CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - The No. 1 ranked Penn State wrestling team came out on top at the Southern Scuffle for the third straight time Wednesday, as a strong team effort, including a 3-2 run in the finals and a 5-1 run in the semifinals, allowed the Lions to run away in scoring.
Penn State outscored second place Oklahoma State 178.5 to 158, and although two Lions were eliminated from the tournament on Tuesday, 11 of Penn State's 15 remaining competing wrestlers placed at the event, including champions Nico Megaludis, Ed Ruth and Quentin Wright.
No. 2 ranked sophomore All-American Nico Megaludis, whose record is now 12-1, took the 125-pound weight class with an 8-4 win over No. 8 Matt Snyder, of the University of Virginia and a graduate of Lewistown Area High School, in the championship round. Megaludis used two takedowns and a reversal to seal the victory. It took a 3-1 decision over No. 10 Nashon Garrett in the semifinals to reach the championship.
Following Megaludis, Ruth and Wright also won their weight classes at 184 and 197 respectively. Ruth, a junior All-American, earned a 11-0 major decision against Missouri's Mike Larson in the semifinals before rolling over No. 2 Steve Bosak of Cornell, 7-3, for the crown. Ruth is ranked No. 1 at 184.
Senior All-American Wright, who has yet to lose in 14 bouts this season, gave up a takedown in the first period against No. 9 Jake Meredith of Arizona State, but rebounded with a pin at the 5:33 mark. Wright had defeated No. 13 Scott Schiller of Minnesota to reach the finals.
Juniors James Vollrath (157) and All-American David Taylor (165) also made a strong showing at the Scuffle, winning second place in their weight classes.
Seeded fifth in the tournament, Vollrath scored the biggest upset of the semifinals, when he took a 2-1 victory over Oklahoma State's Alex Dieringer (ranked No. 8 overall). Vollrath then fell to No. 14 Jedd Moore of Virginia in the finals.
Taylor, ranked No. 2, majored No. 4 Tyler Caldwell of Oklahoma State 11-0 in the semifinals, but lost a 3-2 decision to No. 1 Kyle Dake of Cornell in the finals.
Senior James English (149) took bronze in his division, outdoing Missouri's Drake Houdashelt, 5-2. The senior went 6-1 overall at the tournament with a pin and a forfeit victory.
Fellow Nittany Lion Matt Brown also took third place at 174 when he took a 10-3 decision over Virginia's Jon Fausey. Brown reached the finals after defeating Todd Porter of Missouri, 9-4.
Other Lions who placed in the Scuffle included Jimmy Gulibon, wrestling unattached, with 4th place at 125, Bryan Pearsall (141) in 8th, Luke Frey (149) in 7th and Jimmy Lawson (285) in 7th.
True freshman Zack Beitz, a graduate of Juniata High School, took a medical forfeit as a precaution and did not compete Wednesday.
Penn State returns to action Sunday, when the Lions host Michigan State at 2 p.m.