STATE?COLLEGE?- The Big Ten wrestling final from Rec Hall Friday night was Penn State 36, Wisconsin 6, but that was only part of the story.
With the meet starting at 285, that meant that former Bald Eagle Area High School standout Quentin Wright would close down the meet at 197 before 6,515 PSU faithful.
With the Lion victory already secured and only the final score to be determined, Wright wasted no time at all as he scored a takedown on Jackson Hein and decked Hein at 1:24 of the opening period to bring the crowd to its feet.
For Wright, the victory was the 100th of his outstanding career. When asked about getting the job done early in the bout, Wright said, "The opportunity was there so I took it. That was fun."
As for what it meant to him to reach the goal in front of a home crowd, Wright felt it was just great to be able to do it in front of fans that have been there with him all of his wrestling life.
"I was looking at it earlier and trying to calculate it out," said Wright. "I didn't think I was going to get it in front of the home until (PSU SID Pat Donghia) told me that I had 99 going into the meet. It kind of surprised me that it was going to be one hundred and that was important to me to be able to do that because they have been here with me all four years. It is just great to be able to achieve moments with your family."
So other than getting one hundred wins, what else does it mean to Wright to reach that plateau?
"It means a lot to me to be able to give something back to the community and the people around me," he said. "Being a local kid, everybody gets to hear and see everything you say and do. It is not like you are away and doing something in front of people you don't know and they don't know you. These people have been here for me ever since I started wrestling when I was six or seven so they have known me my whole life. You just get to have a lot of relationships with a bunch of people so it sort of becomes like a family. It is nice that they are for you whether you win or lose."
PSU head coach Cael Sanderson had some good things to say about Wright's contribution to the Nittany Lion success over the past four years.
"I think that (winning 100 matches) was sort of a given," said Sanderson. "He is looking to be a two-time national champion and a four-time All American and this is just one of the steps along the way. It is exciting to celebrate that, but I don't think he came here (to Penn State) to get into the 100-win club, but it is nice."
The Badgers took the initial lead in the meet that started at 285 when 11th ranked Conor Medbery doubled up on Jon Gingrich for a 6-3 win.
Facing the 3-point deficit, the Lions came roaring back to take the next three bouts for a 13-3 lead and they never looked back.
At 125, Nico Megaludis was just being Nico as he conducted a takedown clinic on Matt Cavallaris that led to a 22-7 match termination win. Megaludis tallied nine takedowns and accumulated four minutes of time advantage for his lopsided win.
Jordan Conaway wrestled the match of his young Penn State life at 133 when he took third-ranked Tyler Graff to overtime before getting the bout-winner 36 seconds in to the extra period.
285 Connor Medbery, W, dec. Jon Gingrich, 6-3. (0-3) 125 Nico Megaludis, PS, match termination Matt Cavallaris, 22-7. (4-3) 133 Jordan Conaway, PS, dec. Tyler Graff, 10-8 OT. (7-3) 141 Bryan Pearsall, PS, pinned Tom Kelliher, 1:22. (13-3) 149 Cole Schmitt, W, dec. James English, 8-4, 2OT. s.v. (13-6) 157 James Vollrath, PS, dec. Kalvin York, 5-3. (16-6) 165 David Taylor, PS, tech. fall Frank Cousins, 25-7, 6:22. (21-6) 174 Matt Brown, PS, dec. Scott Liegel, 12-7. (24-6) 184 Ed Ruth, PS, won by forfeit. (30-6) 197 Quentin Wright, PS, pinned Jackson Hein, 1:24. (36-6)