Sanderson headed to World Championships after U.S. team trials win

University Park, Pa. — Nittany Lion head wrestling coach Cael Sanderson stormed his way to the World Team Trials title 84 kilograms, downing Jake Herbert in the finals and earning a trip to Istanbul, Turkey, for the 2011 World Championships. Sanderson will be joined by Nittany Lion Wrestling Club teammates Jake Varner (96 kg) and Teyon Ware (66 kg). The Nittany Lion Wrestling Club has three of Team USA's seven wrestlers headed to the World Championships, nearly half of the nation's roster.

Sanderson began his tournament with a bye and a 4-0, 0-1, 2-0 win over Raymond Jordan of Sunkist Kids. He then pinned two time NCAA Champion Chris Pendleton of the Gator Wrestling Club (winning 3-1, 1:03). Sanderson followed that up with a 4-1, 1-0 win over former NCAA champ Jon Reader in the challenge bracket finals. Sanderson met Jake Herbert in the best of three finals and swept the former Northwestern national champion. Sanderson won the first round in dominating fashion 4-1, 2-0. He followed that up with another dominating win in round two, downing Herbert 5-2, 2-0 to win the World Team Trials title

Varner punched his ticket to Istanbul on Friday night, winning the 96 kg championship with ease over Chad Hanke of the NWRTC. Varner, who won the U.S. Open earlier in the year to await the challenge bracket winner, made short work of Hanke with a 3-0, 2-0 win in round one and an identical 3-0, 2-0 win in round two to claim the crown.

Ware, another U.S. Open winner who awaited the challenge bracket winner, met former Iowa national champion Brent Metcalf in the finals at 66 kg. Ware downed Hawkeye Wrestling Club grappler Brent Metcalf 1-0, 0-1, 1-1 in the first round. Ware used last second takedown in the third to forge a 1-1 tie, taking a 1-0 lead. Metcalf won the second round 2-1, 0-7, 2-0 to force a third round for the spot on the world team. Ware won the first period of the third round 2-0 and then rolled Metcalf three times in the second period for a 7-1 TF to win 2-0, 7-1 and earn a spot on the World Team and join Sanderson and Varner in Istanbul.

The Nittany Lion Wrestling Club had an outstanding tournament at the WTTs. Current Nittany Lion wrestler Quentin Wright, the 2011 NCAA National Champion at 184, went 2-2 at 84 kg. Wright won his first two bouts to advance to the semifinals of the challenge bracket before bowing out with two straight losses. Wright, who went 2-2, beat Andy Hrovat 5-2, 4-3 and then pinned former Pitt national champion Keith Gavin in the first period 0:56. Wright then fell 1-0, 2-1 to Reader before losing to second seed Bryce Hasseman in consolations.

Former Penn State All-American Mark McKnight picked up a win at 55 kg. McKnight went 1-2 for the NLWC. He lost a three-period bout to Obe Blanc in the first round, downed Zach Sanders of the Minnesota Storm 2-1, 1-1 in consos before falling 2-0, 1-3, 4-3 to Brandon Precin of the Wildcat Wrestling Club.

Current Nittany Lion Wrestling Club Coach and former Penn State All-American Aaron Anspach dropped nearly 60 pounds to wrestle at 96 kg and had a 1-2 tournament. Anspach beat AIA's Micah Burak 2-2, 3-3 before cropping a 1-0, 4-1 decision to Hanke in the semis. Anspach then lost a 0-2, 4-2, 1-0 decision to Luke Lofthouse in consolation action.

Nittany Lion Wrestling Club 60 kg grappler Nick Fanthorpe also went 1-2 at the WTTs. Fanthorpe opened the tournament with a 5-1, 2-1 win over Hawkeye Wrestling Club's Ty Clark. Fanthorpe then lost 1-0, 1-0 to Coleman Scott in the second round before dropping a 1-0, 1-0 decision to the U.S. Army's Derek Moore.

Sanderson, Wright and the rest of the Nittany Lion wrestlers are prepping for the new collegiate season as well. The season ticket package for the 2011-12 campaign features seven home duals (the Nittany Lion Open is not part of the package and the Intrasquad is free) and costs only $42 for all seats, the same price as last year. Fans can place new orders for season tickets by calling Joel Diamond at 814-867-2557. A $5 per order handling fee will be added to new season ticket holders. Current season ticket holders from last year will receive their renewal notices later this summer and information on single dual tickets will come as the season approaches. With season ticket sales already brisk, Penn State will be capping the number of total season tickets sold (combining new applications and renewals from last year), so fans wishing to purchase new season tickets are encouraged to do so quickly.

All information for purchasing new season tickets is also available online at is .

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Last Updated June 17, 2011