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Nov. 8, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team, ranked No. 1 in the preseason NWCA/USA Today coaches poll, has eight wrestlers ranked at their respective weights in the latest Intermat individual rankings.
The NWCA/USA Today Coaches preseason poll came out last Thursday. Penn State leads the preseason poll with 244 points including seven first place votes while Big Ten rival Iowa is close behind at No. 2 with 238 points and two first place votes. Oklahoma State is ranked third with 234 points and one first place vote. Minnesota and Cornell round out the top five. Lehigh (6), Michigan (7), Illinois (8), Missouri (9) and Oklahoma (10) comprise the rest of the top ten. Ohio State (13) and Northwestern (19) are the other Big Ten teams ranked in the top 25, giving the conference seven ranked teams. Michigan State, Nebraska and Purdue are receiving votes.
Defending national champion Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.) is ranked No. 1 at 184 after claiming the title last year in Philadelphia. Wright went 21-6 a year ago, including nine straight at season's end to win the Big Ten and NCAA crowns. Wright is a two-time All-American. Senior Frank Molinaro (Barnegat, N.J.) is ranked No. 1 at 149 after advancing to the NCAA finals in Philadelphia. Molinaro, a three-time All-American and the reigning Big Ten champion, carries an 88-29 career record into his final season. Sophomore David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio) is ranked No. 1 at 165 after blazing to a 38-1 record as a freshman last year and earning All-America laurels with a spot in the NCAA finals at 157. Taylor was the Big Ten 157-pound titlist, the 2011Big Ten Freshman of the Year and 2011 Big Ten Wrestler of the Year.
Sophomore Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.) is ranked No. 2 at 174 after placing third at that weight a year ago and earning All-America laurels. Ruth, who went 38-2 overall as a freshman, won the 2011 Gorriaran Award at the NCAA Championships for most pins in the least time. Senior Cameron Wade (Twinsburg, Ohio) heads into the new season ranked No. 5 at heavyweight. Wade, who went 30-8 in '10-11, is a two-time national qualifier and finished just one win shy of All-America status at NCAAs last year, losing in the `round of 12'.
Three freshmen are also ranked for Penn State. Red-shirt freshman Dylan Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), is ranked No. 12 at that weight by Intermat after red-shirt campaign a year ago. True freshman Morgan McIntosh (Santa Ana, Calif.) is ranked No. 10 at 197 and classmate Nico Megaludis (Murrysville, Pa.) is ranked No. 18 at 125. McIntosh and Megaludis were both among the nation's top recruits last season coming out of high school.
The Nittany Lions will start the regular season with a home dual against Bloomsburg on Sunday, Nov. 13, which will feature the raising of Penn State's Big Ten and NCAA title banners. Match time in Rec Hall for the match-up with the Huskies is set for 2 p.m. Fans can purchase these very limited single dual tickets by calling 814-865-5555. Tickets are priced at $8 for adults and $5 for youth (18 and under) and can be purchased from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day or in person at the Bryce Jordan Center box office. A maximum of four tickets may be purchased per person.
The full season slate of live dual meet and tournament action will air locally on WRSC AM (1390 AM) with Friday evening duals being simulcast on WRSC FM (103.1 FM). Lock Haven's WBPZ (1230 AM) will also carry the entire season live and further affiliates may be added soon. The regular season schedule of radio broadcasts will be streamed live at www.GoPSUsports.com as part of Penn State's All-Access package, which will also feature live video streams of many home events. Ticket information is accessed easily online at www.GoPSUsports.com/tickets/m-wrestl-tickets.html . 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 is presented by The Family Clothesline.