The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team (2-0, 0-0 Big Ten), ranked No. 1 nationally in Intermat's TPI, will host the Indiana Hoosiers (5-2, 0-0 Big Ten) in the Big Ten dual meet opener for both teams. Action is set for 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 9, in already sold out Rec Hall. A limited number of Standing Room Only tickets are available by calling 1-800-NITTANY.
Penn State is coming off an outstanding performance in the 2012 Nittany Lion Open last Sunday. Head coach Cael Sanderson's crew crowned five champions and had five other finalists at the event. 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. Winning titles for Penn State were Andrew Alton at 149, David Taylor at 165, Matt Brown at 174, Ed Ruth at 184 and Quentin Wright at 197. Penn State's other finalists were Nico Megaludis at 125, Jimmy Gulibon at 133, Dylan Alton at 157, Morgan McIntosh at 197 and Jimmy Lawson at 285.
The Nittany Lions are being led by a balanced line-up featuring ten talented grapplers, eight of whom are ranked nationally. Ruth is ranked No. 1 at 184 with a 7-0 mark, Taylor is No. 2 at 165 with a 7-0 mark, Megaludis is No. 3 at 125 with a 6-1 record, Brown is No. 3 at 174 with a 7-0 record, Wright is 7-0 at 197 with a 7-0 mark and Lawson is No. 15 at 285 with a 7-1 record. Red-shirt freshman Jordan Conaway is 3-2 at 133 with a 1-0 mark in duals and senior Bryan Pearsall, ranked last week, is 7-2 at 141 with a 2-0 record in dual meets.
Indiana is coming off 3-0 run at its own Hoosier Duals last weekend, beating SIU-Edwardsville, Bucknell and Gardner Webb. The Hoosiers are 5-2 overall and are being led by junior heavyweight Adam Chalfant, who is ranked No. 8 with a 15-1 mark. Junior Ryan LeBlanc is also ranked, sitting at No. 18 at 165 with a 15-3 record. Sophomore Tyler Walsh is 15-3 at 157 as well while freshman Quin Murphy sports a 15-5 mark at 133.
Penn State leads the all-time series between the two schools, having never lost and holding a 14-0-1 lead. Penn State won last year, 36-8 in Bloomington on Jan. 23, 2012. The Lions won the last meeting in Rec Hall, 25-9, on Jan. 27, 2008. The lone tie was a 19-19 draw on Jan. 23, 2009, in Bloomington.
Penn State will close out December wrestling next Saturday, hosting neighbor Lock Haven on Saturday, Dec. 15, at 2 p.m. The dual is, like all other Penn State home events, is at capacity. Penn State's full season of home duals is sold out. 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 beginning at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 6. 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.
#1 PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS (2-0, 0-0 B1G)
WT NAME EL HT/HS REC
125 #3 Nico Megaludis So. Murrysville, Pa./Franklin Regional 6-1
133 Jordan Conaway Fr. Abbottstown, Pa./New Oxford 3-2
141 Bryan Pearsall Sr. Lititz, Pa./Warwick 7-2
149 #5 Andrew Alton So. Mill Hall, Pa./Central Mountain 6-0
James English Sr. York, Pa./Central York 7-1
157 #5 Dylan Alton So. Mill Hall, Pa./Central Mountain 5-2
165 #2 David Taylor Jr. St. Paris, Ohio/St. Paris Graham 7-0
174 #3 Matt Brown So. West Valley City, Utah/Cyprus 7-0
184 #1 Ed Ruth Jr. Harrisburg, Pa./Susquehanna Township 7-0
197 #3 Quentin Wright Sr. Wingate, Pa./Bald Eagle Area 7-0
285 #15 Jimmy Lawson So. Tom's River, N.J./Manchester Township 7-1
Jon Gingrich So. Wingate, Pa./Bald Eagle Area 8-2
INDIANA HOOSIERS (5-2, 0-0 B1G)
WT NAME EL HT REC
125 Joe Duca So. Gibbstown, N.J. 8-7
133 Quin Murphy Fr. Holley, N.Y. 15-5
141 Eric Roach Fr. Crown Point, Ind. 12-5
149 Geno Capezio Sr. Carol Stream, Ill. 4-6
157 Tyler Walsh So. Cherry Hill, N.J. 15-3
165 #18 Ryan LeBlanc Jr. Morrisville, N.Y. 15-3
174 Cheney Dale So. Westpoint, ind. 6-8
184 Luke Sheridan So. Concord, Calif. 11-5
197 Tarek Alaruri Sr. Ann Arbor, Mich. 1-10
285 #8 Adam Chalfant Jr. Winchester, Ind. 15-1
All Rankings are Intermat as of 12/4/12
HEAD COACH Cael Sanderson
Cael Sanderson, last year's Intermat National Coach of the Year, is in his fourth season as head coach of the Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team. The veteran head coach now has two straight NCAA and Big Ten titles in hand as the 2012-13 season unfolds.
THE PENN STATE YEARS...
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.
In 2010-11, Sanderson guided the Nittany Lions to its first-ever Southern Scuffle Co-Championship and its first Virginia Duals Championship since 1991. 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.
Last year, Sanderson led Penn State to a school record 7-1 Big Ten dual record and a share of the 2012 Big Ten dual meet championship. Sanderson then made it two in a row by leading Penn State to the 2012 Big Ten Championship at Purdue on March 3-4 and was named 2012 Big Ten Coach of the Year, earning the honor for the second straight season. Two weeks later, Sanderson led Penn State to a second straight NCAA crown, helping Penn State to become just the fourth team in NCAA history to win back-to-back titles.
In three years as Penn State's coach, Sanderson has led the Nittany Lions to two-straight conference titles, two straight national titles, collected 14 All-Americans, three national champions, two Gorriaran winners, one NCAA tourney OW and one Hodge Trophy winner.
This year, Penn State is 2-0 overall. Coach Sanderson now sports an 89-18-2 dual meet mark in this, his seventh year as a head coach. He is 45-8-2 and in his fourth year at Penn State.
THE IOWA STATE YEARS...
Sanderson 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.
Andrew Alton, TAYLOR, BROWN, RUTH AND WRIGHT WIN NITTANY LION OPEN TITLES
Sophomore Andrew Alton 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 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 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 Zanetti of Rutgers in the finals. All-American Ed Ruth 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 met teammate Morgan McIntosh 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.
MEGALUDIS, GULIBON, Dylan Alton, McINTOSH AND LAWSON RUNNERS-UP AT NLO
All-American Nico Megaludis went 4-1 at 125, advancing to the finals before losing a 3-2 decision to red-shirting Pitt Panther upperclassman Anthony Zanetta in the finals, taking second place. True freshman Jimmy Gulibon 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, 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 Morgan McIntosh lost to teammate Quentin Wright in the finals at 197 to take second. McIntosh was superb with a 4-1 mark, including two majors. Sophomore Jimmy Lawson 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.
LAWSON CLAIMS MAT-TOWN TITLE
Penn State Nittany Lion wrestler Jimmy Lawson was the lone Penn Stater competing at the 2012 Mat-Town Open at nearby Lock Haven University. Lawson stormed through the field to claim the heavyweight title at the event. The sophomore heavyweight began the day with two wins over unattached non-collegiate wrestlers (meaning the results do not count towards his official record). Lawson posted a first period pin (1:11) and a quick tech fall in those two bouts. He then downed Penn's Steven Graziano 5-1 in the semifinals before beating Lock Haven's Harry Turner 4-1 in the finals. Lawson went 2-0 on the day officially plus picked up a pin and tech fall against non-collegiate wrestlers.
PENN STATE USES FOUR PINS TO HAMMER WEST VIRGINIA 44-3 IN ROAD DUAL
The Nittany Lion wrestlers used four pins to coast to a 44-3 road dual win at West Virginia on 11/18. Penn State got falls from Nico Megaludis at 125 (5:53), Dylan Alton at 157 (2:28), Matt Brown at 174 (4:10) and Quentin Wright at 197 (0:25). The Lions also got majors from Jimmy Lawson at 285, Ed Ruth at 184 and James English at 149 as well as a tech fall from David Taylor at 165.
PEARSALL TAKES DOWN #19 PENNESI IN WIN AT WVU
Senior Bryan Pearsall picked up an impressive win in Penn State's 44-3 dual victory at West Virginia on 11/18. The 141-pounder used an impressive third period ride-out (along with a second period escape) to post the 2-0 win over #19 Nathan Pennesi in the win.
LAWSON WINS IN NITTANY LION DEBUT AT WVU
Sophomore heavyweight Jimmy Lawson was impressive in his first bout in the Blue and White singlet. Lawson beat West Virginia senior Phil Mandzik handily in PSU's 44-3 win at WVU on 11/18, posting a convincing 9-0 major to cap off Penn State's lopsided win in Morgantown.
BROWN AND RUTH LEAD NITTANY LIONS OVER #24 LEHIGH IN SEASON OPENER
The top-ranked Penn State wrestling team won eight of ten bouts on its way to a 29-6 win over #24 Lehigh in the season opener for Cael Sanderson's Lions. Wrestled in front of a sold-out Rec Hall crowd over nearly 6,500, Penn State got two tech falls (Nico Megaludis and David Taylor) and a major (Matt Brown) in the win. All-American Ed Ruth posted a strong 11-9 win over #3 Robert Hamlin and Brown majored #18 Nathaniel Brown 12-1 at 174.
CONAWAY WINS DUAL MEET DEBUT
Red-shirt freshman Jordan Conaway made his Penn State dual meet debut against Lehigh on 11/16 and grabbed an impressive win in the process. Conaway got a takedown with just :07 left to post a 3-2 win over Laike Gardner in Penn State's 29-6 win over Lehigh in front of a sold-out Rec Hall crowd.
ENGLISH DOWNS #18 WELSH IN SEASON OPENER
Senior James English got the nod at 149 in Penn State's season opening dual against Lehigh on 11/18 and answered with a strong performance. English dominated #18 Shane Welsh of Lehigh on his way to a 5-2 win, helping spur Penn State on to a 29-6 win in Rec Hall.
McINTOSH WINS TITLE AT ESU OPEN
Fifteen members of the Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team took part in the East Stroudsburg Open, which concluded late last evening. Red-shirting sophomore Morgan McIntosh claimed the title at the event in which most Lions wrestled unattached. McIntosh was unstoppable, going 4-0 with three majors and a technical fall to win the 197 pound crown. Junior James Vollrath went 3-1 at 157 with a pin and a major to finish second at 157. True freshman Jimmy Gulibon took second at 133, going 4-1 with two majors. Red-shirt freshman James Frascella had an outstanding tournament, going 4-1 with a tech fall to place second at 174. Also placing for Penn State were the Beitz brothers. Sophomore Seth Beitz went 5-2 with a major to take fourth at 149 while true freshman Zack Beitz was 7-2 with two majors at 141 to take fifth.
GINGRICH WINS HWT CROWN AT BINGHAMTON OPEN
The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team sent 17 wrestlers to the Binghamton Open at Binghamton University. Seven Nittany Lions placed at the event, which featured over 300 wrestlers, led by sophomore heavyweight Jon Gingrich who won the crown at 285. Most of the Nittany Lions competing were wrestling unattached. Gingrich was a perfect 4-0 on the day, including a 9-1 major decision over Lock Haven's Harry Turner in the finals. Gingrich was one of seven Nittany Lions to place. Penn State had champ (Gingrich), four third-place finishers, a fourth-place finisher and a fifth-place finisher. True freshman Jimmy Gulibon went 6-1 with two majors at 133 to take third place. Sophomore Seth Beitz was 6-1 with two pins and two majors at 149 and also placed third. Junior James Vollrath went 7-1 with a major, a tech fall and a pin, and finished third at 157. Sophomore Morgan McIntosh posted a 4-1 mark at 197 with a pin and a major and finished third as well. Senior Nick Fischer was 6-1 with a tech fall and two majors and placed fourth at 165 and red-shirt freshman James Frascella was 5-2 with a pin to finish fifth at 174.
REGULAR SEASON SOLD OUT! ONLY LIMITED SRO TIX ARE AVAILABLE HEADING INTO 2012-13 SEASON
The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team has, for the first time in school history, sold out its entire season in advance of the first dual. A limited number of Standing Room Only tickets will go on sale, on a single dual basis, beginning Tuesday at 10 a.m. for select events. For information on which duals have 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 p.m. Penn State, under the guidance of head coach Cael Sanderson, will host seven home duals in front of what will be sold out Rec Hall crowds. The Nittany Lions host Indiana on Dec. 9 at 2 p.m., Lock Haven on Dec. 15 at 2 p.m., Michigan State on Jan. 13 at 2 p.m., Wisconsin on Jan. 18 at 7 p.m., Nebraska on Jan. 27 at 2 p.m. and Rider on Feb. 17 at 2 p.m.
FOUR LIONS COMPETE AT CLARION KNIGHT POINT OPEN
Four members of the Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team opened up the 2012-13 open tournament season at the Knight Point Open at Clarion University on Sunday. Each grappler wrestled unattached at the event which concluded late yesterday evening. Junior Andrew Church (Erie, Pa.) posted a 4-2 record at 174, advancing to the consolation quarterfinals. True freshman Wes Phipps (Grove City, Pa.) debuted at 184 and 2-2, advancing to the consolation semifinals. Phipps tallied two majors. Red-shirt freshman David Owens (Derry, N.H.) wrestled at 149 and went 0-2 and true freshman Caleb Livingston (Drexel Hill, Pa.) went 1-2 at 165 with a pin (a 2:59 pin over Kent State's Mike Crawford).
EIGHT NITTANY LIONS RANKED BY INTERMAT AS PENN STATE HOLDS #1 SPOT IN TEAM TPI
Seven members of the Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team remain ranked nationally by Intermat, all of whom now appear in the top six at their respective weights. In addition, head coach Cael Sanderson's two-time defending NCAA and Big Ten Champions are the No. 1 team on Intermat's Tournament Power Index (TPI). The full list of national rankings is available at www.intermatwrestle.com. Sophomore Nico Megaludis is No. 3 at 125, sophomore Andrew Alton is No. 5 at 149, sophomore Dylan Alton is No. 5 at 157, junior David Taylor is No. 2 at 165, sophomore Matt Brown is No. 3 at 174, junior Ed Ruth is No. 1 at 184, senior Quentin Wright is No. 3 at 197 and sophomore Jimmy Lawson is No. 15 at 285.