March 9, 2013
VIDEO: Highlights and Interviews from Session I
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -
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The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestlers find themselves in second place after the opening session of the 2013 Big Ten Wrestling Championships. Penn State will send six into tonight's semifinals, all of whom have qualified for NCAAs already. Head coach Cael Sanderson's team is looking for its third straight Big Ten title at the event, being contested today and tomorrow in Champaign, Ill. Iowa leads the team race with 79.0 points while Penn State is in second with 62.0.
All-American Nico Megaludis (Murrysville, Pa.), ranked No. 2 nationally, was Penn State's first semifinalist and NCAA qualifier. The NCAA runner-up a year ago, Megaludis went 1-0 in the opening session, posting a 4-2 win over No. 19 David Thorn of Minnesota in the quarterfinals. Red-shirt freshman Jordan Conaway (Abbottstown, Pa.), ranked No. 12 at 133, will head to the NCAA Championships after a thrilling 6-5 (TB2) win over No. 11 Daryl Thomas of Illinois.
Defending NCAA Champion David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio), ranked No. 2 at 165, posted a 20-5 tech fall over Ohio State's Mark Martin to advance to the semifinals and earn a trip to Des Moines. Sophomore Matt Brown (West Valley City, Utah), ranked No. 7 by the coaches, went 2-0 in his first Big Ten Championship session, pinning Indiana's Cheney Dale (6:15) in the first round and then posting a dominating 7-1 win over No. 6 Nick Heflin of Ohio State. The win over Heflin moved Brown into the semis and secured him a trip to Des Moines.
Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.), defending NCAA Champion at 174 and now ranked No. 1 at 184, posted a dominating 18-3 tech fall over Ohio State's Cody Magrum, picking up key bonus points, moving into the semis and punching his ticket to nationals. Three-time All-American Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.), ranked No. 2 at 197, pinned Michigan's Max Huntley in just 1:20 to move into the semifinals and earn his fourth trip to NCAAs.
Senior Bryan Pearsall (Lititz, Pa.) went 1-1 in the morning session, pinning Wisconsin's Tom Kelliher at the 1:24 mark and then giving up a late reversal to lose to Purdue's Brandon Nelsen in the quarters. Pearsall is still alive for a top six finish at 141 to earn a trip to NCAAs. Sophomore Andrew Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.) also went 1-1, posting a 3-2 win over Iowa's Josh Dziewa in the first round before falling 10-6 to No. 11 Jake Sueflohn of Nebraska. Alton is also in the consolation bracket and still alive for a top seven finish at 149 to earn a trip to NCAAs.
Sophomore Dylan Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.) downed Wisconsin's Kalvin York in the first round before being upset by sixth-seed Josh Demas in the quarterfinals. Alton is into to consolation bracket and alive for a top seven finish at 157 to head to Des Moines. Sophomore Jimmy Lawson (Tom's River, N.J.) went 1-1 in his first Big Ten session, posting a 9-1 major over Ohio State's Kosta Karageorge before dropping a close 6-4 decision to No. 8 and second-seeded Mike McMullan of Northwestern. Lawson is alive in conso action for a top eight finish and a trip to the NCAA Championships.
The Nittany Lions went 11-4 overall, including a 6-4 mark in the quarterfinals. Penn State rolled up ten bonus points off three pins, two tech falls and a major.
The event continues with the semifinals and consolation action tonight at 6 p.m. Eastern/5 p.m. Central. Fans are encouraged to follow Penn State wrestling via twitter at www.twitter.com/pennstateWREST and on Penn State Wrestling's facebook page at www.facebook.com/pennstatewrestling. The 2012-13 Penn State Wrestling season is presented by The Family Clothesline.
2012 Big Ten Wrestling Championships - Team Standings After Session 1
Saturday, March 9, 2013 - Assembly Hall - Champaign, Ill.
1: Iowa - 79.0
2: PENN STATE - 62.0
3: Minnesota - 49.0
4: Ohio State - 47.5
5: Illinois - 33.0
6: Michigan - 32.0
7: Nebraska - 26.0
8: Northwestern - 22.0
9: Wisconsin - 18.5
10: Michigan State - 10.0
11: Purdue - 9.0
12: Indiana - 4.0
The following is a weight-by-weight breakdown/agate of Penn State's tournament to date (rankings listed are NCAA Coaches Rankings):
125: #3 Nico Megaludis (Murrysville, Pa.), Sr. - #2 seed - 22-2 overall
1st Rd: bye
Qtrs: vs. #12 David Thorn, Minnesota (7th seed) - W, 4-2 dec.
Semis: Tonight
Sophomore All-American Nico Megaludis opened up the tournament with a bye and then met seventh-seed David Thorn of Minnesota. Megaludis used a second period takedown to post a 4-2 win over seventh-seed David Thorn of Minnesota in the quarterfinals, moving to the semis and securing a spot in the NCAA tournament.
133: #12 Jordan Conaway (Abbottstown, Pa.) Fr. - #4 seed - 15-6 overall
1st Rd: bye
Qtrs: #11 Daryl Thomas, Illinois (5th seed) - W, 6-5 dec. (TB2)
Semis: Tonight
Red-shirt freshman Jordan Conaway made his Big Ten tournament debut as the fourth seed at 133 and, after a first round bye, took on fifth-seed Daryl Thomas of Illinois, who was ranked No. 11 nationally in the final NCAA coaches poll. Conaway came out on top in an epic battle between the two grapplers, grinding to a 6-5 TB2 win. Each wrestler traded takedowns in regulation and Conaway fought off two strong takedown attempts in sudden victory. He then rode Thomas out in the second tiebreaker after escaping in his period to post the 6-5 win. The victory moved him into the semifinals and qualified him for the NCAA Championships as a freshman.
141: #21 Bryan Pearsall (Lititz, Pa.), Sr. - #4 seed - 20-8
1st Rd: vs. Tom Kelliher, Wisconsin - WBF (1:24)
Qtrs: vs. #23 Brandon Nelsen, Purdue (5th seed) -- L, 1-2 dec.
Conso Rd. 2: Tonight
Senior Bryan Pearsall got Penn State started in the tournament, taking to the mat for Penn State's first bout and getting a quick first period pin over Tom Kelliher of Wisconsin. Pearsall turned a single leg into a scramble and then a cradle, finishing off the move by pulling Kelliher in off the edge of the mat and turning him to his back for a fall at the 1:24 mark. Pearsall then met fifth seed Brandon Nelson of Purdue in the quarters and dropped a tough 2-1 decision, giving up a reversal late in the third period. Pearsall dropped into consolation action, still looking for top six finish at his weight to get to NCAAS.
149: #13 Andrew Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), So. - #5 seed - 23-3 overall
1st Rd: vs. Josh Dziewa, Iowa - W, 3-2 dec.
Qtrs: vs. #11 Jake Sueflohn, Nebraska (4th seed) - L, 6-10 dec.
Conso Rd. 2: Tonight
Sophomore Andrew Alton, the No. 5 seed, picked up an important 3-2 decision over Iowa's Josh Dziewa in the opening round, turning a first period takedown and a third period escape into the win. Alton then took on fourth-seed Jake Sueflohn of Nebraska in the quarters. Alton dropped a tough 10-6 decision to the 11th-ranked Husker and moved into consolation action, still alive for a top seven finish and a trip to NCAAs.
157: #5 Dylan Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), So. - #3 seed - 23-4 overall
1st Rd: vs. Kalvin York, Wisconsin - W, 8-3 dec.
Qtrs: vs. Josh Demas, Ohio State (6th seed) - L, 1-6 dec. (TB2)
Conso Rd. 2: Tonight
Sophomore All-American Dylan Alton breezed to an 8-3 decision over Wisconsin's Kalvin York in the first round, notching three first period takedowns to bolt out to an early lead. Alton then took on sixth-seed Josh Demas of Ohio State in the quarterfinals battled the buckeye through two sudden victory periods before dropping a 6-1 TB2 decision. Alton dropped to the consolation round, still working towards third place and a trip to NCAAs.
165: #2 David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio), Jr. - #1 seed - 24-1 overall
1st Rd: bye
Qtrs: vs. Mark Martin, Ohio State (9th seed) - W, 20-5 tech fall (TF; 5:45)
Semis: Tonight
Defending NCAA Champion David Taylor opened up his quest for a third straight Big Ten title with a first round bye. He then took on ninth seed Mark Martin of Ohio State in the quarterfinals. Taylor was once again workmanlike, rolling up points at will on his way to a 20-5 technical fall at the 5:45 mark. The win moved him into the semis and sends him to Des Moines.
174: #7 Matt Brown (West Valley City, Utah) - #5 seed - 23-4 overall
1st Rd: vs. Cheney Dale, Indiana (12th-seed) - WBF (6:15)
Qtrs: vs. #6 Nick Heflin, Ohio State (4th-seed) - W, 7-1 dec.
Semis: Tonight
Sophomore Matt Brown made his Big Ten tournament debut picking up big bonus points for Penn State by pinning Indiana's Cheney Dale at the 6:15 mark. Brown was nearing a tech fall in the third period when he got the fall with :45 left in the bout. He then faced fourth seed Nick Heflin of Ohio State in the quarterfinals. Brown was dominant in the match, setting the tempo throughout the bout, with the pressure paying off in the third when the Lion sophomore took the sixth-ranked Buckeye down and added three back points. Brown's 7-1 win moved him into the semifinals and punched his ticket to his first NCAA Championship.
184: #1 Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.), Jr. - #1 seed - 26-0 overall
1st Rd: bye
Qtrs: vs. Cody Magrum, Ohio State (8th seed) - W, 18-3 tech fall (TF; 5:58)
Semis: Tonight
Defending NCAA 174-pound champion Ed Ruth, now up at 184, began his quest for a third straight Big Ten title with a bye as well. He then took on Ohio State's Cody Magrum, the eighth seed, in the quarterfinals. Ruth, like Taylor, was steady, rolling up points on his way to an 18-3 technical fall at the 5:58 mark. Ruth's win moved him into the semifinals and pushed him on to NCAAs as well.
197: #2 Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.), Sr. - #1 seed - 25-0 overall
1st Rd: bye
Qtrs: vs. Max Huntley, Michigan (8th seed) - WBF (1:20)
Semis: Tonight
Three-time All-American Quentin Wright, looking for his second Big Ten crown, had a first round bye at 197. He then faced off against eighth-seed Max Huntley. He made short work of his Wolverine foe, using a shoulder throw to toss Huntley to his back and secure the first period pin at the 1:20 mark. The win pushed him into the semifinals and will send Wright to his fourth NCAA Championship.
285: #12 Jimmy Lawson (Tom's River, N.J.) - #7 seed - 21-5 overall
1st Rd: vs. Kosta Karageorge, Ohio State (10th seed) - W, 9-1 maj. dec.
Qtrs: vs. #8 Mike McMullan, Northwestern (2nd seed) - L, 4-6
Sophomore Jimmy Lawson, the third member of the Nittany Lion line-up making his Big Ten Championships debut, picked up bonus points as well to round out a 5-0 first period for the Nittany Lions. Lawson posted a 9-1 major over Ohio State's Kosta Karageorge (with over 4:00 riding time). He then met second seed Mike McMullan of Northwestern in the quarterfinals. Lawson made a late comeback attempt but his flurry fell short in a 6-4 loss. The defeat dropped him into the consolation bracket, still alive for a top eight finish and a trip to NCAAs.

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