UNIVERSITY PARK – Sophomore Scott Rosenthal of Clearfield has been named the first Big 10 Conference Gymnast of the Week of the 2011 season after being selected the most outstanding competitior for a career-high 15.400 performance on the still rings in No. 7-ranked Penn State’s 343.300-319.100 win over No. 15 Army in Rec Hall Saturday night.
Rosenthal, who keyed the team’s 59.200 effort on the rings, received the coveted Gene Wettstone Award that is handed out after every Nittany Lion home meet in honor of their former longtime head coach, now 97 years old.
The former walk-on’s score, the highest by a Nittany Lion since Tommy Ramos had a 15.725 at the 2008 NCAA Championships, would have ranked in the top five nationally last year.
Rosenthal finished his rookie season ranked No. 9 in the country by GymInfo with a national qualifying average of 14.475 and a season-best 15.100.
He posted firsts in meets against Army, Minnesota and Temple, seconds in both the West Point Open team and individual events, a third against Illinois, a fourth against California and a tie for fifth against Ohio State.
At the Big 10 Championships, Rosenthal topped the Nittany Lions with a 15.050 in the team competition and placed 10th with a 14.250 in the individual competition.
Penn State was pegged by the Big 10 Conference coaches to finished fourth behind three nationally-ranked teams in Michigan (No. 2), Illinois (No. 4) and Ohio State (No. 6).
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HAMPTON, Va. – In his first dual meet action of the season, redshirt senior 125-pounder Brad Pataky of Clearfield set the tone for a Penn State sweep of four opponents, two of them ranked, at the 2011 Virginia Duals Friday and Saturday in the Hampton Coliseum.
The undefeated and No. 2-ranked Nittany Lions roared past Virginia Military Institute 42-3 and Edinboro 37-12 on the first day and handled No. 23 Kent State 23-15 and No. 15 Michigan 24-12 on Saturday to win the tournament championship for the first time since 1991.
Pataky, who missed seven December dual meets because of a knee injury, padded his record to 7-2 with two pins, a technical fall and a decision.
He went the distance against VMI’s Jonathan Pope, with a near fall at the buzzer giving him a 21-4 technical fall after he had recorded two takedowns, a reversal and five turnovers while building enough riding time for a bonus point. Pope did take him down twice.
Pataky led Edinboro’s Bijan Banks 6-0 when he put the Fighting Scot bantam on his back for the third and final time at the 1:37 mark.
In his biggest win of the weekend, Pataky was locked in a 2-2 tie with No. 10-ranked Nic Bedelyon when he caught the Kent State redshirt junior with a cement mixer for a meet-deciding fall at the 4:02 mark. Bedelyon, a three-time PIAA Class AAA placewinner for Indian Valley, missed last season because of shoulder surgery after earning NCAA All-American honors with an eighth-place finish in 2009.
The title match against Michigan provided Pataky with an opportunity to avenge a 12-6 loss to Sean Boyle that prevented him from placing at the 2010 Southern Scuffle a week earlier, and he made the most of it.
On his fourth shot, Pataky engineered the takedown with 49 seconds gone and was able to put the Wolverine on his back for three points. Boyle worked his own takedown between a pair of Pataky escapes in the middle period. After Boyle chose neutral, the third period was scoreless, and Pataky’s 1:13 riding time advantage set the final at 8-2.
Pataky is 7-2 for the Nittany Lions, whose 11-0 start is Penn State’s best since the 1970-71 team won its first 12 matches.
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OSWEGO, N.Y. – Lycoming (7-6) sophomore 174-pounder Jeff Thomas of Curwensville was 1-1 in the Pennsylvania/New York Duals in State University of New York-Oswego’s Max Ziel Gymnasium Saturday.
He lost 6-2 to Cameron Mils, one of SUNY-Oswego’s top wrestlers, in the Warriors’ 15-14 squeaker over the host team and won by forfeit in the 33-15 Empire Conference win over Rochester Institute of Technology.
Thomas is 7-6 with a team-leading six falls. He’s 5-4 in duals.
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EAST LANSING, Mich. – Redshirt senior Derek Caldwell of Curwensville lost two bouts for Lock Haven (4-5) in the Spartan Duals Saturday.
He was pinned at the 3:39 mark by Eastern Michigan 197-pounder Nick Whittenburg in a 34-6 loss and major decisioned 10-2 by Olivet (Mich.) 184-pounder Jim Neal in a 22-15 victory.
Caldwell, who did not wrestle in the Bald Eagles’ 28-12 loss to host Michigan State, is 1-3 in duals and 3-7 overall.
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NEW WILMINGTON – Sophomore guard Matt Shiner of Clearfield scored four points and grabbed four rebounds in two Westminster (3-11) home games last week.
The Titans were beaten 69-50 by Waynesburg and 71-68 by Washington & Jefferson, falling to 0-5 in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference.
For the season, Shiner has registered 30 points, 13 rebounds, two assists and two steals in 10 games as a reserve. He’s made all eight of his free throws.
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GREENSBURG – Junior forward Todd Hryn of Clearfield played briefly in one of Pitt-Greensburg’s three road games last week.
He has appeared in 10 games with 13 points, 20 rebounds, two assists, four steals and one blocked shot.
The Bobcats (5-8) slipped to 2-5 in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference with losses to Franciscan (Ohio) 67-62 and Penn State Behrend 66-46 before nipping Pitt-Bradford 80-79 Sunday.
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Dan Hutchins booted two field goals and three extra points out of holds by redshirt junior quarterback Andrew Janocko of Clearfield as Pitt (8-5) concluded a tumultuous postseason by thumping Kentucky 27-10 in the BBV Compass Bowl that attracted 41,207 fans to Legion Field Saturday.
The field goals of 21 and 33 yards gave Pitt a 6-3 lead late in the first half, and the Panthers never trailed.
Defensive coordinator Phil Bennett, who was hired for a similar position by Baylor on Friday, was acting head coach because Dave Wannstadt was forced to resign at end of regular season and former Miami (Ohio) coach Mike Haywood was fired three weeks after being named as the new coach.
With Janocko handling all the snaps, Hutchins was successful on all 40 PATs and 18 of 25 field goals.