Five Lions To Quarterfinals, Penn State In Fourth Place After First Day of NCAAs

Cael Sanderson’s squad wrapped a successful first day of the 2015 NCAA Wrestling Championships from the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on Thursday night, finishing in fourth place with 18.5 points behind Oklahoma State (19.5), Iowa (21), and Ohio State (23).

Nittany Lion wrestlers went 7-0 in the first round and 5-2 in the second in their quest to win their fifth consecutive team championship. Penn State was two sudden victory losses from going a perfect 14-0 on the day.

How It Happened

We’ll pick up action in the second session. All first round results can be found below.

Junior Jordan Conaway, the No. 11 seed at 125, met the No. 6 seed Thomas Gilman of Iowa in the second round. After trailing 1-0 to start the third, Gilman recorded an escape to send the bout to sudden victory where he edged out Conaway with a takedown and a 3-1 (sv) win. The loss was Penn State’s first of the tournament and sends Conaway to the consolation round, beginning Friday morning.

Sophomore Jimmy Gulibon, the No. 7 seed at 133, matched up with Utah Valley’s Jade Rauser in the second round. Tied 4-4 heading into the third, Gulibon sealed his victory with a takedown and scored two near-fall points. The 8-4 win moves him into quarterfinal action beginning Friday morning.

Sophomore Zack Beitz, the No. 12 seed at 149, took on No. 5 Chris Villalonga of Cornell. Tied 2-2 after two, Beitz chose down to start the third period where he escaped to a 3-2 lead. Villalonga clawed back with a takedown to go up 4-3, but Beitz kept the match tied with another escape to send the match to sudden victory. In extra time, Beitz’s high shot at Villalonga was countered for a heartbreaking takedown, sending the Nittany Lion to the consolation round after a 6-4 (sv) loss.

Penn State action continued when senior Matt Brown, the No. 2 seed at 174 took on Lehigh’s Santiago Martinez, a No. 15 seed. Brown was aggressive from the beginning, taking multiple shots at Martinez early. Brown recorded four takedowns and an escape to notch a 10-2 major decision with 2:57 in riding time. Brown will continue his title quest Friday morning in the quarterfinal round.

Freshman Matt McCutcheon helped his team in the first round by scoring 1.5 bonus points through a tech fall over Cal Poly’s Nick Fiegener. In the next round, McCutcheon, the No. 14 seed at 184, went to battle against the No. 3 seed Blake Stauffer of Arizona State. Trailing 1-0 to start the third, McCutcheon writhed his way to an escape to tie up the bout. In yet another one of Penn State’s sudden victory bouts, the redshirt freshman countered for a takedown to seal a 3-1 (sv) victory. The upset win over Stauffer moves the Nittany Lion into quarterfinals.

All second-round bouts up to this point were battles to the end, save for Brown’s. That would change when junior Morgan McIntosh took to the mat against No. 15 Aaron Studebaker of Nebraska. The number two-seeded Nittany Lion struggled a bit in the opening round against Central Pennsylvania native Zach Nye. McIntosh rolled to a 14-5 major decision on six takedowns and an escape with 1:44 in riding time.

Senior Jimmy Lawson wrapped up second round action for the Nittany Lions. The No. 8 seed at 285 took on No. 9 Michael Kroells of Minnesota. The Golden Gopher chose down to start the second and quickly escaped to a 1-0 lead. Lawson was down to start the third period where he earned an escape of his own to tie the bout at 1-1. The New Jersey product notched two takedowns in the third to secure a 5-2 victory.


Round One Results

125: Jordan Conaway def. Joaquin Martinez, The Citadel, 12-7 dec.

133: Jimmy Gulibon def. Scott Delvecchio, Rutgers, 11-3 maj. dec.

149: Zack Beitz def. Shawn Greevy, Chattanooga, 10-1 maj. dec.

174: Matt Brown def. Pete Renda, North Carolina State, 12-4 maj. dec.

184: Matt McCutcheon def. Nick Fiegener, Cal Poly, 20-5 (TF; 7:00)

197: Morgan McIntosh def. Zach Nye, Virginia, 3-0 dec.

285: Jimmy Lawson def. Jacob Aiken-Phillips, Cornell, 9-3 dec.

Tweet of the Day

Looking Ahead

Action resumes on Friday morning at 11 a.m. Bouts will be featured on ESPN3.

Photo: Mark Selders/

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About the Author

Zack Rickens

is a senior broadcast journalism student minoring in procrastination. He hails from the booming metropolis of Harrisburg and can usually be found eating Suzie Wong egg rolls. He enjoys long walks to the Phyrst and is probably ranting about sports on Twitter (@slickrick717). He can be reached at [email protected].

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