UNIVERSITY PARK — Frank Martellotti is hanging up his headgear.
The former Penn State wrestler has decided to forgo his final two seasons of eligibility and focus on academics, a team spokesperson told the Centre Daily Times on Tuesday. He is still enrolled at the university.
Martellotti, who would’ve had junior eligibility this season after redshirting last winter, was one of many faces in a crowded pack at the lighter weights for the three-time defending Big Ten and NCAA champions. Former walk-on Jordan Conaway ascended to the starting spot at 133 pounds last season — the spot Martellotti held through the second half of 2011-12. Penn State also has standout Jimmy Gulibon primed to battle Conaway for the 133 spot as both of them have already used redshirt seasons.
Although he qualified for the 2012 NCAA Championships, Martellotti wrestled just five bouts unattached with four wins last season.
The former Shady Side star spent most of his time at 125 and 133 pounds for Penn State. Martellotti stepped in for an injured Brad Pataky during the 2010-11 season and posted an 18-3 record with a 7-0 mark in duals. Martellotti missed the first half of the 2011-12 season as he was academically ineligible before returning for the second half after improving his academic standing.
But the time away from the mat showed and Martellotti went just 9-11 at 133. He earned an automatic bid to the 2012 NCAA Tournament but went 1-2 in St. Louis. He posted a 31-15 record in his career at Penn State with three falls, two technical falls and five major decisions.
Martellotti did not return a call seeking comment.
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