UNIVERSITY PARK - It was Showcase Night for the two-time defending NCAA champion Penn Sate wrestling team as the Nittany Lions kicked off the season with the annual intrasquad meet at Rec Hall.
The two lineups featured many of the starters or starters-to-be as the Lions prepare to open the season by rolling out the red carpet to the Lehigh University Mountain Hawks on November 16 at 7 p.m.
Not in the lineup for either the Blue or White squad were Penn State's four returning All-Americans Nico Megaludis, Dylan Alton, David Taylor and Quentin Wright. That group of four will be participating in the NWCA All-Star Classic Saturday at American University in the nation's capitol.
As for what coach Cael Sanderson saw in the exhibition match, he was pleased for the most part.
"I think our guys wrestled well," Sanderson said. "Technically speaking, I think they are doing a lot of good things out there. To have four All-Americans out of your lineup and still have an entertaining match is a pretty good thing."
One note of local interest was the absence of former Central Mountain state champion Andrew Alton, who is reportedly nursing a high ankle sprain. Alton is expected to be out of action until sometime in December.
"I am not sure, but my guess is what he is probably a week away, but it is hard to say" Sanderson said. "If it was a national tournament, he would have wrestled tonight."
Here is a weight-by-weight rundown on how the matches unfolded:
133 There were three bouts at 133. In the first bout, Jordan Conway used a pair of takedowns and an escape for a 5-1 win over Frank Martellotti.
In the second bout, highly touted Jimmy Gulibon, a four-time PIAA champion, was simply too much on his feet for Cameron Kelly as he racked up five takedowns, a reversal plus 3:30 time for a13-5 major decision.
In the third bout at 133, Michael Waters led Nate Morgan 3-1 after one period before Morgan scored on an escape, takedown and two back points to win by a 6-4 final.
141 In the first of two bouts here, PSU veteran Bryan Pearsall overcame a first-period takedown by Zack Beitz to outpoint the former Juniata High School standout by a 4-2 count. Pearsall scored on a pair of escapes and a takedown inside the final minute of the match.
"Pearsall won the match, but I think Beitz did some real good things too," Sanderson said. "Pearsall knows how to win matches in the third period and if he is in a close match, he usually comes out on top."
In the second bout, former Lewisburg standout Derek Reber used an escape, takedown and a time point for a 4-2 win over Kyle Moran.
149 After a scoreless first period, James English took a 2-0 lead over Seth Beitz, another Juniata High School graduate, with a reversal. Starting the third period neutral, English scored a takedown on Beitz off of a scramble to go up 4-0. Beitz escaped, but with 2:30 time advantage, English walked off with a 4-1 win.
165 James Vollrath surrendered the initial takedown to Rex Lutz before he came back to score five of the final six points for a 5-3 win.
174 Two bouts here. In the first one, Matt Brown, who wrestled as high as 197 last year was too much horse for freshman James Frascella. Brown easily won the match by fall in 1:49. The two wrestlers were tied at 3-all when Brown hit a pancake.
In the second bout, Andrew Church started strong with the opening takedown in the first period before adding an escape and time point for a 4-0 win.
184 Defending NCAA champion Ed Ruth taught Nittany Lion freshman Wes Phipps a lesson in mat wrestling as he turned Phipps every which way but loose for a 19-4 technical fall in 5:59.
197 Morgan McIntosh started his redshirt year with a dominating effort over Scott Syrek. McIntosh racked up nine takedowns en route to his 20-8 major decision.
285 The long awaited appearance by transfer Jimmy Lawson, a former three-time New Jersey state champion, took place against former BEA standout Jon Gingrich.
Lawson used a takedown and escape to post a 3-2 win over Gingrich. The battle for the starting nod now stands at 1-1 with the decider to come in the next few days.
"Gingrich had a chance to win it at the end," said Sanderson. "He was in on a nice shot. Although they are different types of athletes, they are both great athletes. They are both very strong and both have a lot of potential."