RSSCategory: College Wrestling

Retherford Wins Second Consecutive Hodge Trophy

| March 27, 2018 | 0 Comments

Three-time Penn State national champion Zain Retherford won his second straight Hodge Trophy as the most outstanding wrestler in Division I.

Retherford tallied 35 out of a possible 48 first place votes, and also garnered 52 percent of the fan vote. The Penn State senior becomes just the third wrestler to win the award in back-to-back years, and just the fourth multiple winner.

Retherford finished his career on a 95-match winning streak. Of his 31 matches this season, Retherford won 26 by bonus for an 84% bonus rate. He racked up 17 pins, five tech falls and four majors. The Nittany Lion will go down as one of the best collegiate wrestlers ever, with a 126-3 career record.

Bo Nickal finished second in the voting after a 31-0 season with 16 pins, a tech and six majors en route to his second career national title. Seth Gross of South Dakota State won the 133-pound crown and wound up third in the voting. Zahid Valencia of Arizona State finished his sophomore season 32-0 with the 174-pound NCAA title and finished fourth.

All-Time Hodge Trophy Winners

Year Name School
2018 Zain Retherford Penn State
2017 Zain Retherford Penn State
2016 Alex Dieringer Oklahoma State
2015 Logan Stieber Ohio State
2014 David Taylor Penn State
2013 Kyle Dake Cornell U.
2012 David Taylor Penn State
2011 Jordan Burroughs Nebraska
2010 Jayson Ness Minnesota
2009 Jake Herbert Northwestern
2008 Brent Metcalf Iowa
2007 Ben Askren Missouri
2006 Ben Askren Missouri
2005 Steve Mocco Oklahoma State
2004 Emmett Willson Mont. State-Northern
2003 Eric Larkin Arizona State
2002 Cael Sanderson Iowa State
2001 Cael Sanderson Iowa State
2001 Nick Ackerman Simpson College
2000 Cael Sanderson Iowa
1999 Stephen Neal CSU Bakersfield
1998 Mark Ironside Iowa
1997 Kerry McCoy Penn State
1996 Les Gutches Oregon State
1995 T.J. Jaworsky North Carolina

Retherford, Nickal Up For Hodge Trophy

| March 22, 2018 | 0 Comments

Two of Penn State’s best have been nominated for the 2018 WIN Magazine/Culture House Hodge Trophy.  The Trophy, presented by ASICS, is considered the Heisman Trophy for amateur wrestling and has been presented to the nation’s best wrestler since 1995.

This year’s nominees are Lion senior Zain Retherford (Benton, Pa.), Lion junior Bo Nickal (Allen, Texas), Seth Gross from South Dakota State and Arizona State’s Zahid Valenica.

Criteria for the award includes a wrestler’s record, number of pins, dominance on the mat, past credentials, quality of competition, sportsmanship/citizenship and heart. The first four criteria are the primary criteria. Number of pins is an extremely important criteria. Part of the reason the award was created was to elevate the importance of the pin, and to motivate top collegians to go for the fall. The Hodge Trophy is a single-season award. However, if you have two candidates who are virtually equal, consideration can be given to past credentials, which is criteria No. 5. The last two criteria should be used to help guide voters to select a winner who also is a good representative of the sport.

Fans can play a part in selecting the winner as part of the fan vote portion of the award process: Visit https://www.win-magazine.com/2018/03/2018-win-magazineculture-house-dan-hodge-trophy-presented-by-asics-fan-vote/ to cast votes. The winner will be announced on Tuesday, March 27th. The winner of the fan vote will earn two first-place votes among the total ballots from a group of formal voters which includes each former Hodge Trophy winner, national media, representatives of national wrestling organizations and retired former college coaches from different regions.

Retherford, last year’s Hodge Trophy winner, is coming off a third straight NCAA title last weekend in Cleveland.  Retherford rolled to a 5-0 mark at NCAAs, including a 6-2 win over Lock Haven’s Ronnie Perry in the 141-pound finals.  Retherford ends his season with a 31-0 mark and a 126-3 career record. He finishes his Penn State career riding a 94 match win streak dating back to his true freshman year. His 19 career NCAA tournament wins is alone in second on Penn State’s all-time list (Ed Ruth had 21). He is a four-time All-American and Penn State’s second three-time NCAA Champion (joining Ruth).

Nickal, the last of five straight NCAA finalists for Penn State, picked up his second straight NCAA crown and clinched the team title for the Lions by pinning Ohio State’s Myles Martin at the 2:31 mark in the 184-pound title tilt.  Nickal’s title, the fourth individual crown of the night for Penn State, capped off a 5-0 tournament for the Texas native. Nickal ends his season with a 31-0 record and heads into next year with a 90-3 career record.  He is a three-time All-American, a two-time National Champion and a three-time finalist.

A Nittany Lion has won the Hodge Trophy four times: Kerry McCoy won Penn State’s first in 1997, David Taylor won in both 2012 and 2014 and Retherford won last year (2017).  Nittany Lion head coach Cael Sanderson is the only wrestler to ever win three times (2000, 2001 and 2002).

The Nittany Lions are coming off a stellar 2017-18 campaign that saw them continue their national dominance.  Penn State went 14-0 in dual meets, 9-0 in the Big Ten, winning yet another Big Ten Regular Season (dual meet) title.  Head Coach Cael Sanderson’s squad then roared into Cleveland and stormed a talented field featuring 330 of the nation’s best wrestlers to win its seventh NCAA National Championship in the last eight years.  The Lions crowned four champs, had five finalists, notched eight All-Americans and had all nine of its qualifiers score team points.  Penn State heads into next year returning seven of its school-record tying eight All-Americans this year, including a combined seven national championships.  The Nittany Lions have won 45 straight dual meets dating back to the 2014-15 season.

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

Penn State Wins Seventh National Title in Eight Years; Hidlay Takes Second

| March 18, 2018 | 0 Comments

The Penn State Nittany Lions (14-0, 9-0 B1G) rode a superb performance in the 2018 NCAA Wrestling Championships national finals to claim yet another NCAA title. Head coach Cael Sanderson’s team was nearly perfect in the finals and clinched its seventh NCAA title in the last eight years on a pin from junior Bo Nickal (Allen, Texas).

The Nittany Lions went 4-1 in the finals, coming back from a six point deficit heading into the final round to clinch the title on Nickal’s pin in Penn State’s final match of the night.  Penn State won the team title with 141.5 points while Ohio State was in second with 134.5.  Iowa took third with 97.0.  Sanderson now has 22 national champions as a head coach, 20 here at Penn State, and seven NCAA team titles.

Senior Zain Retherford (Benton, Pa.), the No. 1 seed at 149, took on No. 15 Ronnie Perry of Lock Haven in the first of five straight Penn State finals bouts.  Retherford took Perry down a minute into the bout and then controlled the action for :48 before Perry escaped to a 2-1 score.  He picked up a second takedown with :30 on the clock and then rode the Bald Eagle out to carry that lead into the second period.  Retherford chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 5-1 lead.  He carried that lead into the third period.  Perry chose down to start the third period and Retherford built up 1:45 in riding time before Perry escaped to a 5-2 score.  The Lion senior controlled the rest of the match from neutral and, with 1:45 in riding time, posted the decisive 6-2 win to earn this third straight national title.

Retherford ends his season with a 31-0 mark and a 126-3 career record. He finishes his Penn State career riding a 94 match win streak dating back to his true freshman year. His 19 career NCAA tournament wins is alone in second on Penn State’s all-time list (Ed Ruth had 21). He is a four-time All-American and Penn State’s second three-time NCAA Champion (joining Ruth).

Junior Jason Nolf (Yatesboro, Pa.), the No. 3 seed at 157, met No. 1 Hayden Hidlay of North Carolina State in the finals at 157.  Nolf fought off an early Hidlay shot and then took a 2-0 lead with a takedown at the 1:21 mark.  Hidlay escaped to a 2-1 score and action resumed neutral in the middle of the mat.  Nolf added a second takedown and led 4-1 with :55 in riding time after a rideout. Nolf chose down to start the second and quickly escaped to a 5-1 lead.  The Lion junior carried that lead and :49 riding time into the third period. Hidlay chose down to start the third period and Nolf controlled the action long enough to build his riding time up over 1:00.  Hidlay escaped to a 5-2 score with 1:15 left in the bout and Nolf cruised through the last minute.  Nolf, with 1:31 in riding time, rolled to a 6-2 win for his second straight NCAA title

Nolf ends his season with a 26-1 mark and has an 86-3 career record heading into next season. His only loss this year was an injury default decision on Jan. 28 in a bout he was winning at the time. He is a three-time All-American, a two-time NCAA Champion and a three-time finalist.

Sophomore Vincenzo Joseph (Pittsburgh, Pa.), the No. 3 seed at 165, took on No. 1 Isaiah Martinez of Illinois in a rematch of last year’s NCAA final at 165 (won in thrilling fashion by Joseph with a pin in St. Louis). The duo battled through the opening minutes wrestling from neutral in the middle.  Joseph found an opening with :15 left and threw Martinez to the mat for a takedown. On the reset, Joseph turned the Illini for two back points and led 4-0 after one.  Martinez chose down to start the second period and escaped to a 4-1 score.  Joseph picked up another point on a Martinez unnecessary roughness call and action resumed with 1:00 on the clock. Leading 5-2, Joseph chose down to start the third period.  Joseph escaped to a 6-1 lead with 1:39 on the clock.  Joseph was strong on his feet for the rest of the bout and roared to a 6-1 victory to become a two-time national champion.

Joseph ends his season with a 25-2 mark and heads into next year with a 47-6 career record.  He is a two-time All-American and a two-time National Champion.

Sophomore Mark Hall (Apple Valley, Utah), the No. 2 seed at 174, met No. 1 Zahid Valencia of Arizona State in the 174-pound title tilt.  The duo battled through a scoreless opening minute before Valencia connected on a takedown with 1:22 on the clock.  Hall nearly connected on a reversal but settled for an escape and trailed by one after the opening period.  Hall chose down to start the second stanza and escaped to a 2-2 tie but Valencia had 1:05 in riding time.  The Sun Devil added one more takedown and led 4-2 with 1:30 in riding time after two periods.  Valencia escaped to start the third period and led 5-2 and added a last second counter takedown on a Hall throw attempt.  A riding time point gave the Sun Devil a hard-fought 8-2 win, Hall’s first loss of the year.  Hall ends his sophomore year as national runner-up.

Hall ends his season with a 32-1 mark and heads into next year with a 63-4 career record.  He is a two-time All-American, winning the title last year, and a two-time finalist.

Junior Bo Nickal (Allen, Texas), the No. 1 seed at 184, met No. 2 Myles Martin in Penn State’s final championship bout of the night.  Nickal fought off an early Martin burst and settled in at the center of the mat :30 into the bout.  The duo worked on their feet as the period wound down and Martin attempted a throw.  Nickal made him pay for the decision, rolling through the effort, locking Martin’s shoulders tight and flat to the mat and getting the fall at the 2:29 mark.  Nickal’s pin not only won him his second straight NCAA title, but it clinched the team title for Penn State.

Nickal ends his season with a 31-0 record and heads into next year with a 90-3 career record.  He is a three-time All-American, a two-time National Champion and a three-time finalist.

True freshman Nick Lee (Evansville, Ind.), the No. 8 seed at 141, went 1-1 earlier today and took fifth place as the eighth seed.  Lee posted a 6-2 mark here in Cleveland in his first NCAA tournament with a major and became a freshman All-American.  He went 32-7 overall this season.  Junior Shakur Rasheed (Coram, N.Y.) took seventh in his first trip to NCAAs, becoming an All-American for the first time.  Rasheed went 4-2 overall, with three of those wins coming via major for big bonus points.  He closes out his season with a 24-5 record. Junior Nick Nevills (Clovis, Calif.) became a two-time All-American with a seventh place finish at 285.  Nevills went 4-2 with a pin and closes out his season with a 30-7 record. . Senior Corey Keener (Schuylkill Haven, Pa.), unseeded at 133, bowed out of the tournament during session three with a 1-2 record, ending his Penn State season with a 17-10 record and as a four-time NCAA qualifier.

Penn State went 4-1 in the finals, grabbing two final bonus points off Nickal’s clinching pin. The Nittany Lions went 39-9 overall with 26.5 bonus points off eight majors, five techs and four pins. Retherford is the school’s 10th four-time All-American.  Nolf and Nickal became Penn State’s 27th and 28th three-time All-Americans on Friday. Nevills became a two-time All-American Friday and both Lee and Rasheed earned their first All-America honors. Penn State’s haul of eight total All-Americans (tying a school record for All-Americans in a year) moves the school’s all-time All-American total to 214, 51 in Sanderson’s eight years.

Retherford was honored as the NCAA Most Dominant Wrestler of the Year for the third straight season, Nickal was named 2018 NCAA Championship Tournament Outstanding Wrestler and Sanderson was named NWCA Tournament Coach of the Year.

A total of 29 different Nittany Lions have won 41 total individual titles.  Retherford becomes only the second three-time NCAA Champion in Penn State, joining former Lion great Ed Ruth.  Nolf and Nickal join a club of nine two-time champions in school history (which includes Retherford).

The Nittany Lions 141.5 points is the second highest in school history behind last year’s 146.5.  Penn State has now won seven team national titles in the last eight years and eight overall.  The Nittany Lions eight total titles is tied for third all-time in NCAA history with Iowa State.  The crown is Sanderson’s seventh as a head coach in his nine years as Penn State’s mentor.

Penn State heads into next year returning seven of its school-record tying eight All-Americans this year, including a combined seven national championships between Nolf, Joseph, Hall and Nickal.  The Nittany Lions have won 45 straight dual meets dating back to the 2014-15 season.

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.

 

2018 NCAA Championships – Team Standings after Session 6 / FINAL (top ten):

March 17, 2018 – Quicken Loans Arena – Cleveland, Ohio

1: PENN STATE – 141.5

2: Ohio State – 134.5

3: Iowa – 97.0

4T: Michigan – 80.0

4T: North Carolina State – 80.0

Weight-by-weight agate (rankings listed indicate official tournament seed)

133: Corey Keener, Sr. – unseeded – DNP

Rd. 1: #11 Dom Forys, Pittsburgh – LBF (4:57)

Cn. 1: Cam Sykora, North Dakota State – W, 9-7 dec.

Cn. 2: Rico Montoya, Northern Colorado – LBF (4:27)

141: Nick Lee, Fr. – #8 seed – All-American (5th Place)

Rd. 1: Ryan Diehl, Maryland – LBF (2:12)

Cn. 1: #9 Josh Alber, Northern Iowa – W, 7-3 dec.

Cn. 2: #10 Mason Smith, Central Michigan – W, 5-0 dec.

Cn. 3: #16 Cole Weaver, Indiana – W, 13-5 maj. dec.

Rd. 12: #12 Tyler Smith, Bucknell – W, 13-6 dec.

Cn. Q: SaDarien Perry, Eastern Michigan – W, 12-4 maj. dec.

Cn. Semi: #2 Jaydin Eirman, Missouri – L, 4-12 maj. dec.

5th Place: #5 Kevin Jack, North Carolina State – W, 9-7 (SV) dec.

 

 

149: Zain Retherford, Sr. – #1 seed – 4X All-American — CHAMPION

Rd. 1: Kyle Springer, Eastern Michigan – W, 16-1 TF (7:00)

Rd. 2: #16 Alfred Bannister, Maryland – WBF (2:29)

Qtrs: #8 Boo Lewallen, Oklahoma State – W, 20-2 TF (5:00)

Semis: #4 Troy Heilmann, North Carolina – W, 10-4 dec.

Finals: #15 Ronnie Perry, Lock Haven – W, 6-2 dec.

 

 

157: Jason Nolf, Jr. – #3 seed – 3X All-American — CHAMPION

Rd. 1: Colin Heffernan, Central Michigan – W, 22-7 TF (7:00)

Rd. 2: #14 Andrew Crone, Wisconsin – W, 6-1 dec.

Qtrs: #6 Michael Kemerer, Iowa – W, 6-2 dec.

Semis: #7 Micah Jordan, Ohio State – W, 16-0 TF (4:28)

Finals: #1 Hayden Hidlay, North Carolina State – W, 6-2 dec.

165: Vincenzo Joseph, So. – #3 seed – 2X All-American — CHAMPION

Rd. 1: Jonathan Schleifer, Princeton – W, 15-4 maj. dec.

Rd. 2: #14 Branson Ashworth, Wyoming – W, 3-1 dec.

Qtrs: #11 Isaiah White, Nebraska – W, 4-2 (SV2)

Semis: #2 David McFadden, Virginia Tech – W, 3-1 dec.

Finals: #1 Isaiah Martinez, Illinois – W, 6-1 dec.

174: Mark Hall, So. – #2 seed – 2X All-American – National Runner-Up

Rd. 1: Austin Rose, Drexel – W, 12-2 maj. dec.

Rd. 2: #15 Dylan Lydy, Purdue – W, 21-3 (TF; 6:54)

Qtrs: #7 Taylor Lujan, Northern Iowa – W, 6-2 dec.

Semis: #3 Daniel Lewis, Missouri – WBF (6:22)

Finals: #1 Zahid Valencia, Arizona State – L, 2-8 dec.

184: Bo Nickal, Jr. – #1 seed – 3X All-American — CHAMPION

Rd. 1: Martin Mueller, South Dakota State – W, 16-4 maj. dec.

Rd. 2: #16 Jordan Ellingwood, Central Michigan – W, 10-4 dec.

Qtrs: #9 Max Dean, Cornell – W, 13-7 dec.

Semis: #5 Domenic Abounader, Michigan – W, 6-3 dec.

Finals: #2 Myles Martin, Ohio State – WBF (2:29)

197: Shakur Rasheed, Jr. – #5 seed – All-American (7th Place)

Rd. 1: Sawyer Root, The Citadel – W, 13-5 maj. dec.

Rd. 2: Daniel Chaid, North Carolina – W, 14-3 maj. dec.

Qtrs: #4 Michael Macchiavello, North Carolina State – L, 4-5 dec.

Rd. 12: #7 Frank Mattiace, Penn – W, 6-5 dec.

Cn. Q: #1 Kollin Moore, Ohio State – L, 4-7 dec.

7th Place: #6 Willie Miklus, Missouri – W, 11-3 maj. dec.

285: Nick Nevills, Jr. – #3 seed – All-American (7th Place)

Rd. 1: Stephen Suglio, Kent State – WBF (5:24)

Rd. 2: #14 Michael Boykin, North Carolina State – W, 5-4 (TB2)

Qtrs: #6 Amar Dhesi, Oregon State – L, 2-4 dec.

Rd. 12: Jere Heino, Campbell – W, 6-1 dec.

Cn. Q: #5 Sam Stoll, Iowa – L, 1-3 (SV)

7th Place: #12 Youssif Hemida, Maryland – W, 7-5 dec.

Penn State Crowns Three Big 10 Champs, Advances Nine to Nationals

| March 8, 2018 | 0 Comments

The Penn State Nittany Lions (14-0, 9-0 B1G) crowned three champions at the 2018 Big Ten Championship tournament in East Lansing, Mich. Penn State also moved nine wrestlers through to the 2018 NCAA Championships in two weeks. Head coach Cael Sanderson and his squad will be gunning for their seventh NCAA title in the last eight years. Senior Zain Retherford (Benton, Pa.) was named the 2018 Big Ten Wrestler of the Year as well.

Penn State’s nine qualifiers include defending NCAA Champion Jason Nolf (Yatesboro, Pa.), who went 2-0 at 157 with a pin and a major in session one Saturday. Penn State opted to medically forfeit Nolf out of the tournament after getting the two wins and the automatic bid to NCAAs. The Nittany Lions finished in second place at the Big Ten tournament, just behind Ohio State. Penn State will be looking to duplicate its NCAA title performance from a year ago when it followed up a runner-up showing in the Big Ten tourney with a national championship run in St. Louis.

Senior Zain Retherford (Benton, Pa.), ranked No. 1 nationally at 149, took on No. 2 Brandon Sorensen of Iowa in Penn State’s first Big Ten finals bout of the day. The duo battled evenly for the two minutes plus with neither wrestler finding a way to score. The first period ended in a scoreless tie and Sorensen chose down to start the second period. Retherford controlled the action from the top position for the entire period and carried 2:00 in riding time into the third, with the bout tied 0-0. Retherford chose down to start the third period and escaped to a 1-0 lead while retaining 1:36 in riding time. Retherford got in on a high single at the :40 mark but could not finish off the move and the clock ticked below :30 with the Lion leading by one. Retherford worked down the clock and walked away with his third Big Ten title thanks to a 2-0 win (with 1:36 in riding time).

Retherford also set a new Penn State record for consecutive wins at 89, breaking the old mark of 88 held by former Lion national champion and current Maryland head coach Kerry McCoy. Retherford went 3-0 with two majors and heads to Cleveland with a perfect 26-0 record. Retherford also has 121 career wins, which is 10th all-time at Penn State. His Big Ten Wrestler of the Year honor is his second, having won the honor in 2016.

Sophomore Vincenzo Joseph (Pittsburgh, Pa.), ranked No. 3 at 165, met No. 1 Isaiah Martinez of Illinois in the finals in a rematch of last year’s NCAA title tilt (won by Joseph). The duo met in the middle of the mat and Joseph immediately took a finger to the eye. After a quick break, action stayed neutral with each wrestler working for top control deep into the opening period. The duo finished the opening period tied at 0-0. Joseph chose down to start the second period but could not break free of a strong Martinez Ride until the :40 mark. He led 1-0, but Martinez had 1:20 in riding time. Trailing 1-0 but owning a time edge, Martinez chose down to start the third period and quickly escaped to a 1-1 tie while maintain his time advantage. Joseph scrambled for a late takedown, changing levels over the final :30 and getting in deep on a single. Martinez scrambled underneath and forced a stalemate at the :20 mark. The Lion continued to shoot low and as the bout ended, Martinez added in a late counter takedown on a Joseph shot to secure the 4-1 win. Joseph places second at 165 with a 3-1 mark, including a pin and a major.

Sophomore Mark Hall (Apple Valley, Minn.), ranked No. 2 at 174, took on No. 6 Myles Amine of Michigan in the title bout at 174. Hall fought off an early push from Amine, working his way out of trouble on a couple early shots and keeping the bout tied 0-0 midway through the period. The duo worked on their feet in the middle of the mat for the remainder of the period. Hall chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 1-0 lead. He took a couple slight shots as the second period clock worked below :30 and then carried the 1-0 lead into the third stanza. Amine chose down to start the third period and quickly reversed the Lion to take a 2-1 lead at the 1:42 mark. Hall quickly escaped to a 2-2 tie and action resumed in the middle of the mat. Hall turned a fast low single into a takedown right away and led 4-3 after an Amine escape at the :51 mark. Hall fought off a late Amine shot and walked away with a 4-3 victory and his first Big Ten title. Hall went 4-0 with two pins in his run and heads to NCAAs with a perfect 28-0 record.

Junior Bo Nickal (Allen, Texas), ranked No. 1 at 184, met No. 2 Myles Martin of Ohio State in the title bout. The due battled evenly for the first minute until Nickal worked his way in on a low single and finished off a scrambling takedown to lead early. Martin escaped to a 2-1 score and Nickal had :48 in riding time. Nickal led 2-1 after one and Martin chose down to start the second period. The Lion junior maintained control for :20 and the bout was tied 2-2, with Nickal having 1:08 in time. The Lion continued to pressure Martin and turned another low single into a takedown and a 4-2 lead with 1:00 left. Nickal rode Martin out and led 4-2 with 2:13 in time after two. The Lion chose down to start the final period and quickly escaped to a 5-2 lead. Martin took Nickal down to cut the lead to 5-4 at the :55 mark but Nickal had the riding time point clinched. Martin cut Nickal loose to a 6-4 Nickal lead. Nickal fought off a late Martin flurry and, with 1:42 in riding time, walked away with a strong 7-4 win. Nickal went 3-0 with a pin to claim his second Big Ten title and heads to Cleveland with a perfect 26-0 record.

Junior Shakur Rasheed (Coram, N.Y.), ranked No. 5 at 197, took on No. 3 Kollin Moore of Ohio State in the finals. Rasheed shot quickly, countering a slight Moore effort and seemingly took the Buckeye down. The takedown was not called but Penn State quickly challenged. The no call stood however and action resumed tied 0-0 just ten seconds into the bout. Moore worked Rasheed down for a takedown and the Lion quickly escaped to a 2-1 score at the 2:05 mark. Rasheed got in on a late shot but the clock hit zeroes and Rasheed trailed 2-1 after one. He chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 2-2 tie. Moore notched a second takedown and led 4-3 at the 1:33 mark. Leading 4-3, Moore chose neutral to start the final period. Moore bulled his way through a third takedown and led 6-4 at the 1:30 mark. Moore added a fourth takedown and posted the 8-4 win. Rasheed finishes second at his first Big Ten tournament with a 3-1 record, including a major.

True freshman Nick Lee (Evansville, Ind.), ranked No. 8 nationally at 141, met Iowa’s Vince Turk in the consolation semifinals. Lee led 5-3 after a lively first period and then rode Turk out for the second period to carry that lead, with 2:36 in time, into the third period. The Lion freshman tacked on two more points and 2:17 in riding time to roll to an 8-3 win. Lee met No. 15 Nate Limmex of Purdue in the third place bout. Lee opened up an early 6-2 lead with two takedowns and two back points in the first period. The Lion freshman poured on the offense for the rest of the period and walked away with a 15-5 major with 3:05 in riding time. Lee went 4-1 with three majors, placed third and will head to his first NCAA Championship in two weeks.

Junior Nick Nevills (Clovis, Calif.), ranked No. 4 at 285, met No. 7 Youssif Hemida of Maryland in the consolation semifinals. Nevills battled Hemida through a scoreless first period and then opened up a quick 3-0 lead in the second with an escape and a takedown. He rode that second period flurry into the third period, added another takedown and 1:16 in riding time to roll to a 6-1 win. Nevills then met No. 5 Sam Stoll of Iowa for third place. After a scoreless first period, Nevills chose down to start the second and escaped to a 1-0 lead. Stoll chose down to start the final stanza and Nevills made him pay by turning him for four back points to open up a 5-1 lead after Stoll escaped. Nevills gave up one stall point but walked away with a strong 5-2 win to place third. Nevills went 4-1 with a major to take third place.

Senior Corey Keener (Schuylkill Haven, Pa.), ranked No. 20 at 133, met No. 21 Ben Thornton of Purdue in the seventh place bout at 133. With the winner earning the Big Ten’s final automatic bid at the weight, Keener opened up an early 4-1 lead with two solid takedowns in the first period. The senior built up over a minute’s riding time and added a third takedown to lead 6-2 after two and then added two more takedowns and 3:00 riding time to post a 11-3 major, take seventh, and punch his ticket to the NCAA Championships. Keener went 2-2 with a pin and a major this weekend.

Senior Carson Kuhn (Sandy, Utah) continued on in the ninth-place bracket at 125, seeking one of the Big Ten’s ten automatic bids to nationals. Kuhn, the 14th seed, took on No. 13 Drew Mattin of Michigan in a bout that would send the winner off to Cleveland and the National Championship. Kuhn led 2-1 after the opening period but Mattin rode him out in the second and was then given a reversal by the officials after a lengthy review. Kuhn dropped a hard-fought 6-4 decision. He took on Wisconsin’s Johnny Jimenez for 11th place and ended his tournament with a dazzling pin at the 2:21 mark, rolling Jimenez to his back with a spladle and getting the first period fall for his third win of the weekend. Kuhn went 3-3 with a major and a pin and took 11th place as the 14-seed at 125.

Penn State went 9-3 overall in session three/four. Penn State ended the tournament with a 31-9 overall record. The Nittany Lions stacked up 23 bonus points off 11 majors and six pins (Kuhn’s pin in the 11th place bout did not count in team points). All rankings listed are official NCAA coaches ranking as of 2/22/18. Penn State had three champions (Retherford, Hall, Nickal), two runners-up (Joseph, Rasheed), two third placers (Lee, Nevills), one sixth place (Nolf) and one seventh place finisher (Keener).

Nine Lions (Keener, Lee, Retherford, Nolf, Joseph, Hall, Nickal, Rasheed and Nevills) qualified for nationals on March 15-17 in Cleveland. The three day event takes place in Quicken Loans Arena and begins on Thursday, March 15, at 12 p.m. Penn State heads to Cleveland with a perfect dual meet season (14-0, 9-0 Big Ten) in hand, owners of the Big Ten Regular Season (dual meet) championship. The Nittany Lions have won six of the last seven NCAA Championships and will be looking to make it seven of eight in Quicken Loans Arena. Penn State will bring five returning NCAA Champions (Retherford, Nolf, Joseph, Hall, Nickal) with it amidst its nine qualifiers.

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