UNIVERSITY PARK, PA - Four members of the Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team, the two-time NCAA and Big Ten Champions, will be taking part in the 2012 United States Olympic Wrestling Team Trials. Three former national champions and red-shirt freshman who won nearly 30 bouts this year will all head to Iowa City on April 21-22, looking to earn a spot in the 2012 London Summer Olympics.
Red-shirt freshman Matt Brown (West Valley City, Utah) will compete at 74 kg (163 pounds), sophomore Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.) will compete at 84 kg (185 pounds), sophomore David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio) will compete at 74 kg (163 pounds) and junior Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.) will compete at 84 kg (185 pounds). All four will represent the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club in Iowa City's Carver-Hawkeye Arena at the two day event.
Brown posted a superb 27-2 record this season. Wrestling behind the eventual 2012 NCAA Champion at 174, Brown went 5-0 in duals for Penn State, including three wins over nationally ranked wrestlers. Two of his dual wins came up two weights at 197, both against national qualifiers and one against a ranked opponent at that weight. Brown ended the year with ten majors, four technical falls and seven pins. One of his only two losses was to teammate Ruth, a 6-3 decision (which was Ruth's closest contest of the year).
Ruth blazed his way through an unbeaten 2012 campaign at 174 that culminated in a dominating win over Stanford's Nick Amuchastegui in the NCAA finals, a 13-2 major decision. Ruth went 31-0 this season with nine majors, seven techs and ten pins. In addition to his NCAA title, Ruth was the 2012 Big Ten Champion, a first team All-Big Ten honoree and the Big Ten Wrestler of the Week (1/17/12). He is a two-time All-American, two-time Big Ten Champion, the 2011 NCAA Championship Gorriaran Award winner and has a 69-2 career record.
Taylor also capped off an undefeated 2012 season by setting an NCAA record for points scored in the finals with a 22-7 technical fall over Lehigh's Brandon Hatchett to win the 165 pound title at 165. Taylor went 32-0 on the year with six majors, nine tech falls and 15 pins. In addition to the NCAA crown, Taylor was the 2012 Big Ten Champion, the 2012 Big Ten Wrestler of the Year, a first team All-Big ten honoree, an Academic All-Big Ten selection, the Big Ten Wrestler of the Week (1/3/12), the NCAA's Most Dominant Wrestler for 2012, the 2012 NCAA Championships Gorriaran Award winner, the 2012 NCAA Championships Outstanding Wrestler and the 2012 Hodge Trophy Winner as the nation's top wrestler. Taylor is now a two-time All-American and two-time Big Ten Champion with a 70-1 career record.
Wright advanced to his second straight NCAA title bout at 184 before dropping a hard-fought 4-2 (SV) decision to Cornell's Steve Bosak in the national finals. Wright posted a 30-4 overall record in 2011-12 with five majors, four techs and 14 pins. He ended 2012 as the national runner-up at 184, following up his 2011 National Championship won in Philadelphia. Wright's performance in St. Louis makes him Penn State's 20th three-time All-American. He was the 2011 Big Ten Champion and tournament's Outstanding Wrestler and has an 84-23 career record. As stated, he is a three-time All-American, winning the crown in 2011, taking second in 2012 and placing sixth at 174 in 2009.