michigan State 41-0 on 1/13. Penn State used two pins, a tech fall and three majors, as well as two big wins over MSU's ranked wrestlers, to roll the victory. The shut-out was Penn State's second in Big Ten action to start the season as the Nittany Lions opened Big Ten dual action with a 52-0 win over Indiana in December. Penn State went 20-0 in its first two conference duals, outscoring IU and MSU 93-0 and owning a 60-2 edge in takedowns. The MSU shut-out was the sixth for Penn State under Sanderson. The Lions had two in 2011-12 and two in 2010-11, but the IU and MSU ones were Penn State's first ever in its Big Ten history. Penn State last had three shut-outs in one year in 1971-72.
LIONS CLAIM THIRD STRAIGHT SOUTHERN SCUFFLE TITLE
By virtue of five finalists, including three champions, and a number of strong individual performances, the Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team ran away from the field to claim its third straight Southern Scuffle Championship on Jan. 1-2. Wrestled over two days in Chattanooga, Tenn., Penn State tallied 178.5 team points, more the 20 points ahead of second place Oklahoma State's 158.0. The Nittany Lions had 11 of 17 competing wrestlers place and crowned three champs: Nico Megaludis at 125, Ed Ruth at 184 and Quentin Wright at 197.
RUTH NAMED B1G WRESTLER OF THE WEEK
Nittany Lion wrestler Ed Ruth has been named the Big Ten Wrestler of the Week for the week ending Jan. 6, 2013. The honor is Ruth's third overall and the first for Penn State this season. Ruth dominated the competition at the 2013 Southern Scuffle, winning his third straight Scuffle individual crown and leading Penn State to its third straight Scuffle team title. Ruth went 6-0 with three pins and two majors, advancing to the finals where he dismantled defending NCAA 184-pound champion Steve Bosak of Cornell 7-3 with nearly 3:00 riding time. Ruth's unstoppable performance helped Penn State to a runaway team title. Ruth is now 15-0 on the year with five pins, five majors and two tech falls.
MEGALUDIS, RUTH AND WRIGHT WIN SCUFFLE GOLD
All-Americans Nico Megaludis, Ed Ruth and Quentin Wright were three of Penn State's five finalists at the 2013 Southern Scuffle and the trio came away with Scuffle Gold on Jan. 1-2. Megaludis went 4-0 over the tournament at 125, including wins over the No. 10 and No. 8 ranked wrestlers. Ruth was a stellar 6-0 with three pins and two majors to win at 184. He downed defending national champion Steve Bosak by a lopsided 7-3 score in the finals with over 3:00 riding time. For Ruth, it was his third straight Scuffle championship (he won two at 174). Wright went 5-0 with two pins at 197 to win his second Scuffle crown, pinning No. 9 Jake Meredith in the finals. Penn State had two second place finishers as All-American David Taylor lost 3-2 in heated fashion to No. 1 Kyle Dake at 165 and junior James Vollrath lost a tough 3-1 (sv) decision to No. 14 Jedd Moore in the finals at 157.
BROWN AND ENGLISH LEAD PENN STATE PLACERS AT SOUTHERN SCUFFLE
Sophomore Matt Brown and senior James English each rolled to third place finishes at the 2013 Southern Scuffle, helping lead Penn State to its third straight Scuffle team title. Brown took third at 174 while English took third at 149. Joining that duo as placers was true freshman Jimmy Gulibon, who placed third at 133 as an unattached wrestler; senior Bryan Pearsall, who was eighth at 141; red-shirt freshman Luke Frey, who was seventh at 149; and sophomore Jimmy Lawson, who was seventh at 285.
TWO LIONS WIN TITLES AND F&M OPEN
Five members of the top-ranked Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team trekked to the Franklin and Marshall Open as unattached wrestlers. Four of those five unattached grapplers placed at the one day event. Sophomore Andrew Alton, ranked No. 5 at 149, blazed through his weight class, going 5-0 with three pins, a tech fall and a major to win the title. Andrew improves his unblemished record to 13-0. Sophomore Dylan Alton, ranked No. 5 at 157, was equally impressive, going 5-0 with three pins and a major to win his weight class. Dylan improves to 12-2 on the year. True freshman Wes Phipps had an outstanding tournament. Phipps rebounded from a quarterfinal loss at 184 to take fourth place. Phipps went 4-2. Red-shirt freshman Rex Lutz posted a 3-2 mark with a pin at 165 and placed eighth. Junior Andrew Church competed at 174, going 2-2.
LIONS NOTCH FOUR PINS IN 42-3 ROUT OF LOCK HAVEN
Penn State notched four pins in a 42-3 home win over Lock Haven on 11/15/12. Nico Megaludis (125), David Taylor (165), Matt Brown (174) and Quentin Wright (197) all got falls while Ed Ruth (184) picked up a tech fall and Jordan Conaway (133) posted a major. The Nittany Lions also got decisions from Andrew Alton (149), Dylan Alton (157) and Jimmy Lawson (285).
LAWSON WINS REC HALL DUAL DEBUT
Sophomore heavyweight Jimmy Lawson thrilled a sold out Rec Hall crowd of nearly 6,300 fans with a 5-1 win in his Rec Hall dual meet debut. Lawson posted a 5-1 win over Lock Haven's Harry Turner in the final bout of a 42-3 win on 12/15/12.
LIONS POST HISTORIC NUMBERS IN SHUT-OUT WIN OVER INDIANA HOOSIERS
Penn State won all ten bouts, including tallying six pins, in a record-breaking 52-0 shut-out win over the visiting Indiana Hoosiers on Dec. 9, 2012. The Big Ten opener for both teams saw Penn State reel off four straight pins to begin the dual from Nico Megaludis at 125, Jordan Conaway at 133, Bryan Pearsall at 141 and Andrew Alton at 149. Matt Brown added one at 174 and Ed Ruth picked up one at 184 as well. David Taylor added a major at 165 and Quentin Wright picked up a forfeit at 197. Dylan Alton grabbed a decision at 157 but the evening belonged to sophomore heavyweight Jon Gingrich, who upset No. 8 Adam Chalfant 6-5 (with two third period takedowns) to secure the shut-out. The win was the most-lopsided in Penn State's Big Ten history dating back to 1992-93. It was also the second largest margin of victory for the Lions (Penn State beat Millersville 54-0 in 1983).
GINGRICH DOWNS #8 CHALFANT TO SECURE PENN STATE'S SHUT-OUT WIN OVER BIG TEN FOE INDIANA
Heavyweight Jon Gingrich used two third period takedowns to beat No. 8 Adam Chalfant of Indiana in the Big Ten dual meet debut for the Lion sophomore. Gingrich's 6-5 decision helped secure a team dual shut out as Penn State downed Indiana 52-0 on 12/9/12. With teammate Jimmy Lawson holding the No. 15 spot at 285 in the official Intermat rankings, Gingrich debuted in other national rankings, getting the No. 20 spot from W.I.N. (12/11/12) and AWN/TOM (12/11/12).
Andrew Alton, TAYLOR, BROWN, RUTH AND WRIGHT WIN NITTANY LION OPEN TITLES
Sophomore Andrew Alton made a stellar return to the mat after missing Penn State's first two duals, posting a 6-0 mark at 149 with five pins to win the title. Four of Alton's five pins were in the first period, including two in the first minute. Junior All-American David Taylor was Penn State's next champion, going 5-0 with three pins and two tech falls to win the title at 165. Taylor pinned No. 13 Mark Lewandowski of Buffalo in the finals. Sophomore Matt Brown stormed through 174 to win his first NLO title. Brown went 5-0 on the day with a tech fall and two majors. He downed No. 11 Greg Zanetti of Rutgers in the finals. All-American Ed Ruth was untouchable at 184 as well. Ruth went 5-0 win the 184-pound crown with a pin, a tech fall and two majors. He downed No. 10 Jimmy Sheptock of Maryland in the finals. All-American Quentin Wright met teammate Morgan McIntosh in the finals at 197. Wright grabbed a hard-fought 5-3 (sv) win to claim the crown while McIntosh, who is red-shirting, placed second. Wright went 5-0 with three pins, including two first period falls.
MEGALUDIS, GULIBON, Dylan Alton, McINTOSH AND LAWSON RUNNERS-UP AT NLO
All-American Nico Megaludis went 4-1 at 125, advancing to the finals before losing a 3-2 decision to red-shirting Pitt Panther upperclassman Anthony Zanetta in the finals, taking second place. True freshman Jimmy Gulibon lost a hard-fought 3-2 decision on riding time to Lehigh's Mason Beckman in the finals at 133. Gulibon went 4-1 on the day. All-American Dylan Alton, ranked No. 5 at 157, was 4-1 on the day, advancing to the finals before dropping a tough sudden victory decision (9-4) to No. 3 James Fleming of Clarion. Sophomore Morgan McIntosh lost to teammate Quentin Wright in the finals at 197 to take second. McIntosh was superb with a 4-1 mark, including two majors. Sophomore Jimmy Lawson had a good run to the finals at 285, going 4-1 on the day, his only loss in the finals. Lawson had a major and a pin to take second place.
LAWSON CLAIMS MAT-TOWN TITLE
Penn State Nittany Lion wrestler Jimmy Lawson was the lone Penn Stater competing at the 2012 Mat-Town Open at nearby Lock Haven University. Lawson stormed through the field to claim the heavyweight title at the event. The sophomore heavyweight began the day with two wins over unattached non-collegiate wrestlers (meaning the results do not count towards his official record). Lawson posted a first period pin (1:11) and a quick tech fall in those two bouts. He then downed Penn's Steven Graziano 5-1 in the semifinals before beating Lock Haven's Harry Turner 4-1 in the finals. Lawson went 2-0 on the day officially plus picked up a pin and tech fall against non-collegiate wrestlers.
PENN STATE USES FOUR PINS TO HAMMER WEST VIRGINIA 44-3 IN ROAD DUAL
The Nittany Lion wrestlers used four pins to coast to a 44-3 road dual win at West Virginia on 11/18. Penn State got falls from Nico Megaludis at 125 (5:53), Dylan Alton at 157 (2:28), Matt Brown at 174 (4:10) and Quentin Wright at 197 (0:25). The Lions also got majors from Jimmy Lawson at 285, Ed Ruth at 184 and James English at 149 as well as a tech fall from David Taylor at 165.
PEARSALL TAKES DOWN #19 PENNESI IN WIN AT WVU
Senior Bryan Pearsall picked up an impressive win in Penn State's 44-3 dual victory at West Virginia on 11/18. The 141-pounder used an impressive third period ride-out (along with a second period escape) to post the 2-0 win over #19 Nathan Pennesi in the win.
LAWSON WINS IN NITTANY LION DEBUT AT WVU
Sophomore heavyweight Jimmy Lawson was impressive in his first bout in the Blue and White singlet. Lawson beat West Virginia senior Phil Mandzik handily in PSU's 44-3 win at WVU on 11/18, posting a convincing 9-0 major to cap off Penn State's lopsided win in Morgantown.
BROWN AND RUTH LEAD NITTANY LIONS OVER #24 LEHIGH IN SEASON OPENER
The top-ranked Penn State wrestling team won eight of ten bouts on its way to a 29-6 win over #24 Lehigh in the season opener for Cael Sanderson's Lions. Wrestled in front of a sold-out Rec Hall crowd over nearly 6,500, Penn State got two tech falls (Nico Megaludis and David Taylor) and a major (Matt Brown) in the win. All-American Ed Ruth posted a strong 11-9 win over #3 Robert Hamlin and Brown majored #18 Nathaniel Brown 12-1 at 174.
CONAWAY WINS DUAL MEET DEBUT
Red-shirt freshman Jordan Conaway made his Penn State dual meet debut against Lehigh on 11/16 and grabbed an impressive win in the process. Conaway got a takedown with just :07 left to post a 3-2 win over Laike Gardner in Penn State's 29-6 win over Lehigh in front of a sold-out Rec Hall crowd.
ENGLISH DOWNS #18 WELSH IN SEASON OPENER
Senior James English got the nod at 149 in Penn State's season opening dual against Lehigh on 11/18 and answered with a strong performance. English dominated #18 Shane Welsh of Lehigh on his way to a 5-2 win, helping spur Penn State on to a 29-6 win in Rec Hall.
McINTOSH WINS TITLE AT ESU OPEN
Fifteen members of the Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team took part in the East Stroudsburg Open, which concluded late last evening. Red-shirting sophomore Morgan McIntosh claimed the title at the event in which most Lions wrestled unattached. McIntosh was unstoppable, going 4-0 with three majors and a technical fall to win the 197 pound crown. Junior James Vollrath went 3-1 at 157 with a pin and a major to finish second at 157. True freshman Jimmy Gulibon took second at 133, going 4-1 with two majors. Red-shirt freshman James Frascella had an outstanding tournament, going 4-1 with a tech fall to place second at 174. Also placing for Penn State were the Beitz brothers. Sophomore Seth Beitz went 5-2 with a major to take fourth at 149 while true freshman Zack Beitz was 7-2 with two majors at 141 to take fifth.
GINGRICH WINS HWT CROWN AT BINGHAMTON OPEN
The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team sent 17 wrestlers to the Binghamton Open at Binghamton University. Seven Nittany Lions placed at the event, which featured over 300 wrestlers, led by sophomore heavyweight Jon Gingrich who won the crown at 285. Most of the Nittany Lions competing were wrestling unattached. Gingrich was a perfect 4-0 on the day, including a 9-1 major decision over Lock Haven's Harry Turner in the finals.
REGULAR SEASON SOLD OUT BEFORE FIRST DUAL
The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team has, for the first time in school history, sold out its entire season in advance of the first dual.
9 NITTANY LIONS RANKED BY INTERMAT AS PENN STATE HOLDS #1 SPOT IN TEAM TPI
Nine members of the Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team remain ranked nationally by Intermat, all of whom appear in the top 13 at their respective weights. Penn State continues to hold the top spot on the team TPI as well. The full list of national rankings is available at www.intermatwrestle.com. Penn State is ranked No. 1 followed by Oklahoma State. All-American Nico Megaludis is ranked No. 3 at 125, red-shirt freshman Jordan Conaway is No. 13 at 133, sophomore Andrew Alton is No. 13 at 149, All-American Dylan Alton is No. 5 at 157, All-American David Taylor is No. 2 at 165, sophomore Matt Brown is No. 7 at 174, All-American Ed Ruth is No. 1 at 184, All-American Quentin Wright is No. 2 at 197, sophomore Jimmy Lawson is No. 12 at 285.