| Sports

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

NCAA wrestling notebook: Penn State has work to do in wrestlebacks

Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Penn State head coach Cael Sanderson (right) and his brother Cody Sanderson react to a call in the second round of the NCAA Divison I Wrestling Championships at the Chesapeake Energy Arena on March 19, 2014 in Oklahoma City, Okla.

College Football Videos

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.
Related Stories

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Thursday, March 20, 2014, 10:15 p.m.

OKLAHOMA CITY — Penn State's pursuit of a fourth consecutive team title may be tied to wrestlebacks.

Five Nittany Lions went 2-0 Thursday, lumping the importance on the matches that will determine the third-, fifth- and seventh-place finishers.

“Kids lose matches,” Penn State coach Cael Sanderson said. “Sometimes things don't go as planned. That's where we see (Friday) what we're made of.”

One of the most costly losses for Penn State came at 197 pounds, where third-seeded Morgan McIntosh dropped a 3-2 decision to No. 14 Chris Penny of Virginia Tech.

“McIntosh needs to come back strong,” Sanderson said. “That's not a match he needed to lose.”

Sanderson admitted he was “a fan like everybody else” of David Taylor and Ed Ruth, who cruised in the 165- and 184-pound brackets, but winning another team title will require more than bonus points out of the Nittany Lions' two studs.

Entering late matches, Penn State had a five-point lead — 26.5-21.5 — over Minnesota and Oklahoma State. Edinboro was fifth at 18.0.

Marked man

Evan Henderson kept tabs on Colin Johnston and knew he was a PIAA champion and the all-time wins leader at Canon-McMillan.

Yet Henderson, who wrestled at Kiski Prep, never had a chance to compete against Johnston until the first round of the NCAA Division I Tournament at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Henderson, now a 141-pounder for North Carolina and the No. 9 seed in the bracket, handed Johnston a 3-0 loss in the first of two sessions Thursday.

“I always wanted to beat him,” Henderson said. “Finally got a chance.”

Johnston rebounded to get a 12-5 decision over Steven Rodrigues of Illinois in the first round of wrestlebacks.

Nice timing

Pitt's 125-pounder, Anthony Zanetta, pinned Michigan Conor Youtsey in the first round. The fall came at 3 minutes, 44 seconds, and it was the first pin for Zanetta (21-9) this season

Zanetta dropped his second-round match 6-0 to the No. 2 seed, Nahshon Garrett, of Cornell.

Finals order

There will be more tweaks this year to the order of Saturday night's finals. In 2013, the NCAA hand-picked the tournament's last match.

Now, all 10 bouts won't be ordered until after Friday night's semifinal round.

Look ahead

The 141-pound bracket has been the most competitive locally, and that's reflected in a Friday morning quarterfinal-round bout between Edinboro's Mitchell Port and Henderson.

Port, the top seed, advanced with a pair of pins. After decisioning Johnston, Henderson pinned Luke Vaith of Hofstra in the second round Thursday night.

Jason Mackey is a staff writer for Trib Total media. Reach him at or via Twitter @Mackey_Trib.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.




Show commenting policy

Most-Read District

  1. W&J’s Crossey receiving preseason All-American honors
  2. Shasko aims for fitness, improvement in 2nd season as St. Vincent women’s soccer coach
  3. EF big man Prota part of Pitt-Johnstown’s incoming hoops class
  4. College notes: Harbert honored by D-III coaches
  5. SF grad Vock looks to build on successful junior year with Behrend soccer
  6. Slippery Rock’s McGraw wants to put program on solid ground
  7. Chatham baseball prepares for debut season in 2016