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March 7, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State Nittany Lions now know their first round opponents at the 2012 NCAA Wrestling Championships as the brackets for the three-day event have been released. Penn State heads in with nine national qualifiers. Head coach Cael Sanderson's Nittany Lions have seven seeded wrestlers, including three top seeds.
Going weight-by-weight, Nittany Lion true freshman Nico Megaludis (Murrysville, Pa.) has earned a No. 10 seed at 125. The fifth place finisher at last weekend's Big Ten Championship will carry a 24-7 record into his first NCAA Championship and will take on Michael Martinez of Wyoming in the first round.
Sophomore Frank Martellotti (Pittsburgh, Pa.), who qualified for nationals with a seventh place finish at Big Ten's, is unseeded and will take an 8-9 mark into nationals. Martellotti will take on No. 1 seed Jordan Oliver of Oklahoma State in the first round.
Three-time All-American Frank Molinaro (Barnegat, N.J.), two-time Big Ten Champion, is the No. 1 seed at 149. The undefeated Molinaro was national runner-up last year and carries a 28-0 record into nationals. Molinaro will face Cornell's Chris Villalonga in the opening round.
Red-shirt freshman Dylan Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.) is the No. 7 seed at 157. A third place finisher at Big Ten's last weekend, Alton takes a 24-5 mark to his first NCAA Championship and will meet Jake O'Hara of Columbia on Thursday.
All-American David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio), two-time Big Ten Wrestler of the Year, is the No. 1 seed at 165. Taylor, like Molinaro, was national runner-up last year and carries an undefeated record to nationals. Taylor is 27-0 and will meet Corey Lear of Bucknell in the opening round.
All-American Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.), two-time Big Ten Champion, heads into the NCAA Championships as the No. 1 seed at 174. Ruth, who was an All-American last year with a third place finish and is undefeated at 26-0. Ruth takes on Rider's Jim Resnick in the first round.
Defending National Champion Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.) will head to NCAAs as the No. 6 seed. Wright, a two-time All-American, took third at Big Ten's and heads to St. Louis with a 26-3 record. He will battle Thomas Ferguson of North Carolina on Thursday.
True freshman Morgan McIntosh (Santa Ana, Calif.) will be unseeded seed at 197 when he heads to St. Louis for his first NCAA Championship. McIntosh, 17-8 overall, took fifth at the Big Ten Championships and will face off against Taylor Meeks of Oregon State in his first NCAA tourney bout.
Senior Cameron Wade (Twinsburg, Ohio) will be the No. 6 seed at 285. Wade is making his third trip to NCAAs after finishing in the round of 12 last year when an injury derailed him in the quarters. Wade took third at Big Ten's and is 26-4 overall. He will meet Clarion's Quintas McCorkle in the opening round.
The Nittany Lions will be looking to win a second straight national title at the event and will have four returning All-Americans in their line-up to go along with three freshmen. The 2012 NCAA Wrestling Championships take place in St. Louis, Mo., on March 15-17. The three-day event takes place in the Scottrade Center and beings on Thursday, March 15, at 11 a.m. Central/12 p.m. Eastern.
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. The regular season schedule of radio broadcasts will be streamed live at www.GoPSUsports.com as part of Penn State's All-Access package. 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.