UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Penn State Nittany Lions (4-0, 0-0 B1G) will open up Big Ten dual meet action during the first week of 2017 with two Big Ten road duals. Penn State is at No. 12 Minnesota (3-1. 2-0 B1G) on Friday, Jan. 6, at 8 p.m. Eastern and at No. 7 Nebraska (7-0, 1-0 B1G) on Sunday, Jan. 8, at 3 p.m. Eastern. Each dual is available online via BTN2go/BTN Plus.
The Nittany Lions will head into the first fully weekend of 2017 coming off a break nearly a month long. Penn State was slated to compete in the 2016 Reno Tournament of Champions, but weather prevented Penn State from travelling west, forcing the long layoff. Penn State is 4-0 overall and will open up its Big Ten slate with this weekend’s two road duals.
Penn State has ten wrestlers ranked by InterMat and features six starters heading to the midwest unbeaten. True freshman Nick Suriano is 7-0 and ranked No. 4 at 125. Sophomore Jered Cortez is 6-2 and ranked No. 13 at 133 and senior Jimmy Gulibon is 6-4 and No. 12 at 141. Junior Zain Retherford is 8-0 and No. 1 at 149 and sophomore Jason Nolf is 8-0 and No. 1 at 157. Sophomore Shakur Rasheed is 6-1 and No. 15 at 174 while senior Geno Morelli is 6-1 at 174 as well. Sophomore Bo Nickal is 7-0 and ranked No. 2 at 184, junior Matt McCutcheon is 7-0 and No. 13 at 197 and sophomore Nick Nevills is 7-0 and No. 7 at 285.
Minnesota will enter 2017 with a 3-1 record, 2-0 in Big Ten action already, and ranked No. 12 in the pre-holiday tournament TPI. The Golden Gophers feature a balanced line-up with three seniors and five underclassmen on it. Freshman Mitch McKee is ranked No. 18 at 133 and junior Jake Short is No. 10 at 157. Junior Nick Wanzek is No. 13 at 174, senior Brett Pfarr is No. 2 at 197 and senior Michael Kroells is No. 6 at 285. The Gophers own Big Ten dual wins over Michigan State (20-17) and Michigan (22-18).
Nebraska heads into the New Year’s first weekend with a perfect 7-0 record, 1-0 in Big Ten action. The Cornhuskers feature a strong line-up with seven ranked wrestlers, including a total of six potential starters who are veteran seniors. Senior Tim Lambert is ranked No. 8 at 125, senior Eric Montoya is ranked No. 4 at 133, junior Colton McCrystal is ranked No. 11 at 141, sophomore Tyler Berger is ranked No. 5 at 157, senior TJ Dudley is ranked No. 3 at 184, senior Aaron Studebaker is ranked No. 8 at 197 and senior Collin Jensen is ranked No. 16 at 285. The Huskers own a Big Ten victory over Michigan State (35-3).
Minnesota leads the all-time series with Penn State 15-6-1, including the last three. The Gophers won the last meeting in Minneapolis, 18-17 on Feb. 9, 2014. Nebraska owns a slim 8-7-1 lead in the all-time series with Penn State but the Nittany Lions have won the last three. Penn State won the last meeting in Lincoln, 31-6, on Feb. 3, 2102.
Penn State returns to Rec Hall for the first time in over a month when it hosts Rutgers on Friday, Jan. 13, at 7 p.m. Rec Hall duals are sold out but a limited number of standing room only tickets are available to the events. Fans can purchase these SROs on a first-come, first-serve basis by calling the Penn State Athletics ticket office at 1-800-NITTANY while supplies last. 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. The 2016-17 Penn State wrestling season is presented by The Family Clothesline. This is PENN STATE. WRESTLING lives here.
#3 PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS (4-0, 0-0 B1G)
125 #4 Nick Suriano Fr. Paramus, N.J./Bergen Catholic / 7-0
133 #14 Jered Cortez So. Carol Stream, Ill./Glenbard North / 6-2
141 #12 Jimmy Gulibon Sr. Latrobe, Pa./Derry Area / 5-4
OR Kade Moss Jr. South Jordan, Utah/Bingham / 5-2
149 #1 Zain Retherford Jr. Benton, Pa./Benton / 8-0
157 #1 Jason Nolf So. Yatesboro, Pa./Kittanning / 8-0
165 #8 Vincenzo Joseph Fr. Pittsburgh, Pa./Central Catholic / 6-1
174 Geno Morelli Sr. DuBois, Pa./DuBois / 6-1
OR #15 Shakur Rasheed So. Coram, N.Y./Longwood / 5-1
184 #2 Bo Nickal So. Allen, Texas/Allen / 7-0
197 #13 Matt McCutcheon Jr. Apollo, Pa./Kiski Area / 7-0
285 #7 Nick Nevills So. Clovis, Calif./Clovis / 7-0
#12 MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS (3-1, 2-0 B1G)
125 Skyler Petry So. Waterville, Minn./W.E.M.
133 #18 Mitch McKee Fr. St. Michael, Minn./St. Michael-Albertville
141 Gannon Volk So. Lakeville, Minn./Apple Valley
149 Fredy Stroker Fr. Bettendorf, Iowa/Bettendorf
157 #10 Jake Short Jr. Inver Grove Heights, Minn./Simley
165 Brandon Kingsley Sr. Apple Valley, Minn./Apple Valley
174 #13 Nick Wanzek Jr. Inver Grove Heights, Minn./Simley
184 Bobby Steveson Fr. Apple Valley, Minn./Apple Valley
197 #2 Brett Pfarr Sr. Le Sueur, Minn./Le Sueur-Henderson
285 #6 Michael Kroells Sr. Belle Plaine, Minn./Scott West
#7 NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS (7-0, 1-0 B1G)
125 #8 Tim Lambert Sr. Forest Hills, Mich./Eastern
133 #4 Eric Montoya Sr. Albuquerque, N.M./Volcano Vista
141 #11 Colton McCrystal Jr. Sergeant Bluff, Iowa/Sergeant Bluff-Luton
149 Collin Purinton Fr. Banks, Ore./Banks
OR Jordan Shearer Fr. Fargo, N.D./West Fargo
157 #5 Tyler Berger So. Prineville, Ore./Crook County
165 Justin Arthur Jr. Huntington, W. Va./Huntington
OR Dustin Williams So. Gardner, Kan./Gardner-Edgerton
174 Micah Barnes Sr. Inver Grove Heights, Minn./Simley
184 #3 TJ Dudley Sr. Irmo, S.C./Irmo
197 #8 Aaron Studebaker Sr. Raymond, Neb./Central
285 #16 Collin Jensen Sr. Mobridge, S.D./Mobridge-Pollock
Individual rankings are InterMat, team ranking is InterMat TPI
(Tournament Power Index) as of 12/28 (PRE-HOLIDAY TOURNAMENT)
Mark Hall WINS SOUTHERN SCUFFLE TITLE; NAMED OW!
True freshman Mark Hall, red-shirting and wrestling unattached, blazed through a rugged field of nationally ranked opponents to win the 174-pound title at the 2017 Southern Scuffle in Chattanooga, Tenn. Hall went 5-0 with two pins and a major to claim the crown and was named the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler. He pinned Martin Duane of the Citadel in the first round and majored Oklahoma State’s Jordan Rogers 12-4 in the second. He then dominated tourney top seed and No. 3-ranked Casey Kent of Penn 9-4 in the quareterfinals. In the semifinals, he pinned No. 15 Ryan Preisch of Lehigh to advance to the championship finals. Hall then roughed up No. 6 Kyle Crutchmer of Oklahoma State in the finals, opening up a 6-0 lead and rolling to a 10-3 victory.
HALL WINS CSU OPEN TITLE
True freshman Mark Hall, red-shirting this year and competing unattached, posted a perfect 5-0 mark at 174 with three pins and a major to win the 2016 Cleveland State Open on 12/17. Hall’s victory was his second open tourney title of the year. Classmate Luke Gardner also competed at the event, picking up a tech fall win at 149.
WEATHER KEEPS LIONS FROM COMPETING AT RENO
A nation-wide weather event, from ice storms in the East to snowstorms in the Rockies, kept the Penn State Nittany Lions from competing at the 2016 Reno Tournament of Champions on Dec. 18. Missing the tournament means that Penn State was out of action from Dec. 11, 2016, to Jan. 6, 2017, nearly one full month.
RETHERFORD, NOLF, NICKAL ON BONUS STREAK
The All-American trio of Zain Retherford (149), Jason Nolf (157) and Bo Nickal (184) are piling up the bonus point victories thus far this year. Retherford is a perfect 9-0, posting a tech fall in his first match and reeling off eight straight pions since. Nolf is 9-0 thus far with three tech falls and six pins. Nickal is 8-0 on the year, pinning his first seven foes and posting a major in his last outing. The trio is a combined 26-0 with 21 pins, four tech falls and a major.
SIX LION STARTERS HEAD INTO B1G SLATE UNBEATEN
Six of Penn State’s regular dual starters will head into the B1G slate with an unbeaten record. True freshman Nick Suriano is 8-0 with four majors and a pin at 125, junior Zain Retherford is 9-0 with eight pins and a major at 149, sophomore Jason Nolf is 9-0 with six pins and three techs at 157, sophomore Bo Nickal is 8-0 with seven pins and a major at 184, junior Matt McCutcheon is 8-0 with two majors and a pin at 197 and Nick Nevills is 8-0 with three pins and a tech at 285.
NICKAL MAJORS #13 SCHNEIDER TO LEAD LIONS TO 46-0 SHUT OUT WIN OVER BINGHAMTON
Sophomore Bo Nickal dominated #13 Steve Schneider of Binghamton on 12/11, posting an 18-7 major over the talented Bearcat. The victory was the highlight in Penn State’s 46-0 shut out victory over BU in front of a sold out Rec Hall crowd.
SURIANO DOWNS #4 CRUZ IN BJC DUAL WIN OVER LEHIGH
True freshman Nick Suriano continued his superb start to the 2016-17 season with a dominating 7-0 win over returning All-American Darian Cruz of Lehigh on 12/4. The win helped spark Penn State to a 30-10 victory over #9 Lehigh in front of over 15,000 fans in this year’s BJC Dual. It was Suriano’s second win over a returning All-American.
NICKAL AND RETHERFORD CONTINUE PIN PARADE IN BJC DUAL WIN OVER LEHIGH
Sophomore Bo Nickal and junior Zain Retherford each picked up their seventh straight pin in Penn State’s 30-10 win over #9 Lehigh in the BJC Dual on 12/4. Nickal pinned Kyle Gentile at the 2:35 mark for his seventh pin in as many matches while Retherford pinned #9 Laike Gardner at the 3:55 mark for his seventh straight pin in his eighth match.
LIONS CROWN 8 AT KEYSTONE CLASSIC; DOMINATE THE FIELD IN PHILLY
Penn State dominated the field in the Keystone Classic on 11/20, crowning eight champs with ten finalists, to win the team title. Nick Suriano (125) went 4-0 to win at 125; Zain Retherford went 5-0 with five pins to win at 149 and claim OW honors; Jason Nolf went 5-0 with three pins and two techs to win at 157; Vincenzo Joseph went 4-0 with two techs, and wins over #5 and #13, to win at 165; Shakur Rasheed went 5-0 and won the 174-pound title with a 2-1 (tb2) victory over teammate Geno Morelli, who took second with a 4-1 mark and three pins; Bo Nickal went 4-0 with four pins to win at 184; Matt McCutcheon went 4-0 to win at 197 and Nick Nevills went 4-0 to win at 285. Kade Moss was runner-up at 141 with a 4-1 mark; Jered Cortez went 4-1 to take third at 133 and Gary Dinmore went 3-2 to take fourth at 149.
SURIANO, MORELLI AND NEVILLS NOTCH BIG WINS TO LEAD LIONS OVER #12 STANFORD
True freshman Nick Suriano dominated #4 Connor Schram at 125, rolling up nearly 2:00 in riding time to post a 3-0 shutout in his Rec Hall dual debut; senior Geno Morelli dominated #13 Jim Wilson to post a 6-3 win at 174; and sophomore Nick Nevills beat #10 Nathan Butler 3-1 at 285 to lead Penn State to a resounding 36-6 win over 12th-ranked Stanford. Penn State won eight of ten bouts in sold out Rec Hall.
NITTANY LIONS SHUTOUT ARMY WEST POINT 45-0
Penn State opened up its season at Army West Point on 11/11 and won all ten bouts. Three Nittany Lions won their Penn State and collegiate debuts: Nick Suriano (125), Jered Cortez (133) and Vincenzo Joseph (165) all got wins in their inaugural action in the blue and white singlet. Jimmy Gulibon posted the night’s most impressive win, a 17-6 major over #17 Logan Everett. Matt McCutcheon also notched a 4-2 win over #11 Rocco Caywood at 197.
HALL WINS BEARCAT OPEN; DINMORE SECOND
Ten members of the Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team trekked to Binghamton, N.Y., for the 2016 Bearcat Kaloust Open today. True freshman Mark Hall, wrestling unattached, came away with 174 pound title while red-shirt freshman Gary Dinmore took second at 149. Five members of the team were competing attached, five unattached. Hall rolled to the title at 174 in his first open tournament wrestling unattached at the collegiate level. Hall went 5-0 with two pins, a tech fall and a 12-4 major over Harvard’s Josef Johnson in the finals. Dinmore went 4-0 with a major, winning four straight before losing in the finals to a non-collegiate wrestler (meaning the loss does not count on his record). In addition to Dinmore and Hall, eight other Lions wrestled at Binghamton. Red-shirt freshman Dominic Giannangeli went 2-2 at 141 and red-shirt freshman Kellan Stout went 2-1 at 197. Francisco Bisono picked up a win at 174 and upped his season long win total to seven. Bisono went 6-1 at last week’s Clarion Open to place third.
BISONO TAKES THIRD AT CLARION OPEN
Red-shirt freshman Francisco Bisono rolled to a 6-1 record at the Clarion Open on 11/6, placing third at 174. Bisono had one pin during his run as well. True freshman Bo Pipher went 2-2 with a pin at 141 as well. Devon Van Cura picked up a win at 184 while true freshmen Devin Schnupp and Brian Friery competed as well.
TEN LIONS RANKED BY INTERMAT AND FLO
Ten Nittany Lions are ranked by InterMat in the latest release by the site. Nick Suriano is #4 at 125, Jered Cortez #14 at 133, Jimmy Gulibon #12 at 141, Zain Retherford #1 at 149, Jason Nolf #1 at 157, Vincenzo Joseph #8 at 165, Shakur Rasheed is #15 at 174, Bo Nickal #2 at 184, Matt McCutcheon #13 at 197 and Nick Nevills #7 at 285. Nine Penn Staters are ranked by Flo Wrestling: Suriano #4, Cortez #14, Retherford #1, Nolf #1, Rasheed #15, Nickal #2, McCutcheon #6 and Nevills #6.
PENN STATE RADIO NETWORK SET FOR 2016-17
The Penn State Wrestling Radio Network has been finalized for the 2016-17 campaign. Forever Media’s WRSC-AM 1390 will serve as the flagship station for the network. The Penn State Coaches Show featuring Cael Sanderson, presented by Pepsi, will be carried by Forever Broadcasting as well. Forever Media will air the bulk of the season on WRSC-AM 1390 with select dates tabbed for WQWK-AM 1450. In addition to those two stations WIBF-FM 92.5 Mexico/Lewistown and WDBF-FM 106.3 Mt. Union/Huntingdon will broadcast the full season as well. Jeff Byers will once again serve as the voice of Penn State Wrestling, calling each broadcast mat-side with the Nittany Lions. The Penn State Coaches Show featuring Cael Sanderson, presented by Pepsi, will air on Forever Media as well this year. The one-hour program will take place at Lettermans on East College Ave. in State College nearly every Wednesday at 6:05 p.m. from November 11 through mid-March. Fans are encouraged to attend the program throughout the year. The show will air live on WQWK-AM. Sanderson will be the featured guest for most shows from November 16 through mid-March. In addition to Sanderson, The Penn State Coaches Show will include various coaches from other Penn State teams and athletics administrators. The show is slated for Nov. 16, Nov. 30, Dec. 6, Dec. 14, Jan. 4, Jan. 11, Jan. 18, Jan 25, Feb. 8, Feb. 15, Feb. 22, March 1 and March 8. The Penn State Coaches Show featuring Cael Sanderson, presented by Pepsi, will feature guests answering questions from fans at Lettermans and online. Fans can submit questions to www.GoPSUsports.com/askthecoach. All Penn State wrestling broadcasts this season, both live action and the Penn State Coaches Show featuring Cael Sanderson, will be streamed online for free on GoPSUsports.com via GoPSUNow.