Lions get look at new talent
By Ryan Loy
Collegian Staff Writer
After the lineups were introduced, the Rec Hall lights dimmed and the white of the wrestling mat increased its glow.
The Cael Sanderson era had begun.
The public had its first chance to see the Penn State wrestling team under the coaching of Sanderson in Thursday's Intrasquad Dual.
Although the matches weren't to determine starting spots, nor against another school, Sanderson was happy with the crowd's turnout.
"I thought [the crowd] was impressive," Sanderson said. "I don't think there are many schools in the country that would really draw this kind of a crowd for an intrasquad match."
The wrestling fan base was treated to several competitive bouts, along with some surprises.
Three true freshmen -- Ed Ruth, Luke Macchiaroli and Jake Kemerer -- each won their match.
Kemerer capped the competition with a thrilling, 4-3 come-from-behind victory over the nation's No. 9 165-pounder Dan Vallimont. Down one point, Kemerer scored a takedown of Vallimont in the final seconds of the third period to earn the victory -- resulting in a lengthy applause from the 2,400 fans in attendance.
Kemerer said it took a few minutes to get adjusted to wrestling in front of the Rec Hall crowd.
"I was a little nervous going out with all the people and the atmosphere," Kemerer said. "I started getting a little more loose, and I felt better as the match went on and I got a feel for it."
Sanderson knew going into Thursday that Kemerer would be a tough matchup for Vallimont and was impressed with the freshman's composure. However, the coach still plans to redshirt Kemerer and his fellow freshmen.
One bout that surprised Sanderson occurred at 174 when redshirt freshman Justin Ortega beat senior David Erwin, 6-2. Sanderson said the coaches are going to evaluate the situation at that weight class before their Nov. 13 dual meet at Lehigh.
Heavyweight Cameron Wade and 125-pound Brad Pataky each won by technical fall, while Adam Lynch won at 141 when Colby Pisani forfeited with a cramp in his calf.
Other winners included Frank Molinaro, Cyler Sanderson and Quentin Wright.
A weight class that was questionable heading into Thursday's dual was the matchup at 133-pounds -- which featured Bryan Pearsall and Tyler Saltsman. The bout was tight and was tied at 4-4 after regular three periods. With one second left in the fourth, Saltsman wrapped up Pearsall's legs and earned a takedown to take a 6-4 victory.
Saltsman said there were some things he could have done better and -- while the victory was over a teammate -- Saltsman knew the importance of Thursday's competition.
"If I want to be the best in the country I have get better on bottom and finish my single takedown," Saltsman said. "I at least know what I need to work on, but I'm happy I won. I'll just have to go back to the drawing board and work with the coaches."
Tags: Adam Lynch, Brad Pataky, Bryan Pearsall, Cael Sanderson, Cameron Wade, Colby Pisani, Cyler Sanderson, Dan Vallimont, David Erwin, Ed Ruth, Frank Molinaro, Jake Kemerer, Justin Ortega, Luke Macchiaroli, Quentin Wright, Tyler Saltsman