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Penn State Wrestling Weekly: Junior Worlds

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Mark Hall, recruits signing, and coaching changes

PSU Wrestling Locker Room

Welcome your newest World Gold medalist, Penn State Wrestling fans. This weekend in Paris, France, PSU true freshman Mark Hall took Gold at 74KG (163.3lbs) in the Junior World Championships, and did it in style. What kind of style? He scored a quick takedown, laced the ankles, and tech fall’d his opponent, Iran’s Ahmed Bazrighaleh, in 31 seconds.

Thirty-one seconds.

It wasn’t all that “easy”, though. Hall gutted out a tough semi-final victory over head-butting, eye-poking Murad Suleymanov of Azerbaijan, the Euro champ. Willie at Flo has a fun behind-the-scenes video capturing the “tension”.

Next up for Mark “Wreck” Hall figures to be a redshirt. The best under-21 on planet Earth (edit: not named Kyle Snyder; h/t to bveo) has already enrolled in classes at Dear Old State, but according to Cael, we’ll likely need to wait until next year to see him don the blue and white singlet.

It’ll be worth the wait, though. To put Hall’s accomplishment into perspective, he’s just the 4th American to win Gold at Junior Worlds in the last decade. And because it’s fun to look back at the names, here’s a list of Team USA members by year from the last decade:

2016

50KG - Spencer Lee - 1st (check out RossWB’s write up here)

55KG - Daton Fix - 3rd

60KG - Seth Gross - DNP

66KG - Alec Pantaleo - DNP

74KG - Mark Hall - 1st

84KG - Zahid Valencia - DNP

96KG - Kollin Moore - DNP

120KG - Jordan Wood - DNP

2015

50KG - Spencer Lee - 1st

55KG - Stevan Micic - 3rd

60KG - N/A

66KG - Aaron Pico - 3rd

74KG - Mark Hall - DNP (2-1)

84KG - Zahid Valencia - DNP

96KG - Anthony Cassar - DNP

120KG - Nathan Butler - 3rd

2014

50KG - Jabari Moody - 5th

55KG - Thomas Gilman - 3rd

60KG - Joey McKenna - 2nd

66KG - Aaron Pico - 2nd

74KG - Anthony Valencia - DNP

84KG - Gabe Dean - 3rd

96KG - Kyle Snyder - 3rd

120KG - Adam Coon - 3rd

2013

50KG - Ethan Lizak - DNP

55KG - Thomas Gilman - DNP

60KG - Mark Grey - DNP

66KG - Jason Tsirtsis - 3rd

74KG - Alex Dieringer - 2nd

84KG - Sammy Brooks - DNP

96KG - Kyle Snyder - 1st

120KG - Austin Marsden - DNP

2012

50KG - Adrian Cordova - DNP

55KG - Joey Dance - DNP

60KG - Earl Hall - DNP

66KG - Destin McCauley - DNP

74KG - Alex Dieringer - DNP

84KG - Pat Downey - 2nd

96KG - Tanner Hall - 9th

120KG - Austin Marsden - DNP

2011

50KG - Nicky Roberts - DNP

55KG - Mark Grey - 5th

60KG - Logan Stieber - 2nd

66KG - Josh Kindig - 5th

74KG - Taylor Massa - DNP

84KG - Lee Munster - DNP

96KG - Tanner Hall - DNP

120KG - Daniel Miller - 7th

2010

50KG - Nicky Roberts - 5th

55KG - Ryak Finch - DNP

60KG - Matt McDonough - DNP

66KG - Jason Chamberlin - 5th

74KG - Conrad Polz - DNP

84KG - Chris Perry - 3rd

96KG - Tyler Lehmann - DNP

120KG - Jeremy Johnson - 5th

2009

50KG - Carson Kuhn - DNP

55KG - Tony Ramos - 5th

60KG - Jordan Oliver - 3rd

66KG - Jason Chamberlin - DNP

74KG - Andrew Howe - 3rd

84KG - Chris Perry - 5th

96KG - Tyrell Fortune - 7th

120KG - Dom Bradley - 1st

2008

50KG - Mark Rappo - DNP

55KG - Zach Sanders - 8th

60KG - Tyler Graff - DNP

66KG - Jordan Burroughs - DNP

74KG - Quentin Wright - 3rd

84KG - Mike Letts - 3rd

96KG - Clayton Foster - 3rd

120KG - Clayton Jack - 5th

2007

50KG - David Taylor - DNP

55KG - Tyler Graff - DNP

60KG - Angel Escobedo - DNP

66KG - Bubba Jenkins - 1st

74KG - Jake Kerr - DNP

84KG - Louis Caputo - DNP

96KG - Taylor Moore - DNP

120KG - Stefan Tighe - DNP

Lotta NCAA champions and All-Americans in that list. And yes - that is thee David “Magic Man” Taylor wrestling at 110.25lbs in 2007. He lost a very tight quarterfinals match to some guy named Hassan Rahimi of Iran (0-3, 3-3, 0-3). (Rahimi has medaled in 5 of the last 6 senior-level world championships, most recently with a bronze at the Rio Olympics. So...he’s not too shabby).

More Medals?

As our man bveo mentioned earlier, there’s a chance that Frank Molinaro may get a bronze medal after all. According to Intermat via some Indian publications, Toghrul Asgarov (Azerbaijan) lit up the pee test after taking silver in Rio - and lit the lamp when his 2012 London Olympics sample was re-tested.

Here’s our shocked face at eastern Europeans testing positive:

In any event, if the world governing body sticks to its precedent - and that’s far from a sure thing, because it’s filled with eastern Europeans - then Asgarov would be stripped of his 2016 Rio Silver and 2012 London Gold. Frank lost to Asgarov in the quarters, and lost in the bronze medal match to the guy (2015 champ Frank Chamizo) who lost to Asgarov in the semis. So...Chamizo bumps to silver, and Frank bumps to bronze. The lessons, as always, for you kids out there: 1) cheaters don’t win; and 2) algebra really is something you’ll use in your life.

On the other hand, CP and Willie throw some water on that idea in their must-listen podcast. So maybe there’s no actual use for algebra after all, and cheaters do win.

Nevermind, kids. Forget what we said. There are no lessons to be learned here.

Other Stuff

Wondering where Cadet World medalist Jarod Verkleeren (Belle Vernon, PA) might head for college? Wonder no longer. He’s headed to Iowa State - along with a bunch of other top recruits. Kevin Jackson has really been pulling in the croots these last few classes. We should prepare for the Cyclones to climb back into the top 10 soon.

Ohio State just lost a really good coach to Oklahoma. Lou Rosselli exits the Columbus tanning beds to reform the ashes left in Norman after Mark Cody’s departure. The Sooners placed 13th at last year’s NCAA championships with 33.5 points - and nearly all of that is gone. Cody Brewer (15.5), Ross Larson (3.5), Clark Glass (1.5) graduated, and Ryan Millhof (6.5) plans to transfer out of the program. Davion Jeffries (4.5) can make the podium next year for sure, though.

Bloomsburg announced the resignation of Jason Mester just this week. Curious timing, but things definitely hadn’t meshed the last few years. Best wishes to both Jason and the Huskies.