ST. LOUIS, Mo. — The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team had an outstanding second session at the 2012 NCAA Championship in St. Louis’ Scottrade Center, going 8-1 to close out day one with a 16-2 record. Head coach Cael Sanderson’s crew is alone in first place.
Penn State went 7-1 in the championship bracket and picked up another win in consolation action. The Nittany Lions will send seven wrestlers to the quarterfinals tomorrow morning while two other Lions are alive in consolation action. Penn State is in first place with 38.5 points while Minnesota is in second with 33.0. Cornell follows in third with 27.5 while Oklahoma State (26.5) and Iowa (26.0) round out the top five.
True freshman Nico Megaludis (Murrysville, Pa.), the No. 10 seed at 125, got Penn State off to a fast start with a thrilling 7-3 win over No. 7 Jarrod Patterson of Oklahoma. Megaludis roared back from a 3-0 deficit with seven third period points to grab the win and move into the quarterfinals tomorrow morning. Three-time All-American Frank Molinaro (Barnegat, N.J.), the top seed at 149, followed that win up with a hard fought 6-5 decision over Oregon State’s Scott Sakaguchi to move into the quarters as well, getting the decisive point on riding time. Red-shirt freshman Dylan Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), the No. 7 seed at 157, took down No. 10 Anthony Jones of Michigan State in the second round, using a riding time point to post a 2-1 win and move into the quarters.
All-American David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio), the top seed at 165, notched his second straight first period pin of the day, pinning Chattanooga’s Brandon Wright at the 1:51 mark. That win moved Taylor into the quarterfinals tomorrow morning. Taylor’s pin was followed quickly, on the same mat (mat 8) by All-American Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.), the top seed at 174. Ruth got his second straight first period pin of the day as well, finishing off a cradle and pinning Missouri’s Dorian Henderson at the 1:25 mark. Ruth, like Taylor, moved into the quarterfinals.
Defending National Champion Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.), the No. 6 seed at 184, continued Penn State’s bonus point blitz with an impressive 10-2 major over No. 11 Ben Clymer of Hofstra. Wright used a late takedown and riding time to get the major’s bonus point and move into the quarters. True freshman Morgan McIntosh (Santa Ana, Calif.) was downed by No. 1 Cam Simaz of Cornell, falling 22-7. Senior Cameron Wade (Twinsburg, Ohio), the No. 6 seed at heavyweight, closed out Penn State’s second round in the championship bracket with a solid 8-2 win over Cornell’s Maciej Jochym. Wade used two reversals to secure the victory and move into the quarterfinals
Sophomore Frank Martellotti (Pittsburgh, Pa.) closed out Penn State’s outstanding evening session (and first day) by staying alive in consolation action at 133. Martellotti used a third period reversal to post a 2-1 win over Frank Lomas of CS-Bakersfield and will continue consolation action tomorrow morning as well.
Penn State rolled to its second straight 8-1 session and is 16-2 after the first day of the championships. The Nittany Lions picked up another five bonus points and racked up 14.5 on day one. The Lions now have four pins, five majors and one technical fall. Penn State’s lone two losses were both to No. 1 seeds.
The third session begins Friday (March 16) at 10 a.m. CENTRAL/11 a.m. Eastern. Friday’s first session includes the quarterfinals and two rounds of consolation action. The three day event continues throughout the day Friday and all day Saturday, culminating with the national finals on Saturday evening at 6:30 p.m. CENTRAL/7:30 p.m. EASTERN.
2012 NCAA WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS – Top 10 Team Standings Session 2
Thursday, March 15, 2012 – Scottrade Center – St. Louis, Mo.
1: PENN STATE – 38.5
2: Minnesota – 33.0
3: Cornell – 27.5
4: Oklahoma State – 26.5
5: Iowa – 26.0
6: Illinois – 23.0
7: Oklahoma – 19.5
8: Ohio State – 19.0
9: Lehigh – 18.0
9: Northwestern – 18.0