Penn State’s Nickal wins wrestling U.S. Open

Nittany Nation
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A number of current and former Penn State wrestlers took to the mats this past weekend to take steps toward making the United State’s World Championships team.

Former Penn State wrestler Bo Nickal won the U.S. Open in Las Vegas to earn a bye to the World Team Trials finals at 92 kg.

You can find a portion of the Penn State media release below with more:

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; April 29, 2019 –Senior Bo Nickal (Allen, Texas) and true freshman Roman Bravo-Young (Tucson, Ariz.) led the charge for the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club in Las Vegas this past weekend. Nickal won the 92 kg title at the U.S. Open National Championship and Bravo-Young took silver at 61 kg at the UWW National Championship. The Nittany Lion Wrestling Club was well-represented with current and former Nittany Lions posting strong performances.


Nickal had an outstanding tournament, winning five straight matches to win the title. He downed 2018 NCAA 197-pound champion Mike Macchiavello in the semifinals before dominating Hayden Zillmer 13-3 in the finals.  The win gives Nickal a bye in the finals of the 2019 World Team Trials challenge tournament later this summer.


Bravo-Young stormed his way to five straight wins at 61 kg to advance to the finals before getting caught in a scramble while leading 4-2 in the title bout to place second and earn silver.  Bravo-Young’s dominating performance included a 12-1 decision over a 2018 All-American and four other outstanding victories.


Senior Jason Nolf (Yatesboro, Pa.) went 6-1 at 70 kg.  His lone loss was a 6-6 criteria decision to two-time world medalist James Green in the semifinals.  Nolf rebounded from the last-second loss to take the Bronze Medal.  Redshirt freshman Mason Manville (Lorton, Va.) also earned Bronze Medal, placing third in Greco at 77 kg by going 4-1.  Redshirt freshman Jarod Verkleeren (Greensburg, Pa.) took fifth in Greco at 67 kg as well to round out current Lions competing at the event.  All three (Nolf, Manville and Verkleeren) have qualified for the World Team Trials later this summer.


Former Lion Zain Retherford won five straight matches for the NLWC at 65 kg to advance to the finals before dropping a last second decision in the finals. Retherford’s 5-1 tournament earned him the Silver Medal and qualifies him for the World Team Trials.  Former Lion Geno Morelli took fifth place in freestyle at 79 kg and earned a spot at the Team Trials as well.  Nittany Lion Wrestling Club standout Ben Provisor took the Bronze in Greco at 87 kg and Riley Lefever placed sixth at 92 kg in freestyle.  Both Provisor and Lefever will compete at the WTT later this summer.

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