Congratulations to redshirt freshman Frank Molinaro (8th) and true freshman Quentin Wright (6th) both finished as All-Americans for Penn State over the weekend. Molinaro finally wrestled like most thought he could after a disastrous Big Ten Championship tournament. Frank turned a "wild card" birth in the nationals into All-American status while going an impressive 4-3 against the #1, #2, #8, #9 and #12 seeds.
141 - Frank Molinaro
174 - Quentin Wright
That's about all the good news to come out of the weekend as Penn State could not get a single wrestler past the quarter finals and ended in 17th. Bubba Jenkins ranked #2 never won a match and left the tournament early with a 0-2 mark. Both Dan Vallimont and Jake Strayer made it to the round of 12 but both fell just one win shy from All-American status and both were returning All-Americans. Brad Pataky made it to the third round of consolations before losing to Nick Bedelyon of Kent State who finished eighth. I mention that because I was actually rooting for Nick, he graduated from my high school and is the first All-American wrestler to come out of my area. I love Penn State and I hate rooting against one of their wrestlers but I know Nick and his dad and I was very happy for them.
So the season ends like it did for most of the year on disappointment. I'm not one of these guys yelling for coach Troy Sunderland's head but this post season is probably going to be the end for Troy as coach of the Nittany Lions. Before the NCAA's Penn State athletic director Tim Curley said he was going to "assess the state of the program" and things didn't go very well this weekend. Penn State could have easily had four or five All-Americans but came away with only two. With a program like Penn State's with the top-notch facilities sitting in one of the best states for recruiting there is no excuse for this kind of lackluster season. Hopefully better times are around the corner.