By The Daily Item
STATE COLLEGE —
The Nittany Lions made sure to give their 6,500 fans inside the Rec Hall on Sunday a final home dual meet to remember, as No.1 Penn State demolished visiting Clarion, 43-3.
It also marked the 19th consecutive home sell-out at Penn State.
Ed Ruth and David Taylor, a pair of national champions, in addition to senior James English all wrestled in their final home dual meets of their careers at Penn State, and all three got wins in their weight classes, with Taylor and Ruth recording falls in the first period.
The meet began at 125 when No. 2 ranked Nico Megaludis had a 21-6 ttechnical fall against Clarion’s Hunter Jones, recording the tech at the 5:00 mark of the match.
Former Line Mountain standout Zain Retherford, a true freshman at Penn State who is ranked No. 2 nationally at 141 pounds, posted a convincing 8-4 win over Clarion senior Tyler Bedelyon to put Penn State ahead, 13-0. The Nittany Lions cruised toa 19-0 lead heading itno intermission.
Taylor resumed things for Penn State following the intermission, and the No. 1 ranked wrestler at 165 pounds posted the second fastest pin in Nittany Lions history, pinning Clarion’s Michael Pavasko in just 11 seconds. Dylan Alton holds the Nittany Lions’ fastest mark with a pin in just eight seconds last year.
For Taylor, the win improved him to 26-0 on the season with 12 pins, seven tech falls and six major decisions, His 49 career pinfalls is second all-time in Penn State history, just four shy of the all-time record.
Junior Matt Brown, No. 4 at 174, had a first-period pin as well on Clarion’s Ryan Darch in 2:50.
Megaludis moved to 23-2 with a pin, five technicals and nine major decisions while Retherford continues to be perfect, posting a 26-0 mark on the year (four pins, two technicals, seven major decisions).
Clarion’s lone victory came at 285 pounds when Evan Daley won via decision against No. 12 Jimmy Lawson, 7-6. The Nittany Lions were winning 43-0 until that point.
The Nittany Lions travel to the Big Ten Wrestling Championships, hosted by the University of Wisconsin on March 8-9. Penn State will be attempting to claim its fourth-straight Big Ten crown. Matches get underway on Saturday, March 8, at 11 a.m.