Molinaro, Taylor and Ruth Advance to Big Ten Finals with Lions in Three-Way Battle for Big Ten Title
Eight Nittany Lions secure NCAA automatic bids with all 10 still alive tomorrow
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind.; March 3, 2012 – The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team, led by head coach Cael Sanderson, ended the first day of the 2012 Big Ten Wrestling Championships by sending three wrestlers to tomorrow’s Big Ten Championship finals. The Nittany Lions find themselves in a heated three-way battle for the Big Ten Championship with Minnesota and Iowa.
Penn State went 3-5 in the semifinals and will have three wrestlers in tomorrow evening’s Big Ten Championship finals. Three-time All-American Frank Molinaro (Barnegat, N.J.), All-American David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio) and All-American Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.) will wrestle for their second Big Ten titles. Penn State has secured eight NCAA qualifiers to date with one more alive for an automatic bid and all 10 still wrestling for place.
Sophomore Frank Martellotti (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and junior Bryan Pearsall (Lititz, Pa.) started Penn State off in the evening session, with both me set in consolation action at 133 and 141. Martellotti posted an 8-2 win over Joe Duca at 133 then Pearsall majored Matt Ortega of Indiana at 141. Those two wins set up the evening’s final session, including the semifinals and consolation quarters.
Nico Megaludis (Murrysville, Pa.) was Penn State’s first semifinalist, starting things off at 125. The true freshman lost a hard-fought 6-2 decision to No. 2 Zach Sanders of Minnesota and will wrestle in the consolation semifinals tomorrow. Megaludis is already an NCAA qualifier. Molinaro crushed Purdue’s Ivan Lopouchanski, ranked No. 12 nationally, in the semifinals. The three-time All-American rolled to a 15-0 technical fall at the 6:07 mark to move into the finals tomorrow. Red-shirt freshman Dylan Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.) suffered a 3-1 (sv) upset loss to sixth-seed Derek St. John of Iowa in the semifinals, with the takedown coming with under :10 left on the clock. Alton, a qualifier already, will wrestle in the conso semis tomorrow morning.
Taylor had no trouble with Illinois’ Conrad Polz in the semifinals at 165. He posted a 12-0 major over the No. 12 ranked Illini and moves into tomorrow’s Big Ten finals. Classmate Ruth also posted a convincing major, getting a 15-7 major decision over No. 10 Nick Heflin of Ohio State to move into tomorrow’s finals at 174. Two-time All-American Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.) suffered a 3-1 loss to No. 7 Josh Ihnen of Nebraska and will not defend his Big Ten title. He moves into tomorrow’s consolation semifinals.
True freshman Morgan McIntosh (Santa Ana, Calif.) nearly upset No. 3 Matt Powless at 197. McIntosh took a 6-5 lead with an escape at the :12 mark but Powless got a takedown with just :03 on the clock to steal the 7-6 win and send the Lion freshman into the consolation semifinals. McIntosh and Wright have already qualified for nationals. Senior Cameron Wade (Twinsburg, Ohio) dropped a 5-0 decision to sixth-seed Bobby Telford of Iowa and will wrestle in the consolation semifinals.
While the semifinals were occurring, the consolation quarterfinals were being contested as well. Martellotti dropped a tough 6-2 decision to No. 7 Chris Dardanes of Minnesota in the consolation quarterfinals. He still has a shot at an automatic bid to NCAAs in the seventh place bout tomorrow morning. He faces No. 18 Ridge Kiley of Nebraska with the winner taking seventh and a spot at nationals. Pearsall dropped a 5-2 decision to No. 9 Jake Sueflohn of Nebraska, the 5th-seed, in the consolation quarterfinals. The Lion junior will wrestle for seventh place tomorrow and could still be alive in the pool for an at-large bid, which comes out next week.
Penn State went 5-7 tonight and is 18-9 heading into tomorrow’s action. The Nittany Lions have 18.0 bonus points to date as well. The 2012 Big Ten Championship Tournament is being contested at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., on March 3-4. Session three begins at 1 p.m. tomorrow with the championship finals starting at 3 p.m. The finals will be aired live on the Big Ten Network.
The full season slate of live dual meet and tournament action will air locally on WRSC AM (1390 AM) with Friday evening duals being simulcast on WRSC FM (103.1
FM). Lock Haven’s WBPZ (1230 AM) will also carry the entire season live, WIEZ (670 AM) in Huntingdon/Lewistown carries all Sunday events. The regular season schedule of radio broadcasts will be streamed live at
www.GoPSUsports.com as part of Penn State’s All-Access package.
Fans are encouraged to follow Penn State wrestling via twitter at www.twitter.com/pennstatepat
and on Penn State Wrestling’s facebook page at www.facebook.com/pennstatewrestling.
The 2011-12 Penn State Wrestling season is presented by The Family Clothesline.
2012 Big Ten Wrestling Championships – Team Standings After Session 2
Saturday, March 3, 2012 – Mackey Arena – West Lafayette, Ind.
1: Minnesota – 117.0
2: Iowa – 112.5
3: PENN STATE – 110.0
4: Illinois – 81.5
5: Ohio State – 76.0
6: Northwestern – 61.5
7: Nebraska – 56.5
8: Michigan – 50.0
9: Purdue – 47.5
10: Indiana – 35.5
11: Michigan State – 35.5
12: Wisconsin – 9.0
The following is a weight-by-weight breakdown/agate of Penn State’s tournament to date:
125: #8 Nico Megaludis (Murrysville, Pa.), Fr. – 3rd seed – 23-6 overall
1st Rd: W, 12-3 maj. Dec. Grant Pizzo, Michigan
Qtrs: W, 6-2 dec. #17 Johnni DeJulius, Ohio State
Semis: L, 2-6 dec. #2 Zach Sanders, Minnesota
True freshman Nico Megaludis opened up his first Big Ten Championship bout with a dominating 12-3 major over Michigan’s Grant Pizzo. Megaludis notched a bevy of takedowns and built up 4:45 in riding time in the win. In the quarterfinals, Megaludis dominated No. 17 Johnni DeJulius of Ohio State, the 6th-seed, with a 6-2 decision, sending him to the semifinals.
Megaludis dropped a hard-fought 6-2 decision to second-ranked Zach Sanders of Minnesota in the semifinals and will take part in the consolation semifinals tomorrow morning. Megaludis is an NCAA qualifier.
133: Frank Martellotti (Pittsburgh, Pa.), So. – 8th seed – 7-9 overall
1st Rd: bye
Qtrs: L, 3-13 maj. dec. #2 Logan Stieber, Ohio State
Cons: W, 8-2 dec. Joe Duca, Indiana
Cons Qtr: L, 2-6 dec. #7 Chris Dardanes, Minnesota
Sophomore Frank Martellotti had a first round bye and then met top seed and second-ranked Logan Stieber of Ohio State in the quarterfinals. Stieber posted a strong 13-3 major decision, sending Martellotti into the consolation rounds.
In the first round of consolations, Martellotti hammered Indiana’s Joe Duca, posting an 8-2 decision courtesy of four takedowns. The win moved him into the consolation quarterfinals where he met No. 7 Chris Dardanes of Minnesota, the 4th-seed. Martellotti dropped a tough 6-2 decision to Dardanes.
He will wrestle No. 18 Ridge Kiley of Nebraska for seventh place tomorrow morning and a shot an automatic NCAA bid.
141: Bryan Pearsall (Lititz, Pa.), Jr. – 8th seed – 14-12 overall
1st Rd: WBF over Thomas Glenn, Wisconsin (1:39)
Qtrs: L, 0-6 dec. #1 Kellen Russell, Michigan
Cons: W, 13-2 maj. dec. Matt Ortega, Indiana
Cons Qtr: L, 2-5 dec. #9 Jake Sueflohn, Nebraska
Junior Bryan Pearsall recorded Penn State’s first pin of the tournament with a quick first period decking of Wisconsin’s Thomas Glenn. Pearsall took Glenn down early then turned him to his back for a fall at the 1:39 mark. He moved on to face defending national champion and top seeded Kellen Russell of Michigan in the quarters. Pearsall battled Russell tough before dropping a 6-0 decision and moving into the consolation bracket.
In the first round of consolations, Pearsall hammered 7th-seed Matt Ortega of Indiana. Pearsall gave up only two escapes on his way to a dominating 13-2 major decision. The win pushed him into the consolation quarterfinals where he met No. 9 Jake Sueflohn of Nebraska, the 5th-seed. Pearsall dropped a 5-2 decision to Sueflohn in the consolation quarterfinals. The Lion junior will wrestle for seventh place tomorrow and could still be alive in the pool for an at-large bid, which comes out next week.
149: #1 Frank Molinaro (Barnegat, N.J.), Sr. – 1st seed – 27-0 overall
1st Rd: Bye
Qtrs: WBF over Kaleb Friedley, Northwestern (2:18)
Semis: W, 15-0 tech fall over #12 Ivan Lopouchanski, Purdue (TF; 6:07)
Top seed Frank Molinaro opened up defense of his Big Ten title with a swift and decisive pin of 8th-seeded Kaleb Friedley of Northwestern. Molinaro took Friedley down early, worked a tilt and then got the pin at the 2:18 mark. The win moved him into the semifinals.
Molinaro met No. 12 Ivan Lopouchanski of Purdue in the semis, the 4th-seed. The Lion senior had no trouble with the Boilermaker, rolling to a 15-0 technical fall at the 6:07 mark. The win moved him into tomorrow’s Big Ten Championship finals.
157: #5 Dylan Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), Fr. – 2nd seed – 22-5 overall
1st Rd: W, 4-2 dec. Danny Zilverberg, Minnesota
Qtrs: W, 15-6 maj. dec. Tommy Churchard, Purdue
Semis: L, 1-3 (sv) dec. Derek St. John, Iowa
Con Semis: Tomorrow
Red-shirt freshman Dylan Alton took down Minnesota’s Danny Zilverberg in tough first round match-up. Alton had two first period takedowns and rolled to a 4-2 win over the Gopher. He then moved on to the quarterfinals where he posted a 15-6 major decision over Purdue's Tommy Churchard to move into the semis.
Alton met Iowa’s Derek St. John in the semifinals. St. John, an All-American last year, was the 6th-seed. St. John and Alton battled through an even 7:00, heading to sudden victory tied at 1-1. St. John countered a late Alton shot, forced a scramble and won the bout with a takedown with under :10 left, securing the 3-1 (sv) win. The loss moved Alton, an NCAA qualifier, in the consolation semifinals.
165: #1 David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio), So. – 1st seed – 26-0 overall
1st Rd: W, 20-5 tech fall over Derek Garcia, Ohio State (TF; 7:00)
Qtrs: WBF over Pierce Harger, Northwestern (1:40)
Semis: W, 12-0 maj. dec. #12 Conrad Polz, Illinois
Top-seed David Taylor dominated Ohio State’s Derek Garcia from the opening whistle, putting on a takedown clinic on his way to a 20-5 technical fall with over 4:00 riding time. The riding time point gave Taylor the 1.5 bonus points at the 7:00 mark. In the quarterfinals, Taylor made short work of 8th-seed Pierce Harger of Northwestern, getting a quick pin at the 1:40 mark for two more Lion bonus points. The 2-0 morning moved him into the semifinals.
In the semis, Taylor took on No. 12 Conrad Polz of Illinois. Polz was the 5th-seed. Taylor posted his third bonus point victory, notching a convincing 12-0 major decision to move into the finals.
174: #2 Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.), So. – 1st seed – 25-0 overall
1st Rd: bye
Qtrs: W, 14-2 maj. dec. #9 Jordan Blanton, Illinois
Semis: W, 15-7 maj. dec. #10 Nick Heflin, Ohio State
Top-seed Ed Ruth hammered No. 9 Jordan Blanton of Illinois, posting a 14-2 major with nearly 5:00 riding time. Blanton’s only two points were via escapes and Ruth posted four takedowns and two near falls. The decisive victory moved the No. 1 seed into the semifinals.
Ruth took on No. 10 Nick Heflin of Ohio State in the semis, the 5th-seed. The All-American posted his second major decision of the tournament by downing Heflin 15-7 to move into the championship finals.
184: #2 Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.), Jr. – 2nd seed – 24-3 overall
1st Rd: WBF over Luke Sheridan, Indiana (2:17)
Qtrs: W, 7-2 (sv) dec. Tony Dallago, Illinois
Semis: L, 1-3 dec. #7 Josh Ihnen, Nebraska
Cons Semis: Tomorrow
Defending National Champion Quentin Wright hopped on the bonus point train early, getting a first period pin over Indiana’s Luke Sheridan. Wright got the fall at the 2:17 mark. He followed that up with a hard fought 7-2 (sv) win over Illinois’ Tony Dallago, moving into the semifinals.
Wright battled No. 7 Josh Ihnen of Nebraska in the semis. Ihnen was the 3rd-seed. Wright could not muster a takedown and dropped a tough 3-1 decision. Already a qualifier, he heads into tomorrow’s consolation semifinals.
197: #12 Morgan McIntosh (Santa Ana, Calif.), Fr. – 3rd seed – 16-7 overall
1st Rd: bye
Qtrs: 3-1 (sv) dec. Andrew Campolattano, Ohio State
Semis: L, 6-7 dec. #3 Matt Powless, Indiana
True freshman Morgan McIntosh, the third-seed at 197, received a first round bye and then took on sixth-seed Andrew Campolattano of Ohio State in the quarterfinals. McIntosh finished off the bout’s only takedown with just :01 left in sudden victory to post a 3-1 (sv) win and move into the semis.
McIntosh got a rematch against No. 3 Matt Powless of Indiana in the semis. McIntosh lost a close bout to Powless, the No. 2 seed, in the Southern Scuffle when a late takedown for McIntosh was reversed after the bout ended. Once again, a late score cost McIntosh as this time the Hoosier dove for a last second takedown to steal a 7-6 decision with just :03 left on the clock. McIntosh, a qualifier, will wrestle in the consolation semifinals.
285: #5 Cameron Wade (Twinsburg, Ohio.), Sr. – 2nd seed – 23-4 overall
1st Rd: bye
Qtrs: W, 10-1 maj. dec. Steve Andrus, Michigan State
Semis: L, 0-5 dec. #12 Bobby Telford, Iowa
Senior Cameron Wade, the No. 2 seed at heavyweight, received a first round bye. In the quarterfinals, Wade dominated Michigan State’s Steve Andrus, posting a 10-0 major with nearly 5:00 riding time. The victory, good for a bonus point as well, moved Wade into the semifinals.
Wade met No. 12 Bobby Telford of Iowa in the semifinals, the 6th-seed. Telford reversed Wade twice (once in the second period and once in the third) to notch a 5-0 win and push Wade, now a three-time NCAA qualifier, into the consolation semifinals.
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Updated on May 7, 2013, 9:18am