PA's Ed Ruth Wins Third NCAA Championship for Penn State

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Penn State 184-pounder Ed Ruth wrestles Gabriel Dean of Cornell during the semifinals at the NCAA 2014 Division I Wrestling Championships in the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Friday, March 21, 2014. Ruth defeated Dean 5-3 to advance to the finals. (The Daily Iowan/Tessa Hursh)

Penn State 184-pounder Ed Ruth wrestles Gabriel Dean of Cornell during the semifinals at the NCAA 2014 Division I Wrestling Championships in the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Friday, March 21, 2014. Ruth defeated Dean 5-3 to advance to the finals. (The Daily Iowan/Tessa Hursh)

Pennsylvania Wrestling continues to reign king and Penn State’s Ed Ruth is a large reason behind that. Ruth had some of his toughest battles on and off the mat this season but on Saturday night he was all smiles as the Harrisburg native earned his third straight NCAA Division I National Championship. Take a look at Ruth’s High School and College Career recaps below!

As a freshman for Susquehanna Township Ed Ruth entered the Class AAA District 3 Section-I Tournament as the fourth seed at 152 lbs. Despite winning his first two matches and advancing to the semifinals Ruth fell to Big Spring’s Chris Barrick and dropped his consolation match to end his season with a (26-6) record.

In Ruth’s sophomore season he won his first South Central Regional/District 3 Championship claiming the 160 lbs. bracket and qualifying for the PIAA Class AAA State Tournament. In his first trip to Hershey Ruth earned a PIAA State Medal finishing in fifth place. The sophomore fell in the Championship semifinals to future Penn State teammate Quentin Wright (Bald Eagle Area) by decision (7-4). Wright went on to win his first PIAA State Championship. Ruth ended the season with a (28-3) record.

As a junior Ruth won his second straight South Central Regional/District 3 Championship, this season at 171 lbs. for Susquehanna Township. Ruth entered his second State Tournament undefeated but again suffered a semifinal defeat to Quentin Wright (Bald Eagle Area) in a (10-8) match. Again Wright went on to win his second straight PIAA State Championship while Ruth settled for fourth place to earn his second straight PIAA State Medal. Ruth ended his junior season with a (27-2) record.

After three seasons at Susquehanna Township Ed Ruth made the tough decision to advance his wrestling career by transferring to Blair Academy in New Jersey. In his senior season competing for Blair Academy Ruth prevailed on the National level. In the 2008 Walsh Ironman Ruth put on a Blair singlet for the first time ever and did not disappoint. Ruth won the 171 lbs. Championship title over Utah’s Ethen Lofthouse in the finals (10-5). At the 2008 Beast of the East Ruth entered as the #1 seed but was stunned in the first round as he was pinned in (2:25). He would bounce back to win 8 straight matches in the consolations to finish in third place at 171 lbs. (Fun fact: Cumberland Valley’s Mike Evans, now an All-American for Iowa, won the 171 lbs. 2008 Beast of the East Championship). It was Ruth’s only defeat of the season as he cruised to a National Prep Championship picking up five (5) falls in just (10:51) at the National Prep Tournament. Ruth ended his high school career as the Nation’s top ranked 171 lbs. wrestler with a (51-1) senior season record.


Ed Ruth’s High School Career

Freshman Season – 2005-2006 – Susquehanna Township High School – (26-6)

Sophomore Season – 2006-2007 – Susquehanna Township High School – (28-3)

Junior Season – 2007-2008 – Susquehanna Township High School – (27-2)

Senior Season – 2008-2009 – Blair Academy Prep – (51-1)

Career Record of 132-12


In his first season at Happy Valley Ruth took a redshirt season to prepare for the transition to college wrestling. Competing unattached for the Nitanny Lions Ruth went (14-3) wrestling at 184 lbs. Earning the 2011 starting spot at 174 lbs. Ruth made his collegiate debut in impressive fashion. Ruth won the Big Ten Championship and placed third at the NCAA National Tournament despite suffering an injury in the quarterfinals. Ruth not only won but dominated opponents winning the Gorriaran Award for most falls in least amount of time. In the off-season Ruth made headlines for the wrong reasons as he was charged on August 6, 2011 with two misdemeanor counts of assaulting a police officer and one misdemeanor count of simple assault after an incident that occurred in Washington D.C. (Orso, 2011).

Returning to the mat in his redshirt sophomore season Ed Ruth was unstoppable at 174 lbs. He won his second Big Ten Championship and his first NCAA National Title ending the season undefeated at (31-0). In his redshirt junior season Ruth moved up to 184 lbs. where he continued his dominance over the Nation. He won his third Big Ten Championship and second NCAA National Championship  downing defending NCAA Champion and fellow PA wrestler Steve Bosak (State College Area High School) of Cornell in the semifinals (4-1). In the finals Ruth majored Lehigh’s Robert Hamlin (12-4) to earn his second NCAA Championship.

Entering his fifth year at Penn State the redshirt senior was riding a 68 straight match win streak and sat comfortably on top of the NCAA ranks at 184 lbs. For the second time in two years Ruth again found himself in legal trouble. In November 2013 Ruth was charged with DUI for being three times over the legal limit. Ruth was suspended by Penn State for a month out of the Nitanny Lion’s starting line-up. On December 15, 2013 Ed Ruth returned to the mat for head coach Cael Sanderson picking up a win against Ohio. For the first time in nearly three years Ruth was defeated and his 84-match win streak was snapped by Cornell redshirt freshman Gabriel Dean in the Southern Scuffle finals at 184 lbs. by decision (7-4). It would be the last time Ruth suffered a defeat in his career. Refocused the redshirt senior bounced back to win his fourth straight Big Ten Championship. Ruth entered his final NCAA National Tournament as the #2 seed and would face #3 seed Gabriel Dean in the National semifinals. In the match Ruth was able to avenge the Southern Scuffle defeat to Dean by earning a hard-fought (5-3) decision. In the finals Ruth met fellow PA Native Jimmy Sheptock (Northampton Area High School) of Maryland who entered his first NCAA Finals undefeated. Ed Ruth would not be denied his third straight NCAA National Championship downing Sheptock (7-2) to cap his career in historic fashion.

For the fourth season in a row Ruth was the dual anchor in helping lead Penn State to it’s fourth straight NCAA National Team Championship. Ruth ended his Nitanny Lion career with a (140-3) record becoming Penn State’s first ever 3x National Champion and never falling to a Big Ten opponent.


Ed Ruth’s College Career

Redshirt Freshman Season – 2010-2011 – 174 lbs. – (38-2) – NCAA Third Place

Redshirt Sophomore Season – 2011-2012 – 174 lbs. – (31-0) – NCAA Champion

Redshirt Junior Season – 2012-2013 – 184 lbs. – (33-0) – NCAA Champion

Redshirt Senior Season – 2013-2014 – 184 lbs. – (38-1) – NCAA Champion

Career Record of 140-3


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