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Penn State Wrestling: Team Trials Recap

Team USA team trials went spectacularly last weekend at NC State’s new field house. What a ton of outstanding wrestling. And of course, your Nittany Lion Wrestling Club did well. Let’s take a look at the results.

Senior Greco

  • Jarod Verkleeren made the semi finals at 67kg, but lost to Hayden Tuma.
  • Mason Manville made the final against old foe Pat Smith at 77kg, but lost the best of 3 series. Still, that puts Mason back onto the National team.
  • Ben Provisor won 87kg. He didn’t allow a point in the challenge bracket, and then gutted out two more matches against Pat Martinez in the best of 3 series. Ben advances to Final X, and will wrestle for the spot on Team USA.

Junior Freestyle

  • Roman Bravo Young smashed everyone on the way to the 61kg challenge bracket final. There, he led Jaime Hernandez (UNC) 4-0 in the first period - and appeared to tweak his knee. He finished out the match, but lost 10-5.
  • Aaron Brooks awaited the winner of the 79kg challenge bracket by virtue of his US Open win. Parker Keckisen won the challenge bracket, and Brooks lit him up 10-0 and 10-1. For the 2rd year in a row, AB will rep Team USA Juniors, looking to improve upon last year’s silver medal finish.
  • That was it for PSU wrestlers in the junior bracket. The rest of Team USA juniors is as follows: 57kg-Vito Arujau (CORN); 61kg-Gabe Tagg (UNC); 65kg-Yahya Thomas (JNW); 70kg-Brayton Lee (MINN); 74kg-David Carr (ISU); 79kg-AB (PSU); 86kg-Trent Hidlay (NCST); 92kg-Lucas Davison (JNW); 97kg-Tanner Sloan (SDSU); 125kg-Mason Parris (MICH)

Senior Freestyle

  • 57kg - Josh Rodriguez lost his opener to Darian Cruz, 3-2 - and that was that. J-Rod wrestled back to finish third, but just missed making the national team. Cruz lost to Thomas Gilman in the 2 of 3 final. Gilman will wrestle Daton Fix at Final X.
  • 61kg - congrats to Nico Megaludis. Nico made the challenge bracket final, but dropped the final to Tyler Graff. Then, Graff beat Cody Brewer, who waited in the best-of-3. Because Brewer lost, that meant Brewer had to wrestle Nico to settle True 3rd - for that 3rd and final spot on the national team. And this time, Nico tech’d Brewer, 18-8, after trailing 8-1. Not that anyone ever questioned Nico’s grit. But daggone if he doesn’t have sand.
  • 65kg - Zain advanced to Final X by beating Jordan Oliver twice. Before that feat, though, Zain also had to survive another war with Frank Molinaro in the semi final. Then - funny thing - because Zain beat Oliver, and Frank was on Zain’s half of the bracket, Frank and Oliver wrestled to settle True 3rd, and Frank won. Ergo, Frank’s on the national team. Congrats to both.
  • 70kg - no entries here for PSU, because Jason Nolf bumped up to 74kg.
  • 74kg - Jason flipping Nolf. He’s really good at wrestling. Nolf whooped Brian Murphy 12-2 in the quarters, and Anthony Valencia 7-0 in the semis - but appeared to injure his ankle. He continued on, beating Logan Massa in the final 7-2, while clearly gimpy. That set up a best of 3 with Isaiah Martinez. Wrestling I-Mar is tough enough, but just about impossible with only one leg - especially for a stance-and-motion freak like Nolf. It didn’t work out, as I-Mar won 2 of 3. But we did get to see Nolf take I-Mar feet-to-back for 4 points, and win the second match in the final seconds, which was a lot of fun. Jason Nolf’s 3rd place finish (behind I-Mar, and Jordan Burroughs, who wrestle at FinalX) puts him on the national team.
  • 79kg - Marky entered after skipping the US Open. He hit old nemesis Zahid in the final, and fell 5-0. But the shine came off Zahid, and onto Alex Dieringer, in the best of 3. Ape Dieringer looked as dominant as we’ve ever seen him, tech’ing Zahid 12-1 and 12-2 in two straight.
  • 86kg - David Taylor awaits in FinalX, and he’ll get Pat Downey, who continues his redemption tour. Downey beat Nick Heflin in 2 straight, and the two beefcakes got a little testy with each other at the end.
  • 92kg - Bo Nickal won. Again. And he looked just as dominant as he did at the Open. Again. Bo will wrestle defending world champ J’Den Cox for the spot on Team USA. And that’s going to be one whale of a match.
  • 97kg - Kyven Gadsen beat Ty Walz.
  • 125kg - Nick Nevills lost his opener to Gable Steveson, who was on a mission. Gable accomplished it, too. After taking care of Nick, he beat Dom Bradley 7-3, and his coach Tony Nelson 5-1, and then he wrecked Adam Coon twice, 13-3 and 8-1. It was, you know, pretty impressive.

Final X

Remember Final X from last year? No? Well, the BSD Wrestling Team members will take care of you in the comments. This post is long enough already. But in any event, there are two Final X events this year instead of three. Those two events are as follows:

Final X - Rutgers - June 8th

  • 65kg - Zain versus Yianni Diakomihalis
  • 79kg - Kyle Dake vs Ringer
  • 86kg - David Taylor vs PD3
  • 92kg - Bo Nickal vs J’Den
  • 125kg - Nick Gwiazdowski vs Gable
  • Greco 87kg - Ben vs Joe Rau

That’s a pretty tasty ticket, isn’t it?

Final X - Nebraska - June 15th

  • 57kg - Daton Fix vs Thomas Gilman
  • 61kg - Joe Colon vs Tyler Graff
  • 70kg - James Green vs Ryan Deakin
  • 74kg - Jordan Burroughs vs I-Mar
  • 97kg - Kyle Snyder vs Kyven Gadsen