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Penn State impressive in win over Penn

UNIVERSITY PARK — The Penn State wrestling team has traditionally not weighed in more than one wrestler at a weight for dual meets.

But this is not your normal season for the Nittany Lions, who have slipped from the No. 1 spot in the rankings after a one-point loss to Arizona State. As coach Cael Sanderson warned in the preseason, their lineup has constantly changed early in the season.

The No. 2 Lions (3-1) had double weigh-ins at five weights (125, 149, 184, 197 and 285) in their Sunday afternoon dual meet against the Penn Quakers at Rec Hall. They went 4-1 in those bouts, including Brandon Meredith’s shocker over a top 10 opponent, in a 33-7 win.

“We didn’t know what we were going to do today,” Sanderson said. “Guys just like weighing in, so we give them that opportunity. We weighed in a couple extra guys in the upper weights because we weren’t quite sure what we were going to do. That is a good, young, scrappy team. If these guys don’t go out and wrestle, then it could have been a close score.”

Sanderson weighed in Brandon Meridith and Devin Schnupp at 125, and sent Meredith out for his Rec Hall debut. Sanderson pushed the right button as Meredith knocked off 10th-ranked Michael Colaicco, 8-5.

Meredith trailed, 4-1, after the first period, but he reversed in the second period and escaped in the third to make the score 5-4. Meredith scored a takedown to thrill the crowd, got a stalling point and was awarded riding time. Meredith was given a standing ovation when the final buzzer sounded.

“It was a real shocker,” Penn coach Roger Reina said. “Michael hit the wall physically. It’s not an easy weight for him to make. He’s capable of continuing at an incredibly high pace throughout the whole match, but physically he didn’t have that today.”

“More than anything, you want to start off with somebody that’s going to set the pace and send a message that we’re going to wrestle hard,” Sanderson said. “Obviously you always want to win, but just want a kid that’s going to wrestle hard and use all seven minutes. We know that Meredith is more than capable of doing that. That was a big boost for us.”

No double weigh-in needed at 133 as No. 4 Roman Bravo-Young scored 10 takedowns in a 21-9 major decision over Carmen Ferrante.

Third-ranked 141-pounder Nick Lee followed with a 13-4 major decision over Doug Zapf. Lee had 3:45 in riding time advantage in hiking his record to 8-0.

Sanderson chose Luke Gardner over Jarod Verkleeren at 149, and Gardner eked out a 7-6 decision over Lucas Revano. Gardner had a 6-3 lead going into the third, but Revano escaped and was given a takedown after an official review to tie the score. Gardner escaped and held off Revano’s late aggression to win.

After Penn’s 10th-ranked Anthony Artalona beat Bo Pipher, 5-2, at 157, the Lions took a 14-3 into the break.

Top-ranked Vincenzo Joseph recorded his first pin of the season at 165 out of the break, cradling Jake Lizak for the fall in 4:25.

Mark Hall collected his 100thcareer victory by rolling to a 19-4 technical fall in 7:00 over Neil Antrassian at 174. Hall had six takedowns in the win.

“It’s pretty cool,” Hall said of the milestone. “I have a couple more wins to get this season, but I had fun time wrestling, though.”

At 184, Sanderson chose Aaron Brooks, whose redshirt was pulled to wrestle against Lehigh, over Creighton Edsell. It was all Brooks against Jesse Quatse, pounding out the Lions’ second straight 19-4 technical fall in 6:03.

Kyle Conel, who has been battling a shoulder injury, and Austin Hoopes weighed in at 197. Conel came out firing against freshman Cole Urbas, a State College graduate who got a big ovation in the introductions.

Conel took him to his back for a six-point move in the first period, but that’s all the offense he could muster. Urbas took him down in the second and Conel took an injury timeout for his shoulder. Urbas received two stalling points in the third and missed getting a riding time point by one second as Conel hung on for a 6-5 win.

The Lions had national champ Anthony Cassar and freshman Keegan Carmenatty weighed in at 285, but Hoopes got the nod. The result was Penn’s Joey Slackman winning, 14-4, to close out the meet.

“Cassar weighed in just in case he needed to go,” Sanderson said. “Part of the plan we laid out at the beginning of the year was he wasn’t wrestling today.”

The Lions are off now until Jan. 10, when they’ll open their Big Ten slate against Illinois.

125–Meredith, PS, dec. Colaicco, 8-5; 133–Bravo-Young, PS, maj. dec. Ferrante, 21-9; 141–Lee, PS, maj. dec. Zapf, 13-4; 149–Gardner, PS, dec. Revano, 7-6; 157–Artalona, P, dec. Pipher, 5-2.

165–Joseph, PS, pinned Lizak. 4:25; 174–Hall PS, tech. fall Antrassian, 19-4, 7:00; 184–Brooks, PS, tech. fall Quatse, 19-4, 6:03; 197–Conel, PS, dec. Urbas, 6-5; 285–Slackman, P, maj. dec. Hoopes, 14-4.

Records: Penn (0-1), Penn State (3-1)

Attendance: 6,437

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