By: Pat Donghia
Eighteen Nittany Lion wrestlers trekked to East Stroudsburg University for the ESU Open on Saturday with six Penn Staters grabbing individual crowns. In all, 14 of Penn State's 18 entrants placed at the event.
Four Penn Staters wrestled attached, led by red-shirt freshman Matt Brown (West Valley City, Utah), who went 5-0 with two pins and three majors to win the title at 174. Junior Nick Fischer (Unionville, Pa.) went 4-1 at 157 to take second place, grabbing two pins and two majors in the process. Junior Justin Ortega (Oxford, Pa.) went 5-1 at 197 to take third place, including three pins. Junior Bryan Pearsall (Lititz, Pa.) was 2-2 with one pin at 141 to take fourth place.
With Brown claiming one title in a blue and white singlet, five of Penn State's 14 unattached wrestlers won individual crowns. True freshman Jordan Conaway (Abbottstown) went 4-0 with a pin and a major to win the title at 125. One win, the major, was against a non-collegiate wrestler, meaning Conaway was officially 3-0 on the day. True freshman Luke Frey (Montoursville, Pa.) was 4-0 at 141, winning the title and picking up two tech falls along the way. Sophomore Andrew Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.) dominated 149, going 5-0 with two pins and two majors to win the title. One pin was against a non-collegiate wrestler, meaning Alton went 4-0 with a pin officially. Sophomore James Vollrath (Richboro, Pa.) was 5-0 with a pin, a tech and a major to win the title at 157. Rounding out Penn State's champions was red-shirt freshman Jon Gingrich (Wingate, Pa.), who went 5-0 with a major and a pin at heavyweight. His pin was against an NC grappler, giving him a 4-0 official mark on the day.
Joining those eight place winners were six other unattached grapplers. Red-shirt freshman Seth Beitz (Juniata, Pa.) went 4-2 at 149, grapping a tech, a pin and a major to place fourth. Red-shirt freshman Brandon Phillips (Timonium, Md.) went 4-1 at 174, taking second place after losing to teammate Brown in the finals. Phillips had two majors. Sophomore Andrew Church (Erie, Pa.) was 5-2 with a major to place fifth at 174 while true freshman James Frascella (Carmel, Ind.) was 4-2 with a pin and a tech to take seventh at 174. Red-shirt freshman Kyle Moran (Oxford, Pa.) was 4-2 with three majors to place seventh at 141.
Other Nittany Lions competing at the event included Cameron Kelly (Pittsford, N.Y.), who went 2-2 with a pin at 133; Rex Lutz (Easton, Pa.), who went 2-2 with a pin at 165; Collin Campbell (Hurdle Mills, N.C.), who won once at heavyweight (all his bouts were against non-collegiate grapplers); and Michael Waters (Advance, N.C.), who competed at 141.
Penn State, which opens the season later today against Bloomsburg, will take on No. 5 Minnesota on Sunday, Nov. 20, in a 12 p.m. dual that will televised to a national audience on the Big Ten Network. The dual is already sold out with only a few standing room only tickets remaining. Fans can purchase those SRO tickets by calling 814-865-5555. Tickets are priced at $8 for adults and $5 for youth (18 and under) and can be purchased from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day or in person at the Bryce Jordan Center box office. A maximum of four tickets may be purchased per person.
The full season slate of live dual meet and tournament action will air locally on WRSC AM (1390 AM) with Friday evening duals being simulcast on WRSC FM (103.1 FM). Lock Haven's WBPZ (1230 AM) will also carry the entire season live and further affiliates may be added soon. The regular season schedule of radio broadcasts will be streamed live at www.GoPSUsports.com as part of Penn State's All-Access package, which will also feature live video streams of many home events. Ticket information is accessed easily online at www.GoPSUsports.com/tickets/m-wrestl-tickets.html . Fans are encouraged to follow Penn State wrestling via twitter at www.twitter.com/pennstatepat and on Penn State Wrestling's facebook page at www.facebook.com/pennstatewrestling. The 2011-12 Penn State Wrestling season is presented by The Family Clothesline.
Tags: Andrew Alton, Andrew Church, Brandon Phillips, Bryan Pearsall, Collin Campbell, James Frascella, James Vollrath, Jon Gingrich, Jordan Conaway, Justin Ortega, Kyle Moran, Luke Frey, Matt Brown, Michael Waters, Nick Fischer, Seth Beitz