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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestlers (13-0, 9-0 B1G) will close out the dual meet portion of its schedule in the cozy confines of Rec Hall this weekend. The Lions will host Buffalo (*5-10) on Sunday at 2 p.m. in what will serve as Senior Day for Penn State.
Penn State is coming off a rousing 28-13 victory over Iowa last Saturday in the 2018 BJC Dual. The Lions won seven of ten bouts in front of the largest crowd to ever witness an NCA dual meet indoors (15,998) and the largest crowd ever at a Penn State home sporting event outside Beaver Stadium.
Sunday's dual against the Bulls will be the final dual meet for a couple of senior transfers and one of Penn State's most decorated wrestlers. Graduate student Carson Kuhn transferred to Penn State in January from Boise State and will conclude his collegiate dual season on Sunday. Kuhn has wrestled in Penn State's last two dual meets against the nation's No. 3 and 4 ranked wrestlers. Senior Corey Keener is ranked No. 21 at 133 by TrackWrestling and will concluded his collegiate dual career Sunday as well. Keener transferred to Penn State from Central Michigan over the summer.
Zain Retherford, unbeaten this year and ranked No. 1 at 149 with a 22-0 record, will wrestle in his final dual meet as a Nittany Lion and make his final appearance in Rec Hall. He is a three-time All-American, two-time NCAA Champion, last year's Hodge Trophy Award winner, owner of a bevy of NCAA and Big Ten laurels and unbeaten all-time in Big Ten dual meets.
Joining Kuhn, Keener and Retherford being honored on senior day will be starters Jered Cortez and Matt McCutcheon, both long-time starters for Penn State who have had their seasons cut short by injuries. Veteran Lions Devon Van Cura, Ethan Wissler and Kenny Yanovich as well as affiliate club member Shannon Dougherty will also be honored prior to the dual.
In addition to three aforementioned seniors, Penn State's line-up includes freshman Nick Lee, ranked No. 8 at 141; sophomore Vincenzo Joseph, ranked No. 3 at 165; sophomore Mark Hall, ranked No. 2 at 174; junior Bo Nickal, ranked No. 1 at 184; junior Shakur Rasheed, ranked No. 5 at 197, and teammate Anthony Cassar, ranked No. 6 by TrackWrestling; and junior Nick Nevills, ranked No. 4 at 285. Junior Jason Nolf, ranked No. 1 at 157, will be out once again giving freshmen Bo Pipher or Luke Gardner a shot to grapple at 157 for the Lions.
Buffalo, which hosts Binghamton on Thursday, Feb. 15 (post-press), enters the week with a 5-10 overall record. Buffalo owns wins over Iowa Central, Ohio, Kent State, Columbia and SIU-Edwardsville.
The Bulls are led by two ranked wrestlers. Junior Bryan Lantry is 13-4 and ranked No. 14 at 133 while junior Jake Gunning is 15-4 and ranked No. 20 at 285. Kyle Akins, also a junior, has been solid at 125 with 12-7 mark, Eric Fasnacht is 15-14 at 157 and Joe Ariola is 11-8 at 197.
Penn State owns a 3-0 lead in the all-time series with the Bulls. The Nittany Lions won 32-4 at Penn State on Dec. 9, 1977, in the last meeting between the schools. Penn State also won 30-9 in Buffalo on Dec. 11, 1976.
The Nittany Lions will now prepare for the 2018 Big Ten Wrestling Championships on March 3-4 in East Lansing, Mich. The two-day event, hosted by Michigan State University, serves as the NCAA qualifier for the conference and begins on Saturday, March 3, at 10 a.m.
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 2017-18 Penn State wrestling season is presented by The Family Clothesline. This is PENN STATE. WRESTLING lives here.
#1 PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS (13-0, 9-0 B1G)
125 Carson Kuhn Sr. Sandy, Utah/Alta 0-2
Devin Schnupp Fr. Lititz, Pa./Warwick 1-14
133 Corey Keener Sr. Schuylkill Haven, Pa./Blue Mountain 13-6
141 #8 Nick Lee Fr. Evansville, Ind./Homeschool 21-4
Jered Cortez Jr. Carol Stream, Ill./Glenbard North 11-1
149 #1 Zain Retherford Sr. Benton, Pa./Benton 22-0
157 Bo Pipher Fr. Paonia, Colo./Paonia 7-11
OR Luke Gardner Fr. Pottsville, Pa./Pottsville 6-4
#1 Jason Nolf Jr. Yatesboro, Pa./Kittanning 19-1
165 #3 Vincenzo Joseph So. Pittsburgh, Pa./Central Catholic 16-1
174 #2 Mark Hall So. Apple Valley, Minn./Apple Valley 23-0
184 #1 Bo Nickal Jr. Allen, Texas/Allen 22-0
197 #5 Shakur Rasheed Jr. Coram, N.Y./Longwood 16-2
Anthony Cassar So. Rocky Hill, N.J./Montgomery 16-2
Matt McCutcheon Sr. Apollo, Pa./Kiski Area 5-3
285 #4 Nick Nevills Jr. Clovis, Calif./Clovis 21-4
BUFFALO BULLS (*5-10)
125 Kyle Akins Jr. Sycamore, Ill./Sycamore 12-7
133 #14 Bryan Lantry Jr. Walworth, N.Y./Wayne 13-4
OR Justin Patrick So. Ligonier, Pa./Ligonier Valley 11-8
141 Jason Estevez Sr. Livingston, N.J./Livingston 7-8
149 Nick Palumbo Fr. Andover, N.J./Lenape Valley 13-17
157 Eric Fasnacht Fr. Strongsville, Ohio/Padua 15-14
165 Noah Grover Fr. Warsaw, N.Y./Warsaw 8-16
174 Christian Dietrich So. Greene, N.Y./Greene 9-4
OR Ryan Kromer Jr. Youngstown, N.Y./Lewiston-Porter 5-10
184 Brett Perry Jr. East Fishkill, N.Y./John Jay-East Fishkill 7-12
197 Joe Ariola Sr. Oak Park, Ill./Oak Park River Forest 11-8
285 #20 Jake Gunning Jr. Bethlehem, Pa./Bethlehem Liberty 15-4
* Buffalo hosts Binghamton on Thursday, 2/15, post-press.
Individual rankings InterMat, team ranking InterMat TPI (2/13/18)
No. 1 Penn State (13-0, 9-0 B1G) hosts the Buffalo Bulls (*5-10) on Sunday, Feb. 18, in Rec Hall. The season dual finale for the Nittany Lions starts at 2 p.m. *The Bulls host Binghamton on Thursday, Feb. 15, post-press.
The Nittany Lions will now prepare for the 2018 Big Ten Championships, hosted by Michigan State, on Saturday and Sunday, March 3-4, 2018, in East Lansing.
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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.
RETHERFORD CLIMBING UP CAREER WINS AND DUAL MEET VICTORIES LISTS
Senior Zain Retherford now sports a 117-3 career record. A three-time All-American and two-time NCAA Champion, Retherford is now 14th on Penn State's all-time wins list with 117. He is 58-0 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 DUAL MEET BONUS BONANZA
Penn State has had a dominating dual meet season to date, having gone 13-0 thus far. Penn State is 102-28 in its 13 duals, with 71 of those wins coming via bonus (34 pins, 2 forfeits, 10 tech falls and 25 majors).
PENN STATE'S PIN PARADE
The race for the Penn State pin crown is on fire. Jason Nolf (157) is 19-1 on the year with 15 pins; Zain Retherford (149) is 22-0 with 15 pins; Bo Nickal (184) is 22-0 with 13 pins; Shakur Rasheed (197) is 16-2 with 11 pins and Mark Hall (174) is 23-0 with nine pins.
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.
NEVILLS AND HALL COMPETE AT NWCA EXHIBITION
Penn State All-Americans Mark Hall and Nick Nevills competed in the 2017 NWCA All-Star Classic on Sunday, Nov. 5, at 3 p.m. The exhibition took place at Princeton University. The results from the NWCA All-Star Classic do not count as official wins or losses. Nevills, a 2017 All-American at 285 after placing fifth last year, battled Tanner Hall, also an All-American from Arizona State who placed third last season. Nevills posted a 2-0 win with riding time. Lion sophomore Hall, the 2017 NCAA Champion at 174 as a true freshman, took on Arizona State All-American Zahid Valencia, who finished third last year at nationals. Valencia notched a takedown with just :18 left to grab the 3-2 win. The results are not official wins or losses as the event was an exhibition.