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Penn State Wrestling Club hosts annual post-season Awards Luncheon
National Champion honored with award for 184-pound title run
Hall Freshman, Zain Wrestler, Cael Coach of the Year as Penn State sweeps InterMat Awards
Nittany Lions blaze to five straight wins in a 5-0 finals showing to tie NCAA record for national champions
Sophomore downs Duke's Kasper to place fifth at 285 in first NCAA tournament appearance
Parents: Jason and Sandy Nickal -- Major: Kinesiology
2015-16: Ranked #1 by InterMat...posted 21-6 tech fall over Tyler Wood of Lock Haven in collegiate debut on 11/13...dominated #3 Zach Epperly of Virginia Tech 6-2 on 11/15...pinned returning All-American and #16-ranked Bryce Hammond of CSUB at the 1:57 mark on 11/20 then majored Stanford's Keaton Subjeck 12-4 on 11/22 in California...named Big Ten Wrestler of the Week (11/22)...went 5-0 with three pins to win Nittany Lion Open crown on 12/6...dominating 16-2 major over #16 Ricky Robertson of Wisconsin in BJC Dual on 12/13, Nickal's Big Ten dual debut...dominated the field at the 2016 Southern Scuffle, winning the title as the #4 seed...Nickal went 6-0 with two tech falls and a major...downed #11 Michael Ottinger of Central Michigan and beat former unbeaten and #1 Brian Realbuto of Cornell 14-7 in semifinals...was named Big Ten Wrestler of the Week for second time (1/5)...strong 10-3 win over #14 Micah Barnes of Nebraska on 1/15...pinned previously unbeaten #5 Zac Brunson of Illinois in Champaign on 1/23...dominant third period with 10 points led to 11-5 win over #14 Myles Martin of Ohio State on 2/5...picked up major at Lehigh on 2/13 and tech fall at home vs. Michigan State on 2/13...17-2 TF over Heston Lamons of Oklahoma State in dual meet win on 2/21...was two-time Big Ten Wrestler of the Week and first team All-Big Ten honoree.
Big Ten Championships (3-0, Champion, NCAA Qualifier): 2016 Big Ten Champion with dominant 3-0 run through tournament on 3/5-6 in Iowa...majored #23 Phil Bakcuckas of Rutgers 15-3, pinned #14 Myles Martin of Ohio State (2:28) and majored #3 Zach Brunson of Illinois 18-9 in finals.
NCAA Championships (4-1, Runner-Up, All-American): 2016 NCAA National Runner-Up...4-1 at first-ever NCAA Championship, getting upset in NCAA finals to place second...downed #16 Micah Barnes, #9 Chandler Rogers and #12 Nathan Jackson on his way to the NCAA finals.
2014-15: Red-shirt season...went 13-2 in open tournaments, wrestling unattached...had two majors, a tech and three pins...won the Bearcat Open at Binghamton on 11/19/14.
High School/Personal: Came to Penn State from Allen, Texas, where he emerged as one of the nation's top high school wrestlers...brought three Texas state titles (and one runner-up) with him to Happy Valley...led Allen High School to four straight dual meet titles and four straight state team championships...ended his career with a 183-7 record, including 131 pins. Nickal competed in the Dapper Dan Classic, as well as the 2014 USA Dream Team dual, winning both events...won numerous national and international freestyle titles...parents were both collegiate athletes, with his mom playing basketball at San Deigo State and his father playing football at Chadron State.
|YEAR||OVERALL||DUALS (B10)||TRN (B10/NCAA)||F||TF||M||Pts.|
|2014-15||Red Shirt Season|
|2015-16||33-2||15-1 (8-1)||18-1 (3-0/4-1)||8-0||7-0||8-0||71||Career||33-2||15-1 (8-1)||18-1 (3-0/4-1)||8-0||7-0||8-0||71|