Clarion Wrestlers Travel to Penn State Sunday

c-Sanderson_Cael (A-09-SU-MS)0005UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – How do you follow up a matchup against the #6 ranked NCAA D-I team in the nation? Schedule the defending NCAA Division I National Champions! Pictured: Head Coach Cael Sanderson.

Clarion will travel on Sunday to a sold out Rec Hall and wrestle Penn State, the NCAA D-I National team champions for the past 3 seasons, beginning at 2pm. This will be the final dual meet of the season for the Golden Eagles and it is also Senior Day at PSU.

The Clarion – Penn State match can be heard live on the radio on WCCR-FM, 92.7 in Clarion and on redzone with Rich Herman and John Stroup will be calling the action.

Clarion, under second year head coach Troy Letters, enters the weekend with a dual meet with a 9-14 overall record and 3-3 in the EWL record.

The extremely young Golden Eagles, who have six freshmen in their lineup, opened the season with a 2-2 mark at the Eastern Michigan duals having defeated Campbellsville (34-3) and Tiffin (43-6), while losing to Northern Illinois (21-15) and EMU 26-15.

The home dual season opened on Nov. 22nd with a 30-12 loss to Rutgers, then at the Journeyman Northeast Duals Clarion lost a 21-13 decision to #11 Virginia and rebounded for wins against Columbia (20-16) and Buffalo (34-7).

On December 7th Clarion was fourth at the PSAC Championships, while on December 15 Clarion lost the EWL opener to Edinboro (40-3) and on Dec. 21 lost to #25 Rider (21-16). On Jan. 12 Clarion as 1-3 at the Pitt duals, defeating Davidson 31-15 and losing to North Carolina State (30-6), Duke (28-9) and North Carolina (32-4), while on Jan. 18 Clarion defeated Brown (24-16) and lost to Bucknell (24-18).

Three weeks ago Clarion toppled Lock Haven (18-12) and George Mason (23-12), but lost to Bloomsburg 28-8. Two weeks ago Clarion traveled to #26 Ohio University and lost 21-16 before defeating Cleveland State 30-16 at Tippin Gym on Senior Day.

Last weekend the Golden Eagles lost 28-7 at WVU, before returning to Tippin Gym for a 45-0 loss to now #6 ranked Oklahoma State.

Clarion’s lineup will have Hunter Jones (6-7, Fr. New Rochelle, N.Y.) at 125, Sam Sherlock (18-12; Jr. West Mifflin) at 133, Tyler Bedelyon (11-17; Sr. Lewistown) at 141, Justin Arthur (24-10; Fr. Huntington, W.V.) at 149; Austin Matthews (20-6; Fr. Greenville/Reynolds) at 157; Michael Pavasko (12-19; Fr. Munhall/Steel Valley) at 165; Ryan Darch (14-19; Jr. Batavia, N.Y.) at 174; Dustin Conti (7-18; Fr. Jefferson/Jefferson Morgan) at 184, Daniel Sutherland (4-14; Jr. North Bellmore, N.y.) or Brandon Contreras (6-13; Sr. Rochester, N.Y.) at 197 and Evan Daley (17-13; Fr. Erie/Fort LeBoeuf) at 285.

Penn State, who has won the NCAA Division I National championship in 2011, 12 and 13, is currently ranked #2 as a dual meet team in the latest NWCA Coaches Poll, behind Minnesota.

Head Coach Cael Sanderson is in his 5th season at PSU and has posted some tremendous numbers.

He has a dual meet record at PSU of 70-10-2 and won three straight Big Ten and NCAA championships.

He also coached three seasons at his alma mater, Iowa State, where he was 34-10 overall.

Of course as a collegiate wrestler at Iowa State Sanderson never lost a match going 159-0 and winning 4 NCAA D-I titles.

This year Penn State has a dual meet record of 14-1, losing only at Minnesota, where the Golden Gophers won 18-17. Key wins for the Nittany Lions were against Rider (34-8), Pitt (28-9), Iowa (24-12), Northwestern (39-8), Michigan State (42-3), and last Sunday Oklahoma State (23-12).

The Lions have all ten wrestlers in their lineup nationally ranked.

The lineup features 2-time National Champion (2013, 2012) and 3-time All-American Ed Ruth at 184, 2012 National champ and 3-time A-A David Taylor at 165, 2-time NCAA runner-up Nico Megaludis at 125, 2-time NCAA third place finisher Dylan Alton at 157 and 2013 NCAA runner-up Matt Brown at 174.

The likely lineup for Sunday for PSU includes: (highest rank of AWN or Intermat) – #2 Nico Megaludis (Jr. 22-2) at 125, #15 Jimmy Gulibon (Fr. 13-11) at 133, #2 Zain Retherford (Fr. 25-0) at 141, #17 Zack Beitz (Fr. 11-9) at 149, #6 Dylan Alton (Jr. 15-2) at 157, #1 David Taylor (Sr. 25-0) at 165, #4 Matt Brown (Jr. 23-3) at 174, #2 Ed Ruth (Sr. 24-1) at 184, #3 Morgan McIntosh (So. 24-2) at 197 and either #12 Jimmy Lawson (16-4) or #15 Jon Gingrich (Jr. 20-5) at 285.

CLARION NOTES: Clarion head coach Troy Letters returns to PSU – where he was a coach in 2009, 2010 and 2011 … Letters was part of the Nittany Lions 2011 National championship team, before coming to clarion as assistant coach in 2012 and becoming the Eagles head coach for the 2013 and 2014 seasons … Letters wrestled at Lehigh and was an NCAA National champion in 2004 at 165-pounds … He compiled an overall record of 115-9 and was a 3-time D-I All-American (2003, 2004, and 2005)… Clarion ends the regular season on Sunday … Overall in the series against PSU, Clarion is 4-24-1 since 1960 … Clarion’s last win came in 1981 when the Eagles won 29-10 …. The undefeated 1986 team tied Penn State 21-21 while finishing 17-0-1 under former head coach Bob Bubb …. Clarion’s record against PSU in the EWL was 4-12-1 – but Penn state moved to the Big Ten following the 1992 season … Since 1987 Clarion has wrestled several close matches, but has lost 17 straight …. Close losses were 22-19 in 1996 and 22-17 in 1999 … the last meeting in the 2007 season saw PSU win 47-0 …. EWL’s are set for March 8 at Cleveland State … The NCAA’s are in Oklahoma City March 20-22.





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