Penn State entered the second session of the NCAA Wrestling Tournament trailing surprising early leader Iowa and arch nemesis Ohio State by the slimmest of margins in the team race.
In the second session, the Nittany Lions went 9-0 and moved into second place, but a lights out session from the Buckeyes saw them ascend to the top spot and open a slight gap.
On the front side, Penn State sent out seven of its nine wrestlers starting with Zain Retherford at 149 pounds.
Retherford got the action going with a bang, pinning Maryland’s Baby J Bannister at the 2:29 mark.
At 157, Jason Nolf showed his first signs of struggling with injury as he defeated Wisconsin’s Andrew Crone 6-1 but struggled to create much offensive and didn’t finish well when he did. Nolf now faces an extremely testy quarterfinal against a rejuvenated Michael Kemerer of Iowa tomorrow morning.
Vincenzo Joseph looked solid if unspectacular en route to a 3-1 victory over Wyoming’s Branson Ashworth who, at 31-4 entering the tournament, was terribly seeded.
Nobody can accuse Mark Hall of not doing everything he can to pull Penn State to the top of the team race. Hall dominated Purdue’s Dylan Lydy on the way to a 21-3 tech fall at the 6:54 mark.
Bo Nickal yet again seemed to struggle a bit on the first day, plodding his way to a 10-4 victory over Central Michigan’s Jordan Ellingwood.
Shakur Rasheed seemed to have his swagger back as he dominated unseeded Danny Chaid of UNC to the tune of a 14-3 major decision.
Lastly on the front side, Nick Nevills gave the whole of the Penn State fan base but put together a gutsy TB2 rideout of Michael Boykin of NC State to pick up a 5-4 victory thanks to a 17 second riding time advantage.
On the back side, Corey Keener used a six-point move with a headlock to top South Dakota State’s Cam Sykora.
Nick Lee rounded out the night with a very solid 7-3 victory over Northern Iowa’s Josh Alber.
While Penn State wrestled relatively well, the Buckeyes went absolute bananas. Pair that with some favorable seeding and some upsets and they’ll have four wrestlers facing unseeded opponents in the NCAA quarterfinals.
The Nittany Lions will be favored in the semifinals tomorrow at 149, 165, 174 and 184. They’ll have toss-up matches at 157, 197 and 285.
On the back side, Lee will have a tough match against CMU’s Mason Smith before meeting either Cole Weaver of Indiana or Eli Stickey of Wisconsin. Lee already holds a 13-3 over Weaver. A win in that round puts him in the bloodround where a win would make him an All-American. He’s likely to see Tyler Smith of Bucknell should he make the bloodround.
Keener will have Rico Montoya of Northern Colorado. A win over Montoya would see him face either Brian Lantry of Buffalo or Scott Delvecchio of Rutgers for a bloodround spot.
- Ohio State 36.0
- Penn State 28.5
- Iowa 27.0
- Michigan 23.0
- NC State 20
SESSION III MATCHES
149: Zain Retherford vs. Boo Lewallen (OKST)
157: Jason Nolf vs. Michael Kemerer (IOWA)
165: Cenzo Joseph vs. Isaiah White (NEB)
174: Mark Hall vs. Taylor Lujan (UNI)
184: Bo Nickal vs. Max Dean (CORN)
197: Shakur Rasheed vs. Michael Machiavello (NCST)
285: Nick Nevills vs. Amar Dhesi (ORST)
133: Corey Keener vs. Rico Montoya (NoCo)
141: Nick Lee vs. Mason Smith (CMU)
DAY ONE RESULTS (Via TrackWrestling)
Corey Keener (17-9) place is unknown and scored 0.50 team points.
- Champ. Round 1 - Dom Forys (Pittsburgh) 22-5 won by fall over Corey Keener (Penn State) 17-9 (Fall 4:57)
- Cons. Round 1 - Corey Keener (Penn State) 17-9 won by decision over Cam Sykora (North Dakota State) 23-12 (Dec 9-7)
Nick Lee (28-6) place is unknown and scored 0.50 team points.
- Champ. Round 1 - Ryan Diehl (Maryland) 13-13 won by fall over Nick Lee (Penn State) 28-6 (Fall 2:13)
- Cons. Round 1 - Nick Lee (Penn State) 28-6 won by decision over Josh Alber (Northern Iowa) 25-8 (Dec 7-3)
Zain Retherford (28-0) place is unknown and scored 5.50 team points.
- Champ. Round 1 - Zain Retherford (Penn State) 28-0 won by tech fall over Kyle Springer (Eastern Michigan) 21-18 (TF-1.5 7:00 (16-1))
- Champ. Round 2 - Zain Retherford (Penn State) 28-0 won by fall over Alfred Bannister (Maryland) 24-9 (Fall 2:29)
Jason Nolf (23-1) place is unknown and scored 3.50 team points.
- Champ. Round 1 - Jason Nolf (Penn State) 23-1 won by tech fall over Colin Heffernan (Central Michigan) 19-7 (TF-1.5 7:00 (22-7))
- Champ. Round 2 - Jason Nolf (Penn State) 23-1 won by decision over Andrew Crone (Wisconsin) 28-11 (Dec 6-1)
Vincenzo Joseph (22-2) place is unknown and scored 3.00 team points.
- Champ. Round 1 - Vincenzo Joseph (Penn State) 22-2 won by major decision over Jonathan Schleifer (Princeton) 16-12 (MD 15-4)
- Champ. Round 2 - Vincenzo Joseph (Penn State) 22-2 won by decision over Branson Ashworth (Wyoming) 35-5 (Dec 3-1)
Mark Hall (30-0) place is unknown and scored 4.50 team points.
- Champ. Round 1 - Mark Hall (Penn State) 30-0 won by major decision over Austin Rose (Drexel) 20-17 (MD 12-2)
- Champ. Round 2 - Mark Hall (Penn State) 30-0 won by tech fall over Dylan Lydy (Purdue) 33-13 (TF-1.5 6:54 (21-3))
Bo Nickal (28-0) place is unknown and scored 3.00 team points.
- Champ. Round 1 - Bo Nickal (Penn State) 28-0 won by major decision over Martin Mueller (South Dakota State) 26-7 (MD 16-4)
- Champ. Round 2 - Bo Nickal (Penn State) 28-0 won by decision over Jordan Ellingwood (Central Michigan) 26-11 (Dec 10-4)
Shakur Rasheed (22-3) place is unknown and scored 4.00 team points.
- Champ. Round 1 - Shakur Rasheed (Penn State) 22-3 won by major decision over Sawyer Root (The Citadel) 25-15 (MD 13-5)
- Champ. Round 2 - Shakur Rasheed (Penn State) 22-3 won by major decision over Daniel Chaid (North Carolina) 22-11 (MD 14-3)
Nick Nevills (28-5) place is unknown and scored 4.00 team points.
- Champ. Round 1 - Nick Nevills (Penn State) 28-5 won by fall over Stephen Suglio (Kent State) 20-9 (Fall 5:24)
Champ. Round 2 - Nick Nevills (Penn State) 28-5 won in tie breaker - 2 over Michael Boykin (NC State) 21-7 (TB-2 5-4)