Taylor and Ruth pins help Penn State hold lead heading into Quarterfinals

Updated: March 15, 2012

By Mike Finn

ST. LOUIS — David Taylor and Ed Ruth continued to waste little time in showing that top-ranked Penn State is definitely the team to beat as those top-seeded Nittany Lions added two more first-period pins and won seven of eight second-round matches Thursday night to solidify their lead at the NCAA Division I championships.

Penn State's David Taylor is one of five top seeds who have pinned every foe at this year's NCAA tournament. Here Taylor is turning Chattanooga's Brandon Wright in the second round match at 165 pounds. (Photo by Tim Tushla)

Taylor needed just 1:53 to flatten Chattanooga’s Brandon Wright at 165 pounds and Ruth used his tough cradle to pin Missouri’s Dorian Henderson in 1:26 at 174 pounds. In two combined matches on the day, the undefeated Taylor (30-0) was officially on the mat for 3:33 — which included a  first-round pin of Bucknell’s Corey Lear — and Ruth (29-0)now has two NCAA falls this championship in 3:09, which included a first-round pin against Rider’s Jim Resnick.

By sending seven wrestlers to Friday morning’s quarterfinals, the Nittany Lions have scored an NCAA high 38.5 points to out-distance Minnesota (33), Oklahoma State (28.5) Cornell (27.5), Oklahoma State and Iowa (26).

The Gophers sent eight wrestlers to the quarterfinals, including 184-pound Kevin Steinhaus, who used a last-second takedown and riding time to rally past Jon Fausey of Virginia.

Session Two Team Scores

Updated Bracket – After Session 2

Taylor’s and Ruth’s matches were part of an impressive run in the second round, which began when 125-pound Nico Megaludis used a late five-point move to rally from a 3-1 third-period deficit to beat Oklahoma’s seventh-seed Jarrod Patterson.

Penn’s State’s third top seed, Frank Molinaro, did not look as impressive his other mates when the undefeated Lion gave up an opening takedown to Oregon State’s Scott Sakaguchi before rallying to win 6-3.

The Lions’ other wins came at 157 pounds, where redshirt freshman Dylan Alton used 1:14 riding time to edge Michigan State’s Anthony Jones, 2-1; at 184 pounds where defending national champion Quentin Wright majored Hofstra’s Ben Clymer, 10-2, and at heavyweight where Cam Wade defeated Cornell’s Maciej Jochym, 8-2.


Top seeds continue to dominate

All ten No. 1 seed continue to be unstoppable as seven other wrestlers scored bonus points in their second round matches:

125 — Iowa’s Matt McDonough, the 2010 national champion, scored his second fall of the tournament when the Hawkeye junior caught North Dakota State’s Trent Sprenkle in a headlock for a fall in 2:56;

133 — Oklahoma State’s defending national champion Jordan Oliver used a reverse cradle to pin Pitt’s Shelton Mack in 1:30 for the Cowboy’s second pin of the tournament;

141 — Michigan’s defending champion Kellen Russell majored Hofstra’s Luke Vaith, 10-2;

157 — Kyle Dake, the two-time NCAA champ from Cornell, moved closer to a three-peat when the Big Red junior flattened Joshua Kreimer of Air Force in 1:31;

184 — Wyoming’s three-time All-American Joe LeBlanc yielded a first-period takedown to Penn’s Erich Smith, then stormed back for a 11-3 major decision;

197 — Cam Simaz, the three-time All-American from Cornell, dominated Penn State’s Morgan McIntosh to a 22-7 technical fall score;

Hwt — American University’s Ryan Flores, a national runner-up last March, pinned his third opponent in as many matches when he scored a 2:21 fall over Eastern Michigan’s Wes Schroeder.


Tough time for the host Tigers

The only school that had all ten wrestlers qualified for this year’s nationals was Missouri, which is serving as the host school. Unfortunately, the instate school from Columbia will send just one wrestler to the quarterfinals in 197-pound Brent Haynes, who blanked Penn’s Micah Burak, 6-0.

The biggest shocker for Missouri came at 125 pounds where Big 12 champion and No. 3 seed Alan Waters was upset by Pitt’s unseeded Anthony Zanetta, who used a late takedown and 1:32 riding time advantage to force overtime and eventually scored the winning takedown with two seconds left in sudden victory.


Cole VonOhlen (top) of Air Force defeated Columbia's Steve Santos, 7-4, to advance to quarterfinals at 141 pounds. (Ginger Robinson photo).

Quarterfinal Match-ups (Starting at 10 am CDT on Friday, March 16)

125 pounds

#1 Matt McDonough (Iowa) vs. #8 Ryan Mango (Stanford) — The Cardinal is a native of St. Louis

#5 Nic Bedelyon (Kent State) vs. #4 Jesse Delgado (Illinois) — The Illini scored a defensive fall against Camden Eppert of Purdue in the second round

Unseeded Anthony Zanetta (Pitt) vs. #6 Frank Perrelli (Cornell) — Perrelli rallied from a first-period deficit to beat Matt Snyder (Virginia) in the second round

#10 Nico Megaludis (Penn State) vs. #2 Zach Sanders (Minnesota)


133 pounds

#1 Jordan Oliver (Oklahoma State) vs. #8 Zach Stevens (Michigan)

#5 Joe Colon (Northern Iowa) vs. B.J. Futrell (Illinois) — The Illini earned his second pin in as many matches against Wyoming’s Zach Zehner in the second round.

#3 Tony Ramos (Iowa) vs. #11 Steven Keith (Harvard) — Keith upset #6 Devin Carter of Virginia Tech 8-6 when he scored the deciding takedown with 31 seconds left.

#10 Chris Dardanes (Minnesota) vs. #2 Logan Stieber (Ohio State) — The Gopher freshman upset #7 AJ Schopp (Edinboro), 7-3 while the Buckeye redshirt freshman earned his second fall of the tourney with a 1:19 pin against Jordan Thome (Army)


141 pounds

#1 Kellen Russell (Michigan) vs. #9 Nick Dardanes (Minnesota)

#5 Hunter Stieber (Ohio State) vs. #4 Mike Mangrum (Oregon State)

#3 Montell Marion (Iowa) vs. #6 Boris Novachkov (Cal Poly)

Unseeded Zach Neibert (Virginia Tech) vs. #2 Kendric Maple (Oklahoma) — The Hokie upset his second ranked wrestler of the day when he decisioned #7 Nick Nelson (Virginia), 4-2.


149 pounds

#1 Frank Molinaro (Penn State) vs. #8 Eric Grajales (Michigan)

Unseeded Justin Accordino (Hofstra) vs. Unseeded Nick Lester (Oklahoma) — The Pride wrestler pinned #5 Ian Miller (Kent State) while Lester earned a 15-0 technical fall over unseed Kevin Tao of American

#3 Cole VonOhlen (Air Force) vs. #6 Tyler Nauman (Pitt)

#7 Dylan Ness (Minnesota) vs. #2 Jamal Parks (Oklahoma State)

157 pounds

#1 Kyle Dake (Cornell) vs. #8 Frank Hickman (Bloomsburg)

#5 Ganbayar Sanjaa (American U.) vs. unseeded Dan Kolodzik (Princeton)

#3 Jason Welch (Northwestern) vs. #11 James Green (Nebraska) — The Husker freshman scored an 8-3 tiebreaker win over #6 James Fleming (Clarion) when he put the Eagle on his back at the end of his 30-second advantage.

#7 Dylan Alton (Penn State) vs. #2 Derek St. John (Iowa)


Austin Trotman (left) of Appalachian State defeated Northern Iowa's Ryan Loder, 8-2, to advance to the 184-pound quarterfinals where he will meet top-seed Joe LeBlanc of Wyoming on Friday morning. (Tim Tushla photo)

165 pounds

#1 David Taylor (Penn State) vs. #8 Robert Kokesh (Nebraska)

#12 Paul Gillespie (Hofstra) vs. #4 Bekzod Abdurakmanov (Clarion) — The Pride wrestler upset #5 Mike Evans (Iowa)

#3 Andrew Sorenson (Iowa State) vs. #11 Brandon Hatchett (Lehigh)

#7 Josh Asper (Maryland) vs. #2 Shane Onufer (Wyoming) — This is a rematch of last year’s third-place match


174 pounds

#1 Ed Ruth (Penn State) vs. #9 Nick Heflin (Ohio State)

#5 Ethen Lofthouse (Iowa) vs. #4 Logan Storley (Minnesota)

#3 Nick Amuchastegui (Stanford) vs. #6 Ryan DesRoches (Cal Poly) — This is a rematch of this year’s Pac 12 final won by the Cardinal

#7 Jordan Blanton (Illinois) vs. #2 Chris Perry (Oklahoma State)


184 pounds

#1 Joe LeBlanc (Wyoming) vs. #9 Austin Trotman (Appalachian State)

#5 Kevin Steinhaus (Minnesota) vs. #4 Steve Bosak (Cornell)

#3 Ben Bennett (Central Wyoming) vs. #6 Quentin Wright (Penn State)

#7 Josh Ihnen (Nebraska) vs. #2 Robert Hamlin (Lehigh)


197 pounds

#1 Cam Simaz (Cornell) vs. #9 Alfonzo Hernandez (Wyoming)

#5 Cayle Byers (Oklahoma State) vs. Unseeded James Nakashima (Nebraska)

#3 Matt Wilps (Pitt) vs. #6 Brent Haynes (Missouri)

#10 Cody Yohn (Minnesota) vs. #2 Chris Honeycutt (Edinboro) — The Gopher knocked off conference rival and #7 Mario Gonzales (Illinois), 8-5



#1 Ryan Flores (American U.) vs. Unseeded Andrew Delaney (The Citadel)

#5 Bobby Telford (Iowa) vs. #4 Zach Rey (Lehigh) — The defending national champion from Lehigh needed a 1:02 riding time advantage to beat West Virginia’s Brandon Williamson, 2-1

#3 Clayton Jack (Oregon State) vs. #6 Cameron Wade (Penn State)

#10 Mike McMullen (Northwestern) vs. #2 Anthony Nelson (Minnesota)