The big news last week was that our guy Frank Molinaro qualified for the Rio Olympics. That was pretty awesome. One of the (somewhat) hidden tidbits from that was Frank's mental toughness. As we detailed previously, Frank lost in the semi-finals, and appeared to be out of Olympic contention. Dream crushed, miracle evaporated, all gone in an instant. You're devastated, and don't feel like wrestling ever again, right? Of course. As we also detailed previously, Frank overcame that and fought back to finish 3rd. But how much time passed between getting gutted before he had to wrestle again? Answer: almost none. Team USA head coach Bruce Burnett tells a pretty good story, as captured by Ross Bartachek at Takedown Wrestling:
"We got back in this little area and when (Frank) finally came back around he started to unlace his shoes," Burnett said on the latest edition of Takedown Radio. "I looked at him and I said, 'Frank, I know you are not going to want to hear this, but you have got to get back up and come back and take third.' He looked at me with big eyes, and you know it's a difficult situation, and he goes, 'When am I up?', and I said, 'Frank, you're on deck.' And he laced those shoes up, he got ready, and we walked out. He had another tough opponent...he came back and beat him, and beat the Belorussian, a two-time World placer at the World Championships."
So that was pretty cool.
Junior World Team Trials
A few weeks ago we watched Junior Nationals - that'd be the ages 16 - 20 national freestyle championship. This week we get the Junior World Team Trials, and that's just what it sounds like: it's your chance to represent Team USA at Junior Worlds (read: Junior Olympics).
And this time, Penn State has a few more entrants. Jason Nolf, Vincenzo Joseph, and PSU-recruit Mark Hall are each registered at 74kg (163lbs). Bo Nickal is back in action at 84kg, as is Anthony Cassar at 96kg. That's 50% of PSU's message-board-forecasted 2017/2018 lineup. Wrestling starts on Friday, and runs through Sunday. It's being held in Irving, TX.
Start Planning the Nolf Championship Parade, Kittanning
I will be competing at 165 lbs next year, hence my Twitter handle now makes sense lol— Isaiah Martinez (@Imar165) May 17, 2016
Lightweights Just Got A New Workout Partner
After much prayer and deliberation I have accepted a position on the Nittany lion wrestling club team! Phil. 4:13 pic.twitter.com/Va480R7W4S— Cody Brewer (@CodyBrewer_133) May 17, 2016
Two national champs on the mat just got named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District Team. That'd be Nico Megaludis and Zain Retherford.