A standing room only Rec Hall crowd saw pre-season #1 Penn State begin it's pursuit of a national championship by mauling old neighbor Lock Haven, 50-0. Senior 3x All-American Nico Megaludis led off with an impressive victory over sophomore Jake Field that got the crowd buzzing. His teammates kept the train rolling, and it didn't stop - four pins, one injury default, two technical falls, and a major.
Whatever you might have hoped for out of Penn State in this opener, you got it. All ten wrestlers looked sharp, and wrestled aggressively. Our three lightweights who bumped up each looked electric. Our four freshmen...whew, awfully talented. As Cael said post dual, "I thought we wrestled well. I'm excited." Indeed.
|WT||Penn State||Result||Lock Haven||Team Score|
|125||#2 - Nico Megaludis||WBF (6:07)||UR - Jake Field||PSU 6, LHU 0|
|133||#8 - Jordan Conaway||TF (19-4, 7:00)||UR - Bobby Rehm||PSU 11, LHU 0|
|141||#2 - Jimmy Gulibon||DEC (3-1)||#12 - Dan Neff||PSU 14, LHU 0|
|149||#2 - Zain Retherford||WBF (2:15)||UR - Kyle Hammond||PSU 20, LHU 0|
|157||#6 - Jason Nolf||WBF (2:42)||UR - Aaron McKinney||PSU 26, LHU 0|
|165||#14 - Shakur Rasheed||W, Inj. Def (0:35)||UR - Dillon Gavlock||PSU 32, LHU 0|
|174||#14 - Bo Nickal||TF (21-6, 7:00)||UR - Tyler Wood||PSU 37, LHU 0|
|184||#14 - Matt McCutcheon||WBF (5:56)||UR - Tristan Sponseller||PSU 43, LHU 0|
|197||#1 - Morgan McIntosh||MAJ (13-2)||UR - Phil Sprenkle||PSU 47, LHU 0|
|285||UR - Jan Johnson||DEC (3-2)||UR - Brad Emerick||PSU 50, LHU 0|
Penn State 36, Lock Haven 1
PSU #2 Nico Megaludis (1-0, 0-0) FALL, 6:07 Jake Field
Nico led off for our Lions, and wasted no time in his return to the mat. He posted four takedowns in the first period, plus 2NF for a 10-3 lead after one. Nico took some more takedown practice in the second period, opening a 19-5 lead after 5 minutes, where the only thing that slowed him down was the referee mistakenly whistling action dead because he'd thought Nico had the 15-point technical fall. Almost, but not quite (it was a 14-point lead). So, the wrestlers reset, with Field choosing bottom to start the third. Nico used an arm bar to score the fall seven seconds later.
PSU #8 Jordan Conaway (1-0, 0-0) TECH FALL 19-4 Bobby Rehm
Jordan gave up the first takedown - Lock Haven's only of the dual - but he escaped and scored a takedown himself to finish the first on top with over one minute in riding time. He escaped to start the second period, and hit a nice single leg, finishing as a double. From there Jordan turned Rehm for some near-fall exposure - and poof - Conaway led 10-2. In the 3rd period, a desperate Rehm tried a throw, but Conaway countered it for another takedown, and then turned Rehm for 4 more near fall. With riding time, Jordan posted a 19-4 tech.
PSU #2 Jimmy Gulibon (1-0, 0-0) DEC 3-1 #12 Dan Neff
We thought this would be a battle between two returning All-Americans. It was. The pair played a bit of a chess match through a scoreless first period, and shared escapes in the 2nd (Jimmy) and 3rd (Neff). Jimmy took the shot, though, early in the third and converted the winning takedown. He rode Neff out for a hard-fought 3-1 win.
Neff, coming from 149, should be one of the larger 141-lbers that Jimmy sees this year. Jimmy looked plenty stout enough - and his quickness was even more on display. This could be a great move for him, and the team.
PSU #2 Zain Retherford (1-0, 0-0) FALL (2:15) Kyle Hammond
This was brutal. See the cover photo. Zain dished out pain, and posted the first period fall, using one of the most brutal half nelson's we've seen. It seemed like Zain was dreaming one night, "how could I make my top game more painful? Hmm, what if I pulled his jaw bone / face off? Yes, I'll try that." It worked.
PSU #6 Jason Nolf (1-0, 0-0) FALL 2:42 Aaron McKinney
It's hard to keep track of all the points Jason Nolf scores, because they come fast, and in bunches. Somewhere around the 2 minute mark of the first period, Nolf led 13-3. McKinney got in deep on a shot, so Nolf hit a cradle.
And that was it. He shoots, he scores. You shoot, he scores. You don't shoot, he scores. You stall, tie up, whatever - fill in the blank, Jason Nolf scores.
Be excited, Penn State fans. Be very excited.
PSU #14 Shakur Rasheed (1-0, 0-0) INJ DEF 0:35 Dillon Gavlock
Sadly, Dillon Gavlock had to injury default in the first minute with a knee injury. Hopefully it's not too serious.
Prior to that, Shakur scored a takedown. But the match was over after just :38 seconds, so we'll have to wait until Sunday to see more. What we saw, though, we liked a lot.
PSU #14 Bo Nickal (1-0, 0-0) TECH FALL 21-6 Tyler Wood
Maybe it's his constantly moving feet, or the underhook-plus-far-knee-pick, but Bo Nickal reminds fans of Quentin Wright. Hey, we know - Q was a 4x All-American, 3x finalist, 2x Champ. But...I'm not alone in thinking that, right?
Bo posted a bunch of takedowns, some near fall, and showed off a very - very - tough ride, plus some equally pleasing mat returns. Oh - and the ol' ankle pick.
Be excited, Penn State fans. Be very excited.
184 LBS - BSD's Wrestler of the Meet
PSU #14 Matt McCutcheon (1-0, 0-0) FALL 5:56 Tristan Sponseller
Mouse had one of the tougher matchups on the night, against Haven's Sponseller. Mouse came out firing, and simply dominated. He hit four takedowns in the first period, plus some near fall, to take a 12-3 lead in the first period. He looked relaxed, confident, and, just...wow. Awfully good. He posted two more takedowns in the 2nd period before sticking Sponseller in the 3rd.
PSU #1 Morgan McIntosh (1-0, 0-0) MAJOR 13-2 Phil Sprenkle
This one, believe or not, was scoreless after the first period. Sprenkle earned a pair of stalling calls, Morg escaped in the second, and then he bent Sprenkle in half with his bow-and-arrow. Sprenkle hung tough, though, as predicted, and kept Morg to the major decision.
PSU Jan Johnson (1-0, 0-0) DEC 3-2 Brad Emerick
Credit Jan - you could tell that 4 months of football practice isn't the best way to get in wrestling shape. A gorilla had jumped on Jan's back somewhere around the 5-minute mark, and it wasn't Emerick.
But Jan gutted it out. He also wrestled very intelligently, avoiding the typical shaved bear push-fest against Emerick, who, at 280 lbs, had about 35-lbs on him. Jan used his brain and his feet to score off a low-single early in the second period. And that's all it took at heavyweight. Congrats, Jan!