Penn State Cornell tie for Southern Scuffle team title
The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team continued its outstanding early season run, claiming the Co-Championships of the 2010 Southern Scuffle in Greensboro, N.C. Penn State, ranked No. 4, tied No. 1 Cornell for the team crown. The Nittany Lions sent four wrestlers to the finals in front of a rowdy crowd at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex and crowned three champions.
Red-shirt freshmen David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio) and Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.) won titles at 157 and 174 while junior Cameron Wade (Twinsburg, Ohio) forged the tie with a title winning decision in the tournament's final bout at heavyweight. Ruth's sizzling title-run at 174 earned him the tournament's Most Outstanding Wrestler Award. Two-time All-American Frank Molinaro (Barnegat, N.J.) almost made it four for four in the finals for Penn State with a one-point loss to the nation's top-ranked wrestler in the nation at 149. The Nittany Lions sent 15 wrestlers into action at the two-day event and eight placed.
True freshman Frank Martellotti (Pittsburgh, Pa.) bounced back from a loss in his first bout yesterday to reel off six straight wins before a loss in the consolation semifinals. Martellotti, ranked No. 16 nationally at 125, would end the event with a 6-3 record and a sixth place finish and is 18-3 on the year. Senior Brad Pataky (Clearfield, Pa.) had a solid return to the mat after missing the first semester with an injury. Pataky went 3-2 with a major and a tech fall. While not placing at 125, Pataky's first action of the year should spur him on to more action at the Virginia Duals on Jan. 7-8.
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Sophomore Bryan Pearsall (Lititz, Pa.) went 4-2 at 133. The Lion went 1-1 today, picking up crucial bonus points with a pin in his first bout before losing in the sixth round of consolations. Pearsall had two pins during the tournament for the Nittany Lions and is now 13-6 overall.
At 141, true freshman Andrew Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.) gave up a last-second takedown to No. 1 Kellen Russell of Michigan and dropped a 4-3 decision in a thrilling upset bid in the semifinals. The 9th-ranked 141-pounder rebounded for two wins in wrestle-back to take third place. Alton went 6-1 on the day with three pins and a major. He is now 19-1 on the year. Senior Adam Lynch (Mifflinburg, Pa.) lost to No.11 Michael Mangrum of Oregon State in his quarterfinal match-up and then lost again in wrestle-backs to finish one win shy of placing. Lynch went 3-2 with a pin and a major at the tourney and is 7-3 overall.
After a quarterfinal win, two-time All-American Frank Molinaro (Barnegat, N.J.), ranked No. 6 at 149, crushed No. 15 Torsten Gillespie 9-1 That win moved him into the finals where he met No. 1 Kyle Dake of Cornell. Molinaro set the offensive tempo, taking shot after shot in the finals but Dake was able to spend the match on the edge of the mat and used a third period escape to post the 1-0 win. Molinaro went 6-1 on the day with three majors and a technical fall. Molinaro improves to 14-2 on the year.
Sophomore James English (York, Pa.) capped off an outstanding performance for the Nittany Lions by taking 7th place. English posted a 1-1 mark on day two and went 5-2 at the tournament with a pin. He is now 13-4 overall.
Red-shirt freshman David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio), ranked No. 3 at 157, continued to dominate the field with a 23-6 technical fall over Michigan's Brandon Zeerip in the semifinals. The win moved him into the finals where he took on No. 9 Paul Young of Indiana. In another dominating performance, Taylor made short work of the Hoosier senior, turning the veteran Big Ten grappler numerous times on his way to a decisive 18-2 technical fall at the 4:06 mark. Taylor was simply unchallenged at the event, going 6-0 with four technical falls and two pins. Taylor is still undefeated on the year with a 19-0 mark.
Classmate James Vollrath (Richboro, Pa.) continued his hot run. After losing in the first round yesterday, Vollrath won nine straight matches to take third place. Included in his run was a 5-3 victory over No. 7 Bryce Saddoris of Navy. Vollrath now sports 21-4 record.
Red-shirt freshman Jake Kemerer (Greensburg, Pa.) took No. 6 Paul Gillespie to the limit as the Hofstra grappler needing riding time to win 2-1 in the quarters at 165. Kemerer then lost his first wrestle-back and bowed out of the tournament with a 3-2 record, one win shy of placing. Kemerer is 11-5 on the year. Sophomore Nick Fischer (Unionville, Pa.) bowed out of the tournament after a 3-2 showing yesterday.
Ranked No. 10 at 174, red-shirt freshman Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.) gave notice to the country with a thorough 11-5 win over No. 1 Mack Lewnes of Cornell in the semifinals. Ruth then took on No. 2 Chris Henrich of Virginia in the finals. In a feat rare for any wrestler, yet alone a freshman, Ruth dominated the second-ranked Cavalier on his way to a 7-2 win. In beating the No. 1 and No. 2 seed in the same afternoon, Ruth won the Scuffle crown with a 5-0 record (including two pins and a major). Ruth will head to the Virginia Duals with a 17-1 record.
With All-American Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.) still recovering from an injury at 184, red-shirt freshman Andrew Church (Erie, Pa.) went 0-2 yesterday and was Penn State's only competitor at that weight.
Red-shirt freshman Nick Ruggear (Oxford, Pa.) went 1-2 at 197 yesterday and was eliminated as Penn State's only wrestler at that weight as well.
Junior heavyweight Cameron Wade (Twinsburg, Ohio), ranked No. 6 nationally, continued to roll and beat No. 12 Clayton Jack 7-4 in the semifinals, setting up a finals bout against No. 7 Ben Apland of Michigan. Wade needed a win to force a tie in the team race and he gave the packed house all they could handle. Down 2-1 with time running out, Wade turned Apland for two back points as the Lion faithful roared and, with a riding time point, notched a 4-2 thriller to take the title at heavyweight. The win allowed Penn State to forge a tie in the team race as well. Wade went 6-0 with three pins to win the title and now has a 16-2 overall record.
The Nittany Lions and Big Red each had 151.5 points while Oregon State was a distant third with 132.5. Michigan claimed fourth with 132 while Minnesota wrestled to a fifth place finish with 126.5 points. Penn State went 65-22 on the day with 36 of those bouts earning bonus points. Penn State had 15 pins, six technical falls and 15 majors while placing eight wrestlers in the top eight.