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Wrestling Wreport: Penn State loses first dual of the season

Penn State loses to Iowa and takes frustration out on Illinois.


#1 Penn State 16, #3 Iowa 22

125: #1 Matt McDonough IOWA dec. #2 Nico Megaludis PSU, 2-1 (TB) 0-3
133: #2 Tony Ramos IOWA pinned Jordan Conaway PSU, WBF (4:23) 0-9
141: #8 Matt Ballweg IOAW maj. dec. Bryan Pearsall PSU, 12-2 0-13
149: #8 Andrew Alton PSU maj. dec. Brody Grothus IOWA, 18-8 4-13
157: #1 Derek St. John IOWA dec. #5 Dylan Alton PSU, 4-3 4-16
165: #2 David Taylor PSU tech fall #13 Nick Moore IOWA, 18-2 (TF; 6:42) 9-16
174: #6 Mike Evans IOWA dec. #4 Matt Brown PSU, 4-3 9-19
184: #1 Ed Ruth PSU maj. maj. dec. Grant Gambrall IOWA, 21-10 13-19
197: #3 Quentin Wright PSU dec. #19 Nathan Burak IOWA, 8-3 16-19
285: #6 Bobby Telford IOWA dec. #17 Jon Gingrich PSU, 9-2 16-22

#1 Penn State 37, #8 Illinois 0

125: #2 Nico Megaludis PSU pinned #5 Jesse Delgado ILL, WBF (6:45) 6-0
133: Jordan Conaway PSU dec. #8 Daryl Thomas ILL, 8-6 9-0
141: Bryan Pearsall PSU dec. Steven Rodgrigues ILL, 2-0 12-0
149: #8 Andrew Alton PSU dec. Caleb Ervin ILL, 6-3 15-0
157: #6 Dylan Alton PSU maj. dec. Matt Nora ILL, 14-6 19-0
165: #2 David Taylor PSU dec. #8 Conrad Polz ILL, 14-7 22-0
174: #4 Matt Brown PSU dec. #8 Jordan Blanton ILL, 6-4 25-0
184: #1 Ed Ruth PSU pinned #20 Tony Dallago ILL, WBF (0:47) 31-0
197: #3 Quentin Wright PSU dec. #13 Mario Gonzalez ILL, 4-2 34-0
285: Jimmy Lawson PSU dec. Chris Lopez ILL, 9-4 37-0

The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team took on two top-ten teams this weekend and came out with their first blemish losing to Iowa by 6 points. Iowa deserves all the credit they wrestled about as complete of a match as they have all season winning the close matches at 125, 157, and 174. Penn State rebounded well, shutting out Illinois 37-0. Penn State will most likely drop in the standings, how far is anybody's guess but hopefully it will serve as a wake up call for the Lions, when you're the two-time defending national champions, everyone is gunning for you and three-peating won't be easy.

125: #2 Nico Megaludis

I felt like Nico has really come a long way in his development as a wrestler but I never thought of him being in the same class as Matt McDonough. I always thought of McDonough as a small step ahead of everyone else at 125 but after Friday my opinion has changed. Hawkeye fans loved to complain about Nico's style when he wrestled McDonough last season, saying it was more stalling than wrestling. Well they can't say that anymore. Nico was aggressive and if my foggy memory serves me correct I do believe Nico was the only one taking shots. Nico had McDonough's leg several times but just couldn't finish. Nico's strategy in the tie breaker was to try and get a stall point when he chose down. It didn't work and McDonough was able to ride out and escape for the TB win.

Nico then got into a bit of a snag against Delgado falling behind 3-0 to start the 3rd, but got an escape, cranked up his offense, got two stall calls for a point, and caught Delgado for a pin. Had he not got the pin he still would have won with the takedown but it was a hard fought win. I can't wait to see (hopefully) the rematches of these two bouts in the Big Tens. If they do occur it will be fun to watch.

133: Jordan Conaway

Conaway did what he needed to avoid: he got pinned against Iowa. At the time, Ramos was on his way to a major decision but that would have been a much better outcome. To his credit, Conaway was still aggressive despite being down, but got a little too aggressive and a bit sloppy.

Conaway somehow put all that behind him and wrestled a spectacular match against Daryl Thomas who was ranked 8th. Conaway notched a takedown in each of the first two periods and took a 5-1 lead to the final stanza. He built up enough riding time to secure the extra point and fought off Thomas' final shots to secure the upset win 8-6. If Conaway can put a bad loss like that behind him and wrestle at the top of his game, he may be able to do some damage if he can qualify for nationals.

141: Bryan Pearsall

Pearsall didn't wrestle well against Bellweg but kept the damage to only a major. He bounced back and beat Illini freshman Steven Rodgrigues 2-0 on an escape and his typical strong ride. Pearsall rode Rodgrigues for the entire 3rd period and nearly turned him several times but settled for the bonus point for the 1:00 min+ of riding time.

149: #8 Andrew Alton

Whatever was bothering Alton in the match a week ago hasn't been fixed yet. Alton blew out to a 16-5 lead over Grothus of Iowa but held on to win 17-8 giving up the only takedown of the 3rd period. Alton was able to go the full match against Caleb Ervin of Illinois but only won by a 6-3 score over an unranked wrestler. Penn State didn't need a big score from Andrew against Illinois but you would expect him to have a little more offense considering the competition. Alton's definitely not ready for tournament play yet.

157: #6 Dylan Alton

Dylan is the opposite of his brother and seems to get stronger the more he wrestles. Like Nico and 125, Dylan is right there with St. John as one of the top wrestlers at 157. Dylan got the first takedown and initiated the shot late in the third that St. John countered for his winning takedown. If Dylan keeps wrestling like that he will beat St. John, he just needs to finish his shots. This is another rematch I look forward to in the Big Tens.

165: #2 David Taylor

Don't look now but David Taylor is human. Taylor made quick work of Iowa's Nick Moore getting a tech fall in 6:42 but managed only a regular decision against Conrad Polz. With a 12-2 lead late in the match, Taylor got sloppy while trying for more points and Polz caught Taylor on his back for 3 backpoints as time ran out. Just so you know, oh fans of the Unicorn, David Taylor does make mistakes.

174: #4 Matt Brown

Just like the match at 157, Matt Brown lost by a takedown that he initiated. With the bout tied at 2 in the 3rd, Brown nearly had a takedown but Iowa's Evans was able to fight it off and turn it into his own takedown for the win. Brown escaped but Evans ran (literally) out the clock for the 4-3 win which, for all intents and purposes, sealed the match for Iowa. Brown bounced back and beat Jordan Blanton of Illinois the 8th ranked wrestler 6-4. Brown used two first period takedowns to cruise to the win. He did give up a third period takedown but recovered and held on for the win.

184: #1 Ed Ruth

Ed Ruth spent the first period of Friday night trying to cradle Grant Gambrall of Iowa. Gambrall spent the first period trying to NOT get cradled. Ruth then put on a takedown clinic and pounded Ganrall 21-10 including 4:26 of riding time. It was a small victory for Iowa, Gambrall's job was to not get pinned and he didn't. The same can not be said for Illinois' Dallago who lasted 47 seconds before succumbing to the Ruth cradle. That's right, Ed Ruth pinned the 20th ranked wrestler in 47 seconds. Ed Ruth is good.

197: #3 Quentin Wright

Q wrestled two ranked wrestlers this weekend and beat them both to remain undefeated. Quentin beat Burak of Iowa 8-3 on a couple really good double leg shots and almost 2 minutes of riding time. Wright used the same recipe for 13th ranked Gonzalez of Illinois, converting a low double into a takedown and built up enough riding time to get the extra point. Q almost caught Gonzalez for a pin but almost gave up the winning takedown at the same time.

285:Jimmy Lawson

Jon Gingrich lost to Iowa's Bobby Telford 9-2 and Penn State went with Jimmy Lawson against Illinois. Lawson won by a convincing 9-4 score so we might have a battle for the starting position at heavyweight (again).

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