Penn State wrestlers ready for 2015 Big Ten Championships

March 06, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestlers (11-4), ranked No. 7 nationally, will carry a string of four straight Big Ten titles with them into the 2015 Big Ten Wrestling Championships. The two-day event takes place on March 7-8 at Ohio State's St. John Arena.

All 10 Lion wrestlers competing at this weekend's Big Ten Wrestling Championships earned pre-seeds as announced by the conference on Monday. While the seeds are not finalized until after the official seeding confirmation at the coaches meeting on Friday afternoon (post-press, subject to change), head coach Cael Sanderson's squad is well represented.

Junior Jordan Conaway (Abbottstown, Pa.) is the No. 5 pre-seed at 125 with a 20-5 record. Sophomore Jimmy Gulibon (Latrobe, Pa.) is No. 3 at 133 with a 20-4 mark. Red-shirt freshman Kade Moss (South Jordan, Utah) is No. 9 at 141 with a 17-14 record. Sophomore Zack Beitz (Mifflintown, Pa.) is No. 6 at 149 with a 15-7 record. Junior Luke Frey (Montoursville, Pa.) is No. 9 at 157 with a 12-5 record.

Red-shirt freshman Garett Hammond (Chambersburg, Pa.) is No. 6 at 165 with a 21-9 record. Senior Matt Brown (West Valley City, Utah) is No. 2 at 174 and is 22-2 on the year. Red-shirt freshman Matt McCutcheon (Apollo, Pa.) is tied for No. 7 at 184 with a 21-11 record. Junior Morgan McIntosh (Santa Ana, Calif.) is 23-2 at 197 and is the No. 2 pre-seed. Senior Jimmy Lawson (Toms River, N.J.) is No. 5 at 285 with a 12-1 record.

Penn State will send a very young line-up to Columbus, one that features five underclassmen (three freshmen and two sophomores). The Nittany Lions will have five wrestlers making their Big Ten Championship debuts: Moss at 141, Beitz at 149, Frey at 157, Hammond at 165 and McCutcheon at 184. The Big Ten received 86 total automatic qualifiers: five at 125, twelve at 133, eight at 141, seven at 149, eight at 157, eight at 165, ten at 174, ten at 184, nine at 197 and nine at 285.

Nine of Penn State's ten wrestlers are ranked in the final NCAA Coaches Poll and seven received top 33 RPI ratings in the final NCAA RPI release as well. Conaway is ranked No. 9 in the final coaches poll and No. 8 in final RPI. Gulibon is ranked No. 4 in the final coaches poll at 133 and No. 3 in RPI. Moss is ranked No. 25 in the final coaches poll at 141. Beitz is ranked No. 14 in the final coaches poll at 149 with an identical No. 14 RPI.

Frey gets the nod at 157 for Penn State. Frey announced that he will forego his final year of eligibility upon graduation in May and is one of five Lions making Big Ten tourney debuts. Hammond is ranked No. 19 at 165 with a No. 15 RPI. Brown is ranked No. 2 by the coaches at 174 with a No. 3 RPI. McCutcheon is ranked No. 20 in the final coaches poll at 184 with a No. 19 RPI. McIntosh is ranked No. 4 at 197 with a No. 3 RPI. Lawson is ranked No. 7 in the final coaches poll at 285.

Penn State has won the last four Big Ten titles. The Nittany Lions have also dominated the conference's post-season awards since Sanderson's arrival. Penn state has had the last four Big Ten Wrestlers of the Year (David Taylor three times, Ed Ruth once), the last four Big Ten Coach of the Year (Sanderson all four times, shared once), the last four Big Ten Championship Outstanding Wrestler winners (Quentin Wright, Frank Molinaro/shared, Ed Ruth and David Taylor) and one Big Ten Freshman of the Year (David Taylor). Taylor was named the Big Ten Male Athlete of the Year (Jesse Owens Award) last season as well.

The Nittany Lions will next prep for the 2015 NCAA Championships, seeking their fifth-straight NCAA title. The three-day event takes place on Thursday-Saturday, March 19-21, in St. Louis, Mo., and the Scottrade Center. Penn State Fans are encouraged to follow Penn State wrestling via twitter at www.twitter.com/pennstateWREST and on Penn State Wrestling's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pennstatewrestling. The 2014-15 Penn State Wrestling season is presented by The Family Clothesline.

#7 PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS (11-4, 6-3 B1G)

WT NAME EL HT/HS REC
125 #9 Jordan Conaway Jr. Abbottstown, Pa./New Oxford / 20-5
#9 final coaches / #8 final NCAA RPI -- No. 5 pre-seed

133 #4 Jimmy Gulibon So. Latrobe, Pa./Derry Area / 20-4
#4 final coaches / #3 final NCAA RPI -- No. 3 pre-seed

141 #25 Kade Moss Fr. South Jordan, Utah/Bingham / 17-14
#25 final coaches / NR final NCAA RPI -- No. 9 pre-seed

149 #14 Zack Beitz So. Mifflintown, Pa./Juniata / 15-7
#14 final coaches / #14 final NCAA RPI -- No. 6 pre-seed

157 Luke Frey Jr. Montoursville, Pa./Montoursville / 12-5
NR final coaches / NR final NCAA RPI -- No. 9 pre-seed

165 #19 Garett Hammond Fr. Chambersburg, Pa./Chambersburg / 21-9
#19 final coaches / #15 final NCAA RPI -- No. 6 pre-seed

174 #2 Matt Brown Sr. West Valley City, Utah/Cyprus / 22-2
#2 final coaches / #3 final NCAA RPI -- No. 2 pre-seed

184 #20 Matt McCutcheon Fr. Apollo, Pa./Kiski Area / 21-11
#20 final coaches / #19 final NCAA RPI -- No. T7 pre-seed

197 #4 Morgan McIntosh Jr. Santa Ana, Calif./Calvary Chapel / 23-2
#4 final coaches / #3 final NCAA RPI -- No. 2 pre-seed

285 #7 Jimmy Lawson Sr. Toms River, N.J./Manchester Township / 12-1
#7 final coaches / NR final NCAA RPI -- No. 5 pre-seed

NOTE THAT PRE-SEEDS ARE NOT FINAL UNTIL 3/6/15 / POST-PRESS
Team ranking is Intermat Tournament Power Index (TPI) as of 2/24/15
Individual rankings are FINAL NCAA COACHES RANKINGS 2/24/15

THIS WEEK
#7 Penn State (11-4, 6-3 B1G) heads to Columbus, Ohio, for the 2015 Big Ten Wrestling Championships. The two-day event takes place on Saturday and Sunday, March 7-8, at Ohio State's St. John Arena.

UP NEXT
Penn State will ride a string of four straight NCAA titles into the 2015 NCAA Wrestling Championships on March 19-21 in St. Louis, Mo., and the Scottrade Center.

ON THE AIR
TV - NONE on Saturday or early Sunday afternoon, Sunday's Big Ten Finals live on the BTN at appx. 3 p.m.
Live Web Video - Both days webstream via College Sports Live/BTN-Plus ($ via GoPSUsports)
Radio All Season - Penn State Wrestling Radio Network (1390 WRSC AM locally); go to http://www.gopsusports.com/sports/m-wrestl/spec-rel/102714aab.html for full listing. All audio is streamed live thru GoPSUsports and College Sports Live (CBS). 

Last Updated March 06, 2015