The Nittany Lion wrestling team leads the team scoreboard after the first day of the NCAA Wrestling Championship with 26.5 points and all 10 wrestlers still competing. Oklahoma State and Minnesota trail by five points. Five Penn State wrestlers have moved on to the quarterfinals, which will take place on Friday.
Top-seeded David Taylor had two pins in his first two matches. This put him one pin behind tying the all-time Penn State record for most career pins with 53. Taylor faces No. 8 seed Michael Moreno of Iowa State in the quarterfinals at 165.
No. 2 seed Ed Ruth added to the team’s bonus points with a pin and a tech fall. Ruth could earn some important bonus points over No. 7 seed Kevin Steinhaus of Minnesota in the quarterfinals at 184. Ruth has had two decision wins over Steinhaus in the last two seasons.
No. 3 seed Nico Megaludis had a first round tech fall, followed by a 6-0 decision in the second round to move onto the quarterfinals at 125. He will face No. 6 seed Jarrod Patterson of Oklahoma. Megaludis defeated Patterson 7-3 in the second round of his freshman NCAA tournament.
A major decision and a 6-1 decision for No. 5 seed Matt Brown sends him to the quarterfinals against No. 4 Mike Evans of Iowa at 174. Evans defeated Brown in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament this year, but Brown defeated Evans in the finals of last year’s Big Ten Tournament. The two wrestlers have faced each other four times, and they have split their matches so far.
No. 3 seed and true freshman Zain Retherford had two decision wins to begin his first NCAA tournament, which puts him up against No. 11 seed Joey Lazor of Northern Iowa in the quarterfinals at 141.
Jimmy Gulibon, who was unseeded, was the only Nittany Lion to lose in the first round, when he faced No. 4 seed Jon Morrison of Oklahoma State in his first NCAA Championship bout at 133. Gulibon won his first consolation bout in a 10-2 major decision over Vincent Pizzuto of Eastern Michigan. He will have a second consolation bout on Friday.
No. 3 seeded Morgan McIntosh was upset in the second round by No. 14 seed Chris Penny of Virginia Tech at 197 in a 3-2 decision. No. 13 seed Dylan Alton also fell in the second round to No. 4 seed Ian Murphy of Kent State in a 4-1 decision at 157. McIntosh and Alton both move on to consolation rounds, along with No. 14 seed Jon Gingrich at heavyweight and unseeded James English at 149.
The quarterfinals and consolation rounds begin tomorrow at 11 a.m. and can be watched on ESPN3.