The Penn State wrestling team has won the 2013 national championship, its third team title in as many years.
Ed Ruth secured his second straight national title Saturday at 184 pounds.
After the three-day NCAA tournament in Des Moines, Iowa, the Nittany Lions emerged with a team score of 123.5, finishing four points ahead of Oklahoma State, which totaled 119.5 points. Clinching the title for the Nittany Lions was Quentin Wright.
Wright, a Penn State legend in his final collegiate match, battled top-seeded and undefeated Dustin Kilgore of Kent State in the 197-pound final. He defeated Kilgore by an 8-6 decision to clinch his second career individual title and secure the team’s three-peat.
The Nittany Lions entered the championship round with a three-point lead and an opportunity to clinch the team title in the opening match. However, they could not capitalize.
At 174 pounds, Matt Brown battled top-seeded Chris Perry of Oklahoma State. The bout went through the first sudden victory overtime tied at one and Brown chose the down position to start the tiebreaker. In the first period, Perry was able to ride out Brown the entire 30 second frame, and in the second, Perry earned an escape point to win the national title by a 2-1 decision.
With the win by Perry, Oklahoma State briefly held the overall team lead by one point; 115.5 to Penn State’s 114.5.
After the Brown defeat, Ed Ruth changed the course of the night for the Nittany Lions. At 184, Ruth defeated third-seeded Robert Hamlin of Lehigh by a 12-4 major decision, to earn his second-consecutive national championship and extend his win streak to 68 straight matches.
In the process Ruth earned five points toward the team effort to regain the lead for Penn State, 119.5 to the Cowboys' 115.5.
Wright followed up Ruth with his win in the 197-pound final.
After the title was clinched, Penn State still had two wrestlers competing for individual honors.
The final bout of the night, at 165 pounds, had many calling it either “the match of the century” or “the match to save Olympic wrestling.” It garnered so much anticipation that the NCAA went against its standard and chose to hold it last, as the feature match.
The bout featured Penn State’s second-seeded David Taylor, the defending national champion at 165, against top-seeded Kyle Dake of Cornell, who was looking to become the first wrestler in NCAA history to win four national titles in four different weight classes.
With three seconds remaining in the final period, Taylor earned a point off of a second stalling call on Dake to make it 4-4. However, Dake held the riding time advantage by more than a minute and won a 5-4 decision to make history.
Earlier in the night, at 125, Nico Megaludis faced a familiar foe, second-seeded Jesse Delgado of Illinois, an opponent Megaludis had defeated twice earlier this season but lost to in the Big Ten tournament semis.
The two battled close into the third period when Delgado scored a takedown and three near-fall points en route to a 7-4 victory. For the second straight season, Megaludis fell in the championship bout.
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