Top-Ranked Wrestlers Down No. 3 Iowa
Since Cael Sanderson left Iowa State for Happy Valley in 2009, he’s led the team to unprecedented success. Penn State wrestling has won the last three national championships and six individuals have been crowned champions.
While the program has enjoyed this success, there has been one team that has continued to be a thorn in the Nittany Lions’ paw: the Iowa Hawkeyes. Iowa has beaten Sanderson’s teams in three of four dual meets, including a 22-16 defeat over the top-ranked Nittany Lions last year.
This season turned out to be different, however, as the Nittany Lions went into Carver-Hawkeye Arena and won for the first time in Iowa under Sanderson, taking down the No. 3 Hawkeyes 24-12 in front of more than 14,000 fans.
The first half of the match went as most fans expected it to go. No. 3 Nico Megaludis started things off for Penn State, winning 4-1 at 125 pounds. Things were tight late, with Megaludis holding a 2-1 lead late, but a late takedown provided the third-ranked wrestler all the room he needed to win. The two teams split the next four bouts, including a win by decision for No. 2 Zain Retherford, to go into the intermission knotted up at nine points each.
The second half proved deadly for Penn State, however, as the Nittany Lions won four of the last five bouts. No. 1 David Taylor earned a major decision over No. 4 Nick Moore at 165 pounds, and No. 1 Ed Ruth defeated No. 2 Ethen Lofthouse by a 12-4 major decision in his second match back from suspension.
Iowa head coach Tom Brands had plenty of praise for the Nittany Lions after the match. “(Penn State) is a team that if you let them do what they did to us tonight, they’re going to take you out. That’s a good description. They kicked us right off our home mat.”
While Penn State earned a dominant victory over a Big Ten opponent, the match is considered a “non-conference” win. Because of the Big Ten rotating schedule, the two teams were not scheduled to meet as conference opponents. The Big Ten’s two premier teams didn’t want to miss out on competing against each other, so the two coaches scheduled a non-conference meet.
The Nittany Lions will compete in the Southern Scuffle on January 1-2 in Chattanooga, Tenn., before returning to Rec Hall on January 12 against Purdue.
125: #3 Nico Megaludis PSU defeated Thomas Gilman (Iowa) by decision, 4-1
133: #3 Tony Ramos (Iowa) pinned #15 Jimmy Gulibon (PSU)
141: #8 Zain Retherford (PSU) defeated #9 Josh Dziewa (Iowa) by decision, 4-2
149: Zack Beitz (PSU) defeated Michael Kelly (Iowa) by decision, 6-1
157: #1 Derek St. John (Iowa) defeated James Vollrath (PSU) by decision, 10-4
165: #1 David Taylor (PSU) defeated #4 Nick Moore (Iowa) by major decision, 12-3
174: #3 Matt Brown (PSU) defeated #6 Mike Evans (Iowa) by decision, 4-1
184: #1 Ed Ruth (PSU) defeated #2 Ethan Lofthouse (Iowa) by major decision, 12-4
197: #3 Morgan McIntosh (PSU) defeated Sam Brooks (Iowa) by major decision, 16-4
285: #3 Bobby Telford (Iowa) defeated #12 Jimmy Lawson (PSU) by decision, 3-2
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