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Penn State Wrestling: Freestyle Season

It’s that time of year, friends. The wrestling coaching carousel spins out of control. We’re wrestling freestyle now, too - so no more riding time talk. Big hooray for that. Let’s take a quick look around the Penn State and national wrestling landscape.

Coaching Carousel

  • Wisconsin retired Barry Davis, and hired fireball Chris Bono from South Dakota State.
  • Joe McFarland retired from Michigan, and the Wolverines promoted Sean Bormet.
  • Openings remain at Cleveland State, SDSU, and new D1 program Arkansas-Little Rock.
  • (How cool is that? A new program in the south!)
  • (Actually, it’s two new programs in the south - Presbyterian, in South Carolina, also started a D1 program).

Freestyle Season

International wrestling kicks off this Saturday, April 7th, in Iowa City, Iowa, with the World Cup. Perennial powers Iran and Russia are no shows, for political reasons I surmise. That stinks for wrestling, but frankly, I’m perfectly fine with totalitarian states not liking freedom. Doesn’t bother me a bit.

Team USA is your favorite, along with Azerbaijan. The rest of the World Cup participating countries are as follows: Japan, Cuba, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and India. You can catch the action on TrackWrestling.

Zain is sitting out the World Cup, but two Nittany Lion Wrestling Club teammates will make the trip - David Taylor, and Bo Nickal, both at 86kg (189.6 lbs). Former Lion Frank Molinaro makes the lineup at 70kg. Here’s the rest of Team USA, with current home RTC in parentheses.

57kg (125.5 lbs) Thomas Gilman (Iowa) Frank Perrelli (UVA)
61kg (134 lbs) Kendric Maple (NEB) Joe Colon (FRESNO)
65kg (143 lbs) Logan Stieber (OHST) Joey McKenna (OHST)
70kg (154 lbs) James Green (NEB) Frank Molinaro (VATECH)
74kg (163 lbs) Jordan Burroughs (NEB) Isaiah Martinez (ILL)
79kg (174 lbs) Kyle Dake (CORN) Alex Dieringer (OKST)
86kg (189 lbs) David Taylor (PSU) Bo Nickal (PSU)
92kg (202 lbs) J'Den Cox (MIZZ) Hayden Zillmer (MINN)
97kg (213 lbs) Kyle Snyder (OHST) Kyven Gadson (ISU)
125kg (275 lbs) Nick Gwiazdowski (NCST) Dom Bradley (NEB)

13 of those guys have won 30 national titles. Not too shabby.

Freestyle is actually becoming something like a “season”, with a real schedule of contiguous events. Here’s what the rest of the summer looks like:

  • April 26 - 28: US Open and Junior Nationals (Las Vegas, NV)
  • April 27 - 29: Senior Pan Am Championships (Lima, Peru)
  • May 17th: Beat The Streets (NYC)
  • May 18 - 20: Senior and Junior World Team Trials (Rochester, MN)
  • May 25 - 28: Cadet Pan Am Championships (Guatemala)
  • June 1st - 3rd: Cadet and U23 Team Trials (Akron, OH)
  • June 9th: Final X Lincoln, NE (determines Team USA spots at 57kg, 70kg, and 74kg)
  • June 16th: Final X State College, PA (determines Team USA spots at 65kg, 79kg, and 86kg)
  • June 23rd: Final X Bethlehem, PA (determines Team USA spots at 61kg, 92kg, and 125kg)
  • July 3rd - 8th: Cadet World Championships (Zagreb, Croatia)
  • July 12th - 20th: Fargo (Fargo, ND)
  • Sept 18 - 23rd: Junior World Championships (Trnava, Slovakia)
  • Oct 22nd - 28th: Senior World Championships (Budapest, Hungary)
  • Nov 12th - 18th: U23 World Championships (Bucharest, Romania)

Behold, the beauty of a nearly full-sized international wrestling schedule - including that June 16th date at State College, where you’re likely to see Zain Retherford wrestle Logan Stieber for the 65kg spot on Team USA, as well as David Taylor claiming the 86kg spot. Kyle Dake vs Alex Dieringer for the 79kg spot is a freebie. Rec Hall should be packed.