By: Pat Donghia
The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team, ranked No. 1 in Intermat's Tournament Power Index heading into the post season, knows its first opponents for the 2012 Big Ten Wrestling Championships as the brackets for the event have been released. Penn State, looking to grab its second straight conference title, has three No. 1 seeds for the tournament.
True freshman Nico Megaludis (Murrysville, Pa.), the No. 3 seed at 125, will take on Michigan's Grant Pizzo in the first round. The winner of the Megaludis/Pizzo bout will face No. 6 seed Johnni DeJulius in the quarterfinals.
Sophomore Frank Martellotti (Pittsburgh, Pa.), the No. 8 seed at 133, received a first round bye. He will take on the winner of the first round match-up of top-seeded Logan Stieber of Ohio State vs. Shane McQuade of Wisconsin.
Junior Bryan Pearsall (Lititz, Pa.) is the No. 8 seed at 141 and will take on Wisconsin's Thomas Glenn in a first round bout. The winner of the Pearsall/Glenn battle will face top-seeded Kellen Russell of Michigan in the quarterfinals.
Senior Frank Molinaro (Barnegat, N.J.) is the No. 1 seed at 149. The three-time All-American received a first round bye and will meet the winner of the No. 8 Kaleb Friedley of Northwestern/No. 9 Dan Osterman of Michigan State match-up.
Red-shirt freshman Dylan Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), the No. 2 seed at 157, gets a first round match-up against Minnesota's Danny Zilverberg. The winner of that first round meeting takes on No. 7 seed Tommy Churchard of Purdue in the quarterfinals
All-American David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio) is the No. 1 seed at 165. The sophomore will take unseeded Derek Garcia of Ohio State in the first round. The winner of the Taylor/Garcia bout meets No. 8 seed Pierce Harger of Northwestern in the quarterfinals.
All-American Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.) is the No. 1 seed at 174. The sophomore received a first round by and will face the winner of the No. 8/No. 9 seed battle between Jordan Blanton of Illinois and Lee Munster of Northwestern in the quarters.
Defending national champion Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.), the No. 2 seed at 184, will meet Indiana's Luke Sheridan in the opening round. The winner of that match-up takes on No. 7 seed Tony Dallago of Illinois in the quarterfinals.
True freshman Morgan McIntosh (Santa Ana, Calif.), the No. 3 seed at 197, received a first round bye at 197. He faces the winner of the Nick McDiarmid of Michigan State/No. 6 seed Andrew Campolattano of Ohio State in the quarters.
Senior Cameron Wade (Twinsburg, Ohio) is the No. 2 seed at heavyweight and will receive a first round bye. He meets the winner of the No. 7/No. 10 seed battle between Adam Chalfant of Indiana and Steve Andrus of Michigan State in the quarterfinals.
The 2012 Big Ten Championship Tournament is being contested at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., on March 3-4. Session one is set for tomorrow, Saturday, at 10 a.m. The event serves as the national qualifier for the conference. A weight-by-weight breakdown of the Big Ten's NCAA qualifiers show the conference getting six automatic bids at 125, seven at 133, five at 141, nine at 149, six at 157, eight at 165, nine at 174, seven at 184, seven at 197 and ten at 285.
The full season slate of live dual meet and tournament action will air locally on WRSC AM (1390 AM) with Friday evening duals being simulcast on WRSC FM (103.1 FM). Lock Haven's WBPZ (1230 AM) will also carry the entire season live, WIEZ (670 AM) in Huntingdon/Lewistown carries all Sunday events. The regular season schedule of radio broadcasts will be streamed live at www.GoPSUsports.com as part of Penn State's All-Access package. Fans are encouraged to follow Penn State wrestling via twitter at www.twitter.com/pennstatepat and on Penn State Wrestling's facebook page at www.facebook.com/pennstatewrestling. The 2011-12 Penn State Wrestling season is presented by The Family Clothesline.
Tags: Bryan Pearsall, Cameron Wade, David Taylor, Dylan Alton, Ed Ruth, Frank Martellotti, Frank Molinaro, Morgan McIntosh, Nico Megaludis, Quentin Wright