The top-ranked Penn State wrestling team sent nearly its entire roster into action at the 2012 Nittany Lion Open on Sunday and came away with five champions. Of Penn State's 30 participants (both attached and unattached), 18 placed at their respective weights.
Sophomore Andrew Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.) made a stellar return to the mat after missing Penn State's first two duals, posting a 6-0 mark at 149 with five pins to win the title. Four of Alton's five pins were in the first period, including two in the first minute. Junior All-American David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio) was Penn State's next champion, going 5-0 with three pins and two tech falls to win the title at 165. Taylor pinned No. 13 Mark Lewandowski of Buffalo in the finals. Sophomore Matt Brown (West Valley City, Utah) stormed through 174 to win his first NLO title. Brown went 5-0 on the day with a tech fall and two majors. He downed No. 11 Greg Zannetti of Rutgers in the finals.
All-American Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.) was untouchable at 184 as well. Ruth went 5-0 win the 184-pound crown with a pin, a tech fall and two majors. He downed No. 10 Jimmy Sheptock of Maryland in the finals. All-American Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.) met teammate Morgan McIntosh (Santa Ana, Calif.) in the finals at 197. Wright grabbed a hard-fought 5-3 (sv) win to claim the crown while McIntosh, who is red-shirting, placed second. Wright went 5-0 with three pins, including two first period falls. McIntosh was superb with a 4-1 mark, including two majors.
All-American Nico Megaludis (Murrysville, Pa.) went 4-1 at 125, advancing to the finals before losing a 3-2 decision to red-shirting Pitt Panther upperclassman Anthony Zannetta in the finals, taking second place. True freshman Jimmy Gulibon (Latrobe, Pa.) lost a hard-fought 3-2 decision on riding time to Lehigh's Mason Beckman in the finals at 133. Gulibon went 4-1 on the day. All-American Dylan Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), ranked No. 5 at 157, was 4-1 on the day, advancing to the finals before dropping a tough sudden victory decision (9-4) to No. 3 James Fleming of Clarion. Sophomore Jimmy Lawson (Tom's River, N.J.) had a good run to the finals at 285, going 4-1 on the day, his only loss in the finals. Lawson had a major and a pin to take second place.
Setting up Penn State's run to 10 finalists and five champions was a superb first half of the event. By 3 p.m., with the quarterfinals set, Penn State still had 21 of its 30 wrestlers alive, including a gaudy 17 quarterfinalists. Penn State had four quarterfinalists at 149 alone.
Junior Frank Martellotti (Pittsburgh, Pa.) went 4-1 at 133 and took third place, his only loss to teammate Gulibon in the semis. Senior James English (York, Pa.) went 5-1 at 149, taking third place. Sophomore Jon Gingrich (Wingate, Pa.) went 4-1 at 285, placing third. Gingrich had a major decision in the third place bout.
Freshman Luke Frey (Montoursville, Pa.) was outstanding at 149 as well, going 6-1 with a tech fall and a major to place fifth. Junior James Vollrath (Richboro, Pa.) was 5-2 at 157 with two pins to place sixth. Senior Nick Fischer (Unionville, Pa.) went 4-2 with two pins to take sixth at 165. True freshman Zack Beitz (Mifflintown, Pa.) went 6-2 at 141 to take seventh place. Senior Bryan Pearsall (Lititz, Pa.) went 5-2 with two pins at 141 to place eighth.
Jordan Conaway (Abbottstown, Pa.) posted a 2-2 record at 133. Kyle Moran (Oxford, Pa.) had a 2-2 day at 141 for Penn State. Seth Beitz (Mifflintown, Pa.) went 3-2 and advanced to the quarterfinals at 149. Rex Lutz (Easton, Pa.) was 3-2 at 165. Brandon Phillips (Timonium, Md.) and James Frascella (Carmel, Ind.) both went 1-2 at 174.
Also competing at the event were Michael Waters (Advance, N.C.) at 141; David Batkowski (Montoursville, Pa.) at 141; David Owens (Derry, N.H.) at 149; Caleb Livingston (Drexel Hill, Pa.) at 165; Andrew Church (Erie, Pa.) at 174; and Scott Syrek (Chester Springs, Pa.) at 197.
In all, The Nittany Lions ended the event with 18 placers and a 97-34 overall record. Penn State put on a pinning clinic, tallying 23 falls at the event, led by Andrew Alton with five.
Penn State's next home dual is set for Sunday, Dec. 9, when the Indiana Hoosiers come to town for a 2 p.m. meeting. Penn State's full season of home duals is sold out but limited Standing Room Only tickets are available for select dual meets. For information on which duals have a limited number of SRO tickets available and to purchase tickets, fans can call 1-800-NITTANY or visit the Bryce Jordan Center ticket office windows from 10 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Fans are encouraged to follow Penn State wrestling via twitter at www.twitter.com/pennstateWREST and on Penn State Wrestling's facebook page at www.facebook.com/pennstatewrestling. The 2012-13 Penn State Wrestling season is presented by The Family Clothesline.
2012 NITTANY LION OPEN FINALS RECAP:
Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012 - Rec Hall - University Park, Pa.
125: Anthony Zanetta, UA-Pitt 3-2 dec. #2 Nico Megaludis, Penn State
133: Mason Beckman, UA-Lehigh 3-2 dec. Jimmy Gulibon, UA-Penn State
141: Devin Carter, UA-Virginia Tech 16-8 maj. dec. Evan Henderson, North Carolina
149: #6 Andrew Alton, Penn State WBF Augustus Sako, UA-Virginia (2:12)
157: #3 James Fleming, Clarion 9-4 (SV) dec. #5 Dylan Alton, Penn State
165: #2 David Taylor, Penn State WBF #13 Mark Lewandowski, Buffalo (5:42)
174: #3 Matt Brown, Penn State 7-4 dec. #11 Greg Zannetti, Rutgers
184: #1 Ed Ruth, Penn State 11-4 dec. #10 Jimmy Sheptock, Maryland
197: #3 Quentin Wright, Penn State 5-3 (SV) dec. Morgan McIntosh, UA-Penn State
285: Nick Gqiazdowski, UA-N.C. State 12-1 maj. dec. Jimmy Lawson, Penn State