UNIVERSITY PARK - Yet another sold out crowd packed Rec Hall to watch No. 1 Penn State take care of visiting Purdue in a Big Ten wrestling dual. Over 6,300 fans (the 15th-straight home sellout for Penn State), saw head coach Cael Sanderson's squad win nine of ten to rout the Boilermakers 34-3.
Junior All-American Nico Megaludis (Murrysville, Pa.), ranked No. 2 at 125, opened up the dual with a resounding 15-4 major over Purdue senior Camden Eppert. The Boilermakers got on the board at 133 when All-American Cashe Quiroga notched a 9-2 win over Lion freshman Jimmy Gulibon (Latrobe, Pa.), who was ranked No. 9 at 133. True freshman Zain Retherford (Benton, Pa.), undefeated and ranked No. 2 at 141, majored Purdue's Danny Sabatello 10-2 to put Penn State up 8-3.
Junior Andrew Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), ranked No. 7 at 149, made his season dual meet debut with a 7-6 win over Brandon Nelsen, using 1:26 in riding time to post the victory. Twin brother Dylan Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), ranked No. 5 at 157, was also making his season dual debut. Alton posted a 6-1 decision over Purdue's Dustin Schultz to put Penn State up 14-3 at intermission. Both Alton's had off-season shoulder surgeries that kept them out of dual action up until today.
Senior All-American David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio), unbeaten and ranked No. 1 at 165, pinned Purdue's Chad Welch in the first period, putting Penn State up 20-3 at the 2:23 mark. The pin was the 47th of Taylor's career. Junior All-American Matt Brown (West Valley City, Utah), ranked No. 3 at 174, dominated Patrick Kissel at 174, posting a 14-4 major to put the Lions up 24-3.
Senior All-American Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.), ranked No. 2 at 184, posted a major himself, rolling up a 13-3 win over Purdue's Tanner Lynde. Sophomore Morgan McIntosh (Santa Ana, Calif.), ranked No. 8 at 197, was convincing in a 6-4 win over No. 16 Braden Atwood to put the Lions up 31-3. Junior Jimmy Lawson (Tom's River, N.J.), ranked No. 12 at 285, closed out the dual with a resounding 8-1 win over Alex White, rolling up an even 4:00 in riding time in the process. The decision gave Penn State the 34-3 win.
Penn State moves to 8-0 on the year, 2-0 in Big Ten action, while Purdue falls to 3-4, 0-4 in the Big Ten. The win was wrestled in front of Penn State's 15th-straight home sell out, this one a crowd of 6,369. Penn State won the takedown battle by a gaudy 36-2 margin. Penn State picked up seven bonus points off Taylor's pin and four majors (Megaludis, Retherford, Brown and Ruth).
Taylor moves to 18-0 on the year. He is now 118-3 for his career with 47 pins, 38 tech falls and 26 majors. His 47 pins is six shy of Penn State's all-time record of 53 and he is 11th on Penn State's all-time wins list. Ruth is now 17-1 on the year. He is 119-3 for his career with 41 pins, 22 tech falls and 28 majors and is 10th on Penn State's all-time wins list. Retherford remains unbeaten on the year with an 18-0 mark, including three pins, two techs and four majors. Brown is 18-1 with six pins, two techs and five majors and Lawson is 16-1. Megaludis and McIntosh both improved to 17-2 on the year as well. The dual also featured an appearance by new Penn State football coach James Franklin, who watched the action mat side and addressed the crowd at halftime.
Penn State is set up for a `split' Big Ten weekend next week. The Nittany Lions visit Indiana for a 7 p.m. dual on Friday, Jan. 17. The team then returns home for a 2 p.m. dual on Sunday, Jan. 19, against Northwestern.
--Penn State Athletic Communications