Monday, March 21, 2011

We Are the (Wrestling) Champions

Two weeks ago, Penn State won its first ever Big Ten Wrestling Championship in just the second season under wrestling great Cael Sanderson. This weekend right here in Philadelphia (while I was stuck in Washington, D.C.), the Nittany Lions did one better, winning the national championship.

For Sanderson — who went undefeated all four years in high school and all four years in college at Iowa State, winning four straight individual NCAA championships and an Olympic Gold Medal — it was his first team national championship ever, and he did it in just his second season as head coach for the Nittany Lions. Penn State won the team title with 107.5 points, 14 points better than runner-up Cornell.

Following in Sanderson's footsteps was sophomore Quentin Wright, the lone Nittany Lion to take home an individual title, as he was crowned the 184-pound champ.

Wright is now a two-time All-American.

Junior Frank Molinaro, who received All-American honors for the third straight year, finished second at 149. Redshirt freshman David Taylor finished second at 157 and was named an All-American as well.

I know I don't cover wrestling very often here on the site, and I like the rest of America was entrenched in the NCAA basketball tournament all weekend, but once upon a time I used to cover wrestling both during my days at Penn State and at my former job, and I really enjoyed it. Needless to say, I'm very happy for my alma mater, and there's no reason to believe Penn State can't do it again next year.

With Cael Sanderson in the fold and a young, talented roster, not to mention an infusion of talent pouring in thanks to Sanderson and the rest of the coaching staff, the Nittany Lions could become perennial powers.

Congrats to Cael, Quentin, Frank, David and the entire Penn State wrestling team.

No comments:

Post a Comment