Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Wrestling Wreport

There was no wrestling action on the mat this week but there is plenty to report away from center circle. The season is coming to end but the team has some business to take care of as they go on the road to take on No. 23 Michigan this Friday and No. 20 Michigan State on Sunday. This is a chance for the team to finish out strong and hopefully secure some better individual rankings before heading into the Big Ten Championship in East Lansing, Michigan on March 3rd and 4th.

News & Notes
-Despite dominating wins over the 10th and 6th ranked teams, Penn State only moved up one position to No. 11. Adding a little salt to the wound was the fact that one of the teams Penn State beat soundly sits one position ahead of PSU. Iowa checks in at No.10, just one point ahead of Penn State. Thank goodness team rankings have little to do with the national championship; unlike college football, wrestling has the audacity to decide the championship on the mat and not by a bunch of reporters. The horror.

-Phil Davis moved back up to No. 2, where he belongs, after dominating performances over the last couple of duals. James Yonushonis moved up to No. 5 after his win over then No. 2 Eric Luedke of Iowa and Bryan Heller cracks the rankings for the first time this season, checking in at No.15. But the biggest mover is Aaron Anspach who jumped from 13th to 3rd after impressive wins over two wrestlers ranked in the top 6.

-Speaking of Anspach; as I predicted, Aaron was named the Big Ten Co-Wrestler of the Week for the week ending Feb. 4. Anspach shares the distinction with T.J. Enright of Ohio State who upset No. 1 Nick Simmons of Michigan State. The Nittany Lion heavyweight gave notice to his national prowess by beating the No. 4 and No. 6 ranked heavyweight wrestlers in less than 48 hours.

-Give yourselves a pat on the back. No really, Penn State averaged 3,475 fans for every Rec Hall dual meet, an increase of 26 percent over last year’s total. Coach Troy Sunderland is quite happy:

The support of our fans has always been a vital part in our success and this year they’ve come out and proven that again,” Sunderland said. “I’d like to congratulate every person who came to a match this year for making Rec Hall such a special place to wrestle... I know I speak for everyone within the Penn State wrestling family when I say ‘thank you’.”
Last Sunday’s home finale against Iowa saw 5,841 fans pack Rec Hall for the highest single-season attendance figure since over 6,400 witnessed Penn State and Iowa battle during the 1998-99 season.

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