UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Penn State Nittany Lions (14-0, 9-0 B1G) will head to the 2018 NCAA Wrestling Championships with nine NCAA qualifiers, eight of whom are seeded, including seven seeded in the top five and eight in the top eight. The three day event takes place in Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, on March 15-17.
The Nittany Lions are coming off yet another unbeaten regular season and another Big Ten Regular Season (dual meet) title. Penn State will be looking to win its seventh NCAA National Championship in the past eight years. Head coach Cael Sanderson's squad, which won the NCAA title last year in St. Louis, received two No. 1 seeds and will feature five returning individual NCAA Champions.
Senior Corey Keener (Schuylkill Haven, Pa.) will be making his fourth trip to the NCAA Championships and his first as a Nittany Lion. Keener is unseeded at 133 and will take on No. 11 Dom Forys of Pittsburgh in the opening round. Keener is 2-6 all-time at the NCAA Championships. He has posted a 16-8 overall record this season heading to NCAAs.
True freshman Nick Lee (Evansville, Ind.) will be making his first trip to the NCAA Championships and is seeded No. 8 at 141. Lee will battle Ryan Diehl of Maryland in the opening round. He has posted an 11-4 record against this year's field at 141. Lee is 26-5 this year as a true freshman so far this year.
Senior Zain Retherford (Benton, Pa.), a three-time All-American and two-time defending NCAA Champion at 149, is once again the No. 1 seed. Retherford will take on Eastern Michigan's Kyle Springer in the opening round in Cleveland. He is 13-0 against the field this season. Retherford, who is 26-0 this year to date, won his third straight Big Ten title on March 4 and was named the 2018 Big Ten Wrestler of the Year for the second time.
Junior Jason Nolf (Yatesboro, Pa.), a two-time All-American and the defending NCAA Champion at 157, is the No. 3 seed. Nolf, who returned to action for the first time in over a month with a 2-0 showing at Big Tens on March 3-4 (a pin and a major), will meet Colin Heffernan of Central Michigan in the opening round. Nolf is 21-1 to date with the lone loss being an injury forfeit on Jan. 28 in a bout he was winning at the time. Nolf is 9-1 against the field, with the lone loss the aforementioned injury default on Jan. 28.
Sophomore Vincenzo Joseph (Pittsburgh, Pa.), an All-American and the defending NCAA Champion at 165, is the No. 3 seed this year. Joseph will battle Jonathan Schleiffer of Princeton in the first round of this season's NCAA tournament. He is 9-2 against the field to date. Joseph heads to Cleveland with a 20-2 overall record.
Sophomore Mark Hall (Apple Valley, Minn.), an All-American and the defending NCAA Champion at 174, is the No. 2 seed this year. Hall will take on Austin Rose of Drexel in the opening round of this year's tournament. He is 17-0 against this year's 174-pound field. Hall is coming off winning his first Big Ten title on March 4 and heads to Cleveland with a 28-0 overall record.
Junior Bo Nickal (Allen, Texas), a two-time All-American and the defending NCAA Champion at 184, will be the No. 1 seed this year in Cleveland. Nickal will face off against South Dakota State's Martin Mueller in the first round. The Lion junior is 10-0 against the field so far. Nickal is coming off winning his second Big Ten title on March 4 and heads to the NCAA Championships with a 26-0 mark.
Junior Shakur Rasheed (Coram, N.Y.) will be making his first trip to the NCAA Championships and is the No. 5 seed at 197. Rasheed will take on Sawyer Root of The Citadel in his first bout at nationals on Thursday. He is 7-3 against the field this season. Rasheed, who is 20-3 this year, is coming off a Big Ten runner-up finish at his first Big Ten Championships on March 3-4.
Junior Nick Nevills (Clovis, Calif.), a returning All-American, heads to his second NCAA Championship as the No. 3 seed at 285. Nevills will take on Stephen Suglio of Kent State in the opening round. The Penn State junior is 12-5 against this year's heavyweight field to date. Nevills will carry a 26-5 overall record with him to Cleveland.
As stated, the three day event takes place in Quicken Loans Arena and begins on Thursday, March 15, at 12 p.m. The entire three-day tournament will air live on the ESPN family of networks. All three morning sessions (1, 3 and 5) will air live on ESPNU. Thursday and Friday's evening sessions (2 and 4) will air live on ESPN and Saturday night's Championship Finals will air live on ESPN2.
The 2017-18 Penn State wrestling season is sponsored by The Family Clothesline. Penn State Fans are encouraged to follow Penn State wrestling via twitter at @pennstateWREST, on Penn State Wrestling's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pennstatewrestling and on Instagram at www.instagram.com/pennstatewrest. This is PENN STATE. WRESTLING lives here.
#1 PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS (14-0, 9-0 B1G)
133 Corey Keener Sr. Schuylkill Haven, Pa./Blue Mountain 16-8
7th at Big Tens, 4X NCAA qualifier
141 #8 Nick Lee Fr. Evansville, Ind./Homeschool 26-5
3rd at Big Tens, NCAA qualifier
149 #1 Zain Retherford Sr. Benton, Pa./Benton 26-0
1st at Big Tens, 4X qualifier, 3X All-American, 2X National Champ
157 #3 Jason Nolf Jr. Yatesboro, Pa./Kittanning 21-1
6th (MFF) at Big Tens, 3X qualifier, 2X All-American, National Champ
165 #3 Vincenzo Joseph So. Pittsburgh, Pa./Central Catholic 20-2
2nd at Big Tens, 2X qualifier, All-American, National Champ
174 #2 Mark Hall So. Apple Valley, Minn./Apple Valley 28-0
1st at Big Tens, 2X qualifier, All-American, National Champ
184 #1 Bo Nickal Jr. Allen, Texas/Allen 26-0
1st at Big Tens, 3X qualifier, 2X All-American, National Champ
197 #5 Shakur Rasheed Jr. Coram, N.Y./Longwood 20-3
2nd at Big Tens, NCAA qualifier
285 #3 Nick Nevills Jr. Clovis, Calif./Clovis 26-5
3rd at Big Tens, 2X qualifier, All-American
RANKING LISTED IS NCAA TOURNAMENT SEED
Team ranking listed is Final USA Today Coaches Poll (2/20/18)
No. 1 Penn State (14-0, 9-0 B1G) will send nine wrestlers to the 2018 NCAA Championships on March 15-17 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Nittany Lions will be aiming for their seventh NCAA title in the last eight years at Quicken Loans Arena. Action begins on Thursday, March 15, at 12 p.m.
ON THE AIR
TV - All six sessions will air live on the ESPN family of networks! Each day's first session (1, 3, 5) will air live on ESPNU, Thursday and Friday night's sessions (2 and 4) are live on ESPN and Saturday's Championship Finals (6) will air live on ESPN2!
Live Web Video - ESPN3 offers every single bout on every single mat live as well as a scoreboard show!
Radio All Season - FREE!!! Penn State Radio Network. All live streaming of Penn State audio is free this year. All audio and some video (both free and $) can be accessed through Lionvision.
Zain Retherford NAMED BIG TEN WRESTLER OF THE YEAR
Senior Zain Retherford was honored as the 2018 Big Ten Wrestler of the Year at the conclusion of the 2018 Big Ten Championships on 3/4. This marks the second time the Lion has been so honored, having won the award in 2016 as well. This is the seventh time in the past eight years that a Nittany Lion has been named Big Ten Wrestler of the Year: David Taylor in 2010 and 2011, Ed Ruth in 2013, Taylor again in 2014, Retherford in 2016, Jason Nolf in 2017 and Retherford again this year.
RETHERFORD NOW A 3X B1G CHAMPION
Zain Retherford shut out #2 Brandon Sorensen of Iowa in the title match at 149 pounds to win his third straight Big Ten title on 3/4. Retherford's win capped off a 3-0 tourney run in East Lansing that saw the Lion senior notch two majors to reach the finals. Retherford ends his B1G tournament career with a 14-1 record at the event. He was a four-time finalist, finishing as a runner-up to Logan Stieber as a true freshman in 2014 before winning the last the crowns.
HALL CLAIMS B1G TITLE AT 174
Sophomore Mark Hall rolled through the competition at the 2018 Big Ten Championship, going 4-0 with two pins to win the Big Ten title at 174 pounds. Hall pinned Michigan State's Logan Ritchie and Wisconsin's Ryan Christensen before downing #17 Johnny Sebastien of Northwestern in the semifinals. He then took care of #6 Myles Amine of Michigan, 4-3, to win the title and was one of three Penn State Champions at the event. Hall is now 6-1 all-time at the Big Ten tournament.
NICKAL NOW A 2X B1G CHAMPION
Junior Bo Nickal dominated #2 Myles Martin of Ohio State in the Big Ten finals at 184, posting a 7-4 win with nearly 2:00 in riding time to claim his second Big Ten individual championship. Nickal won at 174 as a freshman in 2016. Nickal pinned Minnesota's Brandon Krone in his first match and then beat #7 Emery Parker of Illinois 5-2 in the semis to get to the finals. Nickal is now 9-1 all-time at the Big Ten tournament.
LEE AND NEVILLS TAKE THIRD AT B1GS
True freshman Nick Lee and junior Nick Nevills each placed third at the 2018 Big Ten Championships in East Lansing on 3/3-4. Lee went 4-1 at 141 with three majors to earn third place and a trip to the NCAA Championships as a true freshman. He had three majors as well, including a 13-3 major over #6 Cole Weaver of Indiana and a 15-5 major over #15 Nate Limmex of Purdue. Nevills went 4-1 at 285 to take third. He had one major and posted three wins over ranked wrestlers: 5-0 over #19 Conan Jennings of Northwestern, 6-1 over #7 Youssif Hemida of Maryland; and 5-2 over #5 Sam Stoll of Iowa. Nevills, an All-American after a fifth place finish last year, will be heading to his second NCAA tournament.
KEENER NOW A 4X NCAA QUALIFIER
Senior Corey Keener will be heading to his fourth NCAA Championship tournament and his first as a Nittany Lion. Keener went 2-2 at the 2018 Big Ten Championships, including an 11-3 major over #21 Ben Thornton of Purdue in the seventh place match, earning the Big Ten's final automatic spot at his weight. He also pinned Jens Lantz of Wisconsin. Keener made his first three trips to NCAAs with Central Michigan.
NOLF RETURNS TO ACTION AT B1GS, 2-0 AT 157
Defending NCAA Champion Jason Nolf returned to action for the first time since January 28 with a perfect 2-0 showing in the first session of the 2018 Big Ten Championships. Nolf pinned Michigan State's Jake Tucker and then posted a 15-2 major over #20 Jake Short of Minnesota before the team opted to medically forfeit him out of the remainder of the tournament. Nolf, the 2018 NCAA Champ and 2017 runner-up at 157, heads to his third NCAA Championship with a 21-1 overall record (the only loss an injury default on 1/28 in a bout he was leading at the time).
Carson Kuhn GOES OUT IN STYLE
Senior Carson Kuhn capped off his Penn State run in style, going 3-3 at 125, placing 11th as the 14 seed and notching a pin in his final bout. Kuhn lost a hard-fought 6-4 decision to #13 Drew Mattin of Michigan in a bout that would have secured an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships. With a final bout in hand to determine 11th place, Kuhn went out and used a first period spladle to pin Johnny Jimenez of Wisconsin at the 2:21 mark in his final outing as a Nittany Lion. Kuhn ends his season, shortened after he transferred in January from Boise State, with a 4-5 record.
BO'S FAST FALLS!
Junior Bo Nickal, 26-0 overall, has 15 pins among those 26 wins. Eight of those pins are fast falls (coming in under 1:00). Nickal has pins in :26, :53, :38, :48, :42, :56, :50 and :11 seconds this year. Five more of his pins have come in the first period, giving him 13 of 15 falls in the opening stanza of his matches.
RETHERFORD CLIMBING UP CAREER WINS AND DUAL MEET VICTORIES LISTS
Senior Zain Retherford now sports a 121-3 career record. A three-time All-American and two-time NCAA Champion, Retherford is now 10th on Penn State's all-time wins list with 121. Retherford has won a Penn State record 89-straight matches dating back to the 2013-14 season (his true freshman campaign). He went 59-0 in dual meets during his career with his dual victories currently 5th all-time at Penn State. He wrapped up his Big Ten dual meet career with a perfect 35-0 mark with a 6-2 win over #2 Brandon Sorensen of Iowa on 2/10.
PENN STATE'S PIN PARADE
The race for the Penn State pin crown is on fire. Zain Retherford (149) is 26-0 with 16 pins; Jason Nolf (157) is 21-1 on the year with 16 pins; Bo Nickal (184) is 26-0 with 15 pins; Mark Hall (174) is 28-0 with 12 pins and Shakur Rasheed (197) is 20-3 with 12 pins.
RETHERFORD WITH A PIN IN HIS REC HALL FINALE
Retherford said goodbye to Rec Hall in fine fashion by pinning Buffalo's Nicholas Palumbo at the 4:10 mark in Penn State's record-setting 55-0 win over the visiting Bulls. Retherford's fall, his team-leading 16th this year, gives him 52 for his career, just one shy of tying Penn State's all-time record with the post-season yet to go. He improves to 23-0 on the year and went 14-0 in dual meets, ending his collegiate dual career unbeaten over four years with a 59-0 career dual meet record (35-0 in Big Ten duals).
LIONS SHUT OUT BUFFALO ON RECORD-SETTING DAY
The Penn State Nittany Lions closed out the 2017-18 dual meet season in record-setting fashion on Sunday, 2/18, shutting out Buffalo 55-0 in front of yet another sold out Rec Hall crowd. The Lions rolled up seven pins (Nick Lee, Zain Retherford, Bo Pipher, Mark Hall, Bo Nickal, Shakur Rasheed and Nick Nevills) in the victory. The 55 points is a new Penn State record for points in a dual and the seven pins ties the school record. Both marks break or tie the record set in a 54-0 win over Millersville on 1/25/83. The Lions will head into next year riding a 45-dual win streak. Penn State has wrestled in front of 41 straight Rec Hall sell-outs and 45 of 47 overall, including four of six sell-outs in the nearly-16,000 seat Bryce Jordan Center.
BUT THIS ONE GOES TO 11....
Bo Nickal stepped on to the mat for the season dual finale on 2/18 to face Buffalo's Brett Perry and walked off 11 seconds later with a pin. Nickal used one quick takedown, turn and fall to get the pin at the 0:11 mark, tying the second fastest pin in Nittany Lion history (David Taylor in 2014). Dylan Alton holds the record with an 0:08 fall in 2013.
PENN STATE'S DUAL MEET BONUS BONANZA
Penn State had a dominating dual meet season to date, having gone 14-0 on the year. Penn State went 112-28 in its 14 duals, with 80 of those wins coming via bonus (41 pins, 3 forfeits, 10 tech falls and 26 majors). So yes, only 32 of Penn State's 112 dual meet wins were regular decisions.
RETHERFORD A PERFECT 35-0 IN B1G DUALS
Junior Zain Retherford dominated #2 Brandon Sorensen of Iowa 6-2 on Feb. 10, 2018, in his final Big Ten dual meet. Retherford wrapped up is conference dual career unbeaten, going 35-0 overall for his career in Big Ten duals (8-0 in 2013-14, 9-0 in 2015-16, 9-0 in 2016-17 and 9-0 this year).
RETHERFORD TAKES CARE OF #2 SORENSEN IN BJC DUAL
Zain Retherford dominated No. 2 Brandon Sorensen of Iowa on 2/10 in a sold out Bryce Jordan Center, posting a 6-2 win over the second-ranked Hawkeye to help lead Penn State to a 28-13 victory. His win in the final Big Ten dual meet of his career allowed the Lion to end his conference dual career with an unblemished record. Retherford wrapped up is conference dual career unbeaten, going 35-0 overall for his career in Big Ten duals (8-0 in 2013-14, 9-0 in 2015-16, 9-0 in 2016-17 and 9-0 this year). Retherford's performance was just one of many dominant Penn State efforts in the team's 28-13 victory over Iowa in front of 15,998 fans in the sold out Bryce Jordan Center.
RASHEED AND NEVILLS NOTCH BIG WINS IN BJC DUAL VICTORY OVER IOWA
Juniors Shakur Rasheed and Nick Nevills capped off a dominating 28-13 dual meet win over Iowa in the Bryce Jordan Center on 2/10. Rasheed rolled over #7 Cash Wilcke at 197, dominating the Hawkeye on his way to an 11-2 major decision. Classmate Nick Nevills then sent the sellout crowd of nearly 16,000 home cheering with a 3-2 victory over #3 Sam Stoll at 285. The big men's victories were two of Penn State's seven in the Big Ten victory, helping Penn State finish off the conference season unbeaten at 9-0.
MARK AND BO SET THE TONE IN WIN OVER IOWA
Sophomore Mark Hall and junior Bo Nickal electrified a capacity crowd in the Bryce Jordan Center on 2/10, notching back-to-back `fast falls' in Penn State's 28-13 win over Iowa. Hall cradled up and pinned Hawkeye Joey Gunther at the 1:00 mark to put the Nittany Lions on top in the dual. Nickal followed suit, with a cradle of his own, pinning Mitch Bowman at the :50 mark, setting Penn State on course for a lopsided 28-13 victory over the Hawkeyes.
LIONS TAKE DOWN OHIO STATE TO CLINCH SHARE OF B1G DUAL TITLE
Penn State, wrestling without top-ranked Jason Nolf at 157, took care of business in a key Big Ten dual meet by beating visiting Ohio State in sold out Rec Hall on 2/3. The Lions roared back from a ten point halftime deficit to post a thrilling 19-18 win, clinching a share of the 2018 Big Ten Dual Meet Championship. The Lions won four of five bouts in the second half to grab the win. Penn State's victory kept it dual meet win streak alive at 43 and clinched a share of its fifth Big Ten dual crown under head coach Cael Sanderson.
CASSAR TAKES DOWN NO. 1 MOORE; NAMED B1G WRESTLER OF THE WEEK
Sophomore Anthony Cassar took down No. 1 Kollin Moore of Ohio State at 197 pounds, defeating the formerly unbeaten Buckeye 6-3. Cassar's victory helped spark a Nittany Lion run that led to a 19-18 victory over the visiting Buckeyes in sold out Rec Hall on 2/3. Cassar notched takedowns in the second and third periods and picked up 1:16 in riding time while not giving up a takedown to roll to the win. He improves to 16-2 on the year for Penn State. His win was one of four straight in the second half as Penn State overcame a 10-point halftime deficit to down the Buckeyes in front of nearly 7,000 fans in the 40th straight Rec Hall sellout for Penn State. Cassar was named the Big Ten Wrestler of the Week for his efforts.
RETHERFORD, JOSEPH, HALL, NICKAL OWN BIG BUCKEYE WINS IN DUAL VICTORY
With Anthony Cassar grabbing the capstone win over No. 1 Kollin Moore in Penn State's 19-18 victory over Ohio State on 2/3, defending NCAA Champions Zain Retherford, Vincenzo Joseph, Mark Hall and Bo Nickal each posted dominating wins over highly ranked foes in the victory. Retherford posted a 20-4 tech fall over No. 7 Ke-Shawn Hayes at 149; Joseph rolled over #14 Te-Shawn Campbell, notching a 12-3 major at 165; Hall rolled up 1:40 in riding time in a 6-4 win over #3 Bo Jordan at 174; and Nickal dominated #2 Myles Martin, using two late near fall points to cruise to a 10-2 major.
Carson Kuhn MAKES PENN STATE DEBUT VS. OHIO STATE
Graduate student transfer Carson Kuhn, who joined Penn State in January as a transfer from Boise State, made his Nittany Lion debut in front of nearly 7,000 fans in Penn State's 19-18 victory over Ohio State on 2/3. Kuhn was up in the dual's first match and set the tone for Penn State, despite dropping a hard-fought 21-12 major to No. 4 Nathan Tomasello. Kuhn took the returning All-American down three times in the first period, including a headlock throw in front of the scorers table that nearly led to back points. The bout was the first for the Utah native in over a year.
BISONO WINS MESSIAH OPEN TITLE/ HOEG 2ND
Sophomore Francisco Bisono rolled to the Messiah Open title at 174 pounds on 2/3, going 4-0 with a major and a tech fall to win the crown. True freshman James Hoeg took runner-up laurels at 197 pounds, posting a 3-1 mark with a major and a pin. True freshman Richie McClanahan took seventh at 149 with a 4-2 mark as well.
LIONS HANDLE RUTGERS TO REMAIN UNBEATEN
Penn State took care of home-standing Rutgers 25-15 on 1/28, winning seven of ten bouts in front of a sold out RAC crowd. One of Penn State's losses, an injury default by defending NCAA champion Jason Nolf, occurred with the Lion in the lead at 157. Zain Retherford hammered #13 Eleazor DeLuca at 149, rolling to a 14-2 major. Vincenzo Joseph took care of Richie Lewis at 165 and Bo Nickal took down Nicholas Gravina at 184 in other battles of ranked opponents.
LEE MAJORS #10 THORN IN PSU'S WIN OVER MINNESOTA
True freshman Nick Lee majored #10 Tommy Thorn at 141 in Penn State's 35-8 victory over the visiting Gophers in a sold out Rec Hall on 1/26. Lee's win was one of eight for the Nittany Lions in the dual. Penn State also got ranked wins from Jason Nolf over #18 Jake Short at 157 and Vincenzo Joseph over #7 Nick Wanzek at 165.
NOLF'S UNBEATEN B1G MARK ENDS W/ INJURY DEFAULT
Junior Jason Nolf, the defending NCAA champion at 157, was beating Rutgers' John Van Brill in the second period of the Lions' dual in New Jersey on 1/28 when he was injured and took an injury default loss in the bout. The loss was Nolf's first-ever in a Big Ten dual and ended his personal win streak at 46.
NEVILLS' B1G WEEKEND VS. PURDUE AND MARYLAND
Junior heavyweight Nick Nevills rolled through two ranked Big Ten foes this week, helping to keep Penn State unbeaten on the year. Nevills notched the bout's only takedown in a 4-2 win over #15 Shawn Streck of Purdue on Friday 1/19, including 1:24 in riding time. He then dominated #6 Youssif Hemida of Maryland on the road, posting a 4-1 win with 2:20 in riding time on Sunday 1/21.
PENN STATE WITH A `FALL' WEEKEND IN JANUARY
Penn State rolled through a `fall' weekend in the middle of January's winter chill, downing Purdue on 1/19 and winning at Maryland on 1/21 by a combined score of 90-9. Penn State won 18 of 20 bouts with 10 of those 18 victories coming by `fall'. The Nittany Lions had four pins vs. Purdue (Zain Retherford, Jason Nolf, Bo Nickal and Shakur Rasheed) and a season-high six at Maryland just two days later (Corey Keener, Retherford, Nolf, Vincenzo Joseph, Mark Hall and Nickal).
NITTANY LIONS ROLL PURDUE
Penn State won all nine contested bouts vs. Purdue on 1/19, dropping only a forfeit at 125 with every Lion 125-pounder out with an illness. The Lions got pins from Zain Retherford, Jason Nolf, Bo Nickal and Shakur Rasheed and majors from Nick Lee and Mark Hall in the 43-6 victory. Corey Keener had a win at 133, Nick Nevills downed #15 Shawn Streck at 285 as well, and Hall's major was over #12 Dylan Lydy at 174.
SEASON-HIGH 6 PINS V. MARYLAND, INCLUDING 5 STRAIGHT
Penn State won nine of 10 bouts at Maryland on 1/21 in a 47-3 victory over the Terrapins. The Nittany Lions got a season-high six falls from Corey Keener, Zain Retherford, Jason Nolf, Vincenzo Joseph, Mark Hall and Bo Nickal in the win (the last five coming in a row). In addition, Nick Nevills downed #6 Youssif Hemida in the final bout, using a third period ride-out to roll to a 4-1 win with 2:20 in riding time.
JOSEPH NAMED BIG TEN WRESTLER OF THE WEEK (1/16)
Sophomore Vincenzo Joseph was named Big Ten Wrestler of the Week (co-, sharing the honor with Ohio State's Nathan Tomasello) for the week ending Jan. 14. Joseph grabbed Penn State's first weekly honor of the year by majoring #5 Logan Massa 12-3 and pinning Michigan State's Austin Hiles.
NITTANY LIONS WIN 9 AT MICHIGAN STATE, ALL FOR BONUS
The Penn State Nittany Lions routed homestanding Michigan State on 1/14, winning nine of ten bouts. All nine of Penn State victories were for bonus points, including a dual season-high five pins (tying the five vs. Army on 11/9 to open the season). True freshman Nick Lee capped off his season opening dual weekend with a resounding 16-1 tech fall over #20 Javier Gasca of Michigan State at 141. Mark Hall posted a tech fall at 174 while Corey Keener (133) and Anthony Cassar (197) posted majors. Zain Retherford, Jason Nolf, Vincenzo Joseph, Bo Nickal and Nick Nevills all recorded falls as Penn State rolled to the 48-3 victory.
Nick Lee'S DUAL DEBUT LEADS LIONS OVER MICHIGAN
True freshman Nick Lee made his Nittany Lion dual meet debut in Penn State's 25-12 win at #4 Michigan on 1/12. Lee took care of UM's Sal Profaci Sal Profaci at 141, one of seven Penn State wins in the lopsided victory. Joining Lee with big wins for Penn State were Zain Retherford at 149, Jason Nolf over #5 Alec Pantaleo at 157, Vincenzo Joseph with a dominant 12-3 major over #5 Logan Massa at 165, Mark Hall with a win over #6 Myles Amine at 174, Bo Nickal with a victory over #5 Domenic Abounader at 184 and Shakur Rasheed with a big 7-1 win over #11 Kevin Beazley at 197.
JOSEPH, RASHEED TOP LIST OF 5 RANKED WINS AT UM
Sophomore Vincenzo Joseph and junior Shakur Rasheed each posted lopsided wins over highly ranked opponents in Penn State's 25-12 win at Michigan on 1/12. Joseph dominated #5 Logan Massa at 165, rolling to a 12-3 major while Rasheed ran away from #11 Kevin Beazley at 197 with a 7-1 win. Joining the duo with ranked victories were Jason Nolf (a 6-4 win over #5 Alec Pantaleo at 157), Mark Hall (a 6-5 win over #6 Myles Amine at 174) and Bo Nickal (a 5-2 win over #5 Domenic Abounader at 184).
LIONS CROWN SIX CHAMPS, WIN 7TH SCUFFLE TITLE
The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team rolled through the field at the 2018 Southern Scuffle, crowning six champions to win its seventh team title in as many trips. Penn State had won six straight before not competing in last year's event. Zain Retherford (149), Jason Nolf (157), Vincenzo Joseph (165), Mark Hall (174), Bo Nickal (184) and Shakur Rasheed (197) all won individual championships. True freshman Nick Lee, wrestling unattached, was took second at 141 and Anthony Cassar was third at 197. Nick Nevills was fourth at 285 as well. The Lions were first with 197.0 points. Penn State posted a 56-19 overall record at the event, with nearly 40 percent of the wins coming by fall (22). Penn State had 22 pins, four techs, 12 majors and three forfeit victories, meaning all but 15 of Penn State's wins were for bonus.
RASHEED, NOLF GRAB INDIVIDUAL HONORS AT SCUFFLE
Junior Shakur Rasheed, unseeded at 197, was named the 2018 Southern Scuffle Outstanding Wrestler after rolling to the title at his weight. Rasheed went 5-0 with wins over three ranked foes to win the championship. He opened his run with two majors and then hammered home three straight pins (all in under 1:00 time) to win the crown. Nolf won the tournament's Most Falls/Least Time award with four pins in just 10:51.
BLUMER TAKES FOURTH AT WILKES
True freshman Joey Blumer went 3-2 to take fourth place at the Wilkes Open in late December. Blumer picked up a major and a tech at 141. Brian Friery also competed, picking up a pin at 157.
LIONS DOMINATE INDIANA 44-3 IN BIG TEN OPENER
Junior Jered Cortez posted a 6-5 win over No. 12 Cole Weaver at 141 pounds and the Penn State Nittany Lions added eight more wins, all by bonus, to roll over the visiting Indiana Hoosiers in the Big Ten dual opener for Penn State. In front of another sold out Rec Hall crowd, Penn State got the win from Cortez; majors from Corey Keener (133), Anthony Cassar (197) and Nick Nevills (285); a tech fall from Mark Hall (174); a forfeit win for Vincenzo Joseph (165); and pins from Zain Retherford (149), Jason Nolf (157) and Bo Nickal (184).
NEVILLS CAPS OFF COMEBACK WIN OVER #7 LEHIGH
Junior All-American Nick Nevills clinched Penn State's 23-19 come-from-behind win over homestanding Lehigh with a third period rideout of No. 14 Jordan Wood to post a 2-0 win. With Penn State leading 20-19 at the time, Nevills' victory helped Penn State finish off a road comeback in front of nearly 10,000 fans in the sold out PPL Center in Allentown, Pa. Nevills used a second period escape and 1:48 in riding time thanks to a full third period rideout of Wood to clinch the victory. Penn State, wrestling with two nationally ranked starters out, had trailed 15-0 after three bouts and 19-11 heading into the final four matches.
NOLF PINS HIS WAY THROUGH FIRST SEVEN BOUTS
Jason Nolf had a pretty solid start to the 2017-18 season. The junior 157-pounder began his season with seven straight pins. He won the Keystone Classic on 11/19 with four pins and went 3-0 in Penn State's first four duals with pins. The pin streak ended when we won by tech fall over Lehigh's Ian Brown (23-8, 6:40) on 12/3 at Lehigh.
Nick Lee WINS MAT-TOWN OPEN
True freshman Nick Lee, wrestling unattached at Lock Haven, won the Mat-Town Open title on Sunday, 11/26, at 141 pounds. Lee went 4-0 with two pins, a tech and a major to win the crown. Red-shirt freshman Patrick Higgins also competed, going 2-2 with a tech fall to finish fourth at 133 as well.
LIONS ROLL TO KEYSTONE CLASSIC TITLE
Penn State rolled to its second straight Keystone Classic title on 11/19. The Nittany Lions posted a perfect 7-0 mark in the finals and won the team crown with 190.5 points, ahead of second place Northwestern's 156.5. Penn State's title winners were: Jered Cortez (141), Zain Retherford (149), Jason Nolf (157), Mark Hall (174), Bo Nickal (184), Anthony Cassar (197) and Nick Nevills (285).
LIONS GRAB ROAD WIN AT BINGHAMTON
Penn State picked up its first road win of the season, winning at Binghamton 40-2 on 11/17. The Lions won nine of ten bouts, including Bo Nickal's 15-6 major over #14 Steven Schneider and three pins (Zain Retherford, Jason Nolf and Mark Hall).
PENN STATE DOMINATES BUCKNELL 36-6
The Nittany Lions won eight of ten bouts in a lopsided 36-6 victory over visiting Bucknell on 11/12. Penn State picked up pins from Jason Nolf and Zain Retherford, tech falls from Vincenzo Joseph and Mark Hall and majors from Corey Keener and Bo Nickal.
LIONS NOTCH 5 PINS IN WIN OVER ARMY WEST POINT
Penn State opened up its 2017-18 season with a resounding 45-3 win over visiting Army West Point on 11/9. The Nittany Lions rode five pins to the victory. Senior Corey Keener made his Penn State debut with a pin at 133, Jason Nolf had a fall at 157, Mark Hall pinned #19 Ben Harvey at 174, Bo Nickal picked up a pin in 0:26 at 184 and Nick Nevills had a pin at 125. The five pins in one dual is the most by a Nittany Lion team since pinning five Maryland Terrapins last year on Feb. 12, 2017.
VERKLEEREN WINS BEARCAT OPEN CROWN
True freshman Jarod Verkleeren competed unattached at 149 and rolled through the field for the 149-pound title at the Bearcat Open in Binghamton on 11/12. The Greensburg native went 5-0 in his first open tournament as a collegian to lead Penn State, which had six of its 13 entrants place. Verkleeren had two tech falls. True freshman Nick Lee went 3-1 with two tech falls and a major to place third at 141. Junior Shakur Rasheed went 3-1 with three pins to take fourth place at 197. Junior Devon Van Cura wrestled at 184 and posted a 5-1 record with a major to place fifth. Sophomore Dominic Giannangeli wrestled at 133 and posted a 5-1 mark as well to finish fifth.
Brady Berge LEADS LIONS AT PRINCETON OPEN
True freshman Brady Berge, wrestling unattached at 157, had a strong debut wrestling at the collegiate level to pace Penn State at the Princeton Open on 11/4. The true freshman, redshirting this season, advanced to the semifinals with two major decisions before dropping a match. He rebounded from that loss to win twice including in the consolation finals, placing third at his first tournament. Berge went 4-1 with two majors.
LEE AND RASHEED STRONG AT CLARION OPEN
True freshman Nick Lee competed unattached at 141 in his first open tournament as a Penn Stater and led the Lions at the Clarion Open on 11/5. Lee was impressive, advancing all the way to the finals. Lee went 4-1 on the day with three dominating tech falls and a major. He dropped a hard-fought 6-4 decision to No. 10 Brock Zacherl of Clarion in the finals. Junior Shakur Rasheed, wrestling at 197, went 4-1 with three pins and a tech fall. The Lion junior placed third, winning the consolation finals with a pin in just 0:39. Redshirt freshman Bo Pipher wrestled at 149. Pipher posted a 3-2 mark, with all three wins coming by fall. Junior George Carpenter competed at 133 and posted a solid 4-2 mark including four straight wins in consolation action.