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April 11, 2010
STATE COLLEGE, Pa.; April 11, 2010 - The Penn State Wrestling Club held its annual awards banquet today at the Nittany Lion Inn and senior Dan Vallimont (Lake Hopatcong, N.J.) was honored as the team's Outstanding Wrestler. Vallimont earned two awards at the event honoring Coach Cael Sanderson's squad.
Vallimont, a two-time All-American, won the William Neidig Award for the Outstanding Wrestler of the Year after his National Runner-Up at 165 this year. Vallimont advanced to the national finals in Omaha and helped to lead Penn State to a ninth place finish at the NCAA Championship. The New Jersey native also earned All-America laurels in 2008, taking third at 157. Vallimont went 30-8 this year and leaves Penn State with a superb 108-35 career record, including a 57-12 dual meet mark and 195 career dual meet points. Vallimont earned 20 Big Ten dual meet wins and collected 24 majors over the course of his four years as a starter for the Nittany Lions. Vallimont also won the Charles M. Spiedel Award for the senior with the most career dual meet wins with 57.
Classmate Cyler Sanderson (Heber City, Utah) also took home two awards. Sanderson earned the Most Bonus Points Award, a new award that will be given to the wrestler who earns the most bonus points in all varsity action, including duals, team scored tournaments and open tournaments. Sanderson became a two-time All-American this year with a sixth place finish at 157 in Omaha. Sanderson posted a 32-7 record this year and ends a superb collegiate career with a 114-33 record (including three years at Iowa State). He was an All-American in 2008 as well, taking seventh at 157. Sanderson went 56-16 in duals during his career, had 18 pins and 25 majors to go along with 244 dual meet points. Sanderson was also the co-winner of the Best Freestyle Award, sharing the honor with junior Brad Pataky (Clearfield, Pa.).
Pataky had a solid 2009-10, going 28-10 and once again advancing to the Round of 12 at the NCAA Championships, finishing just one win shy of All-America laurels for the second year in a row. Pataky will head into his senior season with a 74-29 career record, including 172 dual meet points and a 43-11 dual meet record.
Adam Lynch (Mifflinburg, Pa.), who has elected to return to the Nittany Lions of his last year of eligibility next year, won the Kaye Vinson Award as the Most Improved Wrestler. Lynch, who began the year in a battle for the starting spot at 141, grabbed the spot on January 3 and went on to become a force for Penn State. After a slow start, Lynch ended the year with 13-13 record, including a superb 6-2 mark in Big Ten duals. He earned wins over three ranked wrestlers during the season and cracked the top 20 individual rankings in February with a No. 20 nod.
Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.) won the Eleventh Man Award for leadership and dedication. Wright, a 2009 All-American as a true freshman, red-shirted this past season but remained a fixture for Penn State in both the room and in open tournaments. Wright posted a 14-1 mark as an unattached wrestler during the 2009-10 season. Wright took sixth place at 174 in 2009 and went 33-13 overall. Wright won four open tournament titles this past year.
Freshman David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio) won the Bill Koll Award, given to the Outstanding Freshman Wrestler. Taylor came to Penn State as one of the nation's top recruits and red-shirted this past year. The Ohio native posted a superb 21-2 overall record as an unattached wrestler in 2009-10 and claimed four open tournament crowns during the season.
True freshman Andrew Church (Erie, Pa.) won the Academic Excellence Award. The Erie native owns a 4.0 grade point average and is a pre-major working towards a Mechanical Engineering Award. Church red-shirted this year and posted a 7-9 mark as an unattached grappler in open tournaments.
Senior manager Jackie Kistler (Exton, Pa.) was given the Carl A. Winterburn Award, given to the manager who demonstrates year round support of the Penn State wrestling program. The Exton, Pa., native has been in the Affiliate Club for four years, serving two as co-president, and has been a manager for three years. She is a Supply Chain Management and Information Systems major.
With the banquet officially closing out the 2009-10 season, fans can get a jump start on next year. New season tickets for next season can now be purchased, while current season ticket holders will receive their option to renew later in the fall. Season ticket prices for 2010-11 will be $42 for adults and $28 for youth (18 and under) with payments being made in full at the time of the order. A $5 per order handling fee will be added. Reserved seat locations will be assigned and Nittany Lion Club members will be assigned best available seats according to their active membership and point level. Following fulfillment of all Nittany Lion Club season ticket requests, seats will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. To order tickets, please call Joel Diamond at 814-867-2557. New ticket orders will be fulfilled and mailed by November 1, 2010. Renewal applications for current season ticket holders will be available on or before October 1.