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WR: Five Nittany Lions Advance to B1G Finals

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March 3, 2018

PSU Photo Gallery  i VIDEO: Highlighting Session II 

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- The Penn State Nittany Lions (14-0, 9-0 B1G) are in a battle for first place after the opening day of the 2018 Big Ten Championships. Head coach Cael Sanderson's crew will have five wrestlers in tomorrow afternoon's championship finals. The Nittany Lions are still alive for 10 NCAA qualifiers as Penn State battles to win its sixth Big Ten title in the last eight years.

The Nittany Lions opted to have defending NCAA Champion Jason Nolf (Yatesboro, Pa.) medical forfeit after a perfect 2-0 start to the tourney and Penn State sits in second place with 124.0 points. Ohio State is in the lead with 137.5. Penn State has already moved eight wrestlers through to the 2018 NCAA Championships two weeks from now in Cleveland, with two others still alive to qualify. The Big Ten Championship finals will air nationally on the Big Ten Network, live, at 3 p.m. tomorrow.

True freshman Nick Lee (Evansville, Ind.), the No. 2 seed at 141, faced No. 14 Michael Carr of Illinois as Penn State's first semifinalist of the night. Lee notched the bout's first takedown but Duncan came back strong and upset Lee 10-6. The loss sends Lee into the consolation semifinals tomorrow at noon.

Senior Zain Retherford (Benton, Pa.), the No. 1 seed at 149, battled No. 6 Ke-Shawn Hayes of Ohio State in his semifinal bout. Retherford rolled over Hayes once more. He tallied the bout's only takedowns and controlled Hayes from the top position as well and finished with a 10-0 major decision. Retherford's win moves him into tomorrow's Big Ten title bout at 3 p.m.

Junior Jason Nolf (Yatesboro, Pa.), the No. 2 seed at 157, returned to action for the first time since Jan. 28 with a perfect 2-0 morning session including a pin and a major. The Nittany Lions opted to medically forfeit Nolf out of the tournament after his strong 2-0 start. Nolf does not receive a loss for the medical forfeit and goes 2-0 with a pin and a major in his first action since late January. Nolf places sixth, is an automatic qualifier for NCAAs and heads to Cleveland with a 19-1 overall record.

Sophomore Vincenzo Joseph (Pittsburgh, Pa.), the No. 3 seed at 165, took on No. 7 Logan Massa of Michigan in the semifinals. Joseph notched an early takedown and led 4-2 into the third period. Mass was awarded a reviewed takedown on the edge of the mat to briefly tie the bout, but Joseph escaped to a 5-4 win that held firm. Joseph's victory moves him into tomorrow's finals.

Sophomore Mark Hall (Apple Valley, Minn.), the No. 1 seed at 174, met No. 17 Johnny Sebastian of Northwestern in the semifinals. Hall used a first period takedown to lead 2-0 after one period and added an escape and a penalty point on his way to a 4-1 victory. Hall's win moves him into the finals tomorrow afternoon.

Junior Bo Nickal (Allen, Texas), the No. 1 seed at 184, took on No. 7 Emery Parker of Illinois in the semifinals. Nickal scored early and nearly picked up back points in an early scramble but Parker fought off the near fall and Nickal settled for two. The Lion senior was steady for the remainder of the bout and posted a strong 5-2 win. The victory moves Nickal into tomorrow's finals.

Junior Shakur Rasheed (Coram, N.Y.), the No. 2 seed at 197, faced off against No. 24 Christian Brunner of Purdue in his semifinal bout. Rasheed dominated the bout early, opening up an 8-1 lead in the opening periods. The Lion junior added a third period reversal and rolled to a 10-2 major decision. The win moves Rasheed into the championship finals tomorrow afternoon.

Senior Nick Nevills (Clovis, Calif.), the No. 3 seed at 285, battled No. 2 Kyle Snyder in the semifinals. Nevills battled Snyder tough early but the defending national champion moved out to a decisive lead and posted a 14-5 major decision. The loss sends Nevills into the consolation semifinals tomorrow at noon.

Senior Corey Keener (Schuylkill Haven, Pa.), the No. 6 seed at 133, took on Wisconsin's Jens Lantz in the second round of consolation action and, after a scoreless first period, locked up Lantz's shoulders and turned him to his back for a fall at the 3:42 mark. Keener then met No. 25 Dylan Duncan of Illinois in the next round of consolations. The senior dropped a 12-0 major to Duncan. He will now wrestle for seventh place, and a trip to NCAAs, tomorrow morning.

Senior Carson Kuhn (Sandy, Utah), the 14th seed at 125, got Penn State started in consolation action. Kuhn met No. 9 Sebastian Rivera of Northwestern in consolation round two, the No. 4 seed. Kuhn dropped a tough 13-3 major after a 1-2 showing in the tournament. Since the Big Ten qualifies 10 wrestlers for NCAAs at 125, the loss moved Kuhn out of the team tournament and into a six-man mini tournament for ninth and tenth place. While the matches count as wins and losses, the results of the six-man mini-tournament do not count in team scoring. Kuhn took on Nebraska's Mitch Maginnis again in his first bout in the mini-bracket and dominated the Husker again, winning 7-2. Kuhn's victory has him one win away from an NCAA bid and he will wrestle tomorrow at noon to get the session started.

Penn State is 22-6 overall and has tallied 21.0 bonus points off nine majors and six pins. Retherford now has 120 career victories, 12th all-time at Penn State. Lee, Retherford, Nolf, Joseph, Hall, Nickal, Rasheed and Nevills have all qualified for nationals on March 15-17 in Cleveland. Kuhn and Keener each need one more win to get automatic berths. Kuhn continues in the 125-pound ninth-place bracket and Keener will wrestle for seventh at 133, both tomorrow beginning at noon.

The 2018 Big Ten Championships conclude 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 -- Team Standings (top five) after Session 2:
March 3, 2018 -- Breslin Center -- East Lansing, Mich.

1: Ohio State -- 137.5
2: Penn State -- 124.0
3: Michigan -- 100.0
4: Iowa -- 78.0
5: Minnesota -- 54.0

Weight-by-weight agate (rankings listed are Coaches Poll as of 2/22/18)

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 -- L, 3-13 maj. dec.
Placer 1: Mitch Maginnis, Nebraska -- W, 7-2 dec.
Placer 2: Tomorrow

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.

For Session 2's action, see recap above.

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

Rd. 1: bye
Qtrs: #12 Mitch McKee, Minnesota -- L, 4-9 dec.
Cn. 2: Jens Lantz, Wisconsin -- WBF (3:42)
Cn. #25 Dylan Duncan, Illinois -- L, 0-12 maj. dec.
7th Place: Tomorrow

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.

For Session 2's action, see recap above.

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 -- L, 6-10 dec.
Cn Semis: Tomorrow

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.

For Session 2's action, see recap above.

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
Finals: #2 Brandon Sorensen, Iowa

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.

For Session 2's action, see recap above.

157: Jason Nolf, Jr. -- #2 seed / precautionary medical forfeit / 6th place with a 2-0 mark

Rd. 1: Jake Tucker, Michigan State -- WBF (2:33)
Qtrs: #20 Jake Short, Minnesota -- W, 15-2 maj. dec.
Semis: Did not compete, medical forfeit -- NOT A LOSS

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.

The Nittany Lions opted to medically forfeit Nolf out of the tournament after his strong 2-0 start. Nolf does not receive a loss for the medical forfeit and goes 2-0 with a pin and a major in his first action since late January. Nolf places sixth, is an automatic qualifier for NCAAs and heads to Cleveland with a 19-1 overall record.

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 -- W, 5-4 dec.
Finals: #1 Isaiah Martinez, Illinois

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.

For Session 2's action, see recap above.

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 -- W, 4-1 dec.
Finals: #6 Myles Amine, Michigan

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.

For Session 2's action, see recap above.

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

Rd. 1: bye
Qtrs: Brandon Krone, Minnesota -- WBF (1:25)
Semis: #7 Emery Parker, Illinois -- W, 5-2 dec.
Finals: #2 Myles Martin, Ohio State

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.

For Session 2's action, see recap above.

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 -- W, 10-2 maj. dec.
Finals: #3 Kollin Moore, Ohio State

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.

For Session 2's action, see recap above.

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 -- L, 5-14 maj. dec.
Cn Semis: Tomorrow

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.

For Session 2's action, see recap above.


 

 

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