PSU has 5 wrestlers in Big Ten finals

EAST LANSING, Mich. — When Ohio State beat Penn State for the Big Ten team title in 2017 and the Nittany Lions rebounded by winning the NCAA title, Buckeyes coach Tom Ryan said his team had obviously kicked a hornets’ nest by winning Big Tens.

Ryan and the Buckeyes are at it again.

After the first day of the 2018 Big Ten Wrestling Championships in Michigan State’s Breslin Center, Ohio State sits atop the team standings with 137.5 points and seven finalists. Penn State is in second with 124 points and five finalists. Michigan sits in third with 100 points and four finalists. Iowa is a distant fourth with 78 points and just one finalist.

“I think the guys looked fine. We had a couple matches we’d like to have another chance at. We’ve got to come back strong (today). We’ve still got a chance. We’ve got to wrestle well. Good effort overall,” Penn State coach Cael Sanderson said.

Zain Retherford (149), Vincenzo Joseph (165), Mark Hall (174), Bo Nickal (184) and Shakur Rasheed (197) all wrestle in the finals at 3 p.m. today.

Nick Lee (141) and Nick Nevills (285) lost in the semifinals but are still alive in the consolations and can finish as high as third.

Jason Nolf (157) won two matches before medically forfeiting in the semifinals. He will medically forfeit his consolation bout today and settle for a sixth-place finish, which should be enough to earn him a top tier seed in the NCAA tournament.

All eight of those Nittany Lions have earned automatic berths to the NCAA tournament.

Sanderson said the team took that tact with Nolf as a precautionary measure. Nolf, who wrestled with a brace on his right knee, sustained his injury Jan. 28 at Rutgers and hadn’t wrestled since.

“I just don’t see the point in that (Nolf wrestling anymore matches). I wanted him to get enough matches that he knows he can win the national championship. After that I just didn’t think it was worthwhile. Even in that second match, he started heating up as the match went on. That’s good,” Sanderson said.

“He felt good. He wanted to wrestle, but I just told him that’s what we need him to do as a team. We need him 100 percent at the nationals.”

Corey Keener (133) will wrestle for seventh today and an automatic berth in the NCAAs. Carson Kuhn went 2-2 on the day and is still alive for an automatic berth to the NCAA tournament. He needs one more win to accomplish that.

Retherford had a first-round bye and then posted 14-1 and 10-0 major decisions. He’ll face Iowa’s Brandon Sorensen in the final.

“It’s here so I’m just living in it. I’m pretty excited,” Retherford said. “It’s a little bit more special as it’s the final one. It’s not too much different. It’s just another opportunity that I’m grateful for.”

Joseph lived life on the edge all day. He posted a fall in 3:49 before surviving scares in 18-10 and 5-4 wins.

“I needed to be more offensive. Offense is the name of the game. I need to do more of it,” Joseph said, before addressing his near-misses.

“For the most part, yeah. Against Logan (Massa of Michigan in the semifinals) out there I don’t think I got taken down, but it is what it is. He’s going to keep coming. He’s strong and he’s fun to wrestle against. That’s the first time he’s taken me down. Hat’s off to him.”

Joseph will take on Isaiah Martinez of Illinois in the finals, which is a rematch of the NCAA finals in 2017.

“I’m looking forward to it. I’m sure he is, too. We’re both really tough guys. We both wrestle hard. (Today’s) going to be fun no matter what happens,” he said.

Hall went 3-0 with two falls and a controlled 4-1 win in the semifinals. He’ll face Michigan’s Myles Amine in the finals at 174.

“Things might not go your way, but you brush it off and move on to the next one,” said Hall, who added that he was actively searching for pins.

“Yeah, you have to. It’s a tight team race. I have to do what I can for the team and that’s winning or it’s pinning. I’ve just got to keep getting the points for my team and keep wrestling smart.”

Nickal had a bye, a fall in 1:25 and then a 5-2 win in the semifinals. He earned a finals rematch with Myles Martin of Ohio State, with whom he has a long rivalry. Nickal is 5-2 against Martin.

Rasheed won his first two bouts 8-4 and 11-8 but didn’t look totally in control of either. Then, in the semifinals, he was his usual free-flowing self in a 10-2 major decision. He’ll face No. 1 seed Kollin Moore of Ohio State in the finals.

Rasheed admitted to wrestling sloppily but getting better as the day wore on. The coaches, he said, buoyed him by telling him to have a short memory.

“You’ve just got to keep everything sugar, baby,” he said. “You’ve just got to keep pushing. When things are getting a little salty, you’ve got to keep it sweet.”

Wrestling starts at noon today with the third-round of consolations, consolation semifinals, seventh-place bouts and ninth-10th-place bouts at three weights that earn 10 automatic qualifiers.

The first-, third- and fifth-place bouts will start at 3 p.m.

Key to teams: Illinois – ILL; Indiana – IU; Iowa – I; Maryland – MD; Michigan – MICH; Michigan State – MSU; Minnesota – MINN; Nebraska – NEB; Northwestern – NW; Ohio State – OSU; Penn State – PSU; Purdue – PUR; Rutgers – RUT; Wisconsin – WIS.

Preliminary round

125: (1) Nick Suriano, RUT, bye; (9) Travis Piotrowski, ILL, dec. (8) Drew Mattin, MICH, 7-1 SV; (5) Ethan Lizak, MINN, dec. (12) Johnny Jimenez, WIS, 3-1; (4) Sebastian Rivera, NW, dec. (13) Brandon Cray, MD, 9-2; (3) Nathan Tomasello, OSU, won by tech. fall over (14) Carson Kuhn, PSU, 21-6 (5:52); (6) Luke Welch, PUR, dec. (11) Mitch Maginnis, NEB, 6-2; (7) RayVon Foley, MSU, maj. dec. (10) Elijah Oliver, IND, 15-3; (2) Spencer Lee, I, bye.

133: (1) Steven Micic, MICH, won by tech. fall over Jhared Simmons, MD, 17-2 (3:48); (8) Ben Thornton, PUR, bye; (5) Scott Delvecchio, RUT, dec. Jens Lantz, WIS, 3-1; (4) Jason Renteria, NEB, pinned Logan Griffin, MSU, 3:56; (3) Mitch McKee, MINN, pinned Colin Valdiviez, NW, 1:55; (6) Corey Keener, PSU, bye; (7) Dylan Duncan, ILL, maj. dec. Paul Glynn, I, 9-1; (2) Luke Pletcher, OSU, dec. Garrett Pepple, IU, 5-4.

141: (1) Joey McKenna, OSU, pinned Javier Gasca III, MSU, 2:09; Vince Turk, I, dec. (8) Eli Stickley, WIS, 6-0; (5) Nate Limmex, PUR, bye; (4) Chad Red, NEB, dec. Ryan Diehl, MD, 6-0; (3) Michael Carr, ILL, maj. dec. Alec McKenna, NW, 10-2; (6) Tommy Thorn, MINN, bye; (7) Cole Weaver, IND, dec. Sal Profaci, MICH, 7-3; (2) Nick Lee, PSU, maj. dec. Mike Van Brill, RUT, 12-2.

149: (1) Zain Retherford, PSU, bye; (9) Steve Bleise, MINN, dec. (8) Malik Amine, MICH, 6-2; (5) Ke-Shawn Hayes, OSU, maj. dec. (12) Eric Barrone, ILL, 12-1; (4) Colton McCrystal, NEB, maj. dec. (13) Jwan Britton, MSU, 17-5; (3) Ryan Deakin, NW, pinned (14) A.J. Raya, IND, 1:40; (6) Eleazar Deluca, RUT, maj. dec. (11) Austin Nash, PUR, 14-5; (7) Alfred Bannister, MD, maj. dec. (10) Cole Martin, WIS, 14-6; (2) Brandon Sorensen, I, bye.

157: (1) Michael Kemerer, I, pinned Jake Danishek, IND, 3:48; (8) John Van Brill, RUT, dec. Griffin Parriott, PUR, 4-2; (5) Tyler Berger, NEB, dec. Shayne Oster, NW, 8-3; (4) Micah Jordan, OSU, bye; (3) Alec Pantaleo, MICH, bye; (6) Andrew Crone, WIS, maj. dec. Justin Alexander, MD, 10-1; (7) Jake Short, MINN, dec. Kyle Langenderfer, ILL, 4-0; (2) Jason Nolf, PSU, pinned Jake Tucker, MSU, 2:34.

165: (1) Isaiah Martinez, ILL, bye; (8) Isaiah White, NEB, dec. (9) Te’Shan Campbell, OSU, 6-1; (5) Evan Wick, WIS, pinned (12) Austin Hiles, MSU, :32; (4) Richie Lewis, RUT, maj. dec. (13) Brendan Burnham, MD, 20-7; (3) Vincenzo Joseph, PSU, pinned (14) Mike Sepke, NW, 3:39; (6) Nick Wanzek, MINN, dec. (11) Bryce Martin, IND, 5-2; (7) Logan Massa, MICH, won by tech. fall over (10) Jacob Morrissey, PUR, 17-2 (3:39); (2) Alex Marinelli, I, bye.

174: (1) Mark Hall, PSU, pinned Logan Ritchie, MSU, 5:33; (8) Ryan Christensen, WIS, dec. Chris Pfarr, MINN, 4-0; (5) Johnny Sebastian, NW, pinned David Riojas, ILL, 3:58; (4) Dylan Lydy, PUR, bye; (3) Myles Amine, MICH, dec. Joe Grello, RUT, 6-0; (6) Devin Skatzka, IND, bye; (7) Joey Gunther, I, dec. Beau Breske, NEB, 4-3 TB2; (2) Bo Jordan, OSU, pinned Josh Ugalde, MD, 1:57.

184: (1) Bo Nickal, PSU, bye; (8) Brandon Krone, MINN, dec. Mitch Sliga, NW, 6-5; (5) Nick Gravina, RUT, dec. Buddy Conley, IND, 3-0; (4) Emery Parker, ILL, dec. Shwan Shadaia, MSU, 5-1; (3) Dom Abounader, MICH, maj. dec. Mitch Bowman, I, 13-2; (6) Tyler Venz, NEB, bye; (7) Ricky Robertson, WIS, won by tech. fall over Niko Cappello, MD, 16-1 (7:00); (2) Myles Martin, OSU, pinned Max Lyon, PUR, 2:46.

197: (1) Kollin Moore, OSU, bye; (8) Eric Schultz, NEB, dec. Nick May, MSU, 3-2; (5) Hunter Ritter, WIS, dec. David-Brian Whisler, MD, 5-3; (4) Kevin Beazley, MICH, dec. Dylan Anderson, MINN, 9-4; (3) Cash Wilcke, I, dec. Andre Lee, ILL, 4-2 TB2; (6) Christian Brunner, PUR, pinned Anothy Messner, RUT, 4:56; (7) Zack Chakonis, NW, bye; (2) Shakur Rasheed, PSU, dec. Jake Kleimola, IND, 8-4.

285: (1) Adam Coon, MICH, bye; (8) Rylee Streifel, MINN, dec. Christian Rebottaro, MSU, 3-0; (5) Youssif Hemida, MD, dedc. Ben Stone, WIS, 8-3; (4) Sam Stoll, I, dec. Razohn Gross, RUT, 4-1; (3) Nick Nevills, PSU, maj. dec. Duece Rachal, ILL, 11-3; (6) Conan Jennings, NEB, dec. David Jensen, NEB, 2-0; (7) Shawn Streck, PUR, bye; (2) Kyle Snyder, OSU, won by tech. fall over Fletcher Miller, IND, 24-9 (7:00).

Quarterfinals

125: Surian dec. Piotrowski, 9-2; Lizak dec. Rivera, 3-2; Tomasello maj. dec. Welch, 14-3; Lee pinned Foley, 2:43. … 133: Micic maj. dec. Thornton, 10-2; Renteria dec. Delvecchio, 3-1; McKee dec. Keener, 9-4; Pletcher dec. Duncan, 4-3. … 141: McKenna dec. Turk, 4-0; Limmex dec. Red, 6-4; Carr dec. Thorn, 8-6; Lee maj. dec. Weaver, 13-3. … 149: Retherford maj. dec. Bleise, 14-1; Hayes dec. McCrystal, 7-6; Deakin maj. dec. Deluca, 11-1; Sorensen dec. Bannister, 4-3. … 157: Kemerer maj. dec. Van Brill, 15-5; Jordan dec. Berger, 4-3; Pantaleo dec. Crone, 7-3; Nolf maj. dec. Short, 15-2. … 165: Martinez dec. White, 7-4; Lewis dec. Wick, 6-4; Joseph maj. dec. Wanzek, 18-10; Massa dec. Marinelli, 8-6 SV. … 174: Hall pinned Christensen, :47; Sebastian dec. Lydy, 2-1; Amine dec. Skatzka, 9-5; Jordan dec. Gunther, 8-3. … 184: Nickal pinned Krone, 1:25; Parker dec. Gravina, 5-2; Abounader dec. Venz, 6-4; Martin won by tech. fall over Robertson, 23-8 (7:00). … 197: Moore dec. Schultz, 10-4; Beazley pinned Ritter, 6:31; Brunner dec. Wilcke, 8-2; Rasheed dec. Chakonis, 11-8. … 285: Coon maj. dec. Streifel, 12-2; Stoll dec. Hemida, 8-1; Nevills dec. Jennings, 5-0; Snyder maj. dec. Streck, 17-6.

Semifinals

125: Lizak won by Med. FF over Suriano; Tomasello dec. Lee, 2-1. … 133: Micic won by tech. fall over Renteria, 19-3 (7:00); Pletcher dec. McKee, 6-4 SV. …. 141: McKenna dec. Limmex, 6-0; Carr dec. Lee, 10-6. … 149: Retherford maj. dec. Hayes, 10-0; … 157: Jordan pinned Kemerer, 5:48; Pantaleo won by Med. FF over Nolf. … 165: Martinez dec. Lewis, 8-5; Joseph dec. Massa, 5-4. … 174: Hall dec. Sebastian, 4-1; Amine pinned Jordan, 5:28. … 184: Nickal dec. Parker, 5-2; Martin dec. Abounader, 7-3. … 197: Moore dec. Beazley, 5-3; Rasheed maj. dec. Brunner, 10-2. … 285: Coon pinned Stoll, 2:12; Snyder maj. dec. Nevills, 14-5.

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