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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team, winners of five of the last six NCAA Championships, heads to the 2017 NCAA Wrestling Championships with eight top five seeds among its nine national qualifiers. Head coach Cael Sanderson's squad has two No. 1 seeds.
Penn State's nine national qualifiers feature six underclassmen, two of which are true freshmen. The Lions, winners of last year's NCAA title, will be gunning for their sixth national championship in the last seven years. All eight of Penn State's seeded wrestlers are in the top five.
True freshman Nick Suriano is the No. 3 seed at 125. Suriano, who was injured in Penn State's dual meet win at Oklahoma State on Feb. 19 and injury defaulted out of the Big Ten Championship, will meet Buffalo's Kyle Akins in the first round. . He entered the Oklahoma State dual ranked No. 2 nationally with a 16-1 record and heads to NCAAs with a 16-3 mark (the last two losses by injury default). He is 6-2 vs. the field.
Senior Jimmy Gulibon is unseeded at 141. Gulibon, an All-American at 133 in 2015, is unseeded at 141 will take on No. 13 Javier Gasca of Michigan State in the opening round. Gulibon was ranked as high as No. 10 nationally during the season and heads to St. Louis with a 14-10 overall record, including eight wins vs. the field.
Junior Zain Retherford is the No. 1 seed at 149. Retherford, who won the NCAA title at 149 last year and is a two-time All-American, will meet Joshua Maruca of Arizona State in the opening round. Retherford is 23-0 on the year with 16 pins, three tech falls and a major. He is 11-0 vs. the NCAA field heading to St. Louis. He is coming off winning his second straight Big Ten individual title on March 4-5.
Sophomore Jason Nolf is the No. 1 seed at 157. Nolf, an NCAA Finalist and All-American at 157 last year, will take on Stanford's Paul Fox in the first round. Nolf owns a pin over Fox in November's dual meet this year. Nolf is 22-0 on the year with 13 pins, six tech falls and one major. Nolf is 12-0 vs. the field and coming off winning his first Big Ten individual title on March 4-5.
Red-shirt freshman Vincenzo Joseph is the No. 3 seed at 165. He is making his first trip to NCAAs and will meet Stanford's Keaton Subjeck in round one. Joseph is 17-4 on the year with a pin, four techs and three majors. He is 9-4 vs. the field this year as well.
True freshman Mark Hall is the No. 5 seed at 174. Hall is making his first trip to NCAAs and is one of two true freshmen making the trip for the Nittany Lions. Hall takes on South Dakota State's David Kocer in the first round. He is 26-3 on the year with 12 pins, two techs and five majors. Hall is 10-3 vs. the field and coming off earning Big Ten Runner-Up status on March 4-5.
Sophomore Bo Nickal is the No. 2 seed at 184. Nickal, an NCAA Finalist and All-American at 174 last year, will meet Northwestern's Mitch Sliga in the opening round. Nickal is 21-1 on the year with 14 pins and three majors. He is 15-1 vs. the field, leading Penn State in wins vs. the field heading to St. Louis.
Junior Matt McCutcheon is the No. 5 seed at 197. McCutcheon, making his third trip to NCAAs as a national qualifier, will take on Purdue's Christian Brunner in the opening round. McCutcheon heads to St. Louis with an 18-4 record, including a pin and two majors. He is 10-4 vs. the field this year.
Sophomore Nick Nevills is the No. 5 seed at 285. Nevills is making his first trip to NCAAs and will battle winner of Ohio's Zack Parker and Lehigh's Doug Vollaro in the opening round. He has a 20-3 overall record with four pins, three techs and a major. Nevills is 9-3 vs. the field this season.
Penn State won last year's NCAA Championship in New York City's Madison Square Garden. The title was the fifth for head coach Cael Sanderson at Penn State and the sixth for the school overall. The Nittany Lions will be battling for their sixth in seven years and sixth for Sanderson as well as the school's seventh overall. Penn State two NCAA Champions last season (Nico Megaludis at 125 and Retherford at 149).
The 2017 NCAA Wrestling Championships take place in St. Louis on March 16-18 in the Scottrade Center. The three-day event begins on Thursday with sessions at 12 p.m. and 7 p.m. Eastern. ESPN will televise the entire tournament as well as stream every mat live for three full days on ESPN3. Each morning session airs live on ESPNU while each evening session airs live on ESPN.
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 NITTANY LIONS (14-0, 9-0 B1G)
2017 B1G REGULAR SEASON CHAMPS; 2017 NWCA DUAL CHAMPIONS
125 #3 Nick Suriano Fr. Paramus, N.J./Bergen Catholic / 16-3
0-0 All-Time at NCAAs / First NCAA tournament
141 Jimmy Gulibon Sr. Latrobe, Pa./Derry Area / 14-10
7-6 All-Time at NCAAs / 4X NCAA Qualifier /
149 #1 Zain Retherford Jr. Benton, Pa./Benton / 23-0
9-2 All-Time at NCAAs / 3X NCAA Qualifier /
2X All-American (5th/141/2014; 1st/149/2016) / 2017 B1G champ
157 #1 Jason Nolf So. Yatesboro, Pa./Kittanning / 22-0
4-1 All-Time at NCAAs / 2X NCAA Qualifier /
All-American (2nd/157/2016) / 2017 B1G champ
165 #3 Vincenzo Joseph Fr. Pittsburgh, Pa./Central Catholic / 17-4
0-0 All-Time at NCAAs / First NCAA tournament
174 #5 Mark Hall Fr. Apple Valley, Minn./Apple Valley / 26-3
0-0 All-Time at NCAAs / First NCAA tournament
184 #2 Bo Nickal So. Allen, Texas/Allen / 21-1
4-1 All-Time at NCAAs / 2X NCAA Qualifier
197 #5 Matt McCutcheon Jr. Apollo, Pa./Kiski Area / 18-4
2-4 All-Time at NCAAs / 3X NCAA Qualifier
285 #5 Nick Nevills So. Clovis, Calif./Clovis / 20-3
0-0 All-Time at NCAAs / First NCAA tournament
RANKING LISTED IS NCAA TOURNAMENT SEED
Team ranking listed is Final InterMat TPI (2/28/17)
Penn State (14-0, 9-0 B1G) heads to St. Louis, Mo., for the 2017 NCAA Wrestling Championships. The three-day event runs Thursday through Saturday, March 16-18, in the Scottrade Center. The Nittany Lions will be looking to win their sixth NCAA national title in the last seven years. The full tournament will air on ESPN, ESPNU and ESPN3.
ON THE AIR
TV - ESPN for all evening sessions; ESPNU for all morning sessions
Live Web Video - ESPN3
Radio All Season - FREE!!! Penn State Radio Network. All live streaming of Penn State audio is free this year. All audio and some video (both free and $) can be accessed through GoPSUNow ( http://www.gopsusports.com/collegesportslive/ ).
NOLF WINS BIG TEN TITLE; NAMED BIG TEN WRESTLER OF THE YEAR
Sophomore Jason Nolf dominated #2 Michael Kemerer of Iowa 8-2 in the Big Ten title bout at 157, earning his first Big Ten individual championship. Nolf improved to 22-0 on the year with a 3-0 run at Big Tens, including two pins. The Nittany Lion sophomore was honored as the 2017 Big Ten Wrestler of the Year at the tournament's conclusion. Nolf becomes Penn State's seventh Big Ten Wrestler of the Year. Teammate Zain Retherford won last year.
RETHERFORD WINS SECOND BIG TEN TITLE; NAMED 2017 B1G CHAMPIONSHIPS OUTSTANDING WRESTLER
Junior Zain Retherford blazed his way to a second straight Big Ten individual championship at 149 pounds on March 3-4 in Indiana. Retherford rolled over #5 Micah Jordan of Ohio State in the finals, posting a 16-1 tech fall and capping off a 4-0 run that included three pins as well. Retherford, who improved to 23-0 on the year with the tourney title run, was named the 2017 Big Ten Championships Outstanding Wrestler of his efforts. He became Penn State's seventh tournament OW. David Taylor was the last Lion to win the honor in 2014.
Mark Hall B1G RUNNER-UP AT 174 AS TRUE FRESHMAN
True freshman Mark Hall advanced to the Big Ten finals in his first conference championship appearance, nearly knocking off top-seeded Bo Jordan of Ohio State in the finals. The Lion took the Buckeye All-American to the limit before dropping a hard-fought 4-2 sudden victory decision. Hall went 2-1 with a pin and the tough sudden victory loss to earn Big Ten Runner-Up laurels.
JOSEPH, NICKAL, McCUTCHEON, NEVILLS 3RD AT B1GS
Red-shirt freshman Vincenzo Joseph, sophomore Bo Nickal, junior Matt McCutcheon and sophomore Nick Nevills each placed third at the 2017 Big Ten Championships, giving Penn State seven individuals who placed in the top three at the event. Joseph went 3-1 with a pin at 165 and downed #3 Isaac Jordan of Wisconsin in the third place bout. Nickal went 3-1 with a pin at 184 and downed #4 TJ Dudley 14-9 in the third place match. McCutcheon went 3-1 at 197, including a 3-2 (tb) victory over #6 Aaron Studebaker in the bronze medal match. Nevills went 4-1 at 285, with three pins. He downed #8 Michael Kroells 2-0 in the third place match-up.
TRUE FRESHMAN SURIANO EARNS AT-LARGE BID TO NCAAs; LIONS SENDING NINE IN SEARCH OF NCAA TEAM TITLE
True freshman Nick Suriano was awarded an at-large bid at 125 pounds to the 2017 NCAA Wrestling Championships, giving Penn State nine NCAA qualifiers. Suriano was ranked #2 nationally and 16-1 overall heading into Penn State's NWCA Dual Championship victory at Oklahoma State on 2/19 when an injury forced an injury default in that match-up. He then injury defaulted in the first round of the Big Ten Championship, was awarded an at-large bid, and heads to NCAAs with a 16-3 overall record (the last two losses by injury default).
LIONS BIG TEN RUNNERS-UP
Saddled with six first round byes and an injury to #2 Nick Suriano that prevented him from competing at 125, the Penn State Nittany Lions came up short in their quest for a sixth Big Ten title in the last seven years. Penn State placed second at Big Tens, nearly completing a massive comeback before falling short in its title quest by a mere 9.5 points. Penn State qualified eight wrestlers automatically (and eventually picked up a ninth at-large bid). Senior Jimmy Gulibon earned Penn State's eighth spot in addition to its seven top three finishers. The Lions totalled 11 pins in the tournament, second most all-time in Big Ten tourney history.
MORELLI CLAIMS BIG TEN'S DUKE POST-GRADUATE AWARD
Penn State Nittany Lion wrestler Geno Morelli and Lindsay Agnew of Ohio State University have been chosen as the 2017 Wayne Duke Postgraduate Award recipients by the Indianapolis Big Ten Community Partnership. The award is an annual scholarship recognizing one male and one female Big Ten senior pursuing a postgraduate degree for achievements in academics, athletics, extracurricular activities and leadership. ZAIN AND NOLF ON ALL-TIME PINS LIST; NICKAL NEAR Junior Zain Retherford is now 5th on Penn State's all-time pins list with 35. Retherford has 16 pins this year alone. Sophomore Jason Nolf is already tied for 16th on the all-time list with 28 career pins. He has 13 this season. Sophomore Bo Nickal is nearing the top 20 list. Nickal has 14 pins this year and 22 for his career.
NINE LIONS RANKED BY INTERMAT
Ten Nittany Lions are ranked by InterMat in the latest release by the site. Nick Suriano is #6 at 125, Jimmy Gulibon #20 at 141, Zain Retherford #1 at 149, Jason Nolf #1 at 157, Vincenzo Joseph #3 at 165, Mark Hall #5 at 174, Bo Nickal #2 at 184, Matt McCutcheon #5 at 197 and Nick Nevills #4 at 285.
NICKAL'S QUICK PIN OF #4 BOYD NETS B1G WoW
Sophomore Bo Nickal wasted little time in stacking yet another top-ranked opponent. Nickal took the mat against #4 Nolan Boyd of Oklahoma State looking to continue a Nittany Lion roll and ended things in 0:38. The Lion sophomore worked through an early scramble, locked up yet another cradle and turned Boyd to his back in fast fashion. Nickal's pin helped lead Penn State to a lop-sided 27-13 win at #2 Oklahoma State to win the 2017 NWCA Dual Championship crown. He was named Big Ten Wrestler of the Week for his efforts, his second of the season and the fourth for his career.
SEVEN STRAIGHT WINS LEAD LIONS OVER #2 OKLAHOMA STATE IN STILLWATER
Fall behind early for the first time all season long? Not a problem. In the 2017 NWCA Dual Championship title tilt, the Nittany Lions fell behind early to the homestanding Oklahoma State Cowboys, 13-0, marking the first time all season long that Penn State was forced to scramble from a big deficit. The Nittany Lions were undaunted, winning the final seven bouts of the dual to roll to a lop-sided 27-13 win over the Cowboys (finishing a season that saw PSU win at least seven bouts in every single dual meet). After #2 Nick Suriano, leading 3-1, was forced to take an injury default; a loss at 133 and Jimmy Gulibon nearly pinning #1 Dean Heil at 141 before dropping a 3-2 decision, Penn State got six straight wins over ranked foes and a final victory at 285. #1 Zain Retherford downed #2 Anthony Collica 2-1; #1 Jason Nolf teched #6 Joe Smith 24-9 (TF; 7:00); #4 Vincenzo Joseph majored #8 Chandler Rogers 12-4; #7 Mark Hall downed #9 Kyle Crutchmer 3-2; #2 Bo Nickal pinned #4 Nolan Boyd at the 0:38 mark; #9 Matt McCutcheon handled #8 Preston Weigel 4-3; and Nick Nevills downed Derek White 10-5.
NITTANY LIONS CLAIM SECOND STRAIGHT NWCA DUAL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES TITLE
Penn State downed Oklahoma State 27-13 in Stillwater on 2/19 to win the 2017 NWCA Dual Championship title. The win gave head coach Cael Sanderson's squad its second straight NWCA Dual crown. Penn State beat Oklahoma State 29-17 last year in Rec Hall on 2/21/16 to win the championship.
NICKAL GOES DUAL SEASON WITHOUT GIVING UP A TD
Sophomore Bo Nickal completed the 2016-17 dual meet season (not including tournaments) without giving up a takedown. Nickal posted a 45-0 takedown margin in Penn State's 14 duals this year (27-0 in the first period, 5-0 in the second and 13-0 in the third). Nickal had nine pins in 14 duals, seven -- fully half -- in the first period.
PENN STATE RIDING A 31-DUAL WIN STREAK
The Penn State Nittany Lions are riding a 31-dual win streak dating back to the end of the 2014-15 season. Head coach Cael Sanderson's squad won its final dual of the 2014-15 season. The Nittany Lions went a perfect 16-0 last year, winning both the Big Ten dual meet crown and the NWCA Dual Meet Championship Series title win a victory over Oklahoma State in Rec Hall. Penn State went 14-0 this season. In addition, the Nittany Lions have won 18 straight Big Ten dual meets (9-0 in 2015-16 and 9-0 this year).
NOT JUST WINNING, BUT WINNING BIG; LIONS WON 7 MATCHES IN EACH DUAL THIS SEASON
Penn State didn't just win all its dual meets this year, it did so in dominant fashion. Besides the 31-dual win streak dating back to the end of the 2014-15 season, Penn State won by large margins. This year alone, Penn State has scored at least 24 points in all 14 of its duals to date and won seven or more bouts in each dual meet.
NITTANY LIONS WIN SECOND STRAIGHT B1G DUAL TITLE; FOURTH OVERALL
Penn State beat Illinois and Maryland in its final two duals of the year on 2/10 and 2/12, closing out the Big Ten dual season with a second straight unbeaten 9-0 mark. The Nittany Lions claimed their second straight Big Ten Regular Season (dual meet) Championship and their fourth overall.
PENN STATE AVERAGES NEARLY 8,000 PER HOME DUAL
Penn State closed out its home slate the weekend of 2/10 and 2/12 with two more Rec Hall sellouts. The Nittany Lions average nearly 8,000 fans per dual this year (7,833). Penn State has wrestled in front of 35 straight Rec Hall sell outs and has sold out 38 of its last 40 dual meets, including three of five sellouts in the near-16,000 seat Bryce Jordan Center. Penn State owns the three top all-time NCAA dual meet attendance figures for indoor venues (not outdoor stadiums): 15,996 vs. Pitt on 12/8/13; 15,983 vs. Ohio State on 2/5/16 and 15,967 vs. Iowa on 2/8/15. Penn State hosted Lehigh in the BJC this year in front of 15,424 fans, the sixth largest indoor attendance total in NCAA history.
RETHERFORD WITH TWO FALLS IN FINAL HOME WEEKEND
Junior Zain Retherford notched two thrilling pins in Penn State's final two home duals of the year. Retherford pinned #19 Eric Barone of Illinois at the 4:09 mark on 2/10 and then got a fall over Maryland's Adam Whitesell at 3:17 on 2/12. The falls were Retherford's 12th and 13th of the year at that point.
LIONS DAZZLE WITH 5 STRAIGHT PINS IN MARYLAND WIN
The Nittany Lions dazzled a sellout crowd in their home finale, notching five straight pins in a 45-6 victory over visiting Maryland on 2/12. Zain Retherford (149), Jason Nolf (157), Vincenzo Joseph (165), Mark Hall (174) and Bo Nickal (184) each got falls to lead the Nittany Lions. The five falls is the most for Penn State since picking up five vs. Rider on 2/17/13 (Nico Megaludis, Bryan Pearsall, David Taylor, Matt Brown and Ed Ruth).
PENN STATE USES FIVE RANKED WINS TO DOWN #11 ILLINOIS
Penn State dominated #11 Illinois, rolling to a 34-7 victory in Rec Hall. The Nittany Lions used five ranked wins to roll to victory. Zain Retherford pinned #19 Eric Barone at 149, Jason Nolf teched #12 Kyle Langenderfer at 157, Mark Hall teched #12 Zac Brunson at 174, Bo Nickal majored #12 Emery Parker at 184 and Nick Nevills decisioned #15 Brooks Black at 285.
BISONO WINS MESSIAH OPEN TITLE
Red-shirt freshman Francisco Bisono won the Messiah Open title today, one of three Nittany Lions to place at the event. Penn State had a number of wrestlers in action both attached and unattached at two open tournaments, Messiah and the Edinboro Open. Bisono went 4-0 to win the 174-pound title. He was joined as a placer by true freshmen Brian Friery, who went 4-2 with two pins and a major to take fourth at 141; and true freshman Luke Gardner, who went 3-2 with a technical fall to take fourth at 149. True freshman heavyweight Alex Nicholas went 3-2.
NICKAL DOMINATES MARTIN IN WIN AT OHIO STATE; ONE OF FOUR LIONS WITH RANKED WINS IN ROAD VICTORY
Sophomore Bo Nickal controlled #10 Myles Martin of Ohio State from start to finish, posting three takedowns on his way to an 8-2 victory in Columbus on 2/3. Nickal was one of four Nittany Lions to pick up win versus ranked opponents in Penn State's 32-12 victory over #3 Ohio State. Nick Suriano teched #18 Jose Rodriguez 19-4 at 125, Jimmy Gulibon downed #15 Luke Pletcher at 141 and Zain Retherford teched #5 Micah Jordan 20-5 at 149.
RETHERFORD TECHS #5 JORDAN OF OHIO STATE
Junior Zain Retherford rolled over #5 Micah Jordan of Ohio State, posting a 20-5 tech fall with 1:20 in riding time in Penn State's 32-12 win at Columbus on 2/3. Retherford's victory was one of seven for the Nittany Lions in the lopsided dual win.
PENN STATE'S RUGGED B1G ROAD TRIP...
As the Big Ten dual meet schedule rotates, 2016-17 is a season that has the Penn State Nittany Lions at home for four duals and on the road for five (last year the team was home five/four away). In addition to having one more conference dual on the road and starting seven underclassmen, the schedule broke in such a way that the Nittany Lions have faced of the toughest road dual schedules in recent memory. In conference, Penn State has been at #9 Minnesota (a 33-6 win), at #6 Nebraska (a 27-14 win), at #3 Iowa (a 26-11 win), at #13 Wisconsin (a 33-11 win) and at #3 Ohio State (a 32-12 win) and will certainly face one of the nation's best non-Big Ten teams on 1/19 when it takes part in one of the dual meets in the NWCA Dual Championship Series.
LIVINGSTON'S PIN LEADS NITTANY LIONS TO 45-3 VICTORY OVER NORTHWESTERN
Senior Caleb Livingston had a `dream come true' moment in Penn State's 45-3 victory over Northwestern on 1/29. Livingston got the nod at 165 in front of a sold out Rec Hall crowd of over 6,600 fans and thrilled the raucous building by pinning NU's Anthony Petrone at the 2:19 mark in the first period. The win was Livingston's first dual meet victory as a Nittany Lion. Penn State won nine of ten bouts in the lopsided victory.
GULIBON MAJORS #15 MARTIN & McCUTCHEON DOWNS #12 ROBERTSON TO LEAD LIONS TO 33-11 WIN AT WISCONSIN
Senior Jimmy Gulibon majored #15 Cole Martin of Wisconsin at 141 to lead the Nittany Lions to a dominating 33-11 win in Madison on 1/27. Junior Matt McCutcheon was also impressive, posting a 2-0 victory over #12 Ricky Robertson at 197. Gulibon tallied five takedowns in the victory. Penn State won seven of ten bouts in the win.
NICKAL'S FAST PIN OF #5 BROOKS SPARKS PENN STATE TO 26-11 WIN AT #3 IOWA
Sophomore Bo Nickal silenced a raucous Carver Hawkeye Arena crowd of over 14,000 fans by catching and pinning #5 Sammy Brooks at the 0:38 mark to remain unbeaten on the year. Nickal's pin was one of seven Penn State wins in the dual as the Nittany Lions rolled to a 26-11 win over the homestanding Hawkeyes on 1/20.
GULIBON, RETHERFORD, NOLF, NICKAL PICK UP RANKED WINS IN PENN STATE'S 26-11 VICTORY AT #3 IOWA
Senior Jimmy Gulibon notched four third-period takedowns in an 8-6 comeback win over #18 Topher Carton at 141, Zain Retherford held on for a hard-fought 9-8 (tb2) win over #3 Brandon Sorensen and Jason Nolf used four takedowns to dominated #2 Michael Kemerer 9-4 in Penn State's 26-11 victory at Iowa on 1/20. Sophomore Bo Nickal's pin of #5 Sammy Brooks at the 0:38 mark at 184 gave the Nittany Lions four ranked wins in its seven victories in the dual.
LIONS DOMINATE #21 RUTGERS 37-6
The Penn State Nittany Lions downed #21 Rutgers 37-6 to win their 24th straight dual meet dating back to the 2014-15 season. The Lions won eight of ten bouts, including two pins, three techs and a major, to roll to the Big Ten win in front of the 32nd straight Rec Hall sell out crowd. Zain Retherford pinned #14 Ken Theobold (5:33), Bo Nickal pinned #14 Nicholas Gravina (4:27), Jason Nolf teched #16 John Van Brill while both Vincenzo Joseph and Nick Nevills picked up techs as well. Nick Suriano stayed unbeaten with a major and Geno Morelli and Matt McCutcheon picked up decisions.
NOLF'S BIG WEEKEND NOTCHES HIM B1G WoW HONORS
Sophomore Jason Nolf dominated two of the Big Ten's best in a road swing through the midwest. Nolf pinned #9 Jake Short of Minnesota at the 3:44 mark of the second period. Nolf's fall came after opening up a gaudy 14-4 lead after one period. His win helped Penn State roll over the homestanding Gophers 33-6. Two days later, the Nittany Lion All-American cruised past #3 Tyler Berger of Nebraska with a 15-7 major. Nolf dominated the match from start to finish, posting a six to one takedown edge. Nolf's win helped propel Penn State to a dominating 27-14 win over #6 Nebraska in Lincoln. The honor is the second for Nolf (he won once last year) and the first for Penn State this year.
NITTANY LIONS HAND MINNESOTA LOPSIDED DEFEAT IN MINNEAPOLIS
The Nittany Lion wrestling team roared through Minneapolis on Friday, Jan. 6, handing the homestanding Golden Gophers a 33-6 defeat. Penn State won eight of ten bouts in the lop-sided dual, including three pins. True freshman Nick Suriano downed #6 Ethan Lizak 8-6, rolling up four takedowns to get the win at 125. Jimmy Gulibon downed #9 Tommy Thorn 6-3 at 141, Vincenzo Joseph beat #14 Nick Wanzek 7-4 at 165 and Nick Nevills shut-out #8 Michael Kroells 4-0 at 285. Penn State got pins from Zain Retherford at 149, Jason Nolf (over #9 Jake Short) at 157 and Bo Nickal at 184.
PENN STATE'S YOUTH TAKES DOWN SENIOR-LADEN NEBRASKA SQUAD IN LINCOLN
Penn State's line-up featuring six underclassmen rolled through Lincoln, Neb., on Sunday, Jan. 8, to beat #6 Nebraska 27-14. The Nittany Lions youthful line-up won seven of 10 bouts against a veteran NU squad that featured six seniors. True freshman Nick Suriano downed #5 Tim Lambert 3-2 in one marquee match-up while sophomore Nick Nevills pinned senior Collin Jensen at the 6:01 mark in another key bout at 285. Sophomore Bo Nickal handled No. 3 TJ Dudley in the showcase bout at 184, with Nickal rolling up four takedowns in a 10-5 win over the senior. Penn State also got key wins from Zain Retherford at 149, Jason Nolf with a 15-7 major over No. 3 Tyler Berger at 157, Vincenzo Joseph at 165 and Geno Morelli at 165.
HALL SOUTHERN SCUFFLE CHAMP; NAMED OW!
True freshman Mark Hall, red-shirting and wrestling unattached, blazed through a rugged field of nationally ranked opponents to win the 174-pound title at the 2017 Southern Scuffle in Chattanooga, Tenn. Hall went 5-0 with two pins and a major to claim the crown and was named the tournament's Outstanding Wrestler. He pinned Martin Duane of the Citadel in the first round and majored Oklahoma State's Jordan Rogers 12-4 in the second. He then dominated tourney top seed and No. 3-ranked Casey Kent of Penn 9-4 in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, he pinned No. 15 Ryan Preisch of Lehigh to advance to the championship finals. Hall then roughed up No. 6 Kyle Crutchmer of Oklahoma State in the finals, opening up a 6-0 lead and rolling to a 10-3 victory.
HALL WINS CSU OPEN TITLE
True freshman Mark Hall, red-shirting this year and competing unattached, posted a perfect 5-0 mark at 174 with three pins and a major to win the 2016 Cleveland State Open on 12/17. Hall's victory was his second open tourney title of the year. Classmate Luke Gardner also competed at the event, picking up a tech fall win at 149.
WEATHER KEEPS LIONS FROM COMPETING AT RENO
A nation-wide weather event, from ice storms in the East to snowstorms in the Rockies, kept the Penn State Nittany Lions from competing at the 2016 Reno Tournament of Champions on Dec. 18. Missing the tournament means that Penn State was out of action from Dec. 11, 2016, to Jan. 6, 2017, nearly one full month.
NICKAL MAJORS #13 SCHNEIDER TO LEAD PSU TO 46-0 SHUT OUT WIN V. BINGHAMTON
Sophomore Bo Nickal dominated #13 Steve Schneider of Binghamton on 12/11, posting an 18-7 major over the talented Bearcat. The victory was the highlight in Penn State's 46-0 shut out victory over BU in front of a sold out Rec Hall crowd.
SURIANO DOWNS #4 CRUZ IN BJC DUAL WIN OVER LEHIGH
True freshman Nick Suriano continued his superb start to the 2016-17 season with a dominating 7-0 win over returning All-American Darian Cruz of Lehigh on 12/4. The win helped spark Penn State to a 30-10 victory over #9 Lehigh in front of over 15,000 fans in this year's BJC Dual. It was Suriano's second win over a returning All-American.
NICKAL AND RETHERFORD CONTINUE PIN PARADE IN BJC DUAL WIN OVER LEHIGH
Sophomore Bo Nickal and junior Zain Retherford each picked up their seventh straight pin in Penn State's 30-10 win over #9 Lehigh in the BJC Dual on 12/4. Nickal pinned Kyle Gentile at the 2:35 mark for his seventh pin in as many matches while Retherford pinned #9 Laike Gardner at the 3:55 mark for his seventh straight pin in his eighth match.
LIONS CROWN 8 AT KEYSTONE CLASSIC; DOMINATE THE FIELD IN PHILLY
Penn State dominated the field in the Keystone Classic on 11/20, crowning eight champs with ten finalists, to win the team title. Nick Suriano (125) went 4-0 to win at 125; Zain Retherford went 5-0 with five pins to win at 149 and claim OW honors; Jason Nolf went 5-0 with three pins and two techs to win at 157; Vincenzo Joseph went 4-0 with two techs, and wins over #5 and #13, to win at 165; Shakur Rasheed went 5-0 and won the 174-pound title with a 2-1 (tb2) victory over teammate Geno Morelli, who took second with a 4-1 mark and three pins; Bo Nickal went 4-0 with four pins to win at 184; Matt McCutcheon went 4-0 to win at 197 and Nick Nevills went 4-0 to win at 285. Kade Moss was runner-up at 141 with a 4-1 mark; Jered Cortez went 4-1 to take third at 133 and Gary Dinmore went 3-2 to take fourth at 149.
SURIANO, MORELLI AND NEVILLS NOTCH BIG WINS TO LEAD LIONS OVER #12 STANFORD
True freshman Nick Suriano dominated #4 Connor Schram at 125, rolling up nearly 2:00 in riding time to post a 3-0 shutout in his Rec Hall dual debut; senior Geno Morelli dominated #13 Jim Wilson to post a 6-3 win at 174; and sophomore Nick Nevills beat #10 Nathan Butler 3-1 at 285 to lead Penn State to a resounding 36-6 win over 12th-ranked Stanford. Penn State won eight of ten bouts in sold out Rec Hall.
LIONS SHUTOUT ARMY WEST POINT 45-0
Penn State opened up its season at Army West Point on 11/11 and won all ten bouts. Three Nittany Lions won their Penn State and collegiate debuts: Nick Suriano (125), Jered Cortez (133) and Vincenzo Joseph (165) all got wins in their inaugural action in the blue and white singlet. Jimmy Gulibon got the night's most impressive win, a 17-6 major over #17 Logan Everett. Matt McCutcheon had a 4-2 win over #11 Rocco Caywood at 197.
HALL WINS BEARCAT OPEN
Ten members of the Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team trekked to Binghamton, N.Y., for the 2016 Bearcat Kaloust Open today. True freshman Mark Hall, wrestling unattached, came away with 174 pound title while red-shirt freshman Gary Dinmore took second at 149. Five members of the team were competing attached, five unattached. Hall rolled to the title at 174 in his first open tournament wrestling unattached at the collegiate level. Hall went 5-0 with two pins, a tech fall and a 12-4 major over Harvard's Josef Johnson in the finals. Dinmore went 4-0 with a major, winning four straight before losing in the finals to a non-collegiate wrestler (meaning the loss does not count on his record). In addition to Dinmore and Hall, eight other Lions wrestled at Binghamton. Red-shirt freshman Dominic Giannangeli went 2-2 at 141 and red-shirt freshman Kellan Stout went 2-1 at 197. Francisco Bisono picked up a win at 174 and upped his season long win total to seven. Bisono went 6-1 at last week's Clarion Open to place third.
BISONO TAKES THIRD AT CLARION OPEN
Red-shirt freshman Francisco Bisono rolled to a 6-1 record at the Clarion Open on 11/6, placing third at 174. Bisono had one pin during his run as well. True freshman Bo Pipher went 2-2 with a pin at 141 as well. Devon Van Cura picked up a win at 184 while true freshmen Devin Schnupp and Brian Friery competed as well.