UNIVERSITY PARK - The tournament is officially called the Nittany Lion Open, and based on Sunday's result, you can color the 2011 Edition Blue & White.
The host Lions flexed their muscles throughout as they sent eight wrestlers into the finals and came away with a half dozen champions.
"I think the team is wrestling well," said Sanderson. "We just have to keep improving as we move along here. When you have as many teams represented like we did today, you are going to have a lot of good kids."
Winning titles for the Lions were Nico Megaludis at 125, Frank Molinaro at 141, David Taylor at 165, Ed Ruth at 174, Quentin Wright at 184 and Cameron Wade at 285.
Megaludis won his crown with a an 11-1 major decision of Coltin Fought of North Carolina State, Molinaro made short work of Binghamton's Don Vinson with a fall in 1:23, Taylor had to come from behind to major unrostered Steve Fittery 14-6, Ruth was solid in posting a 7-4 decision over Maryland's Jim Sheptock, Wright wrapped up his outstanding tournament with a 17-0 technical fall over Cole Baxter of Kent State in 6:43 and Wade completed the half dozen titlists with a fall in 1:26 over Clarion's Quintas McCorkle.
Taylor won his title over Steve Fittery, now wrestling unrostered, an opponent he defeated in last year's semifinal round of the NCAA championships by a 7-1 score. Fittery went right after Taylor for the initial takedown and the two rolled around with Taylor finally taking a 5-4 lead. However, from that point on, it was all Taylor as he scored nine unanswered points for his major decision.
"I was in the corner for most of that match and that is a tough kid," said Sanderson of Fittery. "Last year he was easily one of the best kids in the weight class. For him to show up in an open tournament, you have to be ready for him because he is good in all three positions. He is a competitor who obviously loves to wrestle or he wouldn't be here."
Megaludis had a pair of one-point wins in his five victories, but he also showed that he can crank it up and score a lot of he has to.
"Nico wants to win by more than one point, but he beat some tough kids today," Sanderson said. "Just his ability to stay focused and see what he was able to do was good to see. He had a tough weight class, but it was nice to see him open it up in the finals and get a big win."
After suffering a frustrating loss in the Minnesota dual meet, Wright rebounded with an outstanding tournament. Along the way the former BEA standout racked up one pin, three technical falls and a 15-1 major decision for his title.
"That (getting back to basics) is something he has to work on," said Sanderson. "The throws are going to be there and that is something that he is always going to be good at because he can open up, get in on the legs and take those easy points. He did a nice job on the mat and he is working hard so that he can become a force on the mat as well."
The other two PSU finalists weren't as fortunate as their teammates as Dylan Alton was caught and pinned by Clarion's James Fleming in 1:58 at 157, and freshman Morgan McIntosh suffered a 12-9 loss to Christian Boley of Maryland in a wild affair at 197.
"Morgan was right there and if he stays real positive I think he has a chance to become a national champion this year," said Sanderson. "Dylan was wrestling awesome today. He was up 4-1 and was wrestling a kid who is pretty good at putting you on your back if you give him an opening he can catch you and that is what happened. He got put in that cradle, but other than that, he had a great day."
One other Nittany Lion, former Juniata High product Seth Beitz, had a strong tournament by going 7-1 on the day to finish fifth. His only loss was to Steve Santos who finished fourth with a 9-5 loss to Andrew Alton. Alton, wrestling unattached, posted a mark of 5-1 to finish third at 149.
One other regional wrestler of note was former Central Mountain product Tyler Buckwalter, wrestling unattached for Kent State. Buckwalter split four matches down the middle and finished out of the money.