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Three-time All-American Frank Molinaro heads to St. Louis as the No. 1 seed at 149.
March 12, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -
The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team will head to St. Louis, Mo., for the 2012 NCAA Wrestling Championships on March 15-17, in the Scottrade Center. Penn State heads in with nine national qualifiers. Head coach Cael Sanderson's Nittany Lions have seven seeded wrestlers, including three top seeds.
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 Bloomsburg's Mike Dessino 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.
Penn State's nine national qualifiers are the most for the Nittany Lions since the team had nine in 1999. 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 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 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 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT LINE-UP
#1 PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS (13-1, 7-1 B1G)
WT NAME EL HT/HS REC
125 #10 Nico Megaludis Fr. Murrysville, Pa./Franklin Regional 24-7
11-6 vs. The 2012 NCAA Field 0-0 All-Time in NCAA Championships
First ever appearance at NCAA Championships
133 Frank Martellotti So. Pittsburgh, Pa./Shady Side 8-9
1-8 vs. The 2012 NCAA Field 0-0 All-Time in NCAA Championships
First ever appearance at NCAA Championships
149 #1 Frank Molinaro Sr. Barnegat, N.J./Southern Regional 28-0
17-0 vs. The 2012 NCAA Field 12-6 All-Time in NCAA Championships
Three-Time All-American (8th at 141 in `09, 5th in `10, 2nd in `11)
157 #7 Dylan Alton R-Fr. Mill Hall, Pa./Central Mountain 24-5
9-4 vs. The 2012 NCAA Field 0-0 All-Time in NCAA Championships
First ever appearance at NCAA Championships
165 #1 David Taylor So. St. Paris, Ohio/St. Paris Graham 27-0
15-0 vs. The 2012 NCAA Field 4-1 All-Time in NCAA Championships
All-American (2nd at 157 in `11)
174 #1 Ed Ruth So. Harrisburg, Pa./Susquehanna Twp. 26-0
12-0 vs. The 2012 NCAA Field 6-1 All-Time in NCAA Championships
All-American (3rd in `11)
184 #6 Quentin Wright Jr. Wingate, Pa./Bald Eagle Area 26-3
8-3 vs. The 2012 NCAA Field 9-3 All-Time in NCAA Championships
Defending NCAA National Champion, Two-time All-American (6th at 174 in `09, 1st in `11)
197 Morgan McIntosh Fr. Santa Ana, Calif./Calvary Chapel 17-8
6-7 vs. The 2012 NCAA Field 0-0 All-Time in NCAA Championships
First ever appearance at NCAA Championships
285 #6 Cameron Wade Sr. Twinsburg, Ohio/St. Peter Chanel 26-4
12-4 vs. The 2012 NCAA Field 4-4 All-Time in NCAA Championships
Three-time NCAA qualifier (`10, `11, `12)
# indicates tournament seed
Penn State (13-1, 7-1 B1G, 2012 Big Ten Champions) will take nine wrestlers to the 2012 NCAA Championship, looking to repeat as national champions. The three-day event takes place in St. Louis, Mo., on March 15-17 in the Scottrade Center. Winners of two straight Big Ten titles, Penn State begins its quest for another NCAA title on Thursday, March 15, at 11 a.m. CENTRAL/12 p.m. EASTERN.
ON THE AIR
TV - The entire three-day, six session event, will be broadcast live by the ESPN family of Networks. The entire tournament will be seen on ESPN 3 with ESPN and ESPNU covering rounds as well. Both Friday sessions will air live on ESPNU, Saturday morning's session will air live on ESPNU and the National Finals will air live on ESPN.
Live Web Video - ESPN3.com
Radio - WRSC AM (1390), WBPZ AM (1230), WIEZ AM (670)
Web - All radio broadcasts are streamed live at GoPSUsports.com as part of the All-Access package.
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. 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. 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. 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.
NITTANY LIONS CLAIM SECOND STRAIGHT BIG TEN TITLE
The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team blazed through a stunning Sunday session at the 2012 Big Ten Wrestling Championships at Purdue on March 3-4, going 13-2 overall, including ten straight wins. The outstanding team performance allowed head coach Cael Sanderson's crew to run away from the competition and claim its second straight Big Ten Championship. The Nittany Lions won going away with 149.0 points, outdistancing second place Minnesota which had 134.0. Iowa was third with 126.0. Other important notes of interest for Penn State from the tournament:
* The Nittany Lions qualified nine wrestlers automatically, tied for most with Minnesota.
* The Nittany Lions were the only team to have all ten wrestlers place.
* Penn State was the only team with three champions.
* All three of Penn State's champions won their title bouts by a major or better. In fact, none of Penn State's three titlists won a single bout by a decision. They (Molinaro, Ruth and Taylor) combined to go 10-0 with two pins, three tech falls and five majors.
* As a team, Penn State rolled up the bonus points, collecting 26.5 off of one forfeit, five pints, three tech falls and ten majors.
* The Nittany Lions dominated the team awards as well with Frank Molinaro earning Co-Outstanding Wrestler laurels with Michigan's Kellen Russell; Cael Sanderson earning his second straight Big Ten Coach of the Year honor and David Taylor earning his second straight Big Ten Wrestler of the Year award.
SANDERSON NAMED BIG TEN COACH OF THE YEAR AGAIN
Nittany Lion head coach Cael Sanderson was named 2012 Big Ten Coach of the Year after guiding the Nittany Lions to their second straight Big Ten Championship at Purdue. Sanderson, also the 2011 Coach of the Year, led Penn State to a co-dual meet title this year as well. It is the third Coach of the Year award for Sanderson in six seasons as a head coach (he won one at Iowa State).
TAYLOR NAMED BIG TEN WRESTLER OF THE YEAR FOR SECOND STRAIGHT SEASON
Sophomore David Taylor was named the 2012 Big Ten Wrestler of the Year, earning the conference wide season award for the second straight time. Taylor blazed through the competition at 165 this year earning his second straight Big Ten title (he won at 157 in 2011). He becomes only the fourth wrestler in Big Ten history to earn the award more than once since the 1980s, joining Iowa's Royce Alger (`87, `88), Iowa's Mark Ironside (`96, `97, `98) and Minnesota's Cole Konrad (`06, `07).
MOLINARO EARNS SECOND STRAIGHT BIG CROWN AND IS NAMED BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIP CO-O.W.
Senior 149-pounder Frank Molinaro dominated the field at the 2012 Big Ten Championships, winning his second straight conference title in fine fashion and being named the tournament's Co-Outstanding Wrestler. Molinaro went 3-0 and shut out the competition. He pinned Northwestern's Kaleb Friedley, posted a 15-0 tech fall over #15 Ivan Lopouchanski of Purdue in the semifinals and then hammered Minnesota's Dylan Ness in the finals with a 15-0 tech fall at the 4:90 mark. It is the second straight year that Molinaro won the Big Ten title without giving up a single point. He shared the O.W. award with Michigan 141-pounder Kellen Russell.
TAYLOR EARNS SECOND STRAIGHT BIG TEN TITLE
Sophomore David Taylor made it two-for-two, winning his second Big Ten Championship in as many tries. Taylor, who won at 157 last year, went 4-0 to win the 165-pound crown this year. Taylor was untouchable once again, posting a tech fall over Ohio State's Derek Garcia and pinning Northwestern's Pierce Harger to advance to the semifinals. In the semis, he shut out #12 Conrad Polz of Illinois, getting a 12-0 major. Then, in the conference title tilt, Taylor dominated #6 Mike Evans of Iowa to the tune of an 11-2 major decision.
RUTH MAJORS HIS WAY TO SECOND STRAIGHT TITLE
Sophomore Ed Ruth once again established himself as the conference's dominant 174-pounder by majoring his way to his second straight Big Ten Championship. Ruth went 3-0 with three majors, all over wrestlers ranked among the nation's top ten. Ruth posted a 14-2 win over #9 Jordan Blanton of Illinois, a 15-7 win over #10 Nick Heflin of Ohio State in the semifinals and a dominating 13-2 major over #6 Logan Storley in the finals.
ALTON, WRIGHT AND WADE TAKE BIG TEN BRONZE
Nittany Lions Dylan Alton, Quentin Wright and Cameron Wade each roared back from semifinal upset losses to take third place. The trio combined to go 6-0 after their setbacks and help Penn State claim the 2012 Big Ten crown. Alton went 4-1 at 157 and downed #9 Anthony Jones of Michigan State in the third place match. Wright went 4-1 at 184 and beat Illinois' Tony Dallago in the third place bout. Wade went 4-1 at 285 and took down #12 Mike McMullan of Northwestern for third.
TRUE FRESHMEN MEGALUDIS AND McINTOSH TAKE 5TH
Nittany Lion true freshmen Nico Megaludis and Morgan McIntosh each battled their way to fifth place finishes in their first-ever Big Ten Championship tournaments. Megaludis went 3-2 at 125 to place fifth while McIntosh was 2-2 at 197 to finish fifth.
MARTELLOTTI SET FOR NCAAs WITH 7TH PLACE FINISH
Sophomore Frank Martellotti beat #18 Ridge Kiley of Northwestern 4-3 in the 7th place bout at the 2012 Big Ten Championships to earn an automatic bid to the 2012 NCAA Championships. Martellotti entered the tourney as the 8th-seed and finished one spot higher, earning the qualifier. He went 2-2 in his first Big Ten tourney run.
PEARSALL 7TH PLACE AT 141
Junior Bryan Pearsall was key in Penn State's run to the 2012 Big Ten Championship crown, taking seventh place at 141 as the 8th-seed and earning key bonus points along the way. Pearsall went 3-2 with a pin and a major. His only losses were decisions to #1 Kellen Russell of Michigan (6-0) and #9 Jake Sueflohn of Nebraska (5-2).
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 (14th with 145); victories (9th with 116) and dual meet victories (7th with 55).
WADE NOW 4TH ON ALL-TIME PINS LIST; WRIGHT MOVES INTO TOP 12
Cameron Wade entered the season with 21 career falls. The senior heavyweight has 11 on the year and now has 32 for his career, 4th on Penn State's all-time list. Junior Quentin Wright had 12 after two full seasons and has 13 this year, giving him 25 for his career and putting him in 12th 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 81-0 with 23 majors, 21 tech falls, 23 pins and an injury default victory. They have combined for 68 bonus point wins in 81 matches. Molinaro is 28-0 with 9 majors, 7 techs and 4 pins, giving him 20 bonus wins in 28 matches. Taylor is 27-0 with 11 pins, 8 tech falls and 6 majors, giving him 25 bonus point wins in 27 matches. Ruth is 26-0 with 8 pins, 6 techs, 8 majors and 1 injury default, giving him 23 bonus wins in 26 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. Penn State's average yearly attendance has gone up by over 1,000 per event per year since Sanderson's arrival in State College (4,341 per dual in 2009-10; 5,456 in 2010-11 and 6,480 in 2011-12).
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.
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