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No. 15 Penn State Heads to Lock Haven to Battle Bald Eagles on Sunday

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Dec. 30, 2009


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The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team returns to dual meet action on Sunday, Jan. 3. Penn State will make the short trek to neighboring Clinton County to take on Lock Haven. Penn State will visit the Bald Eagles' Thomas Fieldhouse at 3 p.m.

The Nittany Lions will carry a 5-1-1 dual meet record into the dual and are coming off a third place finish at the Reno Tournament of Champions on Dec. 20, 2009. Penn State finished a strong third despite only scoring nine wrestlers as heavyweight Cameron Wade did not make the trip to nurse an injury. Wade will wrestle against the Bald Eagles. Senior Cyler Sanderson and sophomore Frank Molinaro claimed titles at Reno while senior Dan Vallimont was second. Sanderson went 5-0 at 157 to improve to 15-1 on the year and earned his second Big Ten Wrestler of the Week honor in the process. Molinaro went 5-0 at 149 and stayed unbeaten on the year with a 17-0 mark. Vallimont went 3-1 and lost in the finals to defending national champion Jarrod King of Edinboro, 2-1, on the riding time point. Vallimont is 13-3 on the year.

Sanderson leads Penn State's ranked grapplers with a No. 2 nod at 157 while Molinaro is No. 6 at 149. Vallimont moved up to No. 8 at 165 to give Penn State three wrestlers ranked in the top eight. Junior Brad Pataky is ranked No. 11 at 125 with a 13-4 mark while sophomore Cameron Wade is No. 12 at HWT with a 9-3 mark. Senior David Erwin is No. 14 at 184 with a 15-4 record as well.

Lock Haven comes in with an 0-2 mark having lost 24-15 to Rider and 20-19 at Hofstra. The Bald Eagles of head coach Robbie Waller were at the Southern Scuffle at press time.

The Nittany Lions will trek to Hampton, Va., for the 2010 Virginia Duals. Penn State will take part in the two day dual meet tournament on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 8-9, at the Hampton Coliseum. 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 29, 2009
#15 PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS (5-1-1, 0-0 Big Ten)
Wt. Name Yr. Hometown/High School 2009-10 Record
125 #11 Brad Pataky Jr. Clearfield, Pa./Clearfield 13-4
133 Tyler Saltsman So. Concord, N.H./Concord 3-5
OR Bryan Pearsall Fr. Lititz, Pa./Warwick 2-9
141 Colby Pisani So. Ridgway, Pa./Ridgway 6-7
OR Adam Lynch Sr. Mifflinburg, Pa./Mifflinburg 3-5
149 #6 Frank Molinaro So. Barnegat, N.J./Southern Regional 17-0
157 #2 Cyler Sanderson Sr. Heber City, Utah/Wasatch 15-1
165 #8 Dan Vallimont Sr. Lake Hopatcong, N.J./Jefferson Twp. 13-3
174 Justin Ortega Fr. Oxford, Pa./Oxford 4-7
184 #14 David Erwin Sr. Urbana, Ohio/St. Paris Graham 15-4
197 Clay Steadman So. McKean, Pa./General McLane 6-5
285 #12 Cameron Wade So. Twinsburg, Ohio/St. Peter Chanel 9-3

Wt. Name Yr. Hometown/High School
125 Nick Hyatt Jr. Boyertown, Pa./Boyertown
OR George Ester Jr. Odentown, Md./Arundel
133 John Trumbetti So. Montvale, N.J./St. Joseph Regional
141 Owen Wilkinson Jr. Beverly Hills, Fla./Hartland
OR Justin Loudon Jr. York Haven, Pa./Red Land
149 Brock Parker So. Canton, Pa./Canton
157 Seth Creasy So. Mercer, Pa./Mercer
165 Kevin Dufresne So. Orange, N.J./St. Benedict's Prep
OR Kevin Mallon Fr. Philadelphia, Pa./Northeast Catholic
174 Aaron Ernest So. Selinsgrove, Pa./Selinsgrove
184 Jeremie Cook Jr. Venice, Fla./Venice
197 Harry Turner Fr. Howell, N.J./Howell
285 Dan Craig So. Paw Paw, Mich./Allegan

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 49-12-1 dual meet mark in this, his fourth year as a collegiate head coach. He is 5-1-1 at Penn State in his first year. Indiv. rankings Intermat/Team rankings NWCA


All-Americans Cyler Sanderson and Frank Molinaro each left Reno with individual titles on Dec. 20, combining to go 10-0 and were two of Penn State's three finalists. Sanderson went 5-0 at 157 to improve to 15-1 on the year and was named Big Ten Wrestler of the Week for the second time this year. Molinaro was 5-0 at 149 to win the crown and remains Penn State's only unbeaten wrestler with a 17-0 mark. The duo helped lead Penn State to a third place finish despite PSU only scoring nine wrestlers at the event.


All-American Dan Vallimont went 3-1 at the Reno Tournament of Champions on Dec. 20, 2009, losing to defending national champion Jarrod King 2-1 in the finals (dropping the bout on the riding time point). Vallimont's strong showing led three other Penn State placers at the event (in addition to individual titles won by Cyler Sanderson and Frank Molinaro). Senior David Erwin took fourth at 184 and junior Brad Pataky was fifth at 125.


Despite wrestling without two starters, the Nittany Lions stormed back from an early 9-0 deficit to forge a 19-19 tie at No. 24 Pittsburgh on Saturday on 12/12. Penn State reeled off five straight wins from 149 to 184 before forfeiting at 197 and giving up a major at HWT. Still, the hot middle section of Penn State's line up helped the short-handed Lions to get out of Pittsburgh with a tie. Freshman Justin Ortega notched a key win at 174 while All-Americans Frank Molinaro, Cyler Sanderson, Dan Vallimont and senior David Erwin each got four points with their respective wins.


Penn State won seven of the nine contested bouts and, despite giving up a forfeit at 197, hammered the homestanding Mountaineers 33-12 on 12/11. Senior David Erwin, ranked No. 14, posted a solid 7-1 win over No. 19 Matt Ryan in the dual's marquee match-up. Penn State also got pins from Colby Pisani, Frank Molinaro and Cyler Sanderson, decisions from Brad Pataky and Dan Vallimont and a bizarre DQ win for Cameron Wade at HWT. Wade had easily won the bout with WVU's Brandon Williamson, building up a ton of riding time in a 2-0 win, but Williamson bit Wade as the bout ended, thus giving the Lions six points for a disqualification.


Penn State won three of the ten crowns at the 2009 Nittany Lion Open on 12/6. All-American Frank Molinaro went 5-0 to win the title at 149, outscoring his opponents 36-6 in the process. All-American Cyler Sanderson went 5-0 at 157 to win the title, including a thrilling 9-7 win over true freshman David Taylor in the finals. Senior David Erwin took the title at 184, going 5-0 in a crowded field, including a win over No. 10 Josh Patterson of Binghamton in the semifinals.


Freshman David Taylor dropped a hard-fought 9-7 decision to All-American teammate Cyler Sanderson in the finals at 157 to take second place at the Nittany Lion Open on 12/6. Junior Brad Pataky also advanced to the finals at 125, losing to No. 9 Jarrod Garnett of Virginia Tech in the finals. All-American Dan Vallimont took third at 165 and All-American Quentin Wright placed third at 184. Sophomore Colby Pisani had an impressive win over No. 8 Tyler Nauman of Pittsburgh in the quarterfinals at 141 and went on to post a strong fourth place finish. James Vollrath (157), Ed Ruth (184) and Cameron Wade (HWT) all placed fifth as well.


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.

WRIGHT CLAIMS ESU OPEN TITLE sophomore Quentin Wright won the individual title at the East Stroudsburg Open, leading11 Nittany Lions who placed at the event. 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 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 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 was Penn State's other third place finisher, going 4-1 to take third at 165. True freshman David Taylor took second place at 157 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). Kemerer grabbed two majors during the tournament. Senior heavyweight Brendan Herlihy took fourth at the Open, going 5-2 overall, 4-2 against collegiate competition. True freshman Luke Macchiaroli 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 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 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.


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.


Six 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 remains at No. 15 as a team in the latest NWCA/USA Today Coaches Poll. Senior Cyler Sanderson (Heber City, Utah) moved up to No. 2 at 157 after winning the Reno TOC crown and improving his season mark to 15-1. Sophomore Frank Molinaro (Barnegat, N.J.) stays at No. 6 at 149 and is Penn State's only remaining unbeaten wrestler. Molinaro also won the Reno TOC crown and is 17-0 on the year. Senior Dan Vallimont (Lake Hopatcong, N.J.) moved up a spot to No. 8 at 165 and is 13-3. He was a Reno TOC runner-up, dropping a 2-1 decision on riding time to defending national champ (and top-ranked) Jarrod King of Edinboro. Junior Brad Pataky (Clearfield, Pa.) slipped to No. 11 at 125 and is 13-4 this season. Sophomore Cameron Wade (Twinsburg, Ohio) is 9-3 at HWT and ranked No. 12 while senior David Erwin (Urbana, Ohio), winner of two bouts this past weekend, stays at No. 14 at 184 and is 15-4 on the year. Penn State is one of seven Big Ten teams ranked among the top 25. Iowa (1), Ohio State (3), Minnesota (6), Indiana (12), Penn State (15), Wisconsin (18) and Illinois (20) are all ranked and Purdue is 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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