The #2 ranked Penn State wrestling team hosted and defeated No. 5 Oklahoma State, 23-12, in what was one of the most anticipated duals of the year for the Nittany Lions.
The dual, which sold out in minutes when tickets went on sale last year, featured an NCAA Championship rematch, while David Taylor and Matt Brown each faced top-10 ranked competitors for the third time in their careers.
A repeat of last year’s NCAA Championship, No. 4 Brown looked for his first win over No. 2 Chris Perry in the third meeting of their careers. Perry had the first takedown of the period a minute into the bout. Perry rode Brown for about a minute, Brown escaped, and trailed 2-1 at the end of the first period. Brown escaped from down to start the second period, and he was awarded a stall point to lead 3-2 at the end of the second period. Perry escaped from down to start the third to tie the bout at three and send the match into sudden victory.
After neither scored in the sudden victory period, the bout moved to tiebreakers. Both of the wrestlers rode each other out in their tie breakers, sending the match back to sudden victory. The two ended up in a second tiebreaker period. Brown could not escape his tiebreaker, and Perry escaped to win a 4-3 decision.
The matchup between No. 2 Nico Megaludis and No. 13 Eddie Klimara was a bit more interesting. Klimara led Megaludis 4-1, after taking Megaludis down twice in the first period. After Klimara escaped to start the second period, Megaludis took down Klimara three time and gave up two escapes to tie the bout at seven after the second period. Megaludis escaped quickly in the third period to take his first lead in the match, and with less than a minute remaining, a final takedown from Megaludis and a riding time point gave him a 11-7 decision win.
No. 6 Dylan Alton fell in a 6-4 decision to No. 3 Alex Dieringer. Alton’s first takedown came within the first 10 seconds of the bout, but Dieringer escaped and quickly countered by taking down Alton, adding a takedown and two back points. Alton escaped as time ran out in the period to trail 5-3. Both Dieringer and Alton escaped to start the second and third periods for a 6-4 final decision.
Top-ranked Taylor had two major decisions over No. 5 Tyler Caldwell in their previous two matchups. Taylor had the first takedown of the match with less than a minute remaining in the first period to take a 2-0 lead. Caldwell escaped to start the second period, and a scramble led to a second takedown by Taylor. Caldwell escaped and trailed 4-2 heading into the third period. An illegal call on Caldwell gave Taylor a point and a 5-2 win.
With three matches left and Penn State trailing 12-9, No. 2 Ruth came in looking to score points. Ruth was his usual dominant self, and picked up his 44th career fall at the 5:41 mark of the third period. The match gave Penn State a 15-12 lead, and Morgan McIntosh would have the opportunity to clinch the match for the Nittany Lions.
No. 3 Morgan McIntosh faced Kyle Crutchmer after No. 16 Blake Rosholt did not make the trip for the Cowboys. McIntosh dominated Crutchmer, and there was little drama, as McIntosh won the bout with a 16-2 major decision. The win clinched the match for the Nittany Lions with one match remaining.
Jon Gingrich and Ethan Driver met at 285, after the dual was clinched for Penn State. With the match already locked up, there wasn’t much drama, and the match ended with Gingrich picking up a 14-5 major decision.
Penn State improves to 14-1 overall with the win. Taylor and Ruth will have their last home matches next Sunday in Rec Hall against Clarion at 2 p.m.