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March 12, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -
The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team, under the direction of head coach Cael Sanderson, will be sending a full contingent of 10 wrestlers to the 2014 NCAA Wrestling Championships as the team looks for its fourth straight National Championship. The NCAA released the full brackets and seeds for the event, which takes place on March 20-22 at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City and eight Nittany Lions are seeded (six in the top five).
The Nittany Lions are coming off their fourth straight Big Ten Championship on March 8-9 in Madison, Wis. Led by seniors David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio) and Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.), who became Penn State's first ever four-time Big Ten Champions, the Nittany Lions out-distanced second place Iowa in a tight team race. All ten Penn Staters placed among the top eight at their weights and punched automatic tickets to nationals.
Taylor will be the No. 1 seed at 165. The three-time NCAA finalist will be look to become a two time NCAA Champion and Penn State's first-ever four-time finalist. Taylor carries a 29-0 record into NCAAs and will face Joseph Brewster of South Dakota State in the opening round. The winner of the Taylor/Brewster match will take on the winner of No. 16 Jim Wilson of Stanford and Columbia's Josh Houldsworth.
Ruth will be the No. 2 seed at 184. The two-time NCAA Champion will be looking to become Penn State's first-ever three-time champion. Ruth is 29-1 overall and will take on Wisconsin's Jackson Hein in the opening round. The winner of the Ruth/Hein bout faces the winner of No. 15 Ryan Loder (Northern Iowa) and Nikko Reyes (Illinois).
Junior Nico Megaludis (Murrysville, Pa.) is the No. 3 seed at 125. Already a two-time NCAA finalists and All-American, Megaludis is 26-3 overall and will take on Lehigh's Darian Cruz in the first round. The winner of the Megaludis/Cruz bout gets the winner of the No. 14 Eddie Klimara (Oklahoma State)/Dominic Parisi (Appalachian State) bout.
True freshman Zain Retherford (Benton, Pa.) is the No. 3 seed at 141. Retherford, who is 29-1 overall, is making his first trip to the NCAA Championships and will take on Undrakhbayar Khishignyam of The Citadel in his initial NCAA Championship bout. The winner of that match-up takes on the winner of the battle between No. 14 Edgar Bright of Pittsburgh and Tyler Scotton of Boston.
Sophomore Morgan McIntosh (Santa Ana, Calif.) will be the No. 3 seed at 197. McIntosh will be looking for his first NCAA crown in his second trip to nationals and is 27-3 overall. He will battle Lehigh's John Bolich in the first round with the winner of that bout meeting the winner of No. 14 Chris Penny (Virginia Tech) and Nick Bonaccorsi (Pittsburgh).
Junior Matt Brown (West Valley City, Utah) is the No. 5 seed at 174. Brown, a national finalist and All-American last season, will be seeking his first NCAA title as well. He faces Stanford's Kyle Meyer in the opening round. The winner of the Brown/Meyer bout takes on the winner of the No. 12 Tanner Weatherman (Iowa State)/Levin Clemons (Chattanooga) match-up.
Junior Dylan Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.) is the No. 13 at 157. Alton will be looking for his second All-America honor after taking third in 2012. He carries an 18-5 overall record into this year's tournament and meets the pigtail winner of Michigan's Brian Murphy and Oklahoma's Justin DeAngelis. The winner of Alton's first round match-up then takes on the winner of No. 4 Ian Miller (Kent State) and Johnny Greisheimer (Edinboro).
Junior Jon Gingrich (Wingate, Pa.) is the No. 14 seed at 285. Gingrich is 22-8 overall and is making his first ever appearance at nationals. Gingrich will meet David Devine of SIU-Edwardsville in round one with the winner of that bout facing off with either No. 3 Adam Chalfant (Indiana) or Justin Grant (Bloomsburg).
True-freshman Jimmy Gulibon (Latrobe, Pa.) is unseeded at 133. Gulibon is 17-13 overall and is making his first-ever trip to the NCAA Championship and faces off against No. 4 Jon Morrison of Oklahoma State in the first round. The winner of the Gulibon/Morrison match-up takes on the winner of No. 13 Cody Brewer (Oklahoma) and Vincent Pizzuto (Eastern Michigan).
Senior James English (York, Pa.) is unseeded at 149. English is making his first ever trip to the NCAA Championships and is 11-5 overall. He will meet No. 12 Dyllan Cottrell of Appalachian State in the opening round with the winner then facing the winner of the No. 5 Jason Tsirtsis (Northwestern)/Bryce Busler (Bloomsburg) match-up.
Penn State is sending two NCAA Champions (Ruth and Taylor with combined three titles); five All-Americans (Alton, Brown, Megaludis, Ruth and Taylor with a combined ten All-America honors and eight appearances in the national finals) and four wrestlers making their first-ever appearances (English, Gingrich, Gulibon and Retherford) to the NCAA Championships.
The NCAA also announced that the order of Saturday evening's Championship Finals will not be determined until after Friday night's semifinals conclude.
Penn State's journey to its fourth-straight National Championship will take place on March 20-22 in Oklahoma City's Chesapeake Energy Arena. The tournament begins on Thursday morning at 12 p.m. Eastern (11 a.m. Central). All six sessions will air live on ESPNU and/or ESPN, with ESPN3 offering full tournament multi-mat coverage online.
Penn State 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 2013-14 Penn State Wrestling season is presented by The Family Clothesline.