By: Pat Donghia
DECKER CLAIMS WILKES OPEN TITLE
Penn State Nittany Lion junior Jack Decker (Roseland, N.J.) stormed his way to the 184-pound title at the 2007 Wilkes Open on Friday, claiming the crown in action that finished Friday evening. Decker’s performance led a strong contingent of unattached Penn State grapplers as four Nittany Lions placed at the event. Decker went 5-0 on the day including two pins in his first two bouts and added two decisions and a medical forfeit to win the title.
Olympic red-shirt Brad Pataky (Clearfield, Pa.) also had a strong day, going 4-1 (3-1 vs. collegiate wrestlers) with two technical falls. Pataky lost a close 4-3 decision in the finals to No. 20 Steve Mytych, unattached from Drexel. Penn State also garnered two other place-winners. True freshman Cameron Wade (Twinsburg, Ohio) had a solid 4-2 day to finish fourth, including a pin. Sophomore Mike Ward (Mayfield, Ohio) went 3-2 (2-2 vs. collegiate wrestlers) to finish fourth at 184.
Starting 133-pounder Tim Haas (Camp Hill, Pa.) returned to action, getting his feet wet after missing the last six-plus weeks with an injury. Haas went 2-1, 1-1 vs. collegiate wrestlers, at 133. He did not wrestle in consolations as the senior looks to prepare for Penn State’s bout with No. 17 Cornell on Jan. 4. His lone loss was a tough 7-5 decision to Brandon Reasy of Pitt-Johnstown in the semifinals. Reasy is ranked No. 2 in the nation at the Division II level.
PATAKY CONTINUES OLYMPIC QUEST
Penn State Nittany Lion wrestlers Brad Pataky (Clearfield, Pa.), who red-shirted last season and will seek an Olympic red-shirt this year, continues to build upon his freestyle successes. A starter for Penn State during the 2005-06 season as a true freshman, Pataky has been focused solely on class and freestyle wrestling over the course of the last two years.
During the 2006-07 academic year, Pataky competed in five freestyle events. He went 5-2 at the prestigious Sunkist Open, garnering three pins along the way. He followed that up with a third place finish at the Guelph Open in Canada and then winning the Brockport Open in New York. The talented Clearfield native then went 3-1 at the Dave Schultz Memorial in February of 2007, getting all three wins with pins. In June of this past summer, Pataky competed at the World Team Trials and went 1-1.
This year, Pataky has competed in two events, the Sunkist Open and the NYAC Open this past November. Pataky placed sixth at the Sunkist Open, competing at 55 kg (121 pounds). He followed that performance up with an outstanding fourth place finish at the NYAC Open. Pataky went 4-2 on his way to the consolation finals where he lost a close bout to former Penn State stand-out Adam Smith. Pataky’s only other loss was a close 1-0, 1-0 decision to former Arizona State All-American Danny Felix. Along the way, Pataky grabbed a superb 4-3, 8-6 win over 2006 NCAA National Champion Joe Dubuque of Indiana.
MOLINARO CLAIMS CSU OPEN TITLE
Penn State Nittany Lion wrestler Frank Molinaro (Barnegat, N.J.) stormed the field at the Cleveland State Open to claim the 141-pound weight class title. The unseeded true freshman, wrestling unattached, went 5-0 at the event to win his second open tournament crown.Molinaro began the tournament with a 7-6 win over Bucknell’s Luke Chohany. A pin and a decision followed. Molinaro then got a medical forfeit win in the semifinals before posting an impressive 6-1 win over top-seeded Mike Hurley of Cleveland State in the finals.
Tags: Brad Pataky, Cameron Wade, Frank Molinaro, Jack Decker, Mike Ward, Tim Haas