Lions win crown, but Ruth loses

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team, ranked No. 1 in the latest Intermat Tournament Power Index, roared to the 2014 Southern Scuffle title, its fourth straight.

The Lions crowned two champions and used a balanced team effort to move away from both Minnesota and Oklahoma State on day two. Penn State won the title with 189.0 points while Oklahoma State was second with 164.5 and Minnesota third at 161.0. The Lions used a balanced team effort, with 11 of its 17 competitors placing at the event.

Freshman Zain Retherford (141) and David Taylor (165) won titles. The Lions had four runners-up, including Ed Ruth (184), whose 84-match winning streak was snapped by Cornell’s Gabe Dean, 7-4. Nico Megaludis (125), Jimmy Gulibon (133) and Matt Brown (174) also lost in the finals.

In the finals, Megaludis took on Cornell No. 1 Nahshon Garrett. The Lion junior mounted a furious rally before dropping a tough 6-4 decision to the top ranked Garrett. Megaludis lost 6-4 and took second place with a 5-1 run, including three majors. Megaludis is 16-2 with his only two losses to Garrett.

Gulibon, who entered the tournament as the No. 7 seed, took on No. 1-ranked Jon Morrison of Oklahoma State. Gulibon dropped a hard-fought 4-0 decision.

Retherford used a double leg for a clinching takedown against No. 19 Joe Spisak of Virginia to win, 6-4, in overtime. Retherford led late but Spisak surprised the Lion with a late takedown.

Taylor took on No. 2 Tyler Caldwell of Oklahoma State in the finals and, after a sluggish first period, earned a dominating 9-1 major decision. Taylor posted a 5-0 mark during his title run, winning his third Southern Scuffle title. Taylor is now 17-0 on the year.

Brown took on No. 2 Chis Perry of Oklahoma State in the finals at 174, a rematch of last year’s NCAA title bout (won by Perry). Perry used two near fall points in the second period as the catalyst to a 4-0 win over Brown in the finals.

Dean used a first and third period takedowns and great defense to grab the win and send Ruth to defeat for the first time since his freshman year. Ruth took second at the Scuffle, ending his bid to become a four-time Scuffle titlist as he already has three titles.

Jimmy Lawson (285) came through with a third-place finish. Morgan McIntosh (197) rebounded from an upset loss earlier in the day to reel off three straight wins to advance to finish fourth. Jon Gingrich (285) placed sixth. Jordan Conaway’s strong run at 133 pounds ended by placing sixth. Sophomore Luke Frey entered the tournament as the 10th seed at 149 and placed eighth.