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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.– The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team and the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club were well represented at the U.S. Marine Corps National Wrestling Championships in Las Vegas this weekend. All-time Nittany Lion great David Taylor won the U.S. National Championship and current Nittany Lion true freshman Brady Berge (Mantorville, Minn.) earned United World Wrestling U.S. National Runner-Up status.
With each wrestler representing the NLWC, Taylor led the way with a dominant run to the 86 kilogram national title. Taylor posted a 4-0 mark and earned the right to take part in USA Wrestling’s Final X State College event. Taylor was nearly untouchable. He won 8-0 in the finals and outscored his competition 42-2, posting wins of 8-0, 10-, 10-, 2-0 and 12-2.
Rec Hall will host part of the event on June 16, 2018, at 6 p.m. The event will determine the 2018 U.S. Senior World Teams in men’s and women’s freestyle wrestling, featuring the nation’s best Olympic-caliber athletes in these disciplines. Tickets may be purchased by calling 1-800-NITTANY or by visiting the BJC Ticket Office on Monday through Friday’s from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Current Lion assistant coach Jake Varner returned to the mat at 125 kg advanced to the national title bout before taking his first loss. He went 3-1 to earn the runner-up’s Silver Medal at the event while former Nittany Lion great Nico Megaludis went 4-1 at 61 kg to earn the U.S. National Bronze Medal. Current Lion red-shirt freshman Luke Gardner (Pottsville, Pa.) competed at the senior level at 70 kg and went 1-2. Josh Rodriguez, an NLWC resident athlete, posted a 2-2 mark at 57 kg as well.
Berge roared to the national finals at 70 kg in the UWW event before losing 2-2 in the finals. He had four technical falls and an 8-0 shut-out on his way to earning UWW National Runner-Up honors. Fellow true freshman Jarod Verkleeren (Greensburg, Pa.) went 2-2 at 70 kg as well.
Also earning gold for the NLWC in Greco-Roman was resident athlete Ben Provisor. Provisor, a two-time Olympian now wrestling out of the NLWC, won his third U.S. Open National Championship, this time at 87 kg. Provisor went 3-0 to claim yet another national championship.
The Nittany Lion Wrestling Club also earned RTC Cup Runner-Up honors for its overall team performance.
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.