Archive for the ‘Wrestling, NCAA Wrestling Championship’ Category

Penn State won the NCAA wrestling championship for the seventh time in eight years and had four individual champions

March 24, 2018

Penn State narrowly beat Ohio State, 141.5 to 134.5, to win the 2018 NCAA Wrestling Championship on March 17, 2018 at Cleveland.  Penn State, coached by Cael Sanderson, had four individual champions (Zain Retherford, Jason Nolf, Vincenzo Joseph and Bo Nickal), one runner-up, one fifth place finisher and two seventh place finishers.

“I’m obviously very proud of these guys,” Sanderson said. “I think they put forth a tremendous effort throughout the whole year. . . . And just proud of them and happy for them, more than anything.”

Ohio State had one individual champion (Kyle Snyder), one runner-up, two third and fourth place finishers and one fifth place and sixth place finisher.

Iowa placed third with 97 points.  Michigan and North Carolina State tied for fourth with 80 points.  Iowa and North Carolina State each had two individual champions (Spencer Lee and Michael Macchiavello).  Michigan had two runner-ups.  Other individual champions came from Cornell, Arizona State and South Dakota State (Yianni Diakomihalis, Zahid Valencia and Seth Gross).

Penn State’s Retherford and Ohio State’s Snyder became three-time national champions.  Penn State’s Nickal won his second straight title.  Iowa’s Lee and Cornell’s Diakomihalis became the first pair of freshmen to win titles in the same tournament since 1947.

Oklahoma State, with 34 NCAA team titles, finished tied for 13th, the second lowest in head coach John Smith’s 27 seasons.  Fellow Big 12 members Iowa State and Oklahoma, who have a combined 15 NCAA titles between them, finished 45th and 56th, respectively, both program lows.

All four of Penn State’s national champions will be eligible to wrestle in the 2019 national tournament.

125 Pounds — No. 3 seed Spencer Lee of Iowa beat No. 4 seed Nick Suriano of Rutgers in a 5-1 decision.  Pretournament, Lee was 22-2 and Suriano was 25-1.  No. 1 seed Darian Cruz of Lehigh lost 2-0 to Suriano in the semi-finals.  Lee is a true freshman.  Nathan Tomasello of Ohio State beat Ethan Lizak of Minnesota, 8-6, for third place.  Cruz beat Sebastian Rivera of Northwestern, 7-4, for fifth place.  Cruz, 30-2 going into the tournament, was one of two No. 1 seeds who did not wrestle in the finals.

133 Pounds — No. 1 seed Seth Gross of South Dakota State University beat No. 2 seed Stevan Micic of Michigan in a 13-8 decision. Gross was 29-1 and Micic was 26-3 before the tournament started.  Gross was a runner-up in 2017.  Tariq Wilson of North Carolina State beat Luke Pletcher of Ohio State, 17-8, for third place.

141 Pounds — No 3 seed Yianni Diakomihalis of Cornell beat No. 1 seed Bryce Meredith of Wyoming in a 7-4 decision.  Pretournament, Diakomihalis was 34-1 and Meredith was 33-2.  Diakomihalis is a true freshman.  Joey McKenna of Ohio State beat Jaydin Eierman of Missouri, 7-2, for third place.

149 Pounds — No. 1 seed Zain Retherford of Penn State beat No. 15 seed Ronald Perry of Lock Haven in a 6-2 decision.  Retherford was 31-0 and Perry was 32-4 before the start of the tournament.  Retherford finished his career with 94 straight wins and three national titles.  Matthew Kolodzik of Princeton beat Troy Heilmann of North Carolina, 3-2, for third place.  Retherford was last year’s Dan Hodge Trophy winner.  The trophy has been presented since 1995 and is awarded to the most outstanding college wrestler of the year.  This year’s finalists are Retherford, Bo Nickal of Penn State, Seth Gross of South Dakota State and Zahid Valencia of Arizona State.  Penn State’s coach, Cael Sanderson, who is considered to be the greatest NCAA wrestler of all time, won the trophy in 2000, 2001 and 2002 when he wrestled for Iowa State.

157 Pounds — No. 3 seed Jason Nolf of Penn State beat No. 1 seed Hayden Hidlay of North Carolina State in a 6-2 decision.  Pretournament, Nolf and Hidlay were each 26-1.  Tyler Berger of Nebraska took third place over Michael Kemerer of Iowa after Kemerer was injured.

165 Pounds — No. 3 seed Vincenzo Joseph of Penn State beat No. 1 seed Isaiah Martinez of Illinois in a 6-1 decision.  Joseph was 25-2 and Martinez was 18-1 before the tournament started.  It was the second year in a row that Joseph beat Martinez in the finals.  Martinez won the championship as a freshman and sophomore and had only three career losses.  Evan Wick of Wisconsin pinned Chance Marsteller of Lock Haven for third place.

174 Pounds — No. 1 seed Zahid Valencia of Arizona State beat No. 2 seed Mark Hall of Penn State in an 8-2 decision.  Valencia was 32-0 and Hall was 32-1 pretournament.  Myles Amine of Mchigan beat Daniel Lewis of Missouri, 4-2, for third place.

184 Pounds — No. 1 seed Bo Nickal of Penn State beat No. 2 seed Myles Martin of Ohio State with a fall at 2:30.  Nickal was 31-0 and Martin was 31-3 before the start of the tournament.  Nickal lost to Martin in the 2016 finals. Emory Parker of Illinois beat Taylor Venz of Nebraska, 8-1, for third place.

197 Pounds — No. 4 seed Michael Macchiavello of North Carolina State beat No. 3 seed Jared Haught of Virginia Tech in a 3-1 decision. (Macchiavello needed a takedown in the final 16 seconds to win.)  Pretournament, Macchiavello was 22-3 and Haught was 30-3.  No. 1 seed Kollin Moore of Ohio State lost to Kyle Conel of Kent State by a fall in the quarter finals.  Conel also beat Moore a second time, 5-3, to finish third.  Moore, 27-4 before the start of the tournament, was one of two No. 1 seeds who did not wrestle in the finals.

285 Pounds — No. 1 seed Kyle Snyder of Ohio State beat No. 2 seed Adam Coon of Michigan in a 3-2 decision.  Snyder was 17-1 and Coon was 29-2 going into the tournament.  Snyder won the Olympic Gold Medal in 2016 and is also a world champion.  During the regular season, Coon beat Snyder in a dual meet and Snyder won the Big Ten final.   Snyder won two other national titles and was runner-up one year.  Amar Dhesi of Oregon State pinned Jacob Kasper of Duke for third place.

The Cleveland tournament broke NCAA records for attendance with a six-session total of 113,740 including a championship round attendance of 19,776, which was a new record.

The 2019 championships will be held at Pittsburgh.

 

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