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NCAA Wrestling Tournament: Session I Recap

That was...generally fine?

NCAA Wrestling: Big Ten Wrestling Championship Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

The 2018 NCAA Wrestling Tournament got underway Thursday afternoon with the first round.

Penn State had nobody at 125 but Ohio State, their leading competitor for a national championship, got a second-period pin from Nathan Tomasello over Gabe Townsell.

Up at 133, Corey Keener on the attack and finished on his back against 11th-seeded Dom Forys of Pitt. Keener went up 2-0 early with a nice double leg. Forys then got an escape and two points of his own when Keener slipped while going a headhunting. Keener then tied the match at 4-4 in the second after a takedown but got caught riding too high and Forys cradled him up for the fall.

Nick Lee made his tournament debut and had an unfortunate start. Lee got out to a 2-0 lead over Ryan Diehl of Maryland. Diehl then got a takedown of his own which Lee managed to escape from quickly. Lee then got got caught taking a bit of a sloppy shot and Diehl, who isn’t afraid to go big, threw him to his back for the fall.

That was, however, the last match Penn State would lose in the session.

Zain Retherford, as he’s wont to do, got the train rolling with a 16-1 technical fall victory over Kyle Springer of Eastern Michigan at the 7-minute mark.

Jason Nolf, knee brace and all, blew through Colin Heffernan of Central Michigan. After a slightly slow start, Nolf picked up two sets of four back points and teched Heffernan, 22-7 at the 7-minute mark. This was only the second time in Heffernan’s career that he’s conceded bonus points.

The train kept rolling at 165 as Vincenzo Joseph grabbed a 15-4 major decision over a very game Jonathan Schleifer of Princenton.

Mark Hall topped Austin Rose of Drexel 12-2 despite Rose’s best attempts to take the air out of the ball as they’d say in basketball or football.

Up at 184, Bo Nickal may feel like he left something on the table despite earning a 16-4 major decision over South Dakota State’s Martin Mueller. Nickal held an 11-point lead mid-way through the third period but opted to ride Mueller and left himself little time to pursue the tech.

Shakur Rasheed survived an early injury scare and a sluggish start to major Sawyer Root of The Citadel, 13-5, using his patented crossface cradle to get a set of four backs in the third.

Nick Nevills finished the session with an exclamation point. The big man from California, already lead 8-0, put a nasty armbar on Stephen Suglio of Drexel and picked up the fall at the 5:25 mark.

After all that talk of Penn State and Ohio State, Iowa is the team with the lead after the first session.


  1. Iowa State 18.5
  2. Ohio State 17
  3. Penn State 16


125: N/A

133: Corey Keener vs. Cam Sykora (SDSU) on the backside

141: Nick Lee vs. Josh Alber (UNI) on the backside

149: Zain Retherford vs. Baby J Bannister (UMD)

157: Jason Nolf vs. Andrew Crone (WIS)

165: Vincenzo Joseph vs. Branson Ashworth (WYO)

174: Mark Hall vs. Dylan Lydy (PUR)

184: Bo Nickal vs. Jordan Ellingwood (CMU)

197: Shakur Rasheed vs. Daniel Chaid (UNC)

285: Nick Nevills vs. Michael Boykin (NCST)