By Stephen Hennessey – Collegian Online
Brad Pataky had to wait around six hours before wrestling his first opponent Sunday.
“That was pretty grueling. I had to wait around, getting anxious and wanting to wrestle,” the No. 20-ranked sophomore wrestler said.
After more than 12 hours of wrestling Sunday, Pataky said it was a long day for everybody involved. The Nittany Lions boarded a bus immediately after the tournament ended, which was about 10:15 p.m., to return back to State College.
In its last competition before its first dual meet, the No. 7 Penn State wrestling team had three wrestlers place in the top 4 in the Michigan State Open tournament.
Pataky said the open tournament was a good barometer to see what the team needs to work on heading into their opening match next Sunday.
Pataky and redshirt freshman Frank Molinaro wrestled-back into the consolation championship of their brackets, finishing fourth and third, respectively.
Pataky said he should have won both matches he lost, calling himself the aggressor and the better wrestler in each match.
“My head wasn’t in the right spot,” he said. “I made a few mistakes and need to work on those. I have to work on my hand fighting and hand positions, as well as not beating myself. The only time I usually lose is when I beat myself.”
No. 20-ranked David Erwin was one match away from winning the 174-pound weight class outright, but an injury in the championship match forced him to settle for second place.
Erwin did not wrestle in the championship match, defaulting to Virginia’s Chris Henrich.
Two Nittany Lion redshirt freshmen who earned starting spots in last weekend’s Wrestle-off’s also had successful tournaments.
Molinaro, who earned the starting spot at the 141-pound weight class defeated highly-touted Pittsburgh wrestler Tyler Nauman, 6-5, in the consolation final.
Cameron Wade, who defeated Stefan Tighe to earn the heavyweight spot, executed two pins en route to a 4-2 record.