Penn State's Wrestling Season Starting Strong
In front of a sold out crowd at Rec Hall, the Penn State Nittany Lions wrestlers, ranked number one in the nation, defeated Lehigh 29-6 on November 16. The team, under head coach Cael Sanderson, had a superb showing in the season opener winning eight of ten matches.
Standout performances were seen throughout the squad including those from All-American sophomore Nico Megaludis, red-shirt freshman Jordon Conaway, senior Bryan Pearsall, senior James English, junior All-American and 2012 National Champion David Taylor, Sophomore Matt Brown, junior and national champion Ed Ruth, and Senior three-time All-American and National Champion Quentin Wright. Competing at 125 lbs, Megaludis earned a 19-4 technical fall. Conaway wrestled to a 3-2 decision at 133 lbs. Pearsall secured a 7-6 win. English scored for the Nittany Lion grapplers by upsetting his opponent for a 5-2 win at 149 lbs. Taylor had a 20-5 technical fall at 165 lbs. Brown took a 12-1 major decision at 174. Wrestling at 184 lbs, Ruth battled to an 11-9 decision. Wright downed his opponent at 197 lbs. Sophomore Dylan Alton in the 157 lb. weight class was upset 4-2 and sophomore Jon Gingrich was downed in the bout’s final match-up at 285.
Penn State went on to dominate West Virginia in Morgantown, two days later, on November 18. Winning nine of the ten bouts with eight resulting in bonus points, the Nittany Lions prevailed with a final score 44-3. The team posted a 30-2 edge in takedowns while racking up 17 bonus points off of a technical fall, four pins and three major decisions.
Pins were obtained by four Nittany Lions: Nico Megaludis at 125 lbs., Dylan Alton at 157 lbs., Matt Brown at 174 lbs. and Quentin Wright at 197 lbs.. Ed Ruth at 184 lbs., James English at 149 lbs. and Jimmy Lawson at 285 lbs. all added major decisions for Penn State. In addition, David Taylor had a technical fall at 165 and Bryan Pearsall beat his opponent at 141 for a 2-0 win. The lone victory for The Mountaineers came by #17 Colin Johnston at 133 for West Virginia when he beat sophomore Nate Morgan 6-2.
Sunday, December 2, earned the Nittany Lions five champions and yet another solid performance in Rec Hall at the Nittany Lion Open.
Returning after missing the first two duals was sophomore Andrew Alton with five falls at the event. Alton’s five contributed to a total of twenty-three falls for Penn State. Junior David Taylor won the title at 165, with three pins and two tech falls going 5-0. Sophomore Matt Brown, won his first NLO title at 174 after going 5-0 with two majors and a tech fall. Junior All-American Ed Ruth went 5-0 to easily clinch the title at 184. Senior All-American Quentin Wright bested red-shirting sophomore teammate Morgan McIntosh in the finals at 197. Wright claimed the title while McIntosh placed second with an impressive showing including two majors for a 4-1 mark.
While no scores were kept, eighteen of Penn State’s thirty participating wrestlers placed at their respective weights.
Penn State is currently 2-0 with the chance to continue their dominance when they take on The Indiana Hoosiers in their Big Ten opener this Sunday, December 9th at 2:00 p.m. in Rec Hall.
footnote: results of the above matches first appeared on ‘Penn State Official Athletic Site’