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Wrestling Tops Rider To Kick Off Quest For Fourth Straight National Title

Penn State wrestling kicked off its quest for a fourth straight national title with a decisive 34-8 victory over Rider on Saturday afternoon. Wrestling in front of a sold out crowd in Alumni Gymnasium in Lawrenceville, NJ., the No. 1 ranked Nittany Lions won eight out of ten bouts en route to a commanding road victory to begin the dual-meet season.

No. 3 Nico Megaludis opened up the match with a 5-0 victory over No. 17 Robert Deutsch at 125 lbs. Megaludis, a two-time NCAA finalist, scored a takedown :30 into the second period and didn’t let up, building more than a minute in riding time before sealing the victory for Penn State.

In one of the most anticipated matches of the day, top-ranked David Taylor faced off against No. 13 Ramon Santiago at 165 lbs. The 2011 National Champion and three-time All-American jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead and went on to pin Santiago at the 4:27 mark to earn his fifth fall in six matches this season.

Starting at 184 lbs. in place of suspended No. 1 ranked Ed Ruth was sophomore James Frascella, who made his dual-meet debut for the Nittany Lions. Frascella dropped a 17-2 tech fall to Rider’s Clint Morrison, who earned two takedowns with 2:35 in riding time.

Wrestling in his first dual-meet as a Nittany Lion, true freshman Zain Retherford earned a 12-3 major decision over Rider’s Paul Kirchner at 141 lbs. A highly touted recruit out of Benton, PA., Retherford came into Saturday’s action off a strong performance at the Kaloust Bearcat Open in Binghamton, NY., where he earned two pins in five matches en route to a title.

Filling in at 149 lbs. for No. 8 Andrew Alton, who is still recovering from off-season surgery, was senior James English. With the score tied 4-4, the bout went into sudden victory. Delia went for a single that was countered by English, but he was able to score the takedown after a scramble, earning a 6-4 win.

Other wrestlers earning victories include No. 3 Matt Brown at 174 lbs. (Pin), No. 4 Morgan McIntosh at 197 lbs. (8-2 decision), No. 11 Jimmy Lawson at 285 lbs. (10-2 major decision), Jordan Conaway at 133 lbs. (12-4 major decision), and James Vollrath at 157 lbs. (10-2 major decision).

Penn State continues its weekend road trip with a match against Lehigh on Sunday at 3 pm.

About the Author

CJ Doon

CJ is a senior journalism major from Long Island and Onward State's Sports Editor. He is a third-generation Penn Stater, and his grandfather wrestled for the university back in the 1930s under coach Charlie “Doc” Speidel. Besides writing, one of his favorite activities is making sea puns. You can follow him on Twitter @CJDoon, and send your best puns to [email protected], just for the halibut.

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