Nittany Lions Perfect in Session 2 of 2011 NCAA Wrestling Championships to Maintain Hold on First Place
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March 17, 2011
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team remained in first place after the second session of the 2011 NCAA Wrestling Championships in Philadelphia. Head coach Cael Sanderson's crew closed out day one at the Wells Fargo Center by posting a perfect 8-0 record in session two and own a superb 15-1 record at the conclusion of day one of the event.
All seven of Penn State's seeded wrestlers won their second round matches and picked up one win in consolation action. Sophomore All-American Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.) and junior heavyweight Cameron Wade (Twinsburg, Ohio) each came up big as ninth-seeds, upsetting their eighth-seeded opponents to help spur the Lions on to the perfect session.
The Nittany Lions lead the team race with 30.5 points while Cornell is in second with 29.0. Iowa and Oklahoma State are tied for third with 25.0 each and American University is in fifth with 23.5.
Penn State came out roaring thanks to a sudden victory win and key bonus point victories. Sophomore All-American Andrew Long (Creston, Iowa), the third seed at 133, survived a four-point flurry from Minnesota's David Thorn and notched a takedown in sudden victory to post a 7-5 (sv) win to move into tomorrow's quarterfinals where he will face 11th-seed Scotti Sentes of Central Michigan. True freshman Andrew Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), the sixth-seed at 141, picked up yet another bonus point for Penn State, posting a strong 13-4 major over 11th-seed Michael Mariarcher of American. Combined with a first round pin this morning, Alton has picked up three bonus points for Penn State. He is also set for the quarterfinals tomorrow morning where he will meet third-seed Borislav Novachkov of Cal Poly.
Two-time All-American Frank Molinaro (Barnegat, N.J.), the second-seed at 149, continued to roll in the post-season. Molinaro notched a solid 6-3 win over Virginia's Derek Valenti and moves into the quarterfinals tomorrow where he will take on seventh-seed Mario Mason of Rutgers. The three points scored by Valenti are the first scored against Molinaro in post-season action (Big Tens or NCAAs). Red-shirt freshman David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio), the third-seed at 157, was dominant once again, posting a 20-3 technical fall over Northern Iowa's David Bonin at the 5:49 mark. Taylor used three takedowns and four three-point near fall points to roll to the victory and pick up 1.5 bonus points (giving him 2.5 for the tournament. Taylor will meet Iowa's Derek St. John, the No. 6 seed, in the quarterfinals tomorrow morning.
Red-shirt freshman Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.) then used a second period takedown and a late scramble to avoid a reversal to post an important 5-3 win over Minnesota's Scott Glasser at 174. Ruth, the No. 2 seed, will take on No. 7 seed Nick Amuchastegui of Stanford in the quarterfinals tomorrow. Wright bettered his Big Ten Championship win over Minnesota's Kevin Steinhaus with a dominating 8-4 win here in Philadelphia. Wright, the ninth seed, dominated the eight-seed Steinhaus with two takedowns in the third period to roll to the win. Wright will now meet top-seeded Chris Honeycutt of Edinboro in the quarterfinals tomorrow morning.
Wade, the ninth-seed, avenged a loss in the Big Ten Championship to eighth-seed Tony Nelson of Minnesota by rolling to a 4-1 win in his second round battle. Wade used a takedown and a reversal to dominate the match and move into the quarterfinals tomorrow morning against top-seed Zach Rey of Lehigh. Senior Brad Pataky (Clearfield, Pa.) rebounded from a first round loss this morning to handle Oregon State's Jason Lara 6-1 in the first round of consolations. Pataky used two takedowns, an escape and riding time to get the win and move into tomorrow morning's consolation action where he will face Sean Boyle of Michigan.
Penn State was a perfect 8-0 in session two and improves to 15-1 through two sessions of the tournament. The Nittany Lions picked up two more bonus point wins, getting a major from Alton and a technical fall from Taylor. Penn State now has 6.5 bonus points from two pins, three majors and a tech fall. Taylor's two wins improve him to 36-0 on the year with 34 bonus point wins. He now holds the Penn State single-season record for bonus point victories. Ruth's morning pin gives him 12 pins this year, tied for eighth all-time on Penn State's single-season list and he now has 23 bonus point victories, tied for 10th all-time with teammate Alton. Alton now has 23 bonus victories thanks to a pin and a major. His morning pin gives him 18 this year, fourth all-time at Penn State. The attendance for today's two sold out sessions was 17,289 for each one, making the one day total 24,578.
The 2011 NCAA Championships continue Friday, March 18, at 10:30 a.m. with session three. ESPN continues its full coverage of the three-day event tomorrow morning at 10:30 a.m. on ESPNU. Action then continues as follows: Friday, March 18 - Session four, 7 p.m. (ESPNU & ESPN3 simulcast); Saturday, March 19 - Session five, 11 a.m. (ESPNU & ESPN3 simulcast) - Session six/championship finals, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN). All broadcasts are in HD, including ESPN3. The All Penn State events will once again air live on Forever Broadcasting's WRSC
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