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WR: Lions Send Eight to B1G Semis

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March 3, 2018

PSU Photo Gallery  I VIDEO: Highlighting Session I 

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- No. 1 Penn State (14-0, 9-0 B1G) had an outstanding start to the 2018 Big Ten Wrestling Championships held in the Breslin Center in East Lansing, Mich. Head coach Cael Sanderson's squad moved eight individuals into tonight's semifinals, all of whom have qualified for NCAAs. Two Nittany Lions are also still alive in consolation action as Penn State looks to win its sixth Big Ten Championship in the last eight years.

Penn State, with only three first round byes as opposed to the six it was saddled with last season, finds itself firmly in the hunt for a team title. With consolation action still on the mats, Penn State and Ohio State had opened up a slight lead over third-place Michigan and fourth-place Iowa.

Senior Carson Kuhn (Sandy, Utah) opened up his 2018 Big Ten Championship tournament against No. 4 Nathan Tomasello of Ohio State, the third seed. Kuhn, the 14th seed, fell behind early to the defending Big Ten champion and dropped a 21-6 technical fall (5:51). He dropped down to the consolation bracket where he met Nebraska's Mitch Maginnis. Kuhn posted a convincing 12-3 major over the Husker to stay alive in the tournament. His victory moves him into tonight's second round of consolations with a shot at a trip to NCAAs still alive as 125 will qualify ten for nationals.

Senior Corey Keener (Schuylkill Haven, Pa.), the sixth seed, received a bye in the first round of his first Big Ten Championship tournament. He took on third seed, No. 12 Mitch McKee of Minnesota in the quarterfinals. The Lion senior gave up a six point second period move from the third seed and dropped a tough 9-4 decision. The loss drops the senior into the second round of consolation action. Keener is still alive for a trip to the NCAA Championships.

True freshman Nick Lee (Evansville, Ind.), the second seed, made his Big Ten Championship debut against Rutgers' Mike Van Brill. Lee dominated the match from start to finish, rolling to a 12-2 major with 2:58 in riding time to pick up a bonus point in his first Big Ten tourney bout. Lee then met No. 16 Cole Weaver of Indiana in the quarterfinals. Lee took care of Weaver in equally impressive fashion, rolling to a 13-3 major with over 1:30 in riding time. The win moves him into the semifinals and punches the Lion freshman's ticket to the NCAA Championship.

Senior Zain Retherford (Benton, Pa.), the No. 1 seed at 149, received a first round bye in his final Big Ten Championship. He took on No. 21 Steve Bleise of Minnesota in the quarterfinals. Retherford dominated Bleise throughout the bout, accumulating 4:28 in riding time on his way to a 14-1 major decision. The win moved Retherford into the semifinals and punches his ticket to the NCAA Championships.

Junior Jason Nolf (Yatesboro, Pa.), the second seed at 157, took on Jake Tucker of Michigan State in the first round of the 2018 Big Ten Championships. Nolf, out of action since late January, was steady early in the first period, notched two takedowns. The Lion locked up a cradle after the second one and picked up the first period pin at the 2:33 mark. He then took on No. 20 Jake Short in the quarterfinals and dominated the Gopher, rolling to a 15-2 major. The win moves Nolf into tonight's semifinals and earns him a spot in the NCAA Championships.

Sophomore Vincenzo Joseph (Pittsburgh, Pa.), the third seed at 165, took on Northwestern's Mike Sepke in the opening round of the Big Ten tournament. Joseph opened up an early 6-2 lead after one period and then ended the bout with a second period pin, getting the fall at the 3:39 mark to move into the quarterfinals. Joseph met No. 11 Nick Wanzek of Minnesota in the quarters and won a wild 18-10 major decision. Joseph's victory moves him into tonight's semifinals and on to Cleveland for nationals.

Sophomore Mark Hall (Apple Valley, Minn.), the top seed at 174, met Michigan State's Logan Ritchie in the opening round of the 2018 Big Ten Championship. Hall opened up an early 6-1 lead and had over 4:00 in riding time after two periods. He finished off the match in the third period with a fall at the 5:33 mark for the win. Hall met Wisconsin's Ryan Christensen in the quarterfinals. Hall made short work of the Badger, turning a first period takedown into a quick pin at the 0:47 mark. The fall, his second of the first session, moves him into the semifinals and on to the NCAA Championships.

Junior Bo Nickal (Allen, Texas), the No. 1 seed at 184, the top seed at 184, received a first round bye to start his 2018 Big Ten tournament run. He took on Minnesota's Brandon Krone in the quarterfinals for his first bout of the tournament. Nickal wasted no time in ending the bout, moving from a standing position to a cradle midway through the opening period for a fall at the 1:25 mark. Nickal's pin moves him into the semifinals and grabs a spot in the NCAA Championships.

Junior Shakur Rasheed (Coram, N.Y.), the second seed at 197, met Indiana's Jake Kleimola in his Big Ten Championship debut. The Lion junior battled Kleimola for the full seven minutes, overcoming an early first period deficit to roll to an 8-4 win with nearly 4:00 of riding time. Rasheed then took on Northwestern's Zack Chakonis in the quarterfinals. He controlled his quarterfinal bout, survived a wild scramble in the second period and posted an 11-8 victory. The win moves Rasheed into the quarterfinals and earns him his first trip to the NCAA Championships.

Senior Nick Nevills (Clovis, Calif.), the third seed at 285, battled Illinois' Deuce Rachal in the opening round of the Big Ten Championships. Nevills rolled through the Illini, dominating Rachal on his way to an 11-3 major decision with 2:49 in riding time. Nevills took on No. 19 Conan Jennings in the quarterfinals and shut the Wildcat out, rolling to a 5-0 decision with 3:46 in riding time. His win moves him into tonight's semifinals and earns the junior a trip to NCAAs in Cleveland.

Penn State went 15-2 overall in session one and all ten Nittany Lions remain alive. The Nittany Lions collected 17 bonus points off five pins and seven majors with Hall lead the way with two pins. All eight semifinalists are locked in for NCAAs and both Kuhn and Keener are still alive. The Big Ten qualifies 10 automatically at 125 and seven at 133. Nolf now has 45 pins for his career, 16 this season. Nickal has 40 for his career and 15 this year. Hall's double pin session has him at 12 this season and 24 for his career.

Penn State will continue the event tonight with session two, set to begin at 6 p.m. Eastern session . The championship, serving as the NCAA qualifier for the conference, concludes on Sunday with 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. Eastern sessions. The Championship finals will air live on the Big Ten Network nationally beginning at 3 p.m. on Sunday.

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.

2018 Big Ten Championships -- Individual Agate:
March 3, 2018 -- Breslin Center -- East Lansing, Mich.

Weight-by-weight agate (rankings listed are Coaches Poll as of 2/22/18)
* indicates unattached wrestler, not eligible for team scoring

125: Carson Kuhn, Sr. -- #14 seed

Rd. 1: #4 Nathan Tomasello, Ohio State -- L, 6-21 (TF; 5:51)
Cn. 1: Mitch Maginnis, Nebraska -- W, 12-3 maj. dec.
Cn. 2: #9 Sebastian Rivera, Northwestern


Senior Carson Kuhn opened up his 2018 Big Ten Championship tournament against No. 4 Nathan Tomasello of Ohio State, the third seed. Kuhn, the 14th seed, fell behind early to the defending Big Ten champion and dropped a 21-6 technical fall (5:51). He dropped down to the consolation bracket where he met Nebraska's Mitch Maginnis. Kuhn posted a convincing 12-3 major over the Husker to stay alive in the tournament.

133: Corey Keener, Sr. -- #6 seed

Rd. 1: bye
Qtrs: #12 Mitch McKee, Minnesota -- L, 4-9 dec.
Cn. 2: Jens Lantz, Wisconsin

Senior Corey Keener, the sixth seed, received a bye in the first round of his first Big Ten Championship tournament. He took on third seed, No. 12 Mitch McKee of Minnesota in the quarterfinals. The Lion senior gave up a six point second period move from the third seed and dropped a tough 9-4 decision.



141: Nick Lee, Fr. -- #2 seed

Rd. 1: Mike Van Brill, Rutgers -- W, 12-2 maj. dec.
Qtrs: #16 Cole Weaver, Indiana -- W, 13-3 maj. dec.
Semis: #14 Michael Carr, Illinois

True freshman Nick Lee, the second seed, made his Big Ten Championship debut against Rutgers' Mike Van Brill. Lee dominated the match from start to finish, rolling to a 12-2 major with 2:58 in riding time to pick up a bonus point in his first Big Ten tourney bout. Lee then met No. 16 Cole Weaver of Indiana in the quarterfinals. Lee took care of Weaver in equally impressive fashion, rolling to a 13-3 major with over 1:30 in riding time.

149: Zain Retherford, Sr. -- #1 seed

Rd. 1: bye
Qtrs: #21 Steve Bleise, Minnesota -- W, 14-1 maj. dec.
Semis: #6 Ke-Shawn Hayes, Ohio State

Senior Zain Retherford, the top seed at 149, received a first round bye in his final Big Ten Championship. He took on No. 21 Steve Bleise of Minnesota in the quarterfinals. Retherford dominated Bleise throughout the bout, accumulating 4:28 in riding time on his way to a 14-1 major decision.

157: Jason Nolf, Jr. -- #2 seed

Rd. 1: Jake Tucker, Michigan State -- WBF (2:33)
Qtrs: #20 Jake Short, Minnesota -- W, 15-2 maj. dec.
Semis: #6 Alec Pantaleo, Michigan

Junior Jason Nolf, the second seed at 157, took on Jake Tucker of Michigan State in the first round of the 2018 Big Ten Championships. Nolf, out of action since late January, was steady early in the first period, notched two takedowns. The Lion locked up a cradle after the second one and picked up the first period pin at the 2:33 mark. He then took on No. 20 Jake Short in the quarterfinals and dominated the Gopher, rolling to a 15-2 major.

165: Vincenzo Joseph, So. -- #3 seed

Rd. 1: Mike Sepke, Northwestern -- WBF (3:39)
Qtrs: #11 Nick Wanzek, Minnesota -- W, 18-10 maj. dec.
Semis: #7 Logan Massa, Michigan

Sophomore Vincenzo Joseph, the third seed at 165, took on Northwestern's Mike Sepke in the opening round of the Big Ten tournament. Joseph opened up an early 6-2 lead after one period and then ended the bout with a second period pin, getting the fall at the 3:39 mark to move into the quarterfinals. Joseph met No. 11 Nick Wanzek of Minnesota in the quarters and won a wild 18-10 major decision.



174: Mark Hall, So. -- #1 seed

Rd. 1: Logan Ritchie, Michigan State -- WBF (5:33)
Qtrs: Ryan Christensen, Wisconsin -- WBF (0:47)
Semis: #17 Johnny Sebastian, Northwestern

Sophomore Mark Hall, the top seed at 174, met Michigan State's Logan Ritchie in the opening round of the 2018 Big Ten Championship. Hall opened up an early 6-1 lead and had over 4:00 in riding time after two periods. He finished off the match in the third period with a fall at the 5:33 mark for the win. Hall met Wisconsin's Ryan Christensen in the quarterfinals. Hall made short work of the Badger, turning a first period takedown into a quick pin at the 0:47 mark.

184: Bo Nickal, Jr. -- #1 seed

Rd. 1: bye
Qtrs: Brandon Krone, Minnesota -- WBF (1:25)
Semis: #7 Emery Parker, Illinois

Junior Bo Nickal, the top seed at 184, received a first round bye to start his 2018 Big Ten tournament run. He took on Minnesota's Brandon Krone in the quarterfinals for his first bout of the tournament. Nickal wasted no time in ending the bout, moving from a standing position to a cradle midway through the opening period for a fall at the 1:25 mark.



197: Shakur Rasheed, Jr. -- #2 seed

Rd. 1: Jake Kleimola, Indiana -- W, 8-4 dec.
Qtrs: Zack Chakonis, Northwestern -- W, 11-8 dec.
Semis: #24 Christian Brunner, Purdue

Junior Shakur Rasheed, the second seed at 197, met Indiana's Jake Kleimola in his Big Ten Championship debut. The Lion junior battled Kleimola for the full seven minutes, overcoming an early first period deficit to roll to an 8-4 win with nearly 4:00 of riding time. Rasheed then took on Northwestern's Zack Chakonis in the quarterfinals. He controlled his quarterfinal bout, survived a wild scramble in the second period and posted an 11-8 victory.



285: Nick Nevills, Jr. -- #3 seed

Rd. 1: Deuce Rachal, Illinois -- W, 11-3 maj. dec.
Qtrs: #19 Conan Jennings, Northwestern -- W, 5-0 dec.
Semis: #2 Kyle Snyder, Ohio State

Junior Nick Nevills, the third seed at 285, battled Illinois' Deuce Rachal in the opening round of the Big Ten Championships. Nevills rolled through the Illini, dominating Rachal on his way to an 11-3 major decision with 2:49 in riding time. Nevills took on No. 19 Conan Jennings in the quarterfinals and shut the Wildcat out, rolling to a 5-0 decision with 3:46 in riding time.


 

 

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