Thursday, March 19, 2009

Wrestling Wreport: The National Championship edition

Six Penn State wrestlers start their quest for individual nation championships today at noon. Penn State qualified only five wrestlers through automatic bids in the Big Ten championships but 141 pounder Frank Molinaro received a "wild card" bid from the NCAA Division I Wrestling Committee. For those of you that are unaware, this was the first year that a selection committee chose the wild cards. In the past, the coaches from each conference chose the wild cards from the pool of wrestlers who did not place high enough to automatically qualify in their respective championships, this year it's done by a committee, much like NCAA basketball.

Penn State will have three seeded wrestlers: Jake Strayer is No. 10 at 133, Bubba Jenkins is No. 2 at 149, and Quentin Wright is No. 11 at 174. The others are all unseeded. Out of the three, Jenkins has the best shot at All-American honors (place 8th or better) but it's not a stretch to think Penn State could come out with three.

Penn State Wrestlers in the NCAA Championships
125: (soph) Brad Pataky – unseeded
133: (senior returning All-American) Jake Strayer – #10
141: (fresh) Frank Molinaro – unseeded wild card
149: (junior returning All-American) Bubba Jenkins - #2
165: (junior returning All-American) Dan Vallimont – unseeded
174: (fresh) Quentin Wright - #11

Thursday 19th -- ESPN360 -- 12 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. -- All rounds
Friday 20th -- ESPNU HD, ESPN360 -- 11 a.m. -- Quarterfinals
Friday 20th -- ESPNU HD, ESPN2 HD, ESPN360 -- 7 p.m. -- Semifinals
Saturday 21st -- ESPNU HD, ESPN 360 -- 10:30 a.m. -- Medal Round
Saturday 21st -- ESPN HD, ESPN 360 -- 6:30 p.m. -- National Finals

Media guide can be found here.

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