Penn State Wrestling Takes Home Big Ten Championship

Nittany Nation
Penn_State_Wrestling_Coach_Cael_Sanderso_0_20190206055225

The Penn State wrestling team got back to its place on top of the Big Ten mountain in dominant fashion Sunday.

The Nittany Lions crowned four individual champions on their way to a Big Ten Tournament team championship. Coach Cael Sanderson earned Big Ten Coach of the Year honors. Bo Nickal and Jason Nolf earned Co-Wrestler of the Year honors.

Below is a Penn State media release complete with results from the Big Ten Championships:

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.; March 10, 2019 – No. 1 Penn State (14-0, 9-0 B1G) rolled through the competition to claim the 2019 Big Ten Championship. Head coach Cael Sanderson’s squad crowned four individual champions to out-distance second place Ohio State by over 30 points.

Sanderson’s squad had nine wrestlers place in the top six, qualifying all nine competitors for the 2019 NCAA Championships in Pittsburgh on March 21-13. Penn State won the team title with 157.5 points, far out in front of second place Ohio State, who had 122.5.  Iowa was third with 107.5 and host Minnesota was fourth with 101.5.

Senior Jason Nolf (Yatesboro, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 157, met No. 2 Tyler Berger of Nebraska in the first of six Big Ten title tilts for Penn State.  Nolf swarmed Berger off the whistle, taking him down just :04 into the bout to open up an early 2-1 lead after cutting Berger loose. The Lion senior quickly grabbed Berger’s ankle, lifted his leg off the mat, and finished off a second takedown to lead 4-2 with 1:50 on the clock.  Berger chose down to start the second period and Nolf was strong on offense.  He maintained control long enough to build up over 1:00 in riding time before cutting Berger loose. Nolf added a third takedown to lead 6-3 with over 2:00 in riding time after two periods.  Nolf added an escape and a takedown midway through the third period to open up a 9-4 lead.  He added a final takedown and 2:45 in riding time to roll to the 12-4 major decision and become a two-time Big Ten Champion.

Junior Vincenzo Joseph (Pittsburgh, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 165, took on No. 2 Alex Marinelli of Iowa in the Big Ten championship bout. The duo battled through a high paced opening two minutes with Joseph able to withstand a solid Marinelli single leg at the 1:00 mark.  The top-ranked pair paced the center of the mat for the full three minutes but Joseph was called for one stall warning. Joseph escaped to start the second period but Marinelli was able to connect on a throw for six points, getting the takedown and four near fall points.  The Hawkeye carried a 6-2 lead in to the third period and escaped to a 7-2 lead.  Joseph forced a scramble that nearly ended with each man getting a takedown but Marinelli finished on top, taking a 9-2 lead.  Joseph added an escape but Marinelli walked away with the 9-3 victory, handing Joseph his first loss of the year.

Junior Mark Hall (Apple Valley, Minn.), ranked No. 1 at 174, faced off against No. 2 Myles Amine of Michigan in the conference finals. Hall got in on a single leg a minute into the bout but Amine was able to force a stalemate and a reset.  The duo battled evenly for the next minute before Hall forced a scramble that ended with the Lion notching a takedown with :33 on the clock.  Amine escaped before the period ended and Hall led by one after the opening period.  Amine chose down to start the second period and Hall went to work on top, building up :40 in riding time before Amine escaped to tie the bout. Tied 2-2, Hall chose down to start the third period an quickly escaped to a 3-2 lead. 

Senior Shakur Rasheed (Coram, N.Y.), ranked No. 2 nationally at 184, took a medical forfeit in the finals at 184. Not a loss for the senior, Rasheed heads to the NCAA Championships in Pittsburgh after a 2-0 Big Ten tournament that included a pin. 

Senior Bo Nickal (Allen, Texas), ranked No. 1 at 197, took on No. 2 Kollin Moore of Ohio State in the conference title bout. Nickal was steady for the first minute and a half before turning a low shot into a takedown and a 2-0 lead at the 1:04 mark.  The Lion senior then maintained control of Moore for the rest of the period to lead 2-0 after one.  Nickal escaped to start the second period and then countered a Moore shot, scrambled through a takedown and took a 5-0 lead.  He added a last second takedown and led 7-1 after two periods.  Moore escaped to start the third period but Nickal continued to pour on the offense.  The Lion senior added another takedown and built his riding time point up well over 2:00.  Nickal went on to post the 10-3 win with 2:51 in riding time to become a three-time Big Ten Champion.

Senior Anthony Cassar (Rocky Hill, N.J.), ranked No. 3 at 285, battled No. 1 Gable Steveson of Minnesota in the final Big Ten Championship match-up.  Cassar had his first blast double defended as Steveson stepped back from the Lion’s initial move. The duo battled evenly then, facing each other in the center of the mat for the remainder of the first period.  Tied 0-0, Steveson escaped to start the second period, taking a 1-0 lead. The second period mirrored the first with no offensive threats and Cassar trailed by one after two.  Cassar escaped to start the third period, quickly tying the score at 1-1. Cassar got called for stalling at the 1:25 mark and then Steveson connected on a takedown to lead 3-2 after a quick Cassar escape. The Lion stayed steady, working his way into a single leg and takedown to open up a 4-3 lead with :20 on the clock. The takedown was the first given up by Steveson all year long. Cassar then maintained control of Steveson for the final seconds to notch the impressive 4-3 victory and become a Big Ten Champion.

Sophomore Nick Lee (Evansville, Ind.), ranked No. 2 at 141, met No. 8 Tristan Moran of Wisconsin in the consolation semifinals. Lee took a 2-0 lead with a takedown late in the first period and rode Moran out to lead 2-0 with 1:08 in riding time after one period. The Lion sophomore quickly escaped and then scrambled to a takedown on the edge of the mat to take a 5-0 lead. The Lion upped the edge to 7-1 after two periods and then continued to dominate the Badger in the third period.  Lee added a fourth takedown, picked up a stall point and 3:17 in riding time to roll to an 11-3 major with 3:18 in riding time. Lee’s win moved him into the third place bout where he took on No. 9 Mitch McKee of Minnesota. Lee took an early lead with a first period takedown but McKee answered with his own late in the period.  Lee appeared to escape as the period ended but no escape was given and the Lion trailed 3-2 after one. Lee escaped to start the second period and then blew through a strong double leg to take a 5-4 lead midway through the period after McKee escaped.  Lee then hit a six-point move, taking McKee to his back for a takedown and four near fall points to lead 11-4 after two periods.  He added 2:11 in riding time in the third period and rolled to the 12-4 major decision, placing third as he now prepares for the 2019 NCAA Championships.

True freshman Roman Bravo-Young (Tucson, Ariz.), ranked No. 12 nationally at 133, took on No. 3 Austin DeSanto of Iowa in the consolation semifinals. The Lion fell behind the third-ranked Hawkeye early, giving up four first period takedowns to trail 8-3 after the first period. Bravo-Young gave up an escape and a stall point in the second period and trailed by seven heading into the final period.  The Lion freshman picked up an escape to start the third period and then took DeSanto down to cut into the Hawkeye’s lead.  The Lion freshman continued to race back with another takedown but time ran out and DeSanto posted a hard-fought 12-8 win.  The loss sent Bravo-Young into the fifth place match where he received a medical forfeit victory.  Bravo-Young ends his first Big Ten tournament with a 4-2 record including two majors.  He took fifth place in a loaded 133-pound bracket and will now prepare for the NCAA Championships in two weeks.

Redshirt freshman Brady Berge (Mantorville, Minn.), ranked No. 13 nationally at 149 and the sixth seed, punched his ticket to NCAAs on day one by advancing to the Big Ten semifinals.  Berge was unable to wrestle Saturday and medically forfeited.  The medical forfeits do not count as losses.  Berge went 2-1 to place sixth at his first Big Ten tournament and will now prepare for the NCAA Championships.

Sophomore Devin Schnupp (Lititz, Pa.) went 0-3 at 125 on day one and ended his season with a 6-17 mark, including his first career dual meet victories.  Schnupp was making his first ever appearance at the Big Ten tournament.

Sanderson was named Big Ten Coach of the Year for the fifth time in his ten years at Penn State. Nickal and Nolf were named Co-Big Ten Wrestlers of the Year, becoming Sanderson’s eighth and ninth Big Ten Wrestler of the Year winners.  Nolf was honored as the 2019 Big Ten Championship Co-Outstanding Wrestler, sharing the honor with Alex Marinelli.  He is Sanderson’s fifth tournament O.W.

The Nittany Lions went 7-2 on day two and finish the tournament with a 26-8 record.  The Nittany Lions picked up 24 bonus points off nine majors, two technical falls and four pins. Nolf and Hall now have two Big Ten titles each while Nickal became a three-time Big Ten Champion.  Cassar won his first.

Penn State has now won six Big Ten Championships (tournament) under Sanderson and six Big Ten Regular Season (dual meet) titles, including this year’s dual crown.  The Nittany Lions have now had 26 individuals win a total of 47 Big Ten individual titles.

Penn State will now head to Pittsburgh’s PPG Paints Arena for the 2019 NCAA Wrestling Championships on March 21-23.  The three-day event begins on Thursday, March 21, at 12 p.m. and concludes with Saturday night’s NCAA finals at 7 p.m.  Penn State has won seven of the last eight NCAA team titles.

Penn State Fans are encouraged to follow Penn State wrestling via twitter at @pennstateWREST, on Penn State Wrestling’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pennstatewrestling and on Instagram at www.instagram.com/pennstatewrest. This is PENN STATE. WRESTLING lives here.

2019 Big Ten Championships – Final Team Scores:

Sunday, March 10, 2019 – Williams Arena – Minneapolis, Minn.

1: PENN STATE – 157.5

2: Ohio State – 122.5

3: Iowa – 107.5

4: Minnesota – 101.5

5: Nebraska – 96.5

6: Michigan – 76.5

7: Wisconsin – 76.0

8: Northwestern – 53.5

8: Rutgers – 53.5

10: Purdue – 42.0

11: Illinois — 39.5

12: Indiana – 31.0

13: Michigan State – 29.5

14: Maryland – 13.0

Penn State’s individual bout-by-bout agate:

All rankings listed InterMat as of 2/26/19

125: Devin Schnupp, So. (14th seed) — DNP

Rd. 1: #12 Travis Piotrowski, Illinois – L, 17-0 (TF; 4:39)

Cn. 1: Shane Metzler, Rutgers – L, 6-1 dec.

Cn. S1: Shane Metzler, Rutgers – L, 6-4 dec.

Schnupp made his first ever appearance at the Big Ten Championship at 125. Schnupp took on fifth seed and 12th-ranked Travis Piotrowski of Illinois in his first match and dropped a 17-0 technical fall.  He then took on Rutgers’ Shane Metzler in his first consolation bout and lost a 6-1 decision.

Schnupp then faced Rutgers’ Shane Metzler in the first round off a special consolation bracket with the opportunity to place ninth at 125.  Schnupp, who dropped a 6-1 decision to Metzler earlier in the tournament, lost 6-4 this time. Schnupp ends his season with a 6-17 record.

133: #12 Roman Bravo-Young, Fr. (4th seed) – 5th place – NCAA Qualifier

Rd. 1: Jevon Parrish, Nebraska – W, 18-5 maj. dec.

Qtrs: #7 Luke Pletcher, Ohio State – L, 8-5 dec.

Cn. 2: Jens Lantz, Wisconsin – W, 14-5 maj.  dec.

Cn. Q: Dylan Duncan, Illinois – W, 3-2 dec.

Cn. S: #3 Austin DeSanto, Iowa – L, 12-8 dec.

5th: Medical Forfeit – W, Med. Frf.

Bravo-Young, ranked No. 12 nationally at 133 and the fourth seed, made his Big Ten tournament debut against Nebraska’s Jevon Parrish.  Bravo-Young took an early 6-2 lead with three first period takedowns, added three more in the second and rolled to an 18-5 major with 2:26 in riding time. Bravo-Young then met No. 7 Luke Pletcher of Ohio State in the quarterfinals.  Bravo-Young drew first blood and led 2-1 after the opening period.  Pletcher answered with a takedown and two back points to lead 6-3 after two periods. The Buckeye added another takedown in the third and posted the hard-fought 8-5 win.

He then took on Wisconsin’s Jens Lantz in his first consolation bout.  Bravo-Young took an early first period lead with two first period takedowns and added three more in the second period.  The Lion freshman then picked up two more takedowns and added a bonus point thanks to 1:47 riding time to post a strong 14-5 major decision.  The win clinched Bravo-Young’s trip to nationals, making him Penn State’s ninth qualifier.  The Lion then met Dylan Duncan of Illinois in the consolation quarterfinals.  Bravo-Young notched an early first period takedown to lead after the opening period.  Duncan tied the match with an escape to start the second and the match was tied after two.  Bravo-Young chose down to start the third period and quickly escaped to a 3-2 lead.  The Lion freshman made the escape stand and held on for a 3-2 decision.

For this session’s recap, see story above

141: #2 Nick Lee, So. (2nd seed) – 3rd place – NCAA Qualifier

Rd. 1: bye

Qtrs: #16 Max Murin, Iowa – W, 8-3 dec.

Semis: #3 Joey McKenna, Ohio State – L, 5-4 dec.

Cn. S: #8 Tristan Moran, Wisconsin – W, 11-3 maj. dec.

3rd: #9 Mitch McKee, Minnesota – W, 12-4 maj. dec.

Lee, ranked No. 2 at 141 and the second seed at the tournament, had a first round bye. He met No. 16 Max Murin of Iowa in the quarterfinals and opened up an early lead with two first period takedowns.  Murin cut the lead to 4-3 with an escape in the second period, but Lee got an escape, a penalty point and a takedown in the third to roll to the 8-3 victory. Lee’s win moved him into the semifinals.

Lee took on No. 3 Joey McKenna of Ohio State in the first of Penn State’s eight semifinal match-ups.  McKenna drew first blood with a takedown midway through the opening period and another in the final seconds to lead 4-1 after one.  McKenna led 5-1 in the second and Lee cut into the lead late in the third but the Buckeye was able to hold on for a 5-4 win.

For this session’s recap, see story above

149: #13 Brady Berge, Fr. (6th seed) – 6th Place – NCAA Qualifier

Rd. 1: Parker Filius, Purdue – W, 12-3 maj. dec.

Qtrs: #9 Pat Lugo, Iowa – W, 4-2 (sv2)

Semis: #2 Micah Jordan, Ohio State – L, 13-4 maj. dec.

Did not compete in 5th place match, medical forfeit, not a loss

Berge, ranked No. 13 nationally at 149 and the sixth seed, took on Purdue’s Parker Filius in his Big Ten tournament debut.  Berge notched two first period takedowns to open up an early lead, picked up another two points in the second period and poured it on in the third to roll to a 12-3 major with 1:43 in riding time.  Berge took on No. 9 Pat Lugo of Iowa in the quarterfinals.  Berge battled the third seed through a scoreless first period and then took a lead with an escape to start the second and Lugo escaped to start the third, tying the match at 1-1 with less than 1:40 to wrestle.   The duo wrestled through one sudden victory period and both escaped in the first tiebreaker.  With just :33 left in the second sudden victory minute, Berge deftly slid around Lugo for a takedown and posted the thrilling 4-2 (sv2) win, advancing to the semifinals.

Brady faced off against No. 2 Micah Jordan of Ohio State in the semifinals. Jordan opened up a big early lead with three first period takedowns.  Berge notched a second period escape but Jordan pulled away in the third to post a 13-4 major decision.  

For this session’s recap, see story above

157: #1 Jason Nolf, Sr. (1st seed) – 1st place – NCAA Qualifier

Rd. 1: bye

Qtrs: #12 Eric Barone, Illinois – WBF (2:13)

Semis: #5 Alex Pantaleo, Michigan – W, 7-1 dec.

Finals: #2 Tyler Berger, Nebraska – W, 12-4 maj.  dec.

Nolf, ranked No. 1 at 157 and the top seed, had a first round bye.  Nolf met No. 12 Eric Barone of Illinois in the quarterfinals and opened up an early lead with three takedowns and then locked up a cradle on the third.  Nolf settled in and picked up the fall at the 2:13 mark to move into the semifinals.

The Lion senior took on No. 5 Alex Pantaleo of Michigan in the semifinals. Nolf notched a takedown early in the first period and amassed 1:14 in riding time to lead 2-1 after one.  He escaped to start the second stanza and then took Pantaleo down again to up his lead to 5-1.  He picked up a stall point and 2:08 in riding time to post a dominating 7-1 decision.

For this session’s recap, see story above

165: #1 Vincenzo Joseph, Jr. (1st seed) – 2nd place – NCAA Qualifier

Rd. 1: bye

Qtrs: Joey Gunther, Illinois – W, 21-6 (TF; 5:59)

Semis: #7 Logan Massa, Michigan – WBF (6:41)

Finals: #2 Alex Marinelli, Iowa – L, 9-3 dec.

Joseph, ranked No. 1 at 165 and the top, had a first round bye.  Joseph took on Joey Gunther of Illinois in the quarterfinals and opened up a big lead early with five takedowns in the first period.  The Lion junior picked up an escape to start the second and tacked on two more takedowns to lead by ten after two.  Joseph added four near fall points and a final takedown to post the dominating 21-6 tech fall at the 5:59 mark, moving in to the semis.

Joseph faced No. 7 Logan Massa of Michigan in the semifinals.  Joseph scored quickly, taking Massa down to open up an early 2-1 lead, which he carried to the second period.  Massa escaped to tie the match in the second and Joseph escaped to start the third period to take a 3-2 lead.  Joseph pressed Massa for the entire third period and turned a shot and scramble into a fall at the 6:41 mark.

For this session’s recap, see story above

174: #1 Mark Hall, Jr. (1st seed) – 1st place – NCAA Qualifier

Rd. 1: bye

Qtrs: Drew Hughes, Michigan State – WBF (2:38)

Semis: #12 Devin Skatzka, Minnesota – W, 4-2 dec.

Finals: #4 Myles Amine, Michigan – W, 3-2 dec.

Hall, ranked No. 1 at 174 and the top seed, had a first round bye.  Hall faced off against Drew Hughes off Michigan State in the quarterfinals and opened up a big early lead with two quick first period takedowns.  Hall then locked Hughes up at the shoulders, took him took the mat and quickly pinned him at the 2:38 mark. Halls dazzling move moved him into the semifinals.

The Lion junior met No. 12 Devin Skatzka of Minnesota in the semifinals. Hall battled Skatzka through a scoreless first period.  The Lion junior chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 1-0 lead.  He pressed the Gopher for the entire period and notched a takedown to lead 3-0 after two. Skatzka chose down to start the third and scrambled to a late reversal to cut the lead to 3-2.  Hall escaped to a 4-2 lead and made the score stand. 

For this session’s recap, see story above

184: #2 Shakur Rasheed, Sr. (2nd seed) – 2nd place – NCAA Qualifier

Rd. 1: bye

Qtrs: #20 Cameron Caffey, Michigan State – WBF (5:17)

Semis: #6 Taylor Venz, Nebraska – W, 6-5 dec.

Did not compete in finals, medical forfeit, not a loss

Rasheed, ranked No. 2 nationally at 184 and the second seed, had a first round bye.  He met No. 20 Cameron Caffey of Michigan State in the quarterfinals and took a big early lead with a takedown and four back points.  He dominated the first period on top, keeping Caffey down for the bulk of the period to collect over 2:00 of riding time after one period.  Rasheed added a takedown in the second then chose top to start the third and quickly locked up a cradle to pin Caffey at the 5:17 mark.  Rasheed’s win moved him into the semifinals.

Rasheed took on No. 6 Taylor Venz of Nebraska in the semifinals. Rasheed wasted no time taking Venz down to open up an early lead and then countered a Venz shot to lead 4-1 midway through the first period.  Venz escaped to start the second but not before Rasheed owned a 1:15 riding time edge.  Rasheed escaped at the start of the third period and led 5-3 with 1:30 in riding time.  He gave up a last second takedown but his 1:25 in riding time gave the Lion a 6-5 win.

For this session’s recap, see story above

197: #1 Bo Nickal, Sr. (1st seed) – 1st place – NCAA Qualifier

Rd. 1: bye

Qtrs: Brad Wilton, Michigan State – W, 19-4 (TF; 5:34)

Semis: #13 Eric Schultz, Nebraska – W, 10-2 maj. dec.

Finals: #2 Kollin Moore, Ohio State – W, 10-3 dec.

Nickal, ranked No. 1 at 197 and the top seed, drew a first round bye.  He took on Michigan State’s Brad Wilton in the quarterfinals and blew the match open early.  Nickal notched two takedowns, picking up four near fall on the second.  After a reset out of bounds, the Lion spent the rest of the period working on top and had nearly 3:00 of riding time and a seven-point lead after one period. Nickal picked up two more takedowns and two back points in the second and then finished bout early in the third with two more takedowns.  Nickal posted the 19-4 tech fall at the 5:34 mark and moved into the semifinals.

The Lion senior met No. 13 Eric Schultz of Nebraska in the semifinals. Nickal took Schultz down at the 1:00 mark of the first period and added a second late to lead 4-1 after one.  Schultz chose down to start the second period and escaped but Nickal added another takedown to lead 6-2 after two periods.  Nickal added an escape, a takedown and 2:48 in riding time to post a 10-2 major decision.

For this session’s recap, see story above

285: #3 Anthony Cassar, Sr. (2nd seed) – 1st place – NCAA Qualifier

Rd. 1: Jacob Aven, Purdue – W, 12-4 maj. dec.

Qtrs: #13 David Jensen, Nebraska – W, 8-4 dec.

Semis: #14 Conan Jennings, Northwestern – W, 10-2 maj. dec.

Finals: #1 Gable Steveson, Minnesota – W, 4-3 dec.

Cassar, ranked No. 3 at 285 and the second seed, met Purdue’s Jacob Aven in the opening round of his first Big Ten tournament. He picked up three first period takedowns, one in the second and then a final one in the third period.  The Lion added 2:25 in riding time and posted the 12-4 major.  He took on No. 13 David Jensen of Nebraska in the quarterfinals and opened up an early lead with a first period takedown.  He picked up an escape and a takedown in the second and then added a final takedown and 3:48 in riding to roll to an 8-4 win.  The victory moved Cassar through to the semifinals.

Cassar met No. 14 Conan Jennings of Northwestern in the last of Penn State’s eight semifinal bouts. After a scoreless minute, Cassar took a lead with a takedown and then added a second one late in the period to lead 4-1 after one.  The Lion added a takedown and a stall point and led 7-1 after two periods.  He added a reversal in the third period and rode Jennings out to roll to a 10-1 major decision with 2:05 in riding time. 

For this session’s recap, see story above

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