PSU\’s Pataky Places 4th at Big 10\’s

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State 125-pounder Brad Pataky of Clearfield placed fourth in the 2009 Big Ten Wrestling Championships Sunday when No. 2-ranked Charlie Falck of Iowa carved out a 13-3 major decision in their consolation final in the Bryce Jordan Center.
 
Earlier, the fourth-seeded Pataky advanced to the third-place bout with an 8-4 win over eighth seed B.J. Futrell of Purdue.
 
The redshirt sophomore worked a low single into the takedown a minute into the bout and then turned the Boilermaker freshman for three points at the end of the first period.
 
Pataky gave up takedowns in each of the last two periods but remained comfortably ahead with escapes and then added a point for riding time.
 
Futrell (23-13) placed eighth.
 
In the consy finals, Falck (22-4) took Pataky (28-9) to his back for five points in the first period and posted another takedown in the second period before Pataky broke free.
 
Trailing 8-3 late in the match, Pataky attempted a cement mixer in a desperation move, but Falck countered for two-and-two. Riding time made it a major decision.
 
Falck, the second seed, lost 4-0 to defending Big Ten and NCAA champion seed Angel Escobedo of Indiana in the semifinals.
 
No. 5-ranked Escobedo (22-3), who Pataky upset 4-3 on Jan. 23, went on to win the title with a 3-2 decision over No. 3-ranked and top seed Brandon Precin (27-3) of Northwestern.
 
Precin broke up a close bout with a third-period fall against Pataky in the semis.
 
Pataky, ranked No. 14 by InterMat/National Wrestling Coaches Association/National Wrestling Media Association, is one of five Nittany Lions who have qualified for the NCAA Division I Championships in the Scottrade Center at St. Louis, Mo., March 19-21.
 
Both of Penn State\’s finalists, junior All-American Bubba Jenkins at 149 and true freshman Quentin Wright (Bald Eagle Area High School) at 174, came up short.
 
Jenkins (24-1) hooked up with reigning Big Ten and NCAA champion Brent Metcalf (33-0) of Iowa in a rematch of last year\’s NCAA gold medal match the Hawkeye redshirt junior won 14-8. Metcalf was more dominate this time, building a 9-1 lead before recording a fall at 4:52 for his 65th victory in a row.
 
Wright (29-10) ran into defending NCAA runner-up Steve Luke of Michigan, and the No. 1 seed racked up five takedowns for a 12-5 decision.
 
Wright, the third seed, had excited the partisan-Penn State crowds Saturday with his march to the title bout, pinning Purdue\’s Nick Corpe in 5:18 and squeezing past sixth seed Trevor Perry 5-4 and second seed Jay Borschel of Iowa 11-10.
 
Two Penn State All-Americans, both seeded sixth, also earned trips to the nationals.
 
Dan Vallimont (21-10) beat second seed Colt Sponseller of Ohio State 7-4 for third place at 165.
 
Jake Strayer (16-8) wound up sixth at 133.
 
Three Nittany Lion redshirt freshmen will have wait until Wednesday to learn whether they will receive wild-card invites for the nationals.
 
Cameron Wade (15-14) was sixth at heavyweight, Frank Molinaro (19-16) was eighth at 141 and Tim Darling (15-11) was eighth at 157.
 
Matching the repeat performances of Escobedo, Metcalf and Luke were 2008 champions Franklin Gomez of Michigan State at 133, Kellen Russell of Michigan at 141 and Mike Poeta of Illinois at 157.
 
Also winning titles were Wisconsin\’s Andrew Howe at 165, Northwestern\’s Jake Herbert at 184 and Michigan\’s Tyrel Todd at 197 and Daniel Erekson at heavyweight.
 
Illinois was a distant second with 113.5 points, and Michigan was third with 92.5. Both teams had eight placewinners, as did Penn State and Minnesota.
 
Penn State lost a four-way battle for fourth place with 79.5 points, finishing seventh behind Wisconsin (88), Minnesota (86) and Ohio State (80).
 
The three sessions attracted 12,650 fans, including 4,482 for the finals.
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