Eight of Ten Nittany Lions Seeded for 2013 NCAA Wrestling Championships
March 13, 2013
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 2013 NCAA Wrestling Championships as the team looks for its third straight National Championship. The NCAA released the full brackets for the event, which takes place on March 21-23 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, and eight of Penn State's 10 wresters are seeded.
Penn State is coming off its third straight Big Ten crown, won last weekend in Champaign, Ill. The Nittany Lions crowned four champions at that event and all four of those titlists earned lofty seeds. In all, Penn State has six wrestlers seeded in the top eight (a one, three two's, a four and an eight).
Defending NCAA 174-pound champion Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.) will carry a perfect 28-0 record (and a 63-match win streak) into the NCAA championships as the No. 1 seed at 184. With a 97-2 career record, the two-time All-American is nearing the 100-career win mark. Ruth will begin his championship quest against Lock Haven's Fred Garcia. The winner of the Ruth/Garcia bout takes on the winner of Canaan Bethea (Penn)/Kevin Radford (Arizona State). Ruth posted a 17-2 tech fall over Garcia in a dual in December.
Defending NCAA 165-pound champion David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio) will bring his 26-1 mark into the tournament as the No. 2 seed. With a 96-2 career record, the two-time All-American is nearing the 100-career win mark. Taylor will begin his NCAA title quest against North Carolina's John Staudenmayer. The winner of that match-up will take on the winner of Peyton Walsh (Navy)/Mike Ottinger (Central Michigan).
Sophomore Matt Brown (West Valley City, Utah) enters his first NCAA tournament as the 174-pound Big Ten Champion. Brown brings a 25-4 mark into the tournament and is the No. 2 seed. He will take on Todd Porter of Missouri in the opening round. The winner of the Brown/Porter battle will meet the winner of the Nick Bonaccorsi (Pitt)/Billy Curling (Old Dominion) bout. Brown beat Porter 9-4 in the Southern Scuffle.
Three-time All-American (and 2011 184-pound champion) Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.) will be the No. 2 seed at 197 and is unbeaten at 27-0 on the year. With a 111-23 career record, the Lion senior continues to move up Penn State's all-time wins list (he is currently 14th). Wright will begin his journey to become Penn State's sixth four-time All-American against Rider's Donald McNeil. The winner of that bout takes on the winner of Michael Salopek (Virginia)/Brandon Palik (Drexel).
All-American Nico Megaludis (Murrysville, Pa.), the 2012 National Runner-Up at 125, will be the No. 4 seed at 125. Megaludis is 24-3 heading to Des Moines and will wrestle Ohio's Kevon Powell in the first round. The winner of the Powell match will take on the winner of the Christian Cullinan Central (Central Michigan)/Joe DeAngelo (N.C. State) bout.
All-American Dylan Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), the third place finisher at 157 last year in St. Louis, will be the No. 8 seed this year. Alton is 25-6 overall and will be Penn State's lone pigtail wrestler. Alton will meet Columbia's Jake O'Hara in the first round. The winner of that bout takes on Pitt's Donnie Tasser in the first round. Alton has not wrestled O'Hara this year and has beaten Tasser twice (3-2 and 7-3).
Sophomore Andrew Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.) will be making his second appearance at the NCAA Championships having advanced to the round of 12 at 141 two years ago. Alton will be the No. 11 seed at 149 this year with a 26-4 record and will face Missouri's Drake Houdashelt in the opening round. The winner of that match takes on the winner of the #6 Dylan Ness (Minnesota)/Daniel Young (Army) bout.
Red-shirt freshman Jordan Conaway (Abbottstown, Pa.) has excelled at 133 pounds for Penn State and is headed to the NCAA Championships in his first year in the line-up. Conaway will be the No. 12 seed with a 16-8 record and will meet Rutgers' Vincent Dellafave in the first round. Conaway beat Dellafave 6-1 in the dual finale on Feb. 24. The winner takes on the winner of the #5 Chris Dardanes (Minnesota)/Dylan Hyder (Air Force) bout.
Senior Bryan Pearsall (Lititz, Pa.) advanced to his first NCAA Championship with a strong fifth place showing at Big Tens last weekend. Unseeded at 141, Pearsall is 23-9 overall and will make his NCAA tourney debut against the pigtail winner of Connor Hanafee (Army) and Joey Lazor (Northern Iowa). The winner of Pearsall's first bout will meet the winner of #2 Kendric Maple (Oklahoma)/Frank Goodwin (Maryland).
Sophomore Jimmy Lawson (Tom's River, N.J.) will head to his first NCAA Championship at 285 unseeded. Lawson is 22-7 overall and will make his NCAA tourney debut against Ohio's Jeremy Johnson. The winner of the Lawson/Johnson bout meets the winner of No. 3 Alan Gelogaev (Oklahoma State)/Ben Apland (Michigan). Lawson dropped a 7-2 decision to Johnson earlier in the year at the Southern Scuffle.
The NCAA also announced that for the first time, the Championship Finals on Saturday night will begin at 174-pounds, wrapping around and concluding with the 165-pound title bout.
Penn State's trail to a potential third straight NCAA title begins at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines on Thursday, March 21, with the opening session starting at 12 p.m. Eastern/11 a.m. Central. The event concludes with the championship finals on Saturday evening and the entire tournament will be aired live by the ESPN family of networks. 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.