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No. 15 Penn State Set for 2009 Nittany Lion Open

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Dec. 2, 2009


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TODAY'S ACTION The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team, ranked No. 15 nationally, will return to action after a weekend off to take part in the 2009 Nittany Lion Open. Penn State (4-1, 0-0 Big Ten) will be in action beginning at 8:30 a.m. in Rec Hal. The NLO is not part of the Penn State season ticket package and tickets can be purchased at the door the day of the event. Head coach Cael Sanderson will send much of his starting line-up and most of his vaunted red-shirts on to the mats.

Sanderson will send the entire dual meet line-up into action, including his five ranked grapplers. No. 6 Brad Pataky will go at 125 as will No. 6 Frank Molinaro at 149. Senior Cyler Sanderson, Penn State's top-ranked individual with a No. 4 nod at 157, and classmate Dan Vallimont, ranked No. 9 at 165, will go as well. Sophomore Cameron Wade, ranked No. 11 at heavyweight, will also compete. Senior David Erwin is slated to go at 184 as is sophomore Clay Steadman at 197. Penn State has used a combination of six wrestlers at three weights during the early season and all six of those individuals will compete on Sunday. Sophomore Tyler Saltsman and freshman Bryan Pearsall will wrestle at 133, sophomore Colby Pisani and senior Adam Lynch will go at 141 and junior Michael Lorenzo and freshman Justin Ortega will compete at 174.

Key red-shirts competing unattached include 2009 All-American Quentin Wright wrestling at 184, 2008 All-American Bubba Jenkins wrestling at 157, true freshman David Taylor going at 157, true freshman Ed Ruth competing at 184, sophomore David Crowell competing at 184 and true freshman Luke Macchiaroli wrestling at 197.

The Nittany Lions have not wrestled since its 3-0 showing at the Sprawl and Brawl Duals on Nov. 22, with the exception of 12 grapplers who competed at Mat-Town U.S.A. this past weekend. Taylor (at 157) and Wright (at 184) claimed titles at Mat-Town.

Penn State will re-visit its EWL days next weekend, visiting West Virginia on Friday, Dec. 11, at 8 p.m., and Pittsburgh on Saturday, Dec. 12, at 7 p.m. 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 $4 in advance and $5 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 December 2, 2009

#15 PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS (4-1, 0-0 Big Ten)
Wt. Name Yr. Hometown/High School 2009-10 Record
125 #6 Brad Pataky Jr. Clearfield, Pa./Clearfield 5-0
133 Tyler Saltsman So. Concord, N.H./Concord 3-3
OR Bryan Pearsall Fr. Lititz, Pa./Warwick 0-2
141 Colby Pisani So. Ridgway, Pa./Ridgway 2-4
OR Adam Lynch Sr. Mifflinburg, Pa./Mifflinburg 1-3
149 #6 Frank Molinaro So. Barnegat, N.J./Southern Regional 5-0
157 #4 Cyler Sanderson Sr. Heber City, Utah/Wasatch 4-1
165 #9 Dan Vallimont Sr. Lake Hopatcong, N.J./Jefferson Twp. 4-1
174 Michael Lorenzo Jr. Bellefonte, Pa./Bellefonte 0-3
OR Justin Ortega Fr. Oxford, Pa./Oxford 1-2
184 David Erwin Sr. Urbana, Ohio/St. Paris Graham 5-2
197 Clay Steadman So. McKean, Pa./General McLane 3-2
285 #11 Cameron Wade So. Twinsburg, Ohio/St. Peter Chanel 3-2


Wt. Name Yr. Hometown/High School
125 Eric Caschera Sr. S. Williamsport, Pa./S. Williamsport 1-3
133 Jack Chidester Fr. Conestoga, Pa./Conestoga 3-2
149 James English Fr. York, Pa./Central York 11-3
Jarret Freeman Fr. Laurelton, N.Y./Martin Luther 0-2
Christian Harr Jr. Hollidaysburg, Pa./Hollidaysburg 0-1
157 Nick Fischer Fr. Unionville, Pa./Unionville 4-5
165 Matt Dodds Sr. Leola, Pa./Conestoga 1-2
285 Brendan Herlihy Sr. Fairfield, Conn./Fairfield Warde 4-4

Wt. Name Yr. Hometown/High School
133 Tom Reynolds Fr. Skillman, N.J./Montgomery 2-4
157 Bubba Jenkins Sr. Virginia Beach, Va./First Colonial 8-1
David Taylor Fr. St. Paris, Ohio/St. Paris Graham 12-1
James Vollrath Fr. Richboro, Pa./Council Rock South 4-3
165 Jake Kemerer Fr. Greensburg, Pa./Hempfield 9-2
Eric Resch Fr. Lititz, Pa./Warwick 1-2
174 Andrew Church Fr. Erie, Pa./Fort LeBeouf 4-5
184 David Crowell So. Easton, Pa./Nazareth 9-3
Ed Ruth Fr. Harrisburg, Pa./Susquehanna Township 3-1
Quentin Wright So. Wingate, Pa./Bald Eagle Area 7-0
197 Luke Macchiaroli Fr. Tempe, Ariz./Corona del Sol 6-4
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 48-11 dual meet mark in this, his fourth year as a collegiate head coach. He is 4-1 at Penn State in his first year.

Sophomore Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.) and freshman David Taylor (St. Parish, Ohio), both red-shirting this year and wrestling unattached, claimed individual titles at the 2009 Mat-Town U.S.A. tournament, hosted by Lock Haven University. Six members of the 12 man Penn State contingent placed at the event. Wright posted a perfect 3-0 mark at 184, getting two pins along the way, to claim the title. The 2009 All-American at 184 downed Penn State senior David Erwin (Urbana, Ohio) in the finals, pinning his teammate at the 2:38 mark. Erwin was also outstanding at the event, going 3-1 with a major and a pin of his own, to claim second place. Erwin is now 5-1 at his new weight (184). Taylor claimed his second open tournament individual crown, posting a superb 4-0 mark to win the 157 pound crown. Taylor notched three technical falls and a pin in the tournament and improved his unattached record this year to a gaudy 12-1 with eight technical falls and two pins. In addition to Erwin's second place finish, red-shirt freshman James English (York, Pa.) took second, finishing as the 149 pound runner-up with a 4-1 record. English lost a hard-fought 2-1 (TB) decision to American's Matt Mariarcher in the finals. Senior Bubba Jenkins (Virginia Beach, Va.) wrestled up at 165 and went 4-1 to take third place. Sophomore David Crowell (Easton, Pa.) was also outstanding at the event, posting a 3-2 mark at 184 to take fourth place (including a pin).

Brad Pataky was superb in Penn State's 3-0 showing at the Sprawl and Brawl Duals on Nov. 22. Pataky downed No. 8 Eric Morrill of Edinboro in Penn State's 22-9 win over then No. 15 Edinboro and then got a pin and another decision to go 3-0 on the day. Pataky was honored as Big Ten Wrestler of the Week for his efforts.

Sophomore Cameron Wade trounced No. 19 Chris Birchler of Edinboro in the heavyweight bout to cap off Penn State's 22-9 win over No. 15 Edinboro at the Sprawl and Brawl Duals on Nov. 22 at Binghamton. Penn state beat Rutgers (18-17) and Harvard (36-6) as well. Four Nittany Lions went undefeated on the day:  Brad Pataky went 3-0 at 125, Tyler Saltman went 2-0 at 133, Frank Molinaro went 3-0 at 149 and David Erwin went 2-0 at 184.

Two Penn State All-Americans who are planning on red-shirting this season made their open tournament debuts with outstanding performances on Saturday. Senior Bubba Jenkins (Virginia Beach, Va.) and sophomore Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.) won individual titles at the East Stroudsburg Open, with each defeating talented PSU true freshmen in the finals. In all, 11 Nittany Lions placed at the event. Jenkins went 5-0 at 157 on the day, 4-0 against collegiate grapplers, including one technical fall (note that competition against non-collegiate wrestlers does not count towards overall record or bonus results). The 2008 National Runner-Up met Penn State true freshman David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio) in the finals, where Jenkins claimed a hard-fought 4-3 win. Taylor took second place with a 4-1 record, 3-1 against collegiate competition. The Ohio-native got a pin, a tech fall and a major in the process (he also had a pin against a non-collegiate grappler). Wright posted a 4-0 mark at 184 at the event, including two pins and a major. The 2009 sixth-place finisher at 174 met Penn State true freshman Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.) in the finals, where Wright notched a tough 5-2 decision. Ruth's second place finish included two major decisions as well. Penn State also took third place at 184, with sophomore David Crowell (Easton, Pa.) taking third place. Crowell was upset in the first round but bounced back to win six straight in the consolation bracket to take third place. Crowell had two majors as well. True freshman Jake Kemerer (Greensburg, Pa.) was Penn State's other third place finisher, going 4-1 to take third at 165. Kemerer grabbed two majors during the tournament. Senior heavyweight Brendan Herlihy (Fairfield, Conn.) took fourth at the Open, going 5-2 overall, 4-2 against collegiate competition. True freshman Luke Macchiaroli (Tempe, Ariz.) placed tied for fifth at 197 (the fifth place bout was not contested due to time constraints), going 3-2 on the day. Red-shirt freshmen James English (York, Pa.) and Nick Fischer (Unionville, Pa.) each tied for fifth as well. English placed at 149 with a 6-2 mark (6-0 against collegiate grapplers) while Fischer placed at 165, going 4-2 overall (2-2 against collegiate competition). True freshman James Vollrath (Richboro, Pa.) was tied for seventh at 157 with a 5-2 mark, 1-2 against collegiate wrestlers.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. will offer video streaming of 15 other duals as well. Penn State will be featured on six of those web-only streams.

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 Head coach Cael Sanderson's squad is also ranked No. 15 in the latest NWCA Coaches Poll after is 3-0 day at the Sprawl and Brawl Duals. Senior Cyler Sanderson (Heber City, Utah) remains Penn State's highest ranked individual with his No. 4 ranking at 157. Sanderson is 4-1 on the year and was the Nov. 17 Big Ten Wrestler of the Week. Junior Brad Pataky (Clearfield, Pa.) stays at No. 6 at 125 with his perfect 5-0 record and was Big Ten Wrestler of the Week last back on Nov. 24.
Sophomore Frank Molinaro (Barnegat, N.J,) moved up one spot to No. 6 at 149. Molinaro, like Pataky, is undefeated with a 5-0 mark including three majors. Senior Dan Vallimont (Lake Hopatcong, N.J.) stays at No. 9 at 165 with a 4-1 record. Sophomore Cameron Wade (Twinsburg, Ohio) also moved up a spot to No. 11 at heavyweight. Wade is 3-2 with both his losses coming to top-ranked foes. The Nittany Lions are ranked No. 15 in the latest NWCA/USA Today Coaches Poll. The Nittany Lions are one of seven Big Ten teams in the rankings. Iowa is No. 1, Ohio State No. 4, Minnesota No. 5, Indiana No. 13, Penn State No. 15, Wisconsin No. 18 and Illinois No. 20. Purdue is also receiving votes.

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 ( "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.




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