Skip to comments.Nittany Lions Claim Fourth-Straight NCAA Title [wrestling]
Posted on 03/23/2014 8:19:41 AM PDT by FlJoePa
OKLAHOMA CITY - Penn State's reign over the college wrestling world continued on Saturday night when the Nittany Lions captured their unprecedented fourth-straight NCAA team title.
Fueled by NCAA individual crowns from seniors Ed Ruth at 184 pounds and David Taylor at 165 pounds, the Lions celebrated on the sport's grandest stage inside Chesapeake Energy Arena as the 2014 national champions.
"Our kids really did a fantastic job today," head coach Cael Sanderson said. "We had our hands full. Minnesota was really killing it, so we needed a (strong finish). All of our All-Americans won their last match. That's a big deal."
By no means was the fourth title an easy one for the Nittany Lions, who edged Minnesota by 5.5 points in the final team standings. Following a victory from Ruth at 184 pounds, the Lions pulled ahead of the Gophers by 1.5 points after two championship bouts.
Minnesota suffered setbacks in its two national title bouts, with the second coming in the ninth match of the evening. As the 157-pound bout ticked to zero on the clock, the white-clad Penn State fans rose to their feet to celebrate the program's fifth national championship.
"It is satisfying now," Sanderson said. "It was a long three days. We are going to sleep well tonight...This was a tough tournament. And this was a tough year."
But the work was not quite done for the Nittany Lions, as Taylor was on deck in the final championship match of night.
You could not have scripted a better way for Taylor's career to end in a Penn State singlet than the way it did on Saturday night. The epitome of a team player, Taylor's imprint on the program goes far beyond his stellar accolades. He didn't miss a match at the national tournament because he wanted to support his fellow teammates. On Saturday morning, he did not need to be at the arena, but he was the first to greet fellow James English as he came off the mat after his win in the seventh-place match at 149 pounds.
Thanks to another dominant performance, Taylor finished off his collegiate career with a victory in the final match of the national tournament, an individual national title and a team title. He couldn't wipe the smile off of his face.
"That's just stuff I dreamt about when I was a kid. And kind of sums it up tonight," said Taylor. "Just having that opportunity to go out there and wrestle and wrestle for the best fans in the country and have the best coaches in my corner. It's just - I don't know, it's hard to say."
Watching Taylor and Ruth have their arm raised one final time for Penn State is something special for not just Nittany Lion fans, but the sport of wrestling. The duo combined for five individual national titles, eight individual Big Ten titles, four team national titles, four Big Ten team titles and a cumulative record of 270-6.
"Anyone who has watched David Taylor or Ed Ruth becomes and instant wrestling fan," Sanderson said. "Those guys are fun to watch. They are in constant motion. They are fluid. They are tough. They wrestle with passion. And they wrestle with fire. You need heroes and guys like that to build the sport."
Taylor and Ruth certainly played a paramount role in Penn State's fourth-straight title, but the Nittany Lions remain atop the NCAA wrestling mountain because of a hard-fought team effort in Oklahoma City.
Final Team Standings - (Champions/All-Americans) 1. Penn State - 109.5 (2 Champions / 7 All-Americans) 2. Minnesota - 104.0 (0 Champions / 7 All-Americans) 3. Oklahoma State - 96.5 (2 Champions / 5 All-Americans) 4. Iowa - 78.5 (1 Champion / 6 All-Americans) 5. Edinboro - 62.0 (0 Champions / 3 All-Americans)
Hard to say which is more dominant - wrestling or Women's volleyball. Both keep raising the bar.
Pedo U strikes again!
“unprecedented fourth-straight NCAA team title”
Great job PSU, but the writer might want to look into the definition of “unprecedented” given that IA and OK State have one four (or more) straight five times.
Were they faces or heels?
I believe the writer meant that it was unprecedented for Penn State. As to the other posters, f**k off.
I'm pretty sure that should say "Nittaly Lions" - according to The One, anyway.
HAHAHAHA, no kidding! Iowa won it a mere 9 straight times in the 70’s, OK State a mere 7 times in the 40’s, not to mention smaller runs like you said.
Stupid asshat journalists.
I thought I knew what tired was until I turned out for wrestling in the ninth grade. It takes a lot of dedication and hard work.
And what does that have to do with Penn State Wrestling?
Hey, we got you guys next in the Women’s NCAA Tournament.
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