By Travis Johnson email@example.com
Centre Daily Times
UNIVERSITY PARK Cameron Wade's strategy for keeping himself fresh during Sunday's 10-hour marathon Nittany Lion Open was simple.
Win and do it quickly. It was an effective plan for the Penn State heavyweight wrestler, who won the title at heavyweight for the second season in a
row to cap No. 5 Penn State's impressive day which included six individual championship wins on the mats inside Rec Hall.
"For myself coming off a disappointing Minnesota match, I just wanted to come out here and have a good tournament and I know that's how a couple of the other guys felt," Wade said. "Some guys wrestled great against Minnesota, don't get me wrong, but speaking for myself, I didn't wrestle very well against Minnesota and I wanted to go out and prove to myself that I can compete with anybody and I can go out and dominate anybody."
That's exactly what Wade did en route to his second Nittany Lion Open crown in as many years. Wade had a 6-0 record, with a 9-2 decision, four pins and a technical fall. Of his matches that ended with pins, none required a second period. Wade, ranked No 5 in the country, pinned Clarion's Quintas McCorkle in 1:26 to secure the heavyweight championship.
"I feel good. I know that's how I have to wrestle every match," Wade, a senior, said. "When I go out there and get a takedown in the first period and get on top in my best position, I feel like I can wrestle with the best of them."
So can the majority of the Penn State lineup. Joining Wade as winners in their respective weight classes were No. 18 Nico Megaludis who earned an 11-1 major decision over North Carolina State's Coltin Fought at 125; No. 1 Frank Molinaro who pinned Binghamton's No. 9 Donnie Vinson in 1:23; No. 1 David Taylor, with a hard-fought 14-6 major decision over non-collegiate opponent Steve Fittery at 165; No. 2 Ed Ruth who beat No. 17 Jimmy Sheptock of Maryland 7-4; and No. 6 Quentin Wright who needed 6:43 to score a 17-0 technical fall over Kent State's Cole Baxter.
The win at 149 pounds marked Molinaro's third Nittany Lion Open crown. It was the first championship for both Megaludis, a freshman, and Ruth, a sophomore. Taylor repeated after winning at 157 last season.
Wright finally got a win after placing second the previous two seasons.
"They were excited to wrestle today, to get some matches in," Penn State coach Cael Sanderson said. "It's good to see. I think they were wrestling better every match for the most part."
In addition to their six champions, the Nittany Lions fielded two runners-up, Dylan Alton and Morgan McIntosh at 157 and 197, respectively. Alton, a redshirt freshman ranked No. 11 at 157, built a quick 4-1 lead before getting caught in a cradle by No. 8 James Fleming of Clarion. At the center of the mat, Alton tried to squirm loose, kicking and flailing for a few seconds before Fleming locked the cradle in for the pin at 1:58.
Despite being pinned, Alton put on a solid showing a year after going 3-2 and failing to place at 149 pounds. Alton notched a pin and four majors before falling in the final.
"Dylan was wrestling awesome today," Sanderson said of the redshirt freshman. "He wrestled a kid that's pretty good at putting you on your back if you give him an opening and that's what happened and got put in a cradle, but this was a great day for Dylan."
No. 10 McIntosh, a true freshman, surely hasn't looked like one this season and he continued his successful early run on Sunday.
Hw went 4-0 with two major decisions and a fall before losing in the finals to Mary-land's No. 20 Christian Boley. McIntosh and Borley were 9-9 midway through the third, but that changed when Boley slipped out from under McIntosh and scored a takedown with about 25 seconds left.
"Morgan was right there. If he stays real positive, I think he has got a great chance of being a national champion this year," Sanderson said. "As long as he stays positive, he's going to win. He's figuring things out."
The Nittany Lions, already dealing with an injury to 133-pound starter Derek Reber, had a few wrestlers drop out of their respective brackets with health issues.
Redshirt freshman Sam Sherlock, Penn State's starter at 141 pounds, tweaked an ankle in a fourth-round consolation bout against Rutgers' Anthony Perrotti.
Sanderson said Sherlock may have sprained an ankle, but he wasn't certain of the injury. Sherlock will be monitored as the team resumes practice this week.
Freshman 141-pounder Luke Frey was also unable to finish the tournament. An illness struck Frey after he won his first bout convincingly, 11-0 over Navy's Alex Johnson. Frey forfeited his next two bouts at the recommendation of the team's medical staff.
Reber, who's been nursing an ankle injury he sustained against Minnesota on Nov. 20, wrestled and won his first three bouts before Sanderson pulled the plug on his afternoon as planned to protect Reber's health.
"I'm real proud of him. He was in a little pain, but that was sort of the plan. We wanted to get him some matches in, but not hurt him anymore," Sanderson said of Reber. "We're one-deep at 133, so we need him."
Notes: A total of 475 wrestlers took part in the day's tournament. ... In addition to its six champions and two runners-up, Penn State had 10 other place winners. They were: Jordan Conaway, fourth at 125; Frank Martellotti, eighth at 133; Seth Beitz, fifth at 149; Andrew Alton, third at 149; Nick Fischer, fourth at 157; James Vollrath, third at 157; Matt Brown, fifth at 174; Justin Ortega, eighth at 197; Jon Gingrich, fifth at 285; and Nick Ruggear, fourth at 285. ... Penn State's total combined record was 99-29. Former Centre County standouts Erik Galloway (Pittsburgh), Scott Bosak (unattached) and Michael Horton (Edinboro) praticipated in the event. Galloway (133) and Horton (285) each went 3-2, while Bosak (149) was 0-1.
Tags: Andrew Alton, Cael Sanderson, Cameron Wade, David Taylor, Derek Reber, Dylan Alton, Ed Ruth, Frank Martellotti, Frank Molinaro, James Vollrath, Jon Gingrich, Jordan Conaway, Justin Ortega, Luke Frey, Matt Brown, Morgan McIntosh, Nick Fischer, Nick Ruggear, Nico Megaludis, Quentin Wright, Sam Sherlock, Seth Beitz