No. 10 Penn State Heads to Ann Arbor for 2010 Big Ten Wrestling Championships
By: Pat Donghia
March 1, 2010
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -
The 10th-ranked Penn State Nittany Lions (13-6-1, 5-3 Big Ten) will trek to Ann Arbor, Mich., to take part in the 2010 Big Ten Wrestling Championships, hosted by the University of Michigan. The two-day event, which is the Big Ten's national qualifier, will take place on Saturday and Sunday, March 6-7, at UM's Crisler Arena.
Penn State is coming off a hard-fought road loss at No. 5 Minnesota back on Feb. 19. Sophomore All-American Frank Molinaro posted a convincing 7-3 win over No. 16 Marion Mason. Molinaro's win gave the Nittany Lion a 6-2 mark in Big Ten duals and was one of four Penn State wins in the loss. Senior David Erwin got a major at 184, All-American Dan Vallimont picked up a decision at 165 and junior Brad Pataky received a forfeit victory at 125.
The Nittany Lions ended the regular season with a 13-6-1 dual meet record, drastically improved from a year ago despite a handful of high profile red-shirts. Penn State's 5-3 Big Ten dual meet mark puts the team in fourth place in the final Big Ten dual standings, also a marked improvement over last year's 1-5-2 conference dual mark. The Nittany Lions earned a No. 10 ranking in the final NWCA Coaches Poll for dual meets (Penn State was unranked at the conclusion of last year's dual meet season.
Head coach Cael Sanderson will send his ten starters to Ann Arbor to compete for the conference's 56 automatic qualifying slots. Junior Brad Pataky carries a 24-6 overall record into the tournament at 125. Pataky is ranked No. 12 by Intermat, No. 11 by the NCAA's Coaches and has a No. 7 RPI. Pataky qualified for nationals last year with a fourth place finish and advanced to the NCAA round of 12. Freshman Bryan Pearsall will be making his Big Ten Championships debut and has a 3-21 mark at 133. Senior Adam Lynch will head to Ann Arbor with an 11-10 overall record and a No. 28 Coaches Ranking as well as a No. 30 RPI at 141. Lynch is making his Big Ten tourney debut as well. Sophomore Frank Molinaro will carry a team best 27-3 record to Big Tens to go along with a No. 4 Intermat ranking at 149, No. 4 Coaches Rank and a No. 6 RPI. Molinaro received a wild card at 141 last year and went on to earn All-America status with an eighth place finish in St. Louis. Senior Cyler Sanderson has a 25-4 overall record and a No. 6 ranking from Intermat. Sanderson enters the tourney with a No. 6 Coaches ranking and a No. 9 RPI. He was a 2008 All-American for Iowa State, placing 7th at 157, and is a three-time national qualifier.
Senior Dan Vallimont sports a 23-6 overall record and is ranked No. 7 by Intermat at 165. Vallimont is ranked No. 7 by the coaches and has a No. 8 RPI. A three-time national qualifier already, Vallimont was a 2008 All-American at 157 after a third place finish in St. Louis. Freshman Justin Ortega will be making his Big Ten Championships debut and has a 6-18 overall record at 174. Senior David Erwin has had a break-out year at 184 and will sport a 26-6 overall record when action begins in Ann Arbor. Erwin is ranked No. 9 by Intermat, No. 10 by the coaches and Penn State's highest RPI at No. 4. Erwin will be looking to earn his first trip to nationals. Sophomore Clay Steadman will return to action at 197 after coming back from an injury and winning a wrestle off to grab the spot. Steadman, who has not wrestled since Feb. 5, is 8-10 overall. Sophomore Cameron Wade is 18-7 and ranked No. 17 by Intermat. Wade is ranked No. 14 by the Coaches and has a No. 10 RPI and will be looking to earn his first trip to nationals after just missing out last year with a sixth place finish at Big Tens.
The Nittany Lions' national qualifiers will head to Omaha, Neb., for the 2010 NCAA Wrestling Championships, held at the Qwest Center. The three-day event takes place on Thursday through Saturday, March 18-20. All Penn State events will once again air live on Forever Broadcasting's WRSC (1390 AM) or 3WZ (95.3 FM) and on www.GoPSUsports.com as well. The 2009-10 Penn State Wrestling season is presented by The Family Clothesline.
PENN STATE'S BIG TEN LINE-UP As of March 1, 2010
#10 PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS
(13-6-1, 5-3 Big Ten)
Wt. Name Yr. Hometown/High School 2009-10 Record
125 #12 Brad Pataky Jr. Clearfield, Pa./Clearfield 24-6
(#7 NCAA RPI/#11 Coaches Rank)
133 Bryan Pearsall Fr. Lititz, Pa./Warwick 3-21
141 Adam Lynch Sr. Mifflinburg, Pa./Mifflinburg 11-10
(#30 NCAA RPI/#28 Coaches Rank)
149 #4 Frank Molinaro So. Barnegat, N.J./Southern Regional 27-3
(#6 NCAA RPI/#4 Coaches Rank)
157 #6 Cyler Sanderson Sr. Heber City, Utah/Wasatch 25-4
(#9 NCAA RPI/#6 Coaches Rank)
165 #7 Dan Vallimont Sr. Lake Hopatcong, N.J./Jefferson Twp. 23-6
(#8 NCAA RPI/#7 Coaches Rank)
174 Justin Ortega Fr. Oxford, Pa./Oxford 6-18
184 #9 David Erwin Sr. Urbana, Ohio/St. Paris Graham 26-6
(#4 NCAA RPI/#10 Coaches Rank)
197 Clay Steadman So. McKean, Pa./General McLane 8-10
285 #17 Cameron Wade So. Twinsburg, Ohio/St. Peter Chanel 18-7
(#10 NCAA RPI/#14 Coaches Rank)
Indiv. rankings Intermat/Team rankings NWCA
Tags: Adam Lynch, Brad Pataky, Bryan Pearsall, Cael Sanderson, Cameron Wade, Clay Steadman, Cyler Sanderson, Dan Vallimont, David Erwin, Frank Molinaro, Justin Ortega