Wrestling Team to Open Season with Intrasquad Dual
For those of you who will not be attending the Bruce Springsteen concert and want to check out some sports action tonight, the Wrestling team will host its annual intrasquad dual at 7 p.m. in Rec Hall, which is free and open to the public.
The lineups for the match have not yet been set. Nico Megalaudis, David Taylor, Dylan Alton, and Quentin Wright will not participate in the Intrasquad Dual since they will be participating in the NWCA All-Star Classic at American University this Saturday. The first regular season dual will take place on November 16th against Lehigh University at 7 p.m. in Rec Hall.
The Nittany Lions will be looking for their third National Championship in a row this season. Five of the wrestlers were All-Americans last year, and seven wrestlers are ranked in the top seven of their respective weight classes by Intermat wrestling. In Intermat’s rankings, four other Big Ten schools are ranked in the top six teams in the country. Iowa is ranked second, followed by Minnesota at three, Ohio State at five and Illinois comes in at sixth.
The Alton twins, Andrew and Dylan, will compete on the mat together for the first time at Penn State. Dylan Alton redshirted his freshman year and was an All-American last year in the 157 weight class, whereas Coach Cael Sanderson chose to redshirt Andrew Alton in his sophomore year. Sanderson wanted to move Andrew Alton up from the 141 weight class to 149 weight class which four-time All-American Frank Molinaro competed in last year. Dylan Alton will compete against rival Jason Welch of Northwestern in the NWCA All-Star tournament. The two competed in the third place bout of the NCAA Championships this past March which Alton coming out on top.
Sophomore Matt Brown, who followed Coach Sanderson from Iowa State, will compete in the 174 weight class but can wrestle in the 184 or 197 weigh class as well. Despite not wrestling for two years while on a mission trip without available training, he proved his worth multiple times last year, defeating Iowa wrestler James Nakashima in the 197 weight class after weighing in at 174 and defeating 15th-ranked Michigan wrestler Max Huntley.
Megalaudis, a sophomore All-American, is expected to have another great season, rated the second best in his weight class of 125. Ranked ahead of Megalaudis is Iowa redshirt senior Matt McDonough, whom Megalaudis lost to in the NCAA Championship finals match last year.
Two-time All-American and NCAA Champion junior Ed Ruth moves from the 174 weight class to 184. Ruth is ranked by Intermat as the best wrestler in his weight class and was also named Wrestler of the Year by Intermat last year.
All-American and NCAA Champion junior David Taylor is somewhat shockingly ranked second by Intermat, behind Cornell’s Kyle Dake, whom Taylor lost to in the Olympic Trials. Dake moved into Taylor’s weight class this year, and they will face each other NWCA All-Star Classic, in what will be a huge matchup, this Saturday.
Three-time All-American and 2011 NCAA Champion senior Quentin Wright moves up from the 184 weight class to 197. Wright is ranked second in his weight class with Dustin Kilgore from Kent State is ranked first.
In terms of the heavyweights, a position battle between Jimmy Lawson, Jon Gingrich, and Nick Ruggear will be worth monitoring. Lawson has an interesting background and may have a slight edge here. A three-time New Jersey state champion in high-school, he comes to Happy Valley from Monmouth University where he had been playing football for two years.