PSU wrestlers finish Big Ten slate in style
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Penn State wrestling team, ranked No. 1 nationally in Intermat’s Tournament Power Index, took care of business at No. 6 Ohio State, rolling to a 29-18 win.
Junior All-Americans David Taylor and Ed Ruth led coach Cael Sanderson’s squad with big pins at 165 pounds and 184.
Sophomore All-American Nico Megaludis, ranked No. 2 at 125, put the Lions up early with a 9-1 major over No. 12 Nikko Triggas. Megaludis used a furious third period that included two near fall points.
No. 1 Logan Stieber then pinned Lion freshman Jordan Conaway at 133, getting the fall at the 1:59 mark. No. 2 Hunter Stieber matched his brother, pinning Lion senior Derek Reber at 141. The Buckeyes got a boost at 149 when No. 19 Cam Tessari upset No. 7 Andrew Alton, 3-1, putting Ohio State up 15-4.
All-American Dylan Alton, ranked No. 5 at 157, then notched a hard-fought 4-3 win over No. 19 Josh Demas to cut into the Buckeye lead. Defending national champion Taylor, ranked No. 2 at 165, then nearly erased the lead with a pin of Mark Martin with just :05 left in the opening period. The fall cut OSU’s lead to 15-13.
Ohio State picked up another upset win at 174 with No. 7 Nick Heflin using a last-second takedown to grab a 3-2 win over No. 5 Matt Brown.
Defending national champion Ruth, ranked No. 1 at 184, then gave Penn State the lead with a quick cradle. Ruth got the pin early in the first period, getting the fall at the 1:51 mark and putting Penn State up 19-18. Three-time All-American Quentin Wright, ranked No. 3 at 197, then majored OSU’s Kenny Courts, 9-1. The win put the Lions up 23-18.
Sophomore Jimmy Lawson then put the capper on the dual with a strong showing against No. 12 Peter Capone at 285. Lawson used a takedown, two back points and reversal after choice to roll up a 6-0 lead before Capone took an injury forfeit.
The Nittany Lions won the takedown battle, 10-4, and dominated the bonus point war, picking up 11 while winning 6 of 10 bouts.
Taylor and Ruth each recorded their 32nd career pins, moving them into a tie for fifth all-time at Penn State. Wright currently sits in second with 35. Ruth and Wright remained unbeaten on the season, with Ruth checking in at 23-0 and Wright at 22-0. Taylor is 21-1.
Penn State moved to 11-1 overall and 7-1 in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes fell to 11-3 and 5-3.
Penn State will close out the home portion of its schedule on Sunday, Feb. 17, when Rider visits Rec Hall for a 2 p.m. meeting.
125-Megaludis, PS, major dec. Triggas, 9-1. 133-L. Stieber, OS, pinned Conaway, 1:59. 141-H. Stieber, OS, pinned Reber, 1:25. 149-Tessari, OS, dec. A. Alton, 3-1. 157-D. Alton, PS, dec. Demas, 4-3. 165-Taylor, PS, pinned Martin, 2:55. 174-Heflin, OS, dec. Brown, 3-2. 184-Ruth, PS, pinned Magrum, 1:51. 197-Wright, PS, major dec. Courts, 9-1. 285-Lawson, PS, won by injury default over Peter Capone.
Records: Penn State (11-1, 7-1 Big Ten); Ohio State (11-3, 5-3 Big Ten).