Wrestler Quentin Wright had to reach into the very back of his repertoire in order to defeat No. 2 Matt Wilps by pin Friday in No. 1 Penn State’s 31-7 win over Pittsburgh.
A little less than three minutes into the dual, Wright executed a figure-four leglock on Wilps to take him to the mat, a move that the Penn State senior wasn’t certain was legal.
While it was an unexpected move, Wright said he worked on different positions in practice.
“I just came out of the scramble and I saw the opening there so I went for it and locked it up,” Wright said. “Whatever happens, happens, but I was just trying to make sure he wasn’t getting off the mat.”
The win continued Wright’s undefeated stretch since he lost to Wilps in an exhibition in November. Since that 3-2 loss Nov. 3, the senior is 22-0 and 12-0 in dual meets.
Wright carried his momentum from the pin over to Sunday against Ohio State. With the Lions holding a one-point advantage with two bouts to go, the senior earned a crucial bonus point for his team with a 9-1 major decision over No. 16 Kenny Courts. The decision meant that Ohio State needed a pin at heavyweight to win the dual.
With the team entering its final home dual Sunday against Rider, it will be Wright’s last chance to wrestle at Rec Hall, along with senior Bryan Pearsall.
“They’re both guys that just love wrestling, have a passion for wrestling. They both have done tremendous things for this program,” head coach Cael Sanderson said. “We’re not real excited that they’re seniors, it’s just part of the process but we’ll keep our head up and make sure that we’re celebrating their last match.”
Wright will be one of six seniors that Penn State honors on senior day Sunday, along with Bryan Pearsall, Andrew Church, Nick Fischer, Derek Reber and fifth-year senior James English.
As Wright’s final home dual approaches, the senior reflected on his Rec Hall memories, saying his collegiate debut on Nov. 16, 2008 against Hofstra was up there among his favorites.
“That’s definitely my most favorite memory, winning that last second takedown,” Wright said.
The Wingate, Pa., native is set to face freshman Ryan Wolfe in his final home dual on Sunday. Wolfe is 20-9 this season for the Broncs.
Wright said the realization is starting to sink in that this will be his last time on a Rec Hall mat.
“I have a week long process of thinking, ‘wow, this is it, this is the last home match, what am I going to do?’ ” Wright said. “I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on it. I’ve had a great time at Penn State.”