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March 29, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The 2012 NCAA National Champion Penn State wrestling team not only dominated on the mat, but excelled in the classroom as nearly one-third of its full roster has earned Academic All-Big Ten honors. Eleven members of head coach Cael Sanderson's 35 man roster earned the honor. With first year wrestlers (true freshmen and first-year transfers) not eligible, 11 of Penn State's 25 eligible wrestlers were honored.
Three of Penn State's six All-Americans led the charge. 149-pound national champion Frank Molinaro (Barnegat, N.J.) earned the honor for the first time, capping off an undefeated title season in stellar fashion. Molinaro, a Crime, Law and Justice major, went 33-0 this year, won his first NCAA title and became only the fifth wrestler in Penn State history to become a four-time All-American. He leaves Penn State with a 121-29 career record. Sophomore David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio), the 165-pound NCAA titlist, earned his second Academic All-Big Ten honor. Like Molinaro, Taylor went undefeated during his title run, posting a 32-0 record. Taylor is a two-time All-American and boasts a 70-1 career record. Taylor is a Recreation, Park and Tourism major. Junior Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.), 2011 NCAA Champion and 2012 NCAA Finalist, collected his third straight academic honor from the conference. Wright, Penn State's 20th three-time All-American and a Management major, went 30-4 this year and heads into his senior season next year with an 84-23 career mark.
Joining that trio is national qualifier Cameron Wade (Twinsburg, Ohio). Wade, a senior who will graduate with his degree in Finance this May, went 2-2 at the NCAA Championships, finishing just one win shy of All-America honors at heavyweight. Wade earned his fourth straight Academic All-Big Ten honor and leaves Penn State as a three-time NCAA qualifier with a superb 94-39 career record. Senior Clay Steadman (McKean, Pa.), a Finance major, earned his fourth straight Academic All-Big Ten honor as well.
Juniors James English (York, Pa.) and Nick Fischer (Unionville, Pa.) were also honored. English is a Chemical Engineering major and earned his third straight award while Fischer, a Mechanical Engineering major, earned his third as well. Sophomore Andrew Church (Erie, Pa.) claimed his first Academic All-Big Ten award. Church is a Mechanical Engineering major. Three red-shirt freshmen round out Penn State's 11-man contingent of academic honorees. Cameron Kelly (Pittsford, N.Y.), a Kinesiology major; Kyle Moran (Oxford, Pa.), an Undergraduate Studies major; and Nate Morgan (McCook, Neb.), a Health and Human Development major, were all honored.
The 11 honorees brings Penn State's total of Academic All-Big Ten honorees in Sanderson's tenure to 24 in three years. The total also ties the all-time school record for honorees as the 2002 team also had 11 members named to the list.
The Nittany Lions ended the year as two-time reigning NCAA and Big Ten Champions. Penn State posted a 13-1 overall dual meet record and were the 2012 Big Ten Co-Regular Season Champions with a 7-1 conference mark. The full season slate of live dual meet and tournament action aired locally WRSC AM (1390 AM) with Friday evening duals simulcast on WRSC FM (103.1 FM). Lock Haven's WBPZ (1230 AM) also carried the entire season live, WIEZ (670 AM) in Huntingdon/Lewistown carried all Sunday events. The regular season schedule of radio broadcasts was 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 was presented by The Family Clothesline.