Penn State Wrestling

Penn State wrestling: Nittany Lions dominate opening tourney

Three-time defending NCAA and Big Ten champion Penn State hasn’t officially wrestled a dual this season, but the Nittany Lions served notice Sunday they’ll be tough to beat again.

The Nittany Lions won six individual crowns and advanced wrestlers to finals in nine of 10 weight classes at the Binghamton Open on Sunday.

Two-time defending NCAA champion Ed Ruth led the Penn State contingent with a triumph at 184 pounds. Ruth, the top-ranked 184-pounder, rolled through his weight class racking up four technical falls before pinning Cornell’s Gabe Dean in 1:24 in the title match.

Former NCAA champion David Taylor was even more dominant at 165 pounds. Taylor, ranked No. 1 at the weight, registered four pins and a technical fall. He pinned Cornell’s Craig Eifert in 1:51 in the title match.

True freshman Zain Retherford started his career off with bang by capturing the 141-pound class. Retherford had two pins, a technical fall and a major decision among his five wins. He pinned Lehigh’s Will Switzer in 1:37 in the title match.

Matt Brown, an NCAA finalist last season, cruised at 174 with three pins and two major decisions. Brown, ranked No. 3, pinned Cornell’s Owen Scott in 2:02 in the championship match.

Sophomore Morgan McIntosh, who is coming off a redshirt season, rolled with three pins and two major decisions at 197. McIntosh, ranked fourth, dominated No. 15 Jace Bennett of Cornell 13-3 in the title match.

Jimmy Lawson, ranked 10th, went 5-0 at heavyweight. He decisioned Rutgers’ William Smith 3-1 in the title match.

Penn State also had three more finalists.

In a marquee matchup, second-ranked Nico Megaludis dropped a 6-5 decision to No. 3 Nashon Garret of Cornell at 125. Prior to that bout, Megaludis had three major decisions and a pin.

Jordan Conaway fell 3-1 against No. 9 Mark Grey of Cornell in the final at 133. Conaway decisioned four other opponents to reach the title match.

James Vollrath lost 9-8 in a wild final at 157 to No. 13 Nestor Taffur of Boston University. Vollrath counted pin, technical fall and major decision among his four wins.

Penn State had several other wrestlers place highly.

Former Bald Eagle Area standout Jon Gingrich bounced back from an early 2-1 loss to Smith to finish third at heavyweight. Gingrigh had a 7-1 record and pinned two foes.

True freshman Garrett Hammond took third place at 165 with a 7-1 mark. Hammond had two pins, two technical falls and a major decision.

Redshirt freshman Jimmy Gulibon, ranked 11th, placed fourth at 133. He dropped a 3-1 overtime decision to Conaway in the semifinals.

James English won three straight, including two major decisions, before defaulting in the semifinals at 149 for “precautionary measures.”

James Frascella advanced to the semifinals at 184 before falling 20-3 to Ruth. He finished 3-2 on the day.

Nick Ruggear made the semifinals at heavyweight before falling 6-4 to Smith. He finished 3-2 with two major decision and a technical fall.

Nate Morgan and Kade Moss each went 3-2 at 141. Caleb Livingston was 2-2 at 157.

Mike Waters (141), Dylan Dailey (184), Scott Syrek (197) also had wins in the event.

Penn State opens its dual meet season Saturday at Rider and will face Lehigh the following day. The Nittany Lions’ home opener is at 2 p.m. on Nov. 24 against Lock Haven.