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March 9, 2013
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Nittany Lion wrestling team punched six tickets into the semifinals of the 2013 Big Ten Championships during the first session of the tournament inside Assembly Hall on Saturday morning.
Penn State heads into the second session of the Big Ten Championships second in the team standings with 62.0 points. Iowa enters the night session with 79.0 markers.
The Nittany Lions opened session one in perfect fashion with a 5-0 mark in the first round round. Bryan Pearsall (141) and Matt Brown (174) each tallied pins, Jimmy Lawson (285) notched a major and Andrew Alton (149) and Dylan Alton (157) each advanced to the quarterfinals.
Penn State then posted a 6-4 mark in the quarterfinals with a pin from Quentin Wright (197), technical falls from David Taylor (165) and Ed Ruth (184) and decisions from Nico Megaludis (125), Jordan Conaway (133) and Brown (174). All six of them earned berths into the NCAA Championships, which take place in Des Moines, Iowa in two weeks.
Additionally, Pearsall, Andrew Alton, Dylan Alton, and Lawson all remain alive in consolation action and have the opportunity to wrestle their way into the NCAA Championships. Take a blow-by-blow look through session one inside Assembly Hall.
125 - #2 Nico Megaludis (22-2) - 1-0 - Big Ten Semifinals (NCAA Qualifier)
Second-seeded Nico Megaludis topped Minnesota's David Thorn by a score of 4-2 to earn a spot in the Big Ten semifinals. Megaludis and Thorn wrestled to a scoreless first period, but the Lion sophomore notched an escape and takedown in the second for a 3-1 lead before finishing off the two-point victory. Megaludis moves on to face Illinois' Jesse Delgado in the semifinals on Saturday night.
133 - #4 Jordan Conaway (15-6) - 1-0 - Big Ten Semifinals (NCAA Qualifier)
Redshirt freshman Jordan Conaway competed in one of the top overall bouts during the first session inside Assembly Hall. Battling fifth-seeded Daryl Thomas, Conaway took a 2-1 lead after one period, but Thomas came right back with an escape and takedown during the second to go on top by a count of 4-3. Conaway notched an escape in the third to send the match into sudden victory. Thomas went on the offensive in the extra frames, but Conaway fended off shot after shot before riding out the Illinois standout for a 6-5 victory after two sudden victory periods and two tiebreakers. Like he did all season long, Conaway moved into the semifinals with gritty effort late in a bout. He is now set for a matchup against top-seeded Logan Stieber from Ohio State.
141 - #4 Bryan Pearsall (20-8) - 1-1 - Consolation Round
Fifth-seeded Bryan Pearsall kicked off the Big Ten Championships with a strong performance against Wisconsin's Tom Kelliher. Pearsall looked to be on his way to takedown, but he managed to turn Kelliher for a pin at the 1:24 mark to punch a ticket into the quarterfinals. Pearsall and Brandon Nelsen battled to a scoreless first period in the quarterfinal bout. The Lion senior notched an escape in the second, but it was Nelsen's reversal late in the match that handed the fifth-seeded Boiler a narrow 2-1 victory. Pearsall heads into the consolation draw on Saturday night.
149 - #5 Andrew Alton (23-3) - 1-1 - Consolation Round
Fifth-seeded Andrew Alton wrestled strong for seven minutes in a hard-fought 3-2 decision over Iowa's Josh Dwieza in the first round of the tournament. Alton scored a takedown in the first and then added an escape point to open the third. Dwieza charged late, but Alton held on for the 3-2 win and spot in the quarterfinals. Alton met fourth-seeded Jake Sueflohn of Nebraska in the quarters. The Lion sophomore took a 5-4 lead after a high-scoring first period. Sueflohn answered with a takedown in the second to go up by a 7-5 margin after two. Sueflohn then added two more takedowns and riding time for a 10-6 win over Alton. Alton heads into the consolation bracket on Saturday night.
157 - #3 Dylan Alton (23-4) - 1-1 - Consolation Round
Sophomore Dylan Alton used a trio of first-period takedowns to roll past Wisconsin's Kalvin York by a score of 7-3 in his first round match. In the quarterfinals, Alton battled Josh Demas from Ohio State. The duo wrestled to a 1-1 tie after regulation, setting up Penn State's second overtime match of the quarterfinal round. The score remained at 1-1 through one sudden victory period and the first tiebreaker, but Demas used a takedown and three near-fall tallies in the second sudden victory frame for a 6-1 victory. Alton will wrestle Purdue's Tommy Churchard in the consolation bracket on Saturday night.
165 - #1 David Taylor (24-1) - 1-0 - Big Ten Semifinals (NCAA Qualifier)
Junior David Taylor turned in a dominant performance in the quarterfinals against ninth-seeded Mark Martin from Ohio State. Taylor tallied a total of five near-fall points, a takedown and an escape for an 8-2 lead after one. The Lion junior's advantage grew to 12-2 after two. From there, Taylor battled to four more takedowns for a 20-5 technical victory. He will meet Iowa's Nick Moore in the semifinals on Saturday night.
174 - #5 Matt Brown (23-4) - 2-0 - Big Ten Semifinals (NCAA Qualifier)
Fifth-seeded Matt Brown wasted little time taking control of his first-round bout against 12th-seeded Cheney Dale from Indiana. Brown notched two takedowns and four near-fall points in the opening period for an 8-1 lead. From there, Brown wore Dale down until he completed a turn for a pin at the 6:15 mark. Brown followed his first-round win up with a dominant third-period effort against Ohio State's Nick Heflin. Brown and Heflin were scoreless after one, and Heflin took a 1-0 lead after two, but the final frame belonged to the Nittany Lion sophomore. Brown opened with an escape before exploding for a takedown, three near-fall points and riding time for a seven-point third period and a 7-1 victory. He moves on to face No. 8-seeded Dan Yates from Michigan, who upset top-seeded Logan Storley in the quarterfinals (3-2).
184 - #1 Ed Ruth (26-0) - 1-0 - Big Ten Semifinals (NCAA Qualifier)
Top-seeded Ed Ruth turned in a dominant performance against Ohio State's C.J. Magrum in the quarterfinals at 184 pounds. Ruth took a 7-1 lead after one period, thanks to a pair of takedowns and three near-fall points. Ruth's lead grew to 12-2 after two frames before rolling to a 19-3 technical fall victory. Ruth is slated to meet Iowa's Ethen Lofthouse in the semifinals on Saturday night.
197 - #1 Quentin Wright (25-0) - 1-0 - Big Ten Semifinals (NCAA Qualifier)
Top-seeded and senior Quentin Wright needed just 81 seconds to move into the semifinals. The 2011 Big Ten champion at 184 pounds used one of his trademark shoulder throws in the first period to notch a pin against Michigan's Max Huntley at the 1:21 mark. Wright moves on to face Ohio State's fourth-seeded Andrew Campolattano in the semifinals on Saturday night.
285 - #7 Jimmy Lawson (21-5) - 1-1 - Consolation Round
Sophomore Jimmy Lawson scored a takedown and tallied 1:49 of riding time after one period against 10th-seeded Kosta Karageorge from Ohio State. Lawson then opened the second frame with a reversal to grab a 4-0 lead. From there, Lawson used a second reversal in the opening seconds of the third period and a second takedown to go along with the riding time point for a 9-1 major decision. In the quarterfinals, Lawson nearly completed a takedown for a 2-0 lead against second-seeded Mike McMullan from Northwestern early in the first period, but the Wildcat veteran scrambled for a takedown of his own and 2-1 lead after one. Trailing 5-1 heading into the third period, Lawson battled to within 5-4, but that would be as close as he would get before McMullan scored a 6-4 win with riding time. Lawson will wrestle Nebraska's Spencer Johnson in the consolation draw on Saturday night.