The Penn State Wrestlers clinched the National Championship team title following the (consolation) 3rd Place matches. Yes, before the championship round mat was unfurled, Penn State was in front and could not be caught.
Cornell made it close; leading after the Quarterfinal round, Big Red actually had a "possible points" advantage over Penn State going into the Semis. But the Lions roared through the Semi-finals, sending 3 wrestlers into the finals.
The Penn State wrestlers also did well in the "wrestle backs" scoring two 3rd place finishes.
In the Championship Round 145 pounder, Frank Molinaro met an uber aggressive Kyle Drake (Cornell) and took second. David Taylor (157 pounds) didn't fare any better against Bubba Jenkins (ASU), as Jenkins completed the saga of his college career with a pin, and the national championship.
It was beginning to look like Penn State would win the team title without taking an individual title. Their remaining finalist was 9 seed, Quentin Wright (184 pounds) who would be facing Robert Hamlin (#2 seed, Lehigh). The two had met in November, with Hamlin defeating Wright.
But nothing has been predictable about Wright's run to the finals - he had already defeated the #1 seed and scored a fall in the semifinals. Wright pulled off the upset with a 5-2 decision, becoming Penn State's lone individual National Champion.
So I have to say that Coach Sandersen is a marvel. He's brought home an NCAA title in just his 2nd year as Penn State head coach. It's PSU's (and the east coast's) first national championship since 1953. Based on the youth of this team, here's hoping that they make a habit of it!
Penn State Wrestlers - 2011 NCAA National Champions!!!!!!