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April 2, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -
The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team added three new individual champions to its ledgers to complete a stellar run to the 2012 NCAA National Championship. Senior Frank Molinaro (Barnegat, N.J.), sophomore David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio) and sophomore Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.) all claimed crowns as Penn State won its second straight NCAA team title. The Nittany Lions outdistanced second place Minnesota by a whopping 25.5 points. The Nittany Lions checked in with 143.0 points while the Gophers were second with 117.5. Iowa was third with 107.5 and Cornell was fourth with 102.5. Ohio State rounded out the top five with 68.5. In addition to the team title and three individual titles, Taylor was honored as the Gorriaran Award winner for the most falls in the least amount of time. Taylor's 5-0 run to the title included four pins and a technical fall. He is the second straight Nittany Lion to win the award as Ruth claimed it during Penn State's title run in Philadelphia a year ago. He was then honored as the 2012 NCAA Most Dominant Wrestler for the season and capped off a stellar weekend in St. Louis by being named the 2012 NCAA Wrestling Championships Most Outstanding Wrestler.
True freshman Nico Megaludis (Murrysville, Pa.), the No. 10 seed at 125, took on top-seed Matt McDonough of Iowa in the first national final of the night. Megaludis battled McDonough through two even periods before the Hawkeye used a third period takedown to break a 1-1 tie. McDonough then rode Megaludis out and, with the riding time point, posted the 4-1 victory. Senior Frank Molinaro (Barnegat, N.J.), the undefeated top-seed at 149, met No. 7 Dylan Ness of Minnesota in the title bout. In the national final, Molinaro took on No. 7 Dylan Ness of Minnesota, meeting the talented Gopher for the fourth time this season. Molinaro fought off one early Ness shot and then tried to connect on multiple single legs in the first period before finally breaking through for a takedown with :20 left. Riding the 2-0 lead into the third period, he escaped to a 3-1 lead and then rode Ness for most of the third period to build up 1:50 in riding time and post the 4-1 win.
Sophomore David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio), the undefeated top seed at 165, took on No. 11 Brandon Hatchett of Lehigh. In the finals, Taylor met No. 11 Brandon Hatchett of Lehigh. Closing out one of the most dominant performances in NCAA tournament history, Taylor put on a takedown clinic in rolling to a 22-7 technical fall at the 5:55 mark. The Nittany Lion sophomore notched three first period takedowns to lead 6-2 after one period. After choosing down to start the second, Taylor reversed Hatchett, cut him loose, took him down again and added two near fall points to lead 12-3 after two. The third period was a blistering display of takedowns as Taylor rolled up five takedowns to post the technical fall and finish a national championship run with a 5-0 record that included four pins and a technical fall. Sophomore Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.), the undefeated top seed at 174, met No. 3 Nick Amuchastegui in a battle of two unbeaten wrestlers. Getting revenge for an injury default loss in the national quarters last year, Ruth dominated the Stanford wrestler from start to finish, rolling to a 13-2 major decision and become Penn State's third national champion of the night. Ruth used a takedown, two near fall points and an escape to bolt out to a 5-2 lead after one period. He added an escape and a takedown in the second to lead 8-3 and then, after Amuchastegui chose neutral, notched a takedown, two near fall points and a rideout to roll to the major. He ended the match with 3:39 in riding time. Ruth ends a simply dominating title run with a 5-0 mark, including two pins, a technical fall and the major in the title bout.
Junior Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.), the defending National Champion and No. 6 seed, faced off against No. 4 Steve Bosak of Cornell in the final at 184. Wright and Bosak battled through a scoreless first period and then the Lion junior chose down to start the second stanza. Wright worked his way to a reversal but Bosak was able to escape with around :20 on the clock, cutting the lead to 2-1 after two. Bosak then chose down to start the third period and escaped to tie the score. Wright pressured Bosak constantly throughout the match and, in particular, the third period. But Bosak was able to back away from the Lion and kill the clock in the third period, sending the match to sudden victory. Bosak then notched the decisive takedown midway through the period to post the 4-2 (sv) win. Earlier in the day, red-shirt freshman Dylan Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.) finished off an outstanding season with a third place finish at 157. Alton, the No. 7 seed, took down No. 5 Ganbayar Sanjaa of American by a 7-5 (sv2) decision in the consolation semifinals and then hammered No. 3 Jason Welch of Northwestern 6-2 in the third place bout. Alton became Penn State's sixth All-American and assured the Nittany Lions of having more than half their line-up place in the top three nationally.
Penn State's 3-2 finals performance gave the team a final overall record at the 2012 NCAA Championships of 33-9. Penn State had 25.5 bonus points off of seven pins, seven majors and three tech falls. Penn State's five finalists is an all-time school record as is its final team point total of 143.5. The 143.5 is the most points scored by one team at the tournament since Oklahoma State had 153 in 2005. By virtue of Alton's third place finish, more than half (six) of Penn State's line-up finished in the top three nationally. The Nittany Lions end 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. Penn State becomes only the fourth team in NCAA history to win back-to-back titles.
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 28-8
2012 NATIONAL RUNNER-UP AT 125, ALL-AMERICAN
133 Frank Martellotti So. Pittsburgh, Pa./Shady Side 9-11
1-2 at 2012 NCAA Championships
149 #1 Frank Molinaro Sr. Barnegat, N.J./Southern Regional 33-0
PSU's 5th 4X All-American (8th at 141 in `09, 5th in `10, 2nd in `11, 1st in `12)
2012 NCAA NATIONAL CHAMPION AT 149
157 #7 Dylan Alton R-Fr. Mill Hall, Pa./Central Mountain 30-6
ALL-AMERICAN, 3RD AT 157
165 #1 David Taylor So. St. Paris, Ohio/St. Paris Graham 32-0
2X All-American (2nd at 157 in `11, 1st at 165 in `12)
2012 NCAA NATIONAL CHAMPION AT 165
174 #1 Ed Ruth So. Harrisburg, Pa./Susquehanna Twp. 31-0
2X All-American (3rd in `11, 1st in `12)
2012 NCAA NATIONAL CHAMPION AT 174
184 #6 Quentin Wright Jr. Wingate, Pa./Bald Eagle Area 30-4
2011 NCAA National Champion, PSU's 20th 3X All-American (6th at 174 in `09, 1st in `11, 2nd in `12)
2012 NATIONAL RUNNER-UP AT 184
197 Morgan McIntosh Fr. Santa Ana, Calif./Calvary Chapel 18-10
1-2 at 2012 NCAA Championships
285 #6 Cameron Wade Sr. Twinsburg, Ohio/St. Peter Chanel 28-6
2-2 at 2012 NCAA Championships
# Indicates tournament seed
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 after three years 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. Two weeks later, Sanderson led Penn State to a second straight NCAA crown, helping Penn State to become just the fourth team in NCAA history to win back-to-back titles.
In three years as Penn State's coach, Sanderson has led the Nittany Lions to two-straight conference titles, two straight national titles, collected 14 All-Americans, three national champions, two Gorriaran winners, one NCAA tourney OW and one Hodge Trophy winner.
NITTANY LIONS CLAIM SECOND STRAIGHT NCAA TITLE
The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team ran away from the field to claim its second straight NCAA title on March 15-17 in St. Louis' Scottrade Center. The Nittany Lions won going away with 143.0 points to second place Minnesota's 117.5. Iowa was further back in third with 107.5. The win was made all that more impressive as Penn State's school record three national champions and five national finalists. The back-to-back title run makes Penn State only the fifth team in NCAA history to win back-to-back crowns. Penn State's 2012 title facts:
* School record 3 National Champions
* School record 5 National Finalists
* School record 143.0 points, most scored in tournament since Oklahoma State had 153 on 2005.
* Penn State now has 3 NCAA team titles, tied for 5th all-time.
* David Taylor's 22 points scored in finals is an NCAA all-time record for points in the finals.
* Penn State now has 25 individual champions, 5th all-time in NCAA history.
TAYLOR WINS HODGE!
David Taylor was named the winner of the 2012 Hodge Trophy as the national wrestler of the Year. Taylor is Penn State's second Hodge Trophy winner as former Lion great Kerry McCoy received the honor in 1997. Taylor's Hodge Award capped off an amazing sophomore season that saw the Lion 165-pounder go undefeated (32-0), win his second straight Big Ten title, be named Big Ten Wrestler of the Year of the second straight time, win the NCAA national title at 165, be named 2012 NCAA Championship Outstanding Wrestler, winning the 2012 Gorriaran Award and being named the 2012 NCAA Most Dominant Wrestler for the 2011-12 season. Taylor is only the third sophomore to ever win the Hodge Trophy, joining Iowa's Brent Metcalf and current Nittany Lion head coach Cael Sanderson as second-year grapplers to win the trophy.
TAYLOR CLAIMS 165-POUND NATIONAL CROWN; NAMED OW, GORRIARAN AND MOST DOMINANT
Sophomore David Taylor, the undefeated top seed at 165, pinned his way to the NCAA Finals and the put on a stunning performance to win the 2012 NCAA title. In the finals, Taylor met No. 11 Brandon Hatchett of Lehigh. Closing out one of the most dominant performances in NCAA tournament history, Taylor put on a takedown clinic in rolling to a 22-7 technical fall at the 5:55 mark. The Nittany Lion sophomore notched three first period takedowns to lead 6-2 after one period. After choosing down to start the second, Taylor reversed Hatchett, cut him loose, took him down again and added two near fall points to lead 12-3 after two. The third period was a blistering display of takedowns as Taylor rolled up five takedowns to post the technical fall and finish a national championship run with a 5-0 record that included four pins and a technical fall. Taylor pined Bucknell's Corey Lear, Chattanooga's Brandon Right, #8 Robert Kokesh of Nebraska and #4 Bekzod Abdurakhmonov of Clarion before teching Hatchet in the finals. Taylor's 22 points is an all-time record for points in the finals and his Gorriaran is Penn State's second straight (Ed Ruth won last year). Taylor ends a perfect sophomore season with a 32-0 record. He heads into his junior year as a two-time All-American with a 70-1 record. He was named the tournament's Outstanding Wrestler for his performance, won the Gorriaran Award (most pins in least time) and was honored as the NCAA's Most Dominant Wrestler for the entire 2011-12 season, all in a flurry of post-season awards handed out as the event drew to a close.
MOLINARO WINS 149-POUND NATIONAL TITLE; BECOMES PSU'S 5TH 4X ALL-AMERICAN
Senior Frank Molinaro, the undefeated top-seed at 149, met No. 7 Dylan Ness of Minnesota in the NCAA title bout, meeting the talented Gopher for the fourth time this season. Molinaro fought off one early Ness shot and then tried to connect on multiple single legs in the first period before finally breaking through for a takedown with :20 left. Riding the 2-0 lead into the third period, he escaped to a 3-1 lead and then rode Ness for most of the third period to build up 1:50 in riding time and post the 4-1 win. Already Penn State's fifth four-time All-American, Molinaro is now Penn State's latest NCAA Champion. Molinaro majored Cornell's Chris Villalonga, beat Oregon State's Scott Sakaguchi, majored #8 Eric Grajales of Michigan and shut-out Hofstra's Justin Accordino to advance to the finals. He finished 8th, 5th, 2nd and 1st at NCAAs and closes out a perfect senior season with a 33-0 record, giving him a 121-29 career mark. He leaves Penn State as one of the greatest wrestlers in school history and tied for 8th all-time on Penn State's career win list. Molinaro's 5-0 run through this year's tourney gives him 17 wins in the NCAA tournament, tied for fourth all-time in school history.
RUTH MAJORS HIS WAY TO 174-POUND NATIONAL CROWN
Sophomore Ed Ruth, the undefeated top seed at 174, met No. 3 Nick Amuchastegui in a battle of two unbeaten wrestlers. Getting revenge for an injury default loss in the national quarters last year, Ruth dominated the Stanford wrestler from start to finish, rolling to a 13-2 major decision and become Penn State's third national champion of the night. Ruth used a takedown, two near fall points and an escape to bolt out to a 5-2 lead after one period. He added an escape and a takedown in the second to lead 8-3 and then, after Amuchastegui chose neutral, notched a takedown, two near fall points and a rideout to roll to the major. He ended the match with 3:39 in riding time. Ruth ends a simply dominating title run with a 5-0 mark, including two pins, a technical fall and the major in the title bout. Ruth pinned Rider's Jim Resnick and Missouri's Dorian Henderson before beating #9 Nick Heflin of Ohio State 11-4. He then teched #4 Logan Storley of Minnesota 16-1 before majoring Amachastegui in the finals. The undefeated run gives him a 31-0 mark to close out the year. He heads into his junior season as a two-time All-American with a 69-2 record.
WRIGHT BECOMES PSU'S 20TH 3X ALL-AMERICAN WITH RUN TO NATIONAL FINALS AT 184
Junior Quentin Wright, the defending National Champion and No. 6 seed at 184, faced off against No. 4 Steve Bosak of Cornell in the final.. Wright and Bosak battled through a scoreless first period and then the Lion junior chose down to start the second stanza. Wright worked his way to a reversal but Bosak was able to escape with around :20 on the clock, cutting the lead to 2-1 after two. Bosak then chose down to start the third period and escaped to tie the score. Wright pressured Bosak constantly throughout the match and, in particular, the third period. But Bosak was able to back away from the Lion and kill the clock in the third period, sending the match to sudden victory. Bosak then notched the decisive takedown midway through the period to post the 4-2 (sv) win. Wright ends the tournament with a 4-1 mark, earning national runner-up honors. Wright majored North Carolina's Thomas Ferguson and #11 Ben Clymer of Hofstra before pinning #3 Ben Bennett of Central Michigan and beating #2 Rober Hamlin of Lehigh in the national semifinals. He leaves St. Louis as Penn State's 20th three-time All-American after a 30-4 season and heads into his senior year with an 84-23 record.
FRESHMAN ALL-AMERICAN MEGALUDIS EMERGES AS 125-POUND NATIONAL FINALIST
True freshman Nico Megaludis, the No. 10 seed at 125, took on top-seed Matt McDonough of Iowa in the first national final of the night. Megaludis battled McDonough through two even periods before the Hawkeye used a third period takedown to break a 1-1 tie. McDonough then rode Megaludis out and, with the riding time point, posted the 4-1 victory. Megaludis ends a superb true freshman run through the 2012 NCAA Championships with a 4-1 record, as a freshman All-American and as the 2012 National Runner-Up. Megaludis majored Wyoming's Michael Martinez in the first round before hammering #7 Jarrod Patterson of Oklahoma in the second round. He then beat #2 Zach Sanders of Minnesota in the quarters to advance to the national semifinals, where he posted a thrilling 3-2 (tb2) win over #6 Frank Perrelli of Cornell to advance to the national finals as a true freshman. Both Perrelli and Sanders had beaten Megaludis twice during the regular season, allowing the Penn State true freshman a measure of revenge to close out the season. He ends his first season of collegiate wrestling with a 28-8 overall record.
Dylan Alton ROARS TO THIRD PLACE ALL-AMERICAN STATUS AT 157
Red-shirt freshman Dylan Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.) finished off an outstanding season with a third place finish at 157 in the 2012 NCAA Championships. Alton's super 6-1 tourney run was highlighted by an outstanding Saturday morning session.. Alton, the No. 7 seed, took down No. 5 Ganbayar Sanjaa of American by a 7-5 (sv2) decision in the consolation semifinals and then hammered No. 3 Jason Welch of Northwestern 6-2 in the third place bout. The Lion freshman majored Columbia's Jake O'Hara in the first round and then beat #10 Anthony Jones of Michigan State in the second. His only loss of the tournament was a 3-1 (sv) decision to #2 Derek St. John of Iowa in the national quarterfinals. He rebounded with a 6-3 win over Air Force's Joshua Kreimier and a 4-3 win over #11 James Green of Nebraska to secure All-American laurels and set up his 2-0 Saturday morning performance. Alton became Penn State's sixth All-American of the tournament and assured the Nittany Lions of having more than half their line-up place in the top three nationally.
WADE, McINTOSH AND MARTELLOTTI ALL SCORE KEY POINTS IN PENN STATE'S NCAA TITLE RUN
With six All-Americans produced out of Penn State's nine national qualifiers, the Nittany Lions also received key points from its three non-placing wrestlers. Senior Cameron Wade went 2-2 at heavyweight, finishing just one win shy of All-America status. Wade notched a tech fall in the first round and a second round win to advance to the quarters. Also scoring points for Penn State was true freshman Morgan McIntosh, who went 1-2 at 197, including a 9-3 win over Oregon State's Taylor Meeks in the first round. Sophomore Frank Martellotti, making his first appearance at the NCAA Championships as well, went 1-2 at 133, getting a consolation round win over Bakersfield's Frank Lomas.
ELEVEN NITTANY LIONS EARN ACADEMIC ALL-BIG TEN HONORS
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 earned the honor for the first time, capping off an undefeated title season in stellar fashion. Sophomore David Taylor, the 165-pound NCAA titlist, earned his second Academic All-Big Ten honor. Junior Quentin Wright, 2011 NCAA Champion and 2012 NCAA Finalist, collected his third straight academic honor from the conference. Joining that trio is national qualifier Cameron Wade, who earned his fourth straight Academic All-Big Ten honor. Senior Clay Steadman, a Finance major, earned his fourth straight Academic All-Big Ten honor as well. Juniors James English and Nick Fischer were also honored. Sophomore Andrew Church claimed his first Academic All-Big Ten award. Three red-shirt freshmen round out Penn State's 11-man contingent of academic honorees. Cameron Kelly, Kyle Moran and Nate Morgan (McCook, Neb.) 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.
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.