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Pins by Taylor and Ruth power Penn State to first-round lead
OKLAHOMA CITY — David Taylor and Ed Ruth, whose past individual national championships have helped Penn State win the last three NCAA Division I national team titles, added to their Nittany Lion lore as each senior scored a pin to help Penn State lead the field after the first round of the 2014 NCAAs in the Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Taylor, the top-ranked 165-pounder, three-time NCAA finalist and 2012 champion, flattened South Dakota State’s Joe Brewster with one second left in the first period of their match, while Ruth — seeded No. 2 despite winning the last two NCAA titles — added another pin for the Lions as he earned a fall against Wisconsin’s Jackson Hein in 1:59.
The Nittany Lions, which saw nine of its 10 wrestlers win first-round bouth, lead the field with 16.5 points, followed by Oklahoma State at 13.5 points. Minnesota and Edinboro are tied for third place with 11 points, followed by Nebraska with 9.5 points. Cornell, Iowa State and Oregon State are tied for sixth place with 9 points, followed by Iowa and Wisconsin tied for ninth with 8.5 points.
The University of Iowa, among the higher-ranked teams, had the toughest time in the first of six sessions of this year’s tournament as a pair of No. 5 seeds — Nick Moore (165) and Ethen Lofthouse (184) — each lost matches. Josh Veltre of Bloomsburg defeated Moore, 15-7, while Edinboro’s Vic Avery edged Lofthouse, 5-3.
Bloomsburg also earned a victory from an unseeded wrestler in 174-pound Mike Dessino, who defeated North Dakota State’s No. 13 Hayden Zillmer, 8-6, in overtime.
Overall, 21 seeded wrestlers lost to unseeded foes. That included Minnesota’s Nick Dardanes, seeded No. 2 at 149 pounds, who lost The Citadel’s Matt Frisch, 8-5.
The second round of the 2014 nationals begins at 7 p.m. CDT.