Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Franklin Grad a Key for Penn State Megaludis Hopes to Help Lions to Third National Title in a Row

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Franklin Grad a Key for Penn State Megaludis Hopes to Help Lions to Third National Title in a Row

Article excerpt

Can Penn State University win its third consecutive NCAA Division I wrestling title?

Nico Megaludis thinks so.

"If we can stay healthy, I don't see any reason why we can't win another title," said Megaludis, a sophomore who graduated from Franklin Regional High School. "When you consider how many starters we have back, we have the potential to be even better than last year's team."

Penn State had six wrestlers finish among the top three in their weight classes at last year's NCAA tournament and five were underclassmen. Frank Molinaro (149), David Taylor (165) and Edward Ruth (174) won national titles for the Nittany Lions, while Megaludis (125) and Quentin Wright (184) placed second and Dylan Alton (157) placed third. Molinaro was the only senior in the group.

Alton's twin brother, Andrew, has stepped in to take Molinaro's spot in the lineup. Andrew Alton redshirted last season after starting the year before. Ruth and Wright have moved up one weight class to 184 and 197, respectively, and super-sub Matt Brown has stepped in at 174.

"Those moves make us an even stronger team," Megaludis said.

Penn State's season officially opened on Nov. 17, as the Nittany Lions dominated Lehigh, 29-6, and West Virginia, 44-3.

But for Megaludis and three Nittany Lions teammates, the season began two weeks earlier, as they were chosen to wrestle in the 2012 U.S. Marine Corps All-Star Classic, which took place Nov. 3 at American University in Washington, D.C.

Megaludis, ranked No. 2 in the country at 125 pounds, faced No. 3 Jesse Delgado of Illinois and posted a 4-3 victory.

"It was good to open the season with such a tough opponent," Megaludis said. "I learned a lot from that match. It doesn't count on my record, but it was a great experience."

Megaludis and his Penn State teammates were given two days off last week for Thanksgiving. …

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