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Dec. 7, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -
No. 5 Penn State (1-1, 0-1 B1G) will take part in two tough eastern duals this weekend. Penn State visits No. 10 Lehigh (5-2) in its first road action of the year on Friday, Dec. 9, at 7 p.m. The Nittany Lions then return to Rec Hall on Sunday, Dec. 11, for a 2 p.m. dual with West Virginia (2-0).
Penn State enters the weekend's duals coming off a successful outing at the 2011 Nittany Lion Open last Sunday. Penn State crowned six champions with eight finalists and 18 total placewinners. Nico Megaludis won at 125, Frank Molinaro at 149, David Taylor at 165, Ed Ruth at 174, Quentin Wright at 184 and Cameron Wade at 285. Dylan Alton (157) and Morgan McIntosh (197) each advanced to the finals.
Penn State will take eight ranked grapplers into action this weekend, led by three-time All-American Molinaro who is 8-0 at 149 and ranked No. 1. All-American Taylor is 6-0 at 165 and also ranked No. 1 while classmate Ruth is 8-0 at 174 and ranked No. 2. Two-time All-American Wright is 6-1 at 184 and ranked No. 5. Senior Wade carries a 7-1 mark and is No. 8 at 285 as well. Red-shirt freshman Alton is 5-2 at 157 and carries a No. 10 ranking while true freshman McIntosh is an identical 5-2 at 197 and ranked No. 10 as well. True freshman Megaludis is 6-1 at 125 and ranked No. 15.
Lehigh will enter Friday's dual with a 5-2 mark. The Mountain Hawks are an outstanding squad and feature five ranked grapplers in a deep and balanced line-up. Stephen Dutton is 4-0 at 141 and ranked No. 7 while Brandon Hatchett is 11-1 and ranked No. 9 at 165. 2011 National Runner-Up Robert Hamlin is 9-0 at 184 and ranked No. 1 while senior Joe Kennedy is 9-2 at 197 and ranked No. 7. Defending national champion Zach Rey is 6-1 and ranked No. 3 at 285.
The dual with Lehigh will be the 100th between the two venerable teams, by far the longest running dual in Penn State's long wrestling history. Penn State owns a 62-34-3 lead in the all-time series, including last year's 21-17 win in Rec Hall on Nov. 14. The last time the team's met in Lehigh was two years ago when the Mountain Hawks grabbed a 23-14 win.
West Virginia comes in with a 2-0 mark and plenty of action in various open tournaments. The Mountaineers are being led by senior Matt Ryan, who is 5-1 and ranked No. 17 at 184. Sophomore Nathan Pennesi is 12-2 and ranked No. 19 at 141. Penn State leads the all-time series with the Mountaineers 27-7, including a 40-3 win at the Sprawl and Brawl Duals last Nov. 21 in Binghamton, N.Y. Penn State won the last meeting in Rec Hall, 27-10 on 12/14/05 and has won five straight.
The Nittany Lions trek to neighborhood rival Lock Haven on Sunday, Dec. 18, for a 2 p.m. battle with the Bald Eagles in their next action. Penn State's next home dual is on Jan. 22 when Iowa comes to Rec Hall for a dual that is already sold out. Penn State then hosts Ohio State on Jan. 29 and only standing room only tickets remain. Fans can purchase a very limited number of those SRO 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. WIEZ 670 AM (Huntingdon/Lewistown) will carry all Sunday duals during the regular season plus the Big Ten and NCAA Championships in March. 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.
#5 PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS (1-1, 0-1 B1G)
WT NAME EL HT/HS REC
125 #15 Nico Megaludis Fr. Murrysville, Pa./Franklin Regional 6-1
133 Derek Reber Jr. Lewisburg, Pa./Lewisburg 2-2
141 Sam Sherlock R-Fr. West Mifflin, Pa./West Mifflin 3-3
149 #1 Frank Molinaro Sr. Barnegat, N.J./Southern Regional 8-0
157 #10 Dylan Alton R-Fr. Mill Hall, Pa./Central Mountain 5-2
165 #1 David Taylor So. St. Paris, Ohio/St. Paris Graham 6-0
174 #2 Ed Ruth So. Harrisburg, Pa./Susquehanna Twp. 8-0
184 #5 Quentin Wright Jr. Wingate, Pa./Bald Eagle Area 6-1
197 #10 Morgan McIntosh Fr. Santa Ana, Calif./Calvary Chapel 5-2
285 #8 Cameron Wade Sr. Twinsburg, Ohio/St. Peter Chanel 7-1
#10 LEHIGH MOUNTAIN HAWKS (5-2)
WT NAME EL HT/HS REC
125 Mason Beckman Fr. Greenville, Pa./Reynolds 8-2
133 Alex Abreu Jr. Highlands Ranch, Colo./Rock Canyon 0-4
OR Chris Dinnien Fr. Ambler, Pa./Germantown Academy 1-6
141 #7 Stephen Dutton So. Miller Place, N.Y./Rocky Point 4-0
OR Jimmy Carucci Fr. New Hartford, N.Y./Shenendehowa 2-6
149 Kyle Rosser Sr. Durand, Mich./Corunna 4-5
157 Brian Tanen Sr. Harleysville, Pa./Souderton 3-2
165 #9 Brandon Hatchett Sr. Winter Springs, Fla./Oviedo 11-1
174 Nathaniel Brown Fr. Lewisburg, Pa./Lewisburg 8-3
184 #1 Robert Hamlin Jr. Jonesville, Vt./Mt. Mansfield Union 9-0
197 #7 Joe Kennedy Sr. Milford, Pa./Deleware Valley 9-2
285 #3 Zach Rey Sr. Hopatcong, N.J./Hopatcong 6-1
WEST VIRGINIA MOUNTAINEERS (2-0)
WT NAME EL HT REC
125 Shane Young Jr. Jeannette, Pa. 9-0
133 Colin Johnston Jr. Eighty-Four, Pa. 6-0
141 #19 Nathan Pennesi So. Latrobe, Pa. 12-2
149 George Scheffel Fr. Oakland, Md. 12-5
157 Dominic Prezzia Fr. St. Clarisville, Ohio 9-4
165 Kyle Eason Sr. Dauphin, Pa. 10-5
174 Lance Bryson Jr. Shoaf, Pa. 11-4
184 #17 Matt Ryan Sr. Eighty-Four, Pa. 5-1
197 Mac Mancuso So. Atlantic City, N.J. 12-3
285 Brandon Williamson Sr. Riverside, Conn. 10-3
Indiv. Rankings Intermat as of 12/6; Team Rankings NWCA/USA Today as of 12/6
HEAD COACH Cael Sanderson
Cael Sanderson, now in his third year as mentor of the Nittany Lions, came 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 finished in Detroit capped off a wildly successful year as the Cyclones crowned one national championship 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. In his final year at ISU, 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. In his first year at Penn State (2009-10), he guided the Lions to a 13-6-1 dual meet mark, 5-3 in Big Ten action, and crowned his first Big Ten Champion. The Lions finished No. 10 in the final USA Today/Coaches dual meet poll and placed ninth at NCAAs. Last year, Sanderson guided the Nittany Lions to its first-ever Southern Scuffle Co-Championship (2010-11) and its first Virginia Duals Championship since 1991 (2010-11). In guiding Penn State to a 6-1-1 conference mark, Sanderson equaled the most Big Ten dual meet wins in Penn State history in just his second year at the helm of the Nittany Lions (Penn State won six Big Ten duals in 1998). Sanderson led Penn State to the school's first ever Big Ten Championship on March 5-6 and was named 2011 Big Ten Coach of the Year. Saving the best for last, he led the Nittany Lions to the 2011 NCAA National Championship in Philadelphia on March 17-19, Penn State's first since 1953 and Sanderson's first as a collegiate head coach. Coach Sanderson now sports a 75-18-2 dual meet mark in his sixth year as a collegiate head coach. He is 31-8-2 in his third year at Penn State.
MOLINARO, TAYLOR, RUTH STILL PERFECT AND PILING UP BONUS WINS
The All-American trio of Frank Molinaro (149), David Taylor (157) and Ed Ruth (174) are all still perfect on the year and a combined 22-0 with three majors, six tech falls and ten pins. They have combined for 19 bonus point wins in 22 matches. Molinaro is 8-0 with two majors, three techs and two pins, giving him seven bonus wins in eight matches. Taylor is 6-0 with five pins and a tech fall, meaning each of his wins is by a tech fall or better. Ruth is 8-0 with one major, two techs and three falls, giving him six bonus wins in eight matches.
LIONS CROWN SIX CHAMPS AT `11 NLO
Penn State crowned six champions at the 2011 Nittany Lion Open. Freshman Nico Megaludis won the title at 125; senior Frank Molinaro won the title at 149 (his third Open crown); sophomore David Taylor won the title at 165 (his second Open crown); sophomore Ed Ruth won the 174-pound bracket (his first NLO gold); junior Quentin Wright won the 184-pound title (his first as well); and senior Cameron Wade won the championship at heavyweight (his second). Wins over ranked wrestlers for the champions included: Molinaro with an 8-0 major over #20 Steve Santos of Columbia and a first period pin (1:23) of #9 Donnie Vinson of Binghamton; Taylor with a pin (4:40) of #14 Peter Yaters of Virginia Tech and a 14-6 major over former American All-American Steve Fittery; and Ruth with a 7-4 win over #17 Jimmy Sheptock of Maryland.
PENN STATE WITH 18 PLACE WINNERS AT `11 NLO
In addition to the above six champions, Penn State had 12 other place winners at the 2011 Nittany Lion Open, headed by finalists/runners-up Dylan Alton at 157 and Morgan McIntosh at 197. Jordan Conaway was fourth at 125, Frank Martellotti was eighth at 133, Andrew Alton was third at 149, Seth Beitz was fifth at 149, James Vollrath was third at 157, Nick Fischer was fourth at 157, Matt Brown was fifth at 174, Justin Ortega was eighth at 197, Nick Ruggear was fourth at 285 and Jon Gingrich was fifth at 285.
WADE NOW 11TH ON ALL-TIME PINS LIST
Cameron Wade entered the season with 21 career falls. The senior heavyweight has four on the year and now has 25 for his career, tied for 11th on Penn State's all-time list.
THREE LIONS GRAB WINS IN MINNESOTA DUAL
Penn State's loss to Minnesota on 11/20 in front of a sold out Rec Hall crowd of over 6,200 including three dominating wins from a trio of Penn State All-Americans. No. 1 David Taylor handled No. 8 Cody Yohn with ease, notching a 16-1 technical fall in only 4:29 at 165. No. 1 Frank Molinaro roughed up No. 5 Dylan Ness, notching five takedowns to roll to a 16-10 win at 149. No. 2 Ed Ruth pinned Gopher Eric Ortiz at the 2:27 mark at 174.
TAYLOR'S STUNNING DUAL MEET POINT AVERAGE
While a mere 21 matches into his collegiate dual meet career, sophomore David Taylor has already surpassed the 100 point mark in dual meet points. Taylor is now 21-0 in collegiate duals with 104 dual meet points. That's an average of 4.95 dual points per match (win or loss, or in this case, all wins!).
FIVE LIONS WIN TITLES AT LAKER OPEN
Five of Penn State's ten-man contingent taking part unattached at the Mercyhurst Laker Open came home with first place titles with seven of the nine playing in the top three. Penn State earned five firsts, a second and a third place showing in Erie. Red-shirt freshman Kyle Moran went 4-0 at 141 to win the first place title while classmate Seth Beitz was 5-0 with a pin at 149 to win the title. Red-shirt freshman Matt Brown was superb with a 5-0 mark to win the crown at 174. Brown notched two pins and three tech falls to roll to the title. Brown defeated teammate Andrew Church in the finals at 174. Church was 3-1 with a major to place second in front of a hometown crowd. Junior Justin Ortega was a perfect 4-0 at 197 to win the title while red-shirt freshman Jon Gingrich won another heavyweight title, this time going 4-0 with three pins to win it all. True freshman Collin Campbell took third at heavyweight, going 4-1 with a major. Also competing for Penn State was true freshman Mike Waters, who went 2-2 at 141; true freshman Rex Lutz, who won once at 165, and red-shirt freshman Brandon Phillips, who was 3-2 at 174.
FOUR LION FRESHMEN SHINE IN PENN STATE DEBUTS
Four new faces picked up big wins for Penn State in their collegiate debuts in the Nittany Lions' 39-3 win over Bloomsburg in the season opener on 11/13. True freshman Nico Megaludis pinned Bloomsburg's Sean Boylan at the 2:15 mark at 125, giving Penn State an early leg up in the dual. Red-shirt freshman Sam Sherlock then downed Huskie Matt Rappo 10-5 at 141 and classmate Dylan Alton downed No. 14 Frank Hickman 10-8 at 157. True freshman Morgan McIntosh then posted a 6-0 win over Huskie Richard Perry at 197.
LIONS USE THREE FIRST PERIOD PINS TO BLAST HUSKIES
Penn State used three early pins to rout the Bloomsburg Huskies before 6,059 fans in the team's season opener in Rec Hall on 11/13. True freshman Nico Megaludis got a pin over BU's Sean Boylan at the 2:15 mark at 125, getting the Nittany Lion season off to a fast start. All-American David Taylor pinned BU's Kevin Hartnett at the 2:21 mark at 165 and All-American Quentin Wright pinned Huskie Mike Mirra at the 1:55 mark at 184. Penn State also picked up tech fall from All-American Frank Molinaro at 149 and a major from Cameron Wade at HWT.
SIX LIONS WIN CROWNS AT ESU OPEN
Eighteen Nittany Lion wrestlers trekked to East Stroudsburg University for the ESU Open on Saturday with six Penn Staters grabbing individual crowns. In all, 14 of Penn State's 18 entrants placed at the event. Red-shirt freshman Matt Brown went 5-0 with two pins and three majors to win the title at 174. True freshman Jordan Conaway went 4-0 with a pin and a major to win the title at 125. One win, the major, was against a non-collegiate wrestler, meaning Conaway was officially 3-0 on the day. True freshman Luke Frey was 4-0 at 141, winning the title and picking up two tech falls along the way. Sophomore Andrew Alton dominated 149, going 5-0 with two pins and two majors to win the title. One pin was against a non-collegiate wrestler, meaning Alton went 4-0 with a pin officially. Sophomore James Vollrath was 5-0 with a pin, a tech and a major to win the title at 157. Rounding out Penn State's champions was red-shirt freshman Jonathan Gingrich, who went 5-0 with a major and a pin at heavyweight. His pin was against an NC grappler, giving him a 4-0 official mark on the day.
FREY, CHURCH AND CONAWAY PLACE AT CLARION OPEN
Six members of Penn State's wrestling team competed unattached at the 2011 Clarion Knight Point Open on Sunday. True freshmen Jordan Conaway (Abbottstown, Pa.) and Luke Frey (Montoursville, Pa.) and sophomore Andrew Church (Erie, Pa.) each placed at their respective weights. Frey, a true freshman from Montoursville, took the runner-up spot at 141, advancing to the finals with three wins including a major and a tech fall before dropping a 5-1 decision in the finals to unattached Daniel Neff. Conaway, an Abbottstown native, placed third at 125 with a 4-1 mark that included two tech falls and a 13-7 loss in the semifinals to the eventual champion. Church, an Erie native, went 3-1 at 174 and advanced to the finals before losing to take the runner-up spot. Other Nittany Lions competing included Michael Waters (Advance, N.C.), who went 2-2 at 141; Brandon Phillips (Timonium, Md.), who went 2-2 at 174; and Collin Campbell (Hurdle Mills, N.C.), who went 2-2 at heavyweight.
IOWA DUAL SOLD OUT INCLUDING SRO, OHIO STATE SOLD OUT W/ SOME SRO REMAINING; OTHERS NEARING SAME STATUS
A mere 90 minutes after the public sale of single dual tickets began, Penn State's Jan. 22 dual match against Iowa has sold out, including 300 standing room only tickets. With over 6,500 tickets now distributed for the match-up with the Hawkeyes, the single dual allotments for Penn State's remaining six home events are also disappearing fast. Rec Hall's listed capacity is 6,502 including the 300 SRO ducats. Both Minnesota and Ohio State duals are also sold out with limited SRO tickets remaining for each. Less than 600 tickets remain for all other Penn State duals (against Bloomsburg, West Virginia, Michigan and Pitt). 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.
PENN STATE RANKED NO. 5 IN LATEST NWCA/USA TODAY COACHES POLL; EIGHT LIONS RANKED BY INTERMAT
Eight members of the Nittany Lion wrestling team continue to be ranked in the latest version of the Intermat national individual rankings. Four Nittany Lion All-Americans are ranked in the top five and all eight are listed in the top 15. Penn State is No. 5 in the latest NWCA/USA Today Coaches dual meet poll and Intermat gives the Lions a No. 3 nod in its tournament power index (TPI). Three-time All-American Frank Molinaro (Barnegat, N.J.) is 8-0 on the year and ranked No. 1 at 149. All-American David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio), is 6-0 thus far and is No. 1 at 165 and All-American Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.) is 8-0 at ranked No. 2 at 174. Two-time All-American Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.) is No. 5 at 184 with a 6-1 mark.
Senior Cameron Wade (Twinsburg, Ohio) is 6-1 at heavyweight and is ranked No. 8. True freshman Morgan McIntosh (Santa Ana, Calif.) is 5-2 at 197 and ranked No. 10 while red-shirt freshman Dylan Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.) is 5-2 at 157 and ranked No. 10 as well. True freshman Nico Megaludis (Murrysville, Pa.) is 6-1 at 125 and ranked No. 15. Penn State is No. 5 in the latest Coaches Poll. Iowa leads with eight first place votes and 248 points. Oklahoma State is second with two top votes and 242 points while Minnesota is third with 221. Cornell is fourth with 219 and Penn State is fifth with 213. Ohio State (6), Illinois (7), Michigan (8), Pittsburgh (9) and Lehigh (10) round out the top ten. Northwestern (19) and Nebraska (21) are the other Big Ten squads in the top 25, giving the conference eight teams on the list. Iowa tops Intermat's TPI with 98.5 points, followed by Oklahoma State with 87.5 and Penn State with 85. Minnesota is fourth with 77.0 and Cornell fifth with 66.5.
WRESTLING RADIO NETWORK READY FOR `11-12 SEASON
The Penn State Wrestling Radio Show will begin yet another season on Wednesday, Nov. 2, while multiple local stations will once again broadcast the entire 2011-12 Nittany Lion season. The march to St. Louis begins with the Intrasquad dual on Nov. 3 and concludes with the national championships in late-March. The wrestling radio season begins on Nov. 2 when Jeff Byers hosts the first edition of the Penn State Wrestling Show. The show will air every Wednesday from 6 to 6:30 p.m. and will air across the state on the Pennsylvania Sports Network. Local affiliate 3WZ (95.3 FM) will serve as the flagship station for the show that will features coaches, wrestlers and other individuals affiliated with the Nittany Lion wrestling program. The 30-minute show welcomes calls from fans, who can call into the show at 814-237-0953. In addition to 3WZ, the weekly show can be heard on the following stations: WCPA (900 AM) Clearfield/DuBois; WIEZ (670 AM) Lewistown/Huntingdon; WLYC (1050 AM) Williamsport/Lewisburg; WLYC (104.1 FM) Montoursville/Jersey Shore; WBPZ (1230 AM) Lock Haven; WTZN (1310 AM) Troy/Canton; WTTC (1550 AM) Towanda/Elmira, N.Y.; WGET (1330 AM) Gettysburg/Hanover. 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. Lewistown/Huntingdon's WIEZ (670 AM) will carry every Sunday dual and the post-season. 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.