Big Ten Garners 64 Automatic Qualifiers as Eight Lions Help Conference Earn Slots
Freshman David Taylor earns No. 1 RPI at 157
<div id="Content" readability="87.6611919287">Feb. 23, 2011
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Complete list of conference allocations, final RPIs and final coaches rankings in PDF Format http://grfx.cstv.com/graphics/icon-acrosmall.gif
The Big Ten Conference flexed its muscle on the mats once again this year as the circuit was awarded 64 automatic bids to the NCAA Wrestling Championships on March 17-19. Eight Penn State Nittany Lions helped the conference garner the automatic bids, which will be earned on March 5-6 at the 2011 Big Ten Championships at Northwestern University.
The Big Ten's 64 automatic qualifiers are followed by the EIWA with 45, the Big 12 which earned 33, and the Pac 10 which earned 26. Each qualifying tournament was awarded spots per weight class based on current year data. Each wrestler was measured on the following: Division I winning percentage; rating percentage index (RPI); and coaches ranking. For each wrestler that reached the threshold in at least two of the three categories, his qualifying tournament was awarded a qualifying spot in that weight class.
Each qualifying tournament was awarded a minimum of one wrestler per weight class, which will go to the tournament champion, even if they did not have any wrestlers reach at least two of the three thresholds. NCAA tournament spots for each qualifying event will be awarded at the tournament based solely on place-finish. For the Big Ten, the weight-by-weight breakdown is as follows: Five at 125, eight at 133, six at 141, eight at 149, six at 157, five at 165, eight at 174, six at 184, six at 197 and six at heavyweight.
After all of the qualifying events have concluded, the NCAA Division I Wrestling Committee will meet in-person to select the remaining 48 at-large qualifiers, which will be announced on March 9. All weight classes will consist of 33 wrestlers. The at-large selections will be made based on the following criteria: head-to-head competition; qualifying event placement; quality wins; results against common opponents; winning percentage; RPI; coaches ranking and the number of matches contested at that weight class.
Eight Nittany Lion wrestlers were listed in the final coaches' rankings and RPI, helping the Big Ten earn the 64 automatic spots. Freshman David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio) holds the No. 1 RPI at 157 and is ranked No. 2 by the coaches. Taylor posted a perfect 31-0 mark during the regular season. Classmate Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.) holds the No. 2 RPI at 174 and is ranked No. 2 by the coaches as well. Ruth owns an equally impressive 29-1 overall record. Fellow freshman Andrew Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.) has the No. 2 RPI at 141 and is ranked No. 6 by the coaches. Alton has a 26-6 record. Two-time All-American Frank Molinaro (Barnegat, N.J.) has the No. 4 RPI at 149 and is ranked No. 3 by the coaches. Molinaro is 25-2 on the year. Junior Cameron Wade (Twinsburg, Ohio) has the No. 4 RPI at heavyweight and a No. 6 coaches ranking. Wade went 26-4 on the year. Sophomore All-American Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.) has a No. 11 RPI at 184 and is ranked No. 18 by the coaches. Wright went 12-6 during the regular season. Two Nittany Lions earned lofty coaches rankings but did not meet the minimum bouts wrestled requirement to qualify for an RPI. Sophomore Andrew Long (Creston, Iowa) has a No. 5 coaches ranking at 133 and an 11- record while senior Brad Pataky (Clearfield, Pa.) is ranked No. 16 at 125 with an 8-3 mark.
Head coach Cael Sanderson's Nittany Lions, which closed out a 17-1-1 dual meet season (6-1-1 Big Ten) last Friday with a 30-12 win over Wisconsin, will next head to the 2011 Big Ten Wrestling Championships on March 5-6 at Northwestern University. The two-day event is the national qualifier for the conference and begins with an 11 a.m. Eastern (10 a.m. Central) session on Saturday, March 5. The Sunday session starts at 2 p.m. Eastern (1 p.m. Central) with the finals airing live on the Big Ten Network at 4 p.m. Eastern (3 p.m. Central). The 2010-11 Penn State wrestling season is presented by the Family Clothesline. All Penn State events will once again air live on Forever Broadcasting's WRSC
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