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STILLWATER, Okla. – Penn State (14-0, 9-0 B1G) dominated home standing Oklahoma State (14-1, 6-0 Big 12) in the title match-up of the 2017 NWCA Dual Championship Series. Head coach Cael Sanderson’ squad posted a 27-13 victory to claim its second-straight national dual meet title.
In a dual meet featuring 18 ranked wrestlers, Penn State’s young line-up, with seven underclassmen, handled the Cowboy squad. Penn State’s win came in front of an Oklahoma State wrestling all-time record crowd of 14,059 in sold out Gallagher-Iba Arena. The win is the 31st straight dual meet victory for Penn State. The Nittany Lions, who suffered a nine-point swing with an injury default loss in the dual’s first bout, reeled off seven straight wins after dropping the first three matches to roll to the lopsided victory.
The dual began at 125. True freshman Nick Suriano (Paramus, N.J.), ranked No. 2 at 125, was lead 3-1 over No. 11 Nick Piccininni in the second period when an injury forced the Lion freshman into an injury default loss. Oklahoma State took a 10-0 lead when No. 3 Kaid Brock posted a 17-6 major over sophomore George Carpenter (Chapel Hill, N.C.) at 133. Senior Jimmy Gulibon (Latrobe, Pa.), ranked No. 10 at 141, took No. 1 Dean Heil to the limit, appearing to have him pinned once in the second period and once in the third. But the call never came and Heil posted a 3-2 win to give the Cowboys a 13-0 lead after three matches.
Junior Zain Retherford (Benton, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 149, downed No. 2 Anthony Collica 2-1, using 1:51 in riding time to post the winning point. Sophomore Jason Nolf (Yatesboro, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 157, dominated No. 6 Joe Smith, rolling up 11 takedowns on his way to a lopsided 24-9 technical fall with 1:49 in riding time. Nolf’s tech fall cut the Cowboy lead to 13-8 at intermission, marking the first time all year Penn State trailed at a dual’s midway point.
Red-shirt freshman Vincenzo Joseph (Pittsburgh, Pa.), ranked No. 4 at 165, rolled over No. 8 Chandler Rogers to start the second half, posting a 12-4 major with 1:39 in riding time. Joseph’s win cut the Cowboy lead to 13-12. True freshman Mark Hall (Apple Valley, Minn.), ranked No. 7 at 174, used a third period takedown to beat No. 9 Kyle Crutchmer for the second time this year, this time with a 3-2 decision. Hall’s win gave Penn State the lead for the first time in the dual, 15-13
Sophomore Bo Nickal (Allen, Texas), ranked No. 2 at 184, added cushion to the Lion margin, locking up a cradle early and decking No. 4 Nolan Boyd at the 0:38 mark. It was Nickal’s 13th pin of the year. Junior Matt McCutcheon (Apollo, Pa.), ranked No. 9 at 197, clinched the dual victory with an impressive 4-3 win over No. 8 Preston Weigel, using two third-period takedowns to grab the victory. Sophomore Nick Nevills (Clovis, Calif.), ranked No. 3 at 285, capped the dual meet off with a solid 10-5 win over Cowboy Derek White, giving the Nittany Lions the 27-13 victory.
Despite the injury default at 125, Penn State dominated the dual meet from start to finish. Penn State won seven of ten bouts, completing a dual season that saw the squad win at least seven matches in each dual. The Nittany Lions won a lop-sided takedown battle 24-7, giving up takedowns in only three of the seven bouts. Penn State picked up six points points off a pin (Nickal), a tech (Nolf) and a major (Joseph).
Retherford is 19-0 with 13 pins, a forfeit, two techs and a major. Nolf is 19-0 with 11 pins, a major and six techs. Nickal is 18-0 with 13 pins and three majors this season. The Nittany Lions are now 14-0, 9-0 in the Big Ten, and winners of 31 straight duals. Oklahoma State falls to 14-1, 6-0 Big 12.
The Nittany Lions, now Big Ten Regular Season (dual meet) Champions and NWCA National Dual Meet Champions, will prep for the 2017 Big Ten Wrestling Championships on March 4-5. The two-day event, which serves as the NCAA qualifier for the conference, takes place at Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind. Penn State is the defending Big Ten Champion and has won five of the last six Big Ten crowns.
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. The 2016-17 Penn State wrestling season is presented by The Family Clothesline. This is PENN STATE. WRESTLING lives here.
#1 Penn State 27, #2 Oklahoma State 13
February 19, 2017 – Gallagher-Iba Arena – Stillwater, Okla.
125: #11 Nick Piccininni OKST inj. def. #2 Nick Suriano PSU, inj. def. (3:34) / 0-6
133: #3 Kaid Brock OKST maj. dec. George Carpenter PSU, 17-6 / 0-10
141: #1 Dean Heil OKST dec. #10 Jimmy Gulibon PSU, 3-2 / 0-13
149: #1 Zain Retherford PSU dec. #2 Anthony Collica OKST, 2-1 / 3-13
157: #1 Jason Nolf PSU tech fall #6 Joe Smith OKST, 24-9 (TF; 7:00) / 8-13
165: #4 Vincenzo Joseph PSU maj. dec. #8 Chandler Rogers OKST, 12-4 / 12-13
174: #7 Mark Hall PSU dec. #9 Kyle Crutchmer OKST, 3-2 / 15-13
184: #2 Bo Nickal PSU pinned #4 Nolan Boyd OKST, WBF (0:38) / 21-13
197: #9 Matt McCutcheon PSU dec. #8 Preston Weigel OKST, 4-3 / 24-13
285: #3 Nick Nevills PSU dec. Derek White OKST, 10-5 / 27-13
Records: Penn State 14-0, 9-0 B1G; Oklahoma State 14-1, 6-0 Big 12)
Up Next for Penn State: Big Ten Wrestling Championships, March 4-5, 2017, Bloomington, Ind.
125: True freshman Nick Suriano (Paramus, N.J.), ranked No. 2 at 125, battled No. 11 Nick Piccininni. Suriano began the bout working the center of the mat. The duo battled evenly for nearly two minutes when Suriano used a swift low single to take the Cowboy down and open up a 2-1 lead at the 1:10 mark. Piccininni nearly took Suriano down with his own shot but the Lion freshman fought off the move to hold on to his one point lead with :40 on the clock. Leading 2-1, Suriano chose down to start the second period and steadily worked for an escape but was injured on the move. He took an injury timeout, tried to continue but could not continue and had to take an injury default loss.
133: Sophomore George Carpenter (Chapel Hill, N.C.) faced off against No. 3 Kaid Brock at 133. Brock quickly took Carpenter down for an early 2-1 lead just :40 into the bout. He added a second takedown to open up a 4-1 lead. Brock then turned Carpenter for four back points and an 8-1 lead with 1:07 on the clock. Leading 8-1, Brock chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 9-1 lead. He picked up a tenth point on a second Carpenter stall. Brock added two more takedowns to open up a 14-2 lead after two periods. Carpenter chose down to start the third period and escaped to a 14-3 score. Brock added a quick takedown to lead 16-4 with 1:40 on the clock, plus a clinched riding time point. Brock shot low and Carpenter slid behind him for a takedown, cutting his lead to 16-6 at the :40 mark. Carpenter maintained control from the top position for the remainder of the period and kept the result to a 17-6 major.
141: Senior Jimmy Gulibon (Latrobe, Pa.), ranked No. 10 at 141, met unbeaten and top-ranked Dean Heil. The duo battled evenly for the first minute of the bout. Heil notched the bout’s first takedown with a solid high double at the 1:44 mark to open up a 2-0 lead. Gulibon escaped to a 2-1 score with 1:02 on the clock and action resumed in the center circle. Trailing 2-1, Gulibon chose down to start the second period. He steadily worked his way into Heil’s leg, trying to reverse him, but Heil was able to up and force a reset with 1:07 on the clock. Gulibon escaped to a 2-2 tie but Heil had 1:37 in riding time. Gulibon turned a high single into a scramble that appeared to have Heil pinned twice. But no call was made and Gulibon was also not given a takedown. Tied 2-2, Heil chose down to start the third period. Gulibon maintained control long enough to kill the riding time point and nearly pinned Heil on a scramble again. A potentially dangerous call forced a reset and Gulibon cut him loose to a 3-2 Heil lead. Gulibon’s pace forced the Cowboy backwards as he looked for a go-ahead takedown. Once again, he appeared to have Heil pinned but was not given the fall and Heil was given a 3-2 victory.
149: Junior Zain Retherford (Benton, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 149, took on No. 2 Anthony Collica. The duo traded shots in the middle of the mat as Retherford worked the center circle and Collica rotated around the Lion junior. Neither man was able to break through the other’s defense and the bout moved to the second period tied 0-0. Collica chose down to start the second period and Retherford kept control of the Cowboy for over a minute. Retherford got called stalling despite the fact that Collica continued to stand up but without trying to escape from that position. Retherford got hit with a second stall that the Lion bench immediately questioned. The call stood, the Penn State bench got a warning and action resumed with :10 left in the period. Retherford continued the ride out and trailed 1-0 after two periods. Retherford chose down to start the third period and quickly escaped to a 1-1 tie with 1:51 in riding time. Collica shot low and Retherford steadily worked his way out of the Cowboy’s grasp to keep the bout tied. With a riding time point assured for Retherford, the Lion spent the final :40 keeping Collica’s late shots at arm’s length. With 1:51 in riding time, Retherford posted the 2-1 win.
157: Sophomore Jason Nolf (Yatesboro, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 157, met No. 6 Joe Smith. Nolf got in on a low single with 1:50 on the clock and steadily worked the Cowboy to the mat, cutting him loose and leading 2-1 at the 1:30 mark. The Lion sophomore took Smith down a second time, using another solid single to up his lead to 4-1. Nolf cut Smith loose to a 4-2 score and action resumed in the middle of the mat. Smith shot once and Nolf worked his way around the Cowboy for a third takedown and a 6-2 lead with :10 left in the period. Leading 6-2, Nolf chose down to start the second period. A quick escape gave Nolf a 7-2 lead. He quickly took Smith down and cut him loose again to lead 9-3 with 1:20 on the clock. Nolf took Smith down again, controlled the Cowboy’s elbow and worked to turn the Cowboy for back points. Smith forced a stalemate with :28 left and Nolf led 11-3 at reset. Nolf cut Smith loose and blew through a fast high double to up his lead to 13-4 after two periods. Smith chose down to start the third and Nolf cut him to a 13-5 score. He continued to dominate action in the third, picking up a quick takedown and cut to lead 15-6. Nolf added two more quick takedowns to up his lead to 19-8 with 1:08 on the clock. Nolf turned a scramble into a cradle. He picked up the takedown and then cut Smith loose to a 21-9 lead. He added a final takedown and posted the 24-9 tech fall off the 1:42 riding time point.
165: Red-shirt freshman Vincenzo Joseph (Pittsburgh, Pa.), ranked No. 4 at 165, met No. 8 Chandler Rogers. Joseph pressed the action early, forcing Rogers backwards to the outside circle for the first :30. A reset was called after action oved out of bounds with 2:20 on the clock and Joseph continued to work Rogers’ shoulders for control. Joseph turned a head-outside single into a takedown and a 2-0 lead at the 1:18 mark. Rogers tried to scramble his way for a reversal but Joseph maintained control. The Cowboy managed an escape at the :24 mark and Joseph led 2-1. Joseph took Rogers down quickly on the edge of the mat, turning him to his back and getting two near fall points as the period ended. Rogers chose down to start the second period and escaped to a 6-2 score at the 1:40 mark. Joseph had 1:24 in riding time. The Lion freshman continued to push the tempo, but Rogers was able to defend the Lion’s efforts for the rest of the period. Leading 6-2 with 1:24 in time, Joseph chose down to start the third period. Joseph chose down to start the third period and quickly escaped to a 7-2 lead with 1:06 in time. Joseph countered a Rogers shot and worked his way around for another takedown and a 9-2 lead. Rogers escaped to a 9-3 score and Joseph set to work, looking for bonus points with another takedown. Joseph added a takedown with :20 left and, with 1:39 in riding time, posted the 12-4 major decision.
174: True freshman Mark Hall (Apple Valley, Minn.), ranked No. 7 at 174, faced Cowboy senior Kyle Crutchmer, ranked No. 9. The bout began with the duo battling for shoulder control and Hall got hit with a stall call as each man was battling for a throw. The duo worked the middle of the mat after the reset with Hall continuing to press the Cowboy. While Crutchmer played defense, Hall racked up the shots, working the clock down to zeroes and forcing Crutchmer into a stalling warning as well. Hall chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 1-0 lead. Hall continued to shoot, with Crutchmer stepping back on defense once again. Neither wrestler challenged over the last minute and Hall led 1-0 after two. Crutchmer chose down to start the third period and quickly escaped to a 1-1 tie. Hall nearly connected on a duck-under that Crutchmer was able to step back from once again. The Lion freshman pushed the Cowboy senior for the next minute, but Crutchmer’s defense held firm. Hall shot, slipped and Crutchmer countered. The Lion freshman was undaunted, resetting himself for a takedown and a 3-1 lead with :30 on the clock. Crutchmer managed an escape with one second left but Hall’s third period takedown gave the Lion freshman a 3-2 win.
184: Sophomore Bo Nickal (Allen, Texas), ranked No. 2 at 184, met No. 4 Nolan Boyd. Boyd shot fast off the opening whistle, forcing a scramble in the middle of the mat. Nickal countered and quickly locked up a cradle. The Lion sophomore steadily worked Boyd’s shoulders flat and picked up the quick pin at the :38 mark.
197: Junior Matt McCutcheon (Apollo, Pa.), ranked No. 9 at 197, faced off against No. 8 Preston Weigel. The duo battled evenly for nearly two minutes with neither man finding an opening. McCutcheon took some quick low shots over the last :30 but Weigel stayed firm and the bout moved to the second stanza scoreless. Weigel chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 1-0 lead. The duo traded quick shots afterward to no avail and the bout resumed in the neutral position. McCutcheon continued to shoot at Weigel’s ankles and the Cowboy stepped backwards repeatedly, working the clock down to under :30. Trailing 1-0, McCutcheon chose neutral to start the third period. The junior worked his way into control of Weigel’s ankles, finishing off a takedown for a 2-1 lead with 1:02 on the clock. Weigel escaped to a 2-2 tie with :50 left and action resumed neutral. McCutcheon broke through on another shot and took a 4-2 lead with a second takedown. A reset was called at the :24 mark and Weigel escaped to a 4-3 score. McCutcheon was able to hold on for a thrilling 4-3 win and clinch the dual victory.
285: Sophomore Nick Nevills (Clovis, Calif.), ranked No. 3 at 285, took sophomore Derek White. Nevills took White down quickly, opening up a 2-0 lead just :10 into the bout. Nevills controlled the action from the top position for 1:02 before White escaped to a 2-1 score. Nevills fought off two slight White shots and picked up a second takedown with :08 left to lead 4-1 with 1:11 in riding time. White chose down to start the second period and Nevills began a strong ride. The Lion sophomore nearly turned White for points but the Cowboy was able to fight off the back points. Nevills reset himself, forced White into a stall warning, and then had action stopped for blood time. Nevills let White up on the reset and led 4-2 with :35 on the clock. Nevills picked up a point as White stalled again and led 5-2 with 2:35 in riding time after two. Nevills chose down to start the third, escaped and then quickly took White down again. With the riding time point clinched, Nevills began looking for bonus points. White countered a Nevills shot to cut the Lion lead to 8-5, however, and the Lion sophomore escaped and settled for a 10-5 win.