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Nov. 18, 2009
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -
STATE COLLEGE, Pa.; November 17, 2009 -- The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team, ranked No. 19, will trek to Binghamton University in Binghamton, N.Y., for the Sprawl and Brawl Duals on Sunday, Nov. 22. Penn State (1-1) will face Rutgers (1-0) at 9:45 a.m., Harvard (0-0) at 11:30 a.m. and No. 15 Edinboro (0-0) at 3 p.m.
Head coach Cael Sanderson will lean on his experienced core of wrestlers to help guide the new faces in the Penn State line-up through a rugged Sunday of action. Penn State's four national qualifiers (three of whom are All-Americans) combined to go 8-0 last weekend in Penn State's 1-1 opening weekend. Junior Brad Pataky (Clearfield, Pa.) has moved up to No. 6 at 125 and notched a major and a tech fall last weekend. Sophomore Frank Molinaro (Barnegat, N.J.) went 2-0 with two majors at 149 and is now ranked No. 8 at his new weight. Senior Cyler Sanderson (Heber City, Utah) went 2-0 and downed then-second ranked Matt Moley of Bloomsburg on Sunday. Sanderson is now ranked No. 4 at 157. Senior Dan Vallimont (Lake Hopatcong, N.J.) got wins over two ranked grapplers at 165, is 2-0, and ranked No. 9 nationally.
In addition to that group of undefeated wrestlers, sophomore Cameron Wade (Twinsburg, Ohio) went 1-1 at HWT and is ranked No. 19 while classmate Clay Steadman (McKean, Pa.) picked up a critical win at 197 against Bloomsburg and went 1-1 last weekend. Penn State lost a hard-fought 23-14 match-up at No. 17 Lehigh last Friday but rebounded to handle Bloomsburg (23-15) on Sunday in the Rec Hall opener for Sanderson.
Rutgers, receiving votes in the latest coaches poll, enters the event with a 1-0 mark. The Scarlet Knights will bring a talented line-up into action on Sunday morning, led by two ranked upper weights. Senior Lamar Brown is ranked No. 16 at 197 and junior D.J. Russo is ranked No. 10 at heavyweight. Penn State has never lost to Rutgers in a dual meet, owning a 14-0 record in the all-time series. The teams last met in the 1973-74 season when Penn State shut-out the Scarlet Knights 39-0.
Harvard will wrestling in its first duals of the season at the Sprawl and Brawls. The Crimson will be led by a duo of ranked competitors. All-American J.P. O'Connor comes in ranked No. 3 at 157, giving Cyler Sanderson yet another shot at one of the other contenders for the national crown. Senior Louis Caputo is ranked No. 11 at 184 as well. The Nittany Lions have never lost to Harvard as well, owning a slight 3-0 advantage in the all-time series. The teams last met in 193 when Penn State downed the Crimson 17-11.
No. 15 Edinboro will also be wrestling in its first duals in Binghamton. The Fighting Scots feature a deep line-up led by a trio of ranked grapplers. Defending national champion Jarrod King is ranked No. 2 at 165, offering a stern test for Vallimont. Eric Morrill is ranked No. 8 at 125, setting up a key match-up with Pataky, and Chris Birchler is ranked No. 11 at heavyweight, giving Wade a solid test on Sunday. Penn State owns a commanding 11-3 advantage in the all-time series between the two schools. Penn State downed EU 24-16 at the Sprawl and Brawl Duals last season.
Penn State will take part in the Nittany Lion Open on Sunday, Dec. 6, beginning at 8:30 a.m. in Rec Hall. The NLO is not part of Penn State's regular season ticket package and tickets can be purchased at the door on the day of the event. Penn State's next dual meet will be Dec. 11 at West Virginia. The Nittany Lions' next home event will be on Jan. 22 when the Illinois Illini come to State College. Single event tickets for Nittany Lion wrestling cost $8 for adults and $6 for youth. Group sales are available once again for groups of 15 people or more. Group prices are $5 in advance and $6 walk-up. Fans can purchase tickets by calling 1.800.NITTANY between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays. All Penn State events will once again air live on Forever Broadcasting's WRSC (1390 AM), 3WZ (95.3 FM) and on GoPSUsports. com as well. The 2009-10 Penn State Wrestling season is presented by The Family Clothesline.
TODAY'S POSSIBLE LINE-UP As of November 17, 2009
#19 PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS (1-1, 0-0 Big Ten)
Wt. Name Yr. Hometown/High School 2009-10 Record
125 #6 Brad Pataky Jr. Clearfield, Pa./Clearfield 2-0
133 Tyler Saltsman So. Concord, N.H./Concord 0-1
OR Bryan Pearsall Fr. Lititz, Pa./Warwick 0-1
141 Colby Pisani So. Ridgway, Pa./Ridgway 0-1
OR Adam Lynch Sr. Mifflinburg, Pa./Mifflinburg 0-1
149 #8 Frank Molinaro So. Barnegat, N.J./Southern Regional 2-0
157 #4 Cyler Sanderson Sr. Heber City, Utah/Wasatch 2-0
165 #9 Dan Vallimont Sr. Lake Hopatcong, N.J./Jefferson Twp. 2-0
174 Michael Lorenzo Jr. Bellefonte, Pa./Bellefonte 0-0
OR Nick Fischer Fr. Unionville, Pa./Unionville 0-1
184 Justin Ortega Fr. Oxford, Pa./Oxford 0-2
197 Clay Steadman So. McKean, Pa./General McLane 1-1
285 #19 Cameron Wade So. Twinsburg, Ohio/St. Peter Chanel 1-1
PENN STATE'S THREE OPPONENTS
RANKED FOES AT THE 2009 SPRAWL AND BRAWL DUALS
#RV RUTGERS SCARLET KNIGHTS (1-0)
RANKED WRESTLERS AS OF 11/16/09
Wt. Name Yr. Hometown/High School
197 #16 Lamar Brown Sr. Red Bank, N.J./Red Bank
285 #10 D.J. Russo Jr. Netcong, N.J./Lenape Valley
HARVARD CRIMSON (0-0)
RANKED WRESTLERS AS OF 11/16/09
Wt. Name Yr. Hometown/High School
157 #3 J.P. O'Connor Sr. Oxford, N.Y./Oxford Academy
184 #11 Louis Caputo Sr. Blue Springs, Mo./Blue Springs
#15 EDINBORO FIGHTING SCOTS (0-0)
RANKED WRESTLERS AS OF 11/16/09
Wt. Name Yr. Hometown/High School
125 #8 Eric Morrill Jr., Sandown, N.H./Timberlane
165 #2 Jarrod King Sr. Connellsville, Pa./Connellsville
285 #11 Chris Birchler Sr. Fairfield, N.J./Seton Hall Prep
All rankings Intermat
HEAD COACH Cael Sanderson
Cael Sanderson comes 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 finish in Detroit capped off a wildly successful year as the Cyclones crowned one national champion 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. This past season, 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. Sanderson now sports a 45-11 dual meet mark in this, his fourth year as a collegiate head coach. He is 1-1 at Penn State.
SANDERSON DOWNS #2 MOLEY IN WIN OVER BLOOM;
2-0 IN PSU DEBUT TO EARN BIG TEN W.O.W. HONOR
Senior Cyler Sanderson made his Rec Hall dual meet debut with a thrilling 3-2 win over No. 2 Matt Moley of Bloomsburg. The victory helped spark the Nittany Lions to a 23-15 win over the visiting Huskies in head coach Cael Sanderson's home dual debut. Two days earlier, he beat Lehigh's Sean Bilodeau (5-2) in his PSU dual debut. The outstanding debut effort helped Sanderson earn Big Ten Wrestler of the Week honors for the week ending on Nov. 15, 2009. He is Penn State's first Wrestler of the Week since February of 2008.
VALLIMONT DOWNS #19 SCHMELYUN & #12 GALENTE IN OUTSTANDING OPENING WEEKEND
Senior Dan Vallimont opened up the season with two wins over ranked grapplers. He was dominant in a 5-2 win over No. 12 Mike Galente of Lehigh on 11/13 and then downed #19 Rick Schmelyun of Bloomsburg on 11/15. His win over Schmelyun helped spark PSU to a 23-15 win over the Huskies.
PATAKY AND MOLINARO GO UNDEFEATED IN OPENING WEEKEND OF ACTION
Junior Brad Pataky and sophomore All-American Frank Molinaro each went 2-0 in Penn State's opening weekend of dual meet action. Pataky got a 14-4 major at Lehigh on 11/13 and then posted a four-point, 22-7, technical fall in Penn State's win over Bloomsburg on 11/15. Molinaro was dominant with two majors, getting a 12-3 win at Lehigh on 11/13 and an identical 12-3 win vs. Bloom two days later.
STEADMAN AND WADE HELP SPARK LIONS TO WIN OVER BLOOMSBURG
Sophomore big men Clay Steadman and Cameron Wade each got big wins for Penn State in the Nittany Lions' 23-15 win over the Bloomsburg Huskies on Nov. 15. In Cael Sanderson's coaching debut, Steadman posted a key 3-1 win over BU's Jake Dabashinsky at 197 and Wade pinned Huskie heavyweight Zach Walsh at the 4:42 mark to finish off the dual.
TAYLOR WINS W&J OPEN; KEMERER THIRD
Nittany Lion wrestlers David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio) and Jake Kemerer (Greensburg, Pa.) traveled south for the Washington and Jefferson Open, competing as unattached grapplers, and had outstanding days. Taylor was perfect at 157 to claim the title while Kemerer was 5-1 to take third at 165. Taylor, a true freshman red-shirting this season, won four of his five bouts by technical fall, including a 20-5 win over West Virginia's Kyle Eason in the finals. Taylor's other win was a forfeit victory. In all, the Ohio native outscored his opponents 76-16 in his debut at the college level. Kemerer was equally impressive, rolling to a 5-1 mark including two pins and two technical falls. His only loss was a tough 5-3 loss to West Virginia starter Donnie Jones in the semifinals. Also competing at the event was true freshman Andrew Church (Erie, Pa.), who went 1-2 at 174, and red-shirt freshman James English (York, Pa.), who went 1-2 at 149. Both wrestlers were unattached as well.
SEASON TICKETS DOUBLE IN YEAR ONE UNDER Cael Sanderson
Fans of the Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team are in the process of making home duals a hot ticket for the 2009-10 campaign. The season ticket fan base has nearly doubled in the build up to head coach Cael Sanderson's home debut this Sunday in Rec Hall. Nearly 2,100 season tickets have been sold as Penn State prepares for the season-opening weekend. Last season, Penn State sold a respectable 1,058 season tickets. This year, almost 2,100 season packages have already been sold for Penn State's five-dual home slate, including 40 new `premium seats' which will also make their debut this weekend.
VOLLRATH AND MACCHIAROLI PLACE AT CLARION
Four Nittany Lion wrestlers competed at the Knight Point Clarion Open on Saturday, each wrestling unattached at the event. True freshmen James Vollrath (Richboro, Pa.) and Luke Macchiaroli (Tempe, Ariz.) each placed while classmates Tom Reynolds (Skillman, N.J.) and Andrew Church (Erie, Pa.) each competed as well. Vollrath entered the tournament seeded No. 2 at 157 and went 3-1, advancing to the finals, to take second place. Vollrath got wins over Corey Lear of Bucknell, Greg Hillbert of Lehigh and Patrick Marchetti of Army before falling to American's Steve Fittery in the finals (Fittery was the No. 1 seed). Macchiaroli entered the tournament seed No. 5 at 197 and went 3-2, advancing to the semifinals before losing and wrestling back to fifth place. Macchiaroli got wins over Lehigh's Robert Prigmore, Bloomsburg's Mike Grillakis and Franklin and Marshall's Colin Ely. Church was solid at 174, posting a 2-2 mark, including a pin over Bloomsburg's David Saksek. He also beat Buffalo's Pat Brady. Reynolds went 1-2 at 133 with a win over American's Corey Borshoff.
MEDIA DAY A BIG SUCCESS FOR LIONS; OVER 30 PRESS DESCEND UPON THE LWC FOR EVENT
Over 30 members of the press, including photographers and television crews, descended upon the Lorenzo Wrestling Complex for Penn State's Wrestling Media Day, held on Tuesday, Oct. 27. The well-attended event featured Sanderson's press conference, individual wrestler availability as well as an open practice session. Full transcripts of the event, photo galleries and video highlights can be found at http://www.gopsusports.com/sports/m-wrestl/psu-m-wrestl-body.html .
BIG TEN NETWORK TO TELEVISE NINE DUALS THIS YEAR, SOME LIVE, PENN STATE ON ONCE
The Big Ten Network will air nine dual meets on its national cable network this year, five of which will air live and four that will be broadcast on a tape-delay basis. The Penn State Nittany Lions will be featured once again this year, with the Nittany Lions' dual at Ohio State on Sunday, Jan. 24, airing on a same-day delay basis at 7 p.m. that day. In addition to the nine dual meets, the Big Ten Network will air the finals of Midlands on Sunday, Jan. 3, and the finals of the Big Ten Championships on Sunday, March 7. BigTenNetwork.com will offer video streaming of 15 other duals as well. Penn State will be featured on six of those web-only streams.
PENN STATE #19 IN NWCA COACHES POLL;
FIVE LIONS RANKED BY INTERMAT
Five members of the Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team continue to hold rankings in the latest individual rankings released by Intermat and viewable at www.intermatwrestle.com. Head coach Cael Sanderson's squad is ranked No. 19 as a team in the latest NWCA Coaches Poll as well. Senior Cyler Sanderson (Heber City, Utah) moved up one spot at 157 to No. 4 after a superb debut as a Nittany Lion. Sanderson is 2-0 on the year and downed then-second ranked Matt Moley of Bloomsburg on Sunday. Junior Brad Pataky (Clearfield, Pa.) moved up to No. 6 at 125 after a dominating 2-0 weekend that saw him post a major and a tech fall to start the season 2-0 as well.
Sophomore Frank Molinaro (Barnegat, N.J.) is now ranked at 149, shifting up from 141. Molinaro, who went 2-0 with two majors at his new weight, is ranked No. 8 nationally. Senior Dan Vallimont (Lake Hopatcong, N.J.) got wins over the 12th- and 19th-ranked wrestlers at 165 and holds his No. 9 ranking with a 2-0 mark. Sophomore Cameron Wade (Twinsburg, Ohio) moved up a spot to No. 19 at heavyweight after a 1-1 weekend. Wade lost a close decision to No. 6 Zach Rey of Lehigh and then got a pin in Penn State's win over Bloomsburg. The Nittany Lions are ranked No. 19 in the NWCA Coaches Poll. Iowa leads the poll in first with Ohio State sitting at No. 5. Minnesota (6), Wisconsin (13), Indiana (16), Illinois (17), Michigan (24) and Michigan State (25) round out the Big Ten teams in the top 25, giving the conference nine ranked teams.
ALTON, ALTON, COWBURN AND SHERLOCK SIGN NLIs TO WRESTLE AT PENN STATE
Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling coach Cael Sanderson received more good news on the first day of the NCAA's early signing period. Four of the nation's top high school wrestlers have signed National Letters of Intent to attend Penn State and become members of the Penn State wrestling family. The vaunted foursome, all homegrown Pennsylvania talent, has combined for six PIAA state titles already as each young man readies for the 2009-10 high school season. Alphabetically, Sanderson received NLI's from twin brothers Andrew Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.) and Dylan Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), Dirk Cowburn (Coudersport, Pa.) and Sam Sherlock (West Mifflin, Pa.). Each wrestler is among the tops at his respective weight class, according to Intermat (www.intermatwrestle.com). "This is an outstanding group of young men and we are pleased that they have made the decision to become Nittany Lions," Sanderson said. "As we continue to build the kind of program we envisioned when we arrived in State College, it is the hard work and dedication of wrestlers like this that will help us achieve our goals."
Andrew Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.) is ranked No. 1 at 145 by Intermat and, heading into the new high school season, is the No. 2 ranked overall recruit in the country (at any weight). Andrew is coming off a 140 pound title at last year's PIAA championships, going 46-0 overall. Andrew went 47-1 at 140 as a sophomore, taking third at PIAAs, and was 40-7 as a high school freshman at 130 (also placing third at states). He carries a 133-8 career record into his senior season at Central Mountain High School in neighboring Clinton County. The Mill Hall native is also an outstanding freestyle wrestler, having won the last two (2008 and 2009) Junior National Championships. He took third at the FILA Junior Nationals in 2009, won the 2008 Super 32 Challenge and took second place at the 2008 Junior Nationals in Greco-Roman. Andrew is the son of Neil and Donna Alton of Mill Hall, Pa., and the twin brother of fellow signee Dylan. Dylan Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.) is ranked No. 1 at 152 by Intermat and, heading into the new high school season, is the No. 5 ranked overall recruit in the country (at any weight). Dylan is a two-time PIAA state champion, having claimed the 145 pound title last year after a 47-0 junior campaign. The year before, he went 45-1 at 135 and claimed the state title as well. As a high school freshman, Dylan posted a 39-4 mark and took seventh at states. Heading into his final year at nearby Central Mountain High School, Dylan sports a 131-5 career record. The Mill Hall native is, like his twin, an outstanding freestyle wrestler as well. Dylan won the 2008 and 2009 Junior National crowns, took the 2008 Junior National championship in Greco Roman, won the 2008 Walsh Ironman title and took third at the 2008 Super 32 Challenge. Dylan is the son of Neil and Donna Alton of Mill Hall, Pa., and the twin brother of fellow signee Andrew.
Dirk Cowburn (Coudersport, Pa.) is ranked No. 4 at 160 by Intermat and, heading into his final year at Coudersport High School, is the No. 47 ranked overall recruit in the country (at any weight). Cowburn is a two-time PIAA state champion, having claimed the 152 pound title in each of the last two years. As a junior, he went 30-2 to claim the title and as a sophomore he went 38-0. Heading into his senior year, Cowburn carries a 68-2 overall mark with him on his quest to three-peat. An outstanding freestyle and Greco wrestler as well, Cowburn won the 2007 Cadet National title in Greco-Roman and took second in freestyle at that event. In 2008, Cowburn placed second at the 2008 Junior Nationals in Greco as well. Dirk is the son of Dan and Darla Cowburn of Coudersport, Pa. Sam Sherlock (West Mifflin, Pa.) is ranked No. 2 nationally at 130 by Intermat and, heading into the 2009-10 high school campaign, is ranked No. 16 overall at any weight. Sherlock is the defending PIAA state champion at 125 after going 38-3 last year and winning his first crown. He went 35-3 as a sophomore in 2007-08 and placed fourth. Sherlock is 73-6 in two years as the starter for West Mifflin High School as he preps for his final season. A standout in both freestyle and folkstyle, Sam took second place at the 2008 Super 32 Challenge and Beast of the East and placed third at the 2009 Junior Nationals. Sam is the son of Sam and Nancy Sherlock of West Mifflin, Pa.
THE Cael Sanderson RADIO SHOW
The Cael Sanderson Radio Show will take place on Wednesday nights at 6 p.m., airing locally on 3WZ (95.3 FM) and statewide on the Pennsylvania Sports Network. The show will then air every Wednesday night throughout the season with the exception of an occasional off-evening. The 30-minute show will be hosted by Jeff Byers, the voice of Penn State wrestling, and Sanderson. Upcoming events will be highlighted and fans will have the opportunity to call in and ask questions of Sanderson and Byers. The show will originate from the conference room in the Lorenzo Wrestling Complex. Local affiliate 3WZ is the Centre Region's source for the Pennsylvania Sports Network. The PA Sports Network is a 16-station radio network spanning the entirety of the Commonwealth, from Erie to Lancaster. The Network's programming is also carried live on Comcast Channel 4 in State College.