Zack Beitz Named Big Ten Wrestler of the Week
Zack Beitz, a Penn State sophomore from Mifflintown, Pennsylvania, has been named the Big Ten Wrestler of the Week. This honor is the first for Beitz and the third Big Ten Wrestler of the Week award for Penn State this season. The last to get the honor was Jimmy Lawson on Dec. 23.
In his match at Michigan on Jan. 30, Beitz topped No. 9 Alex Pantaleo in front of a sold-out crowd. Beitz’s win helped lead the Nittany Lions to a 19-15 win over the Wolverines. Then on Feb. 1 in East Lansing, Beitz was able to crush Michigan State’s Nick Trimble with a huge 13-3 major decision victory.
Beitz’s dominant performance also contributed to Penn State’s second shut-out win of the season with a score of 35-0. These two wins by the Nittany Lions brought their record to 10-2 overall and 6-2 in the Big Ten, while Michigan State fell to 4-9 (0-7) and Michigan dropped to 5-4 (3-3).
After back-to-back dominant showings, Beitz improves his record to 13-6 overall and 6-2 in the Big Ten. The redshirt sophomore made a large impact this weekend while also exceeding his previous win total of 11 from last season. Beitz has made the most of his starting role this year and looks to help the Nittany Lions improve upon their record to finish out the season.
Before the season started, Coach Cael Sanderson was asked about Beitz and what he expected to see from him this year.
“He’s a guy we’re counting on. I think he can win, we believe in him. He’s put the time in and he’s a competitor,” Sanderson said, according to PennLive.com.
Sanderson must be impressed by the redshirt sophomore, now the third player on his roster to receive Big Ten weekly honors on the year. Beitz’s success is not much of a surprise as the young wrestler was a PIAA Champion in 2012 for Juniata High School.
Beitz will hope to stick with his winning ways as the Nittany Lions host a sold-out matchup against the Iowa Hawkeyes on Feb. 8 at 1 p.m. at the Bryce Jordan Center.
Photo: Mark Selders/GoPSUSports.com