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May 8, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The 2012 NCAA National Champion Penn State wrestling team continued to haul in national academic honors with the release of the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) All-Academic First Team listing as well as the top 30 team break-down. Fresh off notching 11 Academic All-Big Ten honorees, head coach Cael Sanderson's two-time defending champions had four wrestlers named to the NWCA's National All-Academic First Team.
All-four wrestlers were 2012 NCAA National Qualifiers, three were All-Americans and all three are national champions (two this year, one a year ago). 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. Molinaro was also an Academic All-Big Ten selection this year and is now an assistant coach at Rutgers University.
Sophomore David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio), the 165-pound NCAA titlist, earned the honor for the second time. 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. He is also a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree.
Junior Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.), 2011 NCAA Champion and 2012 NCAA Finalist, was named to the All-Academic team for the second straight year. A three-time Academic All-Big Ten pick as well, Wright is Penn State's 20th three-time All-American and a Management major. He went 30-4 this year and heads into his senior season next year with an 84-23 career mark.
Senior Cameron Wade (Twinsburg, Ohio) collected his third straight national All-Academic award. Wade 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.
Penn State posted a 3.03 (3.028) grade point average as a team and placed 26th nationally amongst all Division I schools. The Nittany Lions four first team All-Academic selections is tied for third most for any one team with only two teams having more than four wrestlers earn first team laurels. Penn State has had nine NWCA All-Academic first teamers in Sanderson's three years as head coach at Penn State and has had a team GPA above 3.02 each season.
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.