UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.-- Nine members of the Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team will begin the 2013-14 season with national rankings and head coach Cael Sanderson's squad will sport a No. 1 team ranking in Intermat's Tournament Power Index (TPI). The TPI ranks a team's potential tournament strength based on Intermat's individual rankings, not dual meet strength. The full list of national rankings is available at www.intermatwrestle.com.
Penn State, three-time defending NCAA and Big Ten Champion, is ranked No. 1 to begin the new campaign with 100.5 points while conference rival Iowa is close behind in second with 99.0 points. Minnesota (83.0), Oklahoma (70.5) and Oklahoma State (70.5) round out the top five. Nebraska (7th), Wisconsin (8th), Ohio State (11th), Illinois (13th), Michigan (15th) and Northwestern (18th) give the Big Ten nine teams ranked among the top 25.
Junior Nico Megaludis (Murrysville, Pa.) will enter the year ranked No. 2 at 125. The two-time All-American, two-time national finalist went 28-4 last year and carries a 56-12 record into his third season at Penn State. Red-shirt freshman Jimmy Gulibon (Latrobe, Pa.) is ranked No. 11 at 133 by Intermat as well. Gulibon went 21-7 in open tournament action last year as an unattached red-shirt.
Andrew Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.) is ranked No. 8 at 149 heading into the year. Alton is a two-time NCAA qualifier and went 27-6 last season. He carries a 57-16 career record into his junior campaign. Twin brother Dylan Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.) will enter the new year ranked No. 6 at 157. Alton, a 2012 All-American as a third place finisher, was one win shy of his second All-America nod last year and went 28-8. He is 58-14 for his career as 2013-14 begins.
Senior David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio), three-time All-American, three-time NCAA finalist and 2012 NCAA Champion, will carry a No. 1 ranking at 165 into the new season. Taylor, who will wrestle in the NWCA All-Star Classic on Nov. 2, was 30-2 last year and heads into his final season as a Nittany Lion with a 100-3 career record.
Junior Matt Brown (West Valley City, Utah), 2013 NCAA Finalist, enters the new year ranked No. 3 at 174. The All-American, who will wrestle in the NWCA All-Star Classic on Nov. 2, went 29-5 in his first year as a starter for Penn State last season and heads into his junior season with a 56-7 career record.
Senior Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.), two-time NCAA Champion and three-time All-American, enters the new year ranked No. 1 at 184. Ruth, one of three Nittany Lions wrestling in the NWCA All-Star Classic on Nov. 2, posted his second straight undefeated season last year, going 33-0 on his way to a second consecutive NCAA title. Ruth has won 68 straight matches dating back to 2011 and is 102-2 for his career.
Sophomore Morgan McIntosh (Santa Ana, Calif.) returns to action at 197 for Penn State after a red-shirt campaign last year and is ranked No. 4 by Intermat. McIntosh went 18-10 as a true freshman in 2011-12, advancing to nationals despite battling injury all year. Junior Jimmy Lawson (Tom's River, N.J.) will enter the 2013-14 season ranked No. 10 at 285. Lawson was an NCAA qualifier a year ago in his first season at Penn State and ended the season with a 23-9 record.
Penn State opens up the 2013-14 season at Rider on Sat., Nov. 16, and at Lehigh on Sunday, Nov. 17. Taylor, Brown and Ruth will take part in the NWCA All-Star Classic two weeks prior to that on Nov. 2 at George Mason. In addition, Penn State will have a presence at the Binghamton Open on Nov. 10 with many Lions making the trip unattached. Fans are encouraged to follow Penn State wrestling via Twitter at www.twitter.com/pennstateWREST and on Penn State Wrestling's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pennstatewrestling.