Penn State cements wrestling repeat

Mar 17 2012 - 11:12pm

ST. LOUIS -- Penn State won its second straight NCAA wrestling tournament before the final round, and kept charging.

David Taylor, Ed Ruth and Frank Molinaro wrapped up unbeaten seasons with individual titles and two underdogs were runner-ups for the Nittany Lions, who totaled 143 points for a 251aN2-point cushion over Minnesota.

"I want to be the best," Taylor said. "And man, my motivation is just to go out and dominate someone. That's what I train my whole life to do."

Penn State led by 15 points after the morning session, and a vocal fan base mostly concentrated in one corner of the Scottrade Center showed support with a whiteout, then chanted "We are Penn State!" after the final match.

"They did what they had to do," said coach Cael Sanderson, the former Iowa State great. "We had nine guys score points in the tournament. I'm very proud of them."

Minnesota scored 1171aN2 points, Iowa was third with 1071aN2 points and Cornell fourth with 1021aN2.

"It was a good season, not a great season," Minnesota coach J Robinson said. "Penn State was just too tough."

The three-day tournament, held in St. Louis for the sixth time since 2000, was sold out and set an attendance record of 112,393. St. Louis has four of the top five attendance totals.

Cornell had three champions. Junior Kyle Dake (35-0) won his third title in three weight classes, Steve Bosak (34-4) beat Penn State' sixth-seeded Quentin Wright 4-2 in overtime at 184 and Cam Simaz won at 197 after finishing third the previous two years.

The top seeds qualified in eight of 10 weight classes and seven of them won.

Taylor (32-0) was named the meet's most outstanding wrestler and had perhaps the most impressive showing of the finals with a 22-7 technical fall over Brandon Hatchett of Lehigh at 165 pounds. Taylor pinned his other four opponents in the tournament and needed just five seconds to execute the first of eight takedowns.

Ruth (31-0) manhandled previously unbeaten Nick Amuchastegui 13-2 to go with two pins and a technical fall earlier in the tournament.

"Unbelievable feeling, especially when you're on the mat and you have the title in your grasp," Ruth said.

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