Live Blog: 2017 NCAA Wrestling Championships

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Hello, Penn State wrestling fans! The Nittany Lions are at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis this weekend trying to grab their sixth NCAA title in seven years. Coming off an upset second place finish behind Ohio State at the Big Ten Championships two weeks ago, Cael Sanderson’s squad hopes to avenge the defeat and rise above its main competition — Oklahoma State and the Buckeyes.

We’ll have live updates throughout the NCAA Championships on this page, including analysis, photos, tweets, and more. Here’s the ESPN coverage information you’ll need and here are our keys to victory for the Nittany Lions.

Session Six

11:02 p.m. — DOWN GOES DEAN AND BO NICKAL IS A NATIONAL CHAMPION. PENN STATE GOES FOR 5 FOR 5 IN THE FINALS TO COMPLETE TO ROYAL FLUSH!

11:02 p.m. — Dean escapes to cut it to 4-3 in the third.

11:01 p.m. — We head to the third with Nickal leading Dean 4-2.

10:59 p.m. — Nickal escapes to go up 4-2.

10:59 p.m. — Nickal leads 3-2 after one.

10:58 p.m. — The takedown stands and Nickal leads 3-2!

10:57 p.m. — Nickal with a takedown but it is under review.

10:55 p.m. — Dean with the takedown and Nickal with the escape and it’s 2-1 in the first.

10:54 p.m. — Can’t think of a better way to end this season. Been waiting for this matchup since October and Here. We. Go.

10:51 p.m. — These two guys have similar senses of social media humor and we think they’d fit in well with Onward State. It’s @DabeGean vs. @NoBickal.

10:46 p.m. — Bo Nickal time. He has Cornell’s Gabe Dean next who Penn State fans may remember as the freshman who left the only blemish on Ed Ruth’s senior season.

10:45 p.m. — Hall with the late takedown to lock up the win and become the first true freshman in Penn State history to win a national title, avenging his Big Tens loss to Jordan.

10:43 p.m. — Jordan escapes but Hall still leads 3-2 with under a minute to wrestle.

10:43 p.m. — We go to the third period with Hall leading Jordan 3-1 and on top.

10:42 p.m. — Jordan’s escape cuts it to 3-1.

10:41 p.m. — Call on the mat stands.

10:39 p.m. — Hall takes a 3-0 lead with a takedown. Tom Ryan challenging that Jordan had scored a takedown earlier in the match.

10:38 p.m. — Escape from Hall puts the true freshman up 1-0.

10:37 p.m. — Hall and Jordan are scoreless after three minutes.

10:33 p.m. — We didn’t get this in the dual because Jordan was hurt but now we’re getting to see it one more time after the overtime thriller to decide Big Tens.

10:29 p.m. — And now for another freshman’s opportunity to leave his mark in St. Louis. Mark Hall up next against Ohio State’s Bo Jordan in a rematch of the Big Ten Finals.

10:24 p.m. — DOWN GOES MARTINEZ, JOSEPH WITH THE PIN IN THE THIRD PERIOD. PENN STATE IS 3 FOR 3 IN THE FINALS.

10:23 p.m. — 5-5 after two.

10:22 p.m. — Joseph and Martinez are tied 5-5 in the second period of another dog fight, giving wrestling fans everything they could ask for.

10:20 p.m. — Joseph scores a takedown but Martinez escapes to end the first period. Tied 3-3 after one.

10:19 p.m. — Martinez’s takedown is under review.

10:17 p.m. — Joseph trails 2-1 in the first.

10:11 p.m. — Vincenzo Joseph is looking to avenge his two losses to Illinois’ Isaiah Martinez, who took down Nolf in last year’s 157 lb. final.

10:09 p.m. — Might as well call him Jason Nof because he did not take an L all season. Finishes 27-0.

10:08 p.m. — Jason Nolf is a national champion at 157 lbs.! Wins 14-6.

10:06 p.m. — Nolf up 12-5 in the third. Closing in on his first national title.

10:04 p.m. — Stall call against Lavallee and takedown from Nolf gives him a 6-1 lead.

10:03 p.m. — Nolf leads 2-1 after one.

10:02 p.m. — Nolf up 2-0 in the first period with a nice takedown.

9:58 p.m. — Jason Nolf to take the mat to take on Joey Lavalee of Missouri. Nolf lost on this stage a year ago against Illinois’ Isaiah Martinez

9:53 p.m. — Back to back for Retherford! He beats Mayes 18-2 for another 149 lb. title.

9:51 p.m. — Retherford running away with this one with the near fall points. 14-2 with :40 to wrestle

9:49 p.m. — Retherford with the escape and takedown to start the second period and he goes up 6-2.

9:48 p.m. — Retherford up 3-2 after one.

9:45 p.m. — Retherford with the escape and takedown to go up 3-2.

9:44 p.m. — Retherford gets taken down early and Mayes is in control on top.

9:42 p.m. — Here comes the Zain Train.

9:26 p.m. — This is it, folks. We are live covering the championship round of the NCAA Championships. Zain Retherford next against Missouri’s Lavion Mayes at 149 lbs. First of five straight Nittany Lions competing in tonight’s royal flush.

Session Five

2:02 p.m. — Nevills will finish fifth after a 4-3 win over Kasper, who had beaten him in the quarterfinals.

1:57 p.m. — Nevills trailing takes a 3-2 lead into the third period against Duke’s Jacob Kasper in the fifth-place match.

12:55 p.m. — And Penn State has officially clinched the NCAA Title, its second in a row and sixth in the last seven years.

11:55 a.m. — Nevills drops a 5-3 decision to Ty Walz and will wrestle for fifth place later today.

11:53 a.m. — Nevills still trails 4-3 after two periods.

11:49 a.m. — First period ends with Nevills trailing Walz 2-1.

11:45 a.m. — We’re back for the last day of the NCAA Championships. Right now, Nick Nevills is wrestling Virginia Tech’s Ty Walz for a chance to go for third place on mat 3.

Session Four

11:21 p.m. — We’ll be back tomorrow for the final day of action in St. Louis. After four sessions, Penn State has run away with this one, leading the team totals with 121 points ahead of Ohio State and Oklahoma State.

11:00 p.m. — Nevills ends a stellar day two for Penn State with a 6-4 win over Kroells.

10:57 p.m. — Nevills and Kroells locked up 4-4 with :30 to wrestle in the second period.

10:53 p.m. — Nevills tralls Kroells 3-2 after one.

10:48 p.m. — The Nittany Lions aren’t done for Friday. Nick Nevills getting ready to go on mat 6 against Minnesota’s Michael Kroells.

10:35 p.m. — And now for the matchup you’ve all been waiting for: Cornell’s Gabe Dean and Bo Nickal for the 184 lb. title after the Big Red beats Oklahoma State’s Nolan Boyd 9-3.

10:26 p.m. — Well….61 seconds this time. Nickal advances to the final for a second year in a row with a pin against Brooks.

10:25 p.m. — Last match of the semifinals for Penn State is Bo Nickal against Iowa’s Sammy Brooks who he pinned in :38 in the dual.

10:20 p.m. — Great call on the challenge by Sanderson. Gave Hall new life and he took full advantage.

10:18 p.m. — Another Nittany Lion advances. Hall hands top-seeded Valencia his first collegiate loss with a 4-2 decision. He’ll face Bo Jordan tomorrow night in a rematch of the Big Ten Finals.

10:14 p.m. — The call on the mat is overturned and Hall leads 2-1 with :39 seconds after getting a point because of a technical violation against Valencia.

10:14 p.m. — Valencia with a late takedown but Hall escapes. Sanderson has challenged.

10:13 p.m. — There’s the scape from Valencia to tie the score at 1 with under 90 seconds to wrestle.

10:12 p.m. — Valencia nearly escapes but the pair rolls out of bounds.

10:10 p.m. — Hall leads 1-0 after two periods.

10:09 p.m. — Hall escapes to go up 1-0.

10:06 p.m. — Hall has been on the defensive for most of the first period but doing a nice job resisting the much bigger Valencia. Scoreless after one.

10:04 p.m. — Valencia and Hall squaring off right now on mat 3.

10:02 p.m. — We couldn’t have said it any better, Dan.

9:57 p.m. — For the second straight year, Illinois Isaiah Martinez will wrestle a redshirt freshman Nittany Lion for the national title. Last year, he beat Jason Nolf, the only man to beat him, 6-5. Tomorrow he gets Joseph, who he’s narrowly beaten twice.

9:54 p.m. — Next is another matchup of two freshmen: Mark Hall and Arizona State’s Zahid Valencia.

9:52 p.m. — Cenzo is headed to the finals with a 5-4 win over Massa. Third Nittany Lion to advance. Hall and Nickal still to wrestle.

9:50 p.m. — Massa nearly gets the takedown but Joseph gets out of bounds.

9:50 p.m. — Joseph escapes to take the lead.

9:49 p.m. — Joseph and Massa tied 2-2 after two in a dog fight.

9:49 p.m. — Massa equalizes with the escape.

9:48 p.m. — There’s two from Joseph with the takedown to go up on Massa 2-1.

9:47 p.m. — Nevills beats Solomon 2-0 to lock up All-American status and knock out Solomon in the blood round. Joseph and Massa scoreless after one.

9:45 p.m. — Joseph and Massa is a matchup you’ll be watching for a few years. Two standout Big Ten redshirt freshmen. The four semifinalists are the top four seeds and top four placers from the Big Ten Championships. Best conference in college wrestling.

9:43 p.m. — David Taylor currently being interviewed as Vincenzo Joseph starts off against Michigan’s Logan Massa. McCutcheon drops 13-2 major to Studebaker after second period meltdown. Nevills leads Solomon 1-0 after two.

9:42 p.m. — Nevills and Pitt’s Ryan Solomon are scoreless after a period on mat 5.

9:38 p.m. — A takedown and two near falls from Studebaker puts him up on McCutcheon 12-2 after two periods.

9:34 p.m. — Matt McCutcheon staying alive on mat 2 against Nebraska’s Aaron Studebaker in the blood round. Leading 2-1 after one.

9:30 p.m. — Another Penn State/Missouri finals matchup as Joey Lavallee advances with an 8-5 win over Cornell’s Dylan Palacio. A couple clashes of journalism powerhouses.

9:29 p.m. — Nolf majors Berger 13-5 to punch his ticket to the finals tomorrow night

9:27 p.m. — Berger makes it interesting with a takedown.He trails 9-4 after a Nolf escape.

9:26 p.m. — Jason Nolf is now two minutes away from a second straight NCAA Finals berth. He leads 7-2.

9:25 p.m. — Berger escapes but like a good neighbor, Jason Nolf is there (with another takedown) to make it 7-1.

9:25 p.m. — Escape and takedown from Nolf puts him up 5-0.

9:23 p.m. — Nolf with a takedown to close out the first period. He leads 2-0.

9:22 p.m. — Nolf almost with a takedown but ruled out of bounds. 0-0 two minutes in.

9:12 p.m. — Jason Nolf time on mat 3 against Berger after the media break.

9:11 p.m. — Retherford will meet Lavion Mayes of Missouri tomorrow night in front of a hometown crowd.

9:08 p.m. — Former NCAA Champs David Taylor and Nico Megaludis approve.

9:04 p.m. — MAKE. IT. ZAIN. Zain Retherford with the pin and he is bound for the NCAA Finals for a second year in a row.

9:02 p.m. — Retherford takes early 2-0 lead with a takedown.

9:01 p.m. — Retherford and Sorensen with a trip to the finals on the line is about to start in a rematch of last year’s 149 finals. Retherford is 3-0 against him. This is the first of five straight semifinal matches featuring Nittany Lions.

8:42 p.m. — Mat 3 has Zain Retherford pitted against Iowa’s Brandon Sorensen. Their meeting in the dual back in January was a thriller to say the least. 9-8 win by Retherford in a double sudden victory. After that, you don’t have to go anywhere. Jason Nolf will follow against Nebraska’s Tyler Berger, who he majored in their dual meeting.

8:39 p.m. — Gulibon falls to Jack 6-4 in the blood round and will not be an All-American. He ends his Penn State career with a 74-47 record.

8:35 p.m. — Gulibon and Jack enter the third period tied 3-3.

8:33 p.m. — An escape and takedown from Gulibon give the 3-2 lead after the first period.

8:30 p.m. — Takedown by Jack and Gulibon trails 2-0 in the first period.

8:21 p.m. — Jimmy Gulibon is about to face NC State’s Kevin Jack over on mat 5. Tough match for the senior against the two seed, let’s see if he has another All-American finish and some more magic left in him.

8:20 p.m. — Two wrestlers Nick Suriano beat are going to the finals at 125 lbs. One can only wonder…

8:05 pm. — Penn State has five wrestlers competing in the semifinals and three in the consolation bracket.

8:03 p.m. — Good evening, wrestling fans we have another night of college wrestling. Tonight is the blood round and semifinals and you can follow along here, tune into ESPN for a prime time national broadcast, watch every match on ESPN3, or listen to Jeff Byers’ live radio call. Through three sessions, we’ve found that the TV broadcast is about 10 seconds behind real time and ESPN3 is a little over a minute behind.

Session Three

2:25 p.m. — Gulibon advances to tonight’s All-American round with a 11-4 decision over No. 12 Pletcher.

2:20 p.m. — Gulibon is up 5-1 after two periods against Ohio State’s Luke Pletcher.

2:02 p.m. — We lied. ESPNU left, but Jimmy Gulibon still has one more match remaining in session three.

1:54 p.m. — That’ll do it for session three. Five Nittany Lions are heading to the semifinals as Penn State is starting to open up a large lead in the team standings.

1:50 p.m. — Nevills couldn’t grab a takedown a takedown to tie it and will move to the All-American round tonight following the 3-1 decision loss.

1:42 p.m. — Nevills trails 3-1 with more than a minute left in the third period.

1:38 p.m. — Nick Nevills is tied 0-0 with No. 4 Jacob Kasper of Duke after the first period.

1:29 p.m. — McCutcheon couldn’t register a takedown as Haught grabs the first win over a Nittany Lion in session three via a 7-3 decision.

1:24 p.m. — Five seed Matt McCutcheon trails No. 4 Jared Haught 4-1 after the first period.

1:09 p.m. — Penn State is still undefeated on Friday as Nickal pins Dudley in the second period to advance to the semifinals.

1:05 p.m. — Bo Nickal is on the mat now and leads Nebraska seven seed TJ Dudley 4-2 after the first period.

12:55 p.m. — Hall started on top and finished on top in the third period to earn another half bonus point with a 10-2 major decision over Epperly.

12:48 p.m. — No. 5 Mark Hall leads Virginia Tech four seed Zach Epperly 8-0 with 2:09 in riding time after one period.

12:37 p.m. — WOW. Joseph comes up with a clutch takedown in the final seconds to keep Penn State undefeated and advance to the semifinals over Lewis by a 6-5 decision.

12:35 p.m. — Joseph trails 4-2 after two and chooses to start the final period in neutral.

12:29 p.m. — No. 3 Vincenzo Joseph trails No. 6 Daniel Lewis of Missouri 2-0 early in the first period in the 165 quarterfinals.

12:23 p.m. — Iowa held the lead early in the third session, but Nolf’s pin puts the Nittany Lions back in the top spot with a two-point advantage over the Hawkeyes.

12:18 p.m. — Nolf got the pin against Clagon to advance to the semifinal. His biggest competition at 157, No. 2 Michael Kemerer of Iowa, got upset by Cornell’s Dylan Palacio.

12:14 p.m. — Jason Nolf is now on mat 3 and leads unseeded Bryant Clagon of Rider 2-1 after the first period.

12:05 p.m. — Retherford had no issues with South Dakota State’s Alex Kocer as he earned his third-straight tech fall early in the third period. Gulibon also advanced in the consolations with a 14-5 major over Northern Colorado’s Timmy Box.

11:59 a.m. — Gulibon leads 9-3 in the second and Retherford leads 4-1 with 2:39 of riding time after the first period.

11:56 a.m. — Zain Retherford started his quarterfinal on mat 3, live on ESPNU. Jimmy Gulibon is also on mat 8 right now in the consolations.

11:15 a.m. — Quarterfinal action is live on ESPNU. Retherford and Nolf are scheduled for mat 3 later on this morning.

Session Two

10:35 p.m. — Bonus points were huge in day one as Penn State leads its closest competition by more than four points.

8:53 p.m. — That’ll do it for Penn State today. The Nittany Lions were 7-1 in session two and 15-1 on the day. They send seven wrestlers to the quarterfinals and are wracking up the bonus points with seven technical falls and two pins.

8:52 p.m. — Reversal from Nevills extends his lead to 5-2 and he’ll ride out Miller. Another win for Penn State, a 6-2 decision.

8:50 p.m. — Takedown from Miller ties it up but Nevills escapes. He leads 3-2 after two.

8:48 p.m. — After one, Nevills leads William Miller of Edinboro 2-0.

8:39 p.m. — McCutcheon beats Mattiace 6-3. Nick Nevills up on mat 3.

8:37 p.m. — An escape from Mattiace cuts McCutcheon’s lead to 4-3 after two.

8:34 p.m. — McCutcheon leads 4-2 after one.

8:33 p.m. — Nickal pins Schneider in the third period while he was already leading 15-4.

8:31 p.m. — Matt McCutcheon is on mat 2 against Matt Mattiace of Penn.

8:29 p.m. — Near fall from Nickal makes it 8-1.

8:26 p.m. — Over on mat 5, Bo Nickal is facing and leading Steven Schneider of Binghamton 4-1.

8:23 p.m. — Down goes Martin. Parker wins 11-6. Another piece falling into place for Penn State.

8:22 p.m. — Another major upset that could be critical for the Nittany Lions: Big Ten Champ Myles Martin trails Illinois’ Emery Parker 11-6 late in the third.

8:14 p.m. — You wouldn’t know if you were watching ESPN because it’s more intrigued with Billy Baldwin than Mark Hall but the true freshman just steamrolled Bernstein for a 16-0 technical fall with three near falls…in the first period.

8:13 p.m. — Mark Hall jumps out to a 6-0 lead with four near fall points to open the first period on mat 5 against Jadaen Bernstein of Navy.

8:13 p.m. — Joseph majors Ashworth 12-4 and advances to the quarters.

8:06 p.m. — Vincenzo Joseph is up on Wyoming’s Branson Ashworth 6-0 after one period after riding him for 2:23.

8:05 p.m. — The call stands on mat. Theobald upsets Collica. This will have major implications on the team title turnout and is one of the breaks Penn State needed.

8:02 p.m. — Major upset on the line on mat 8: No. 15 Ken Theobald has beaten Oklahoma State’s Anthony Collica, the two seed and favorite to knock off Retherford, 9-2 in overtime. The winning takedown is currently under review.

7:58 p.m. — Nolf tech falls Lopez 24-9. The bonus points are piling up for Sanderson.

7:57 p.m. — Nolf with seven points in the second period to go up on Lopez 11-5 after two.

7:55 p.m. — Lopez gets a point back but Nolf with another takedown to go up 6-3 in the second period.

7:52 p.m. — Nolf has Bucknell’s Victor Lopez on mat 7 and leads 4-2 after the first period.

7:50 p.m. — Aaaaand there’s the 16-0 technical fall for Retherford, his second and the Nittany Lions’ fifth of the day.

7:48 p.m. — Retherford with four near fall points at end of second period. He leads Laster 12-0 and has almost four minutes of riding time.

7:45 pm. — Over on mat 7 is Retherford leads Kolodzik’s teammate Jordan Laster 6-0 in the first period.

7:44 p.m. — Gulibon with the Nittany Lions’ first loss of the tournament, a 6-3 decision to Kolodzik.

7:42 p.m. — Gulibon trails 6-2 with :30 to wrestle. Zain Retherford is on mat 7.

7:40 p.m. — Gulibon rides out Kolodzik in the second period. That extra riding point could prove pivotal.

7:38 p.m. — After one, Gulibon trails Kolodzik 4-1.

7:26 p.m. — We’re back and ready for the second session. Jimmy Gulibon next on mat 5 against Matt Kolodzik of Princeton. (Live on ESPN3)

Session One

3:27 p.m. — After one session, Penn State is on top of the team leaderboard with 16 points. Ohio State and Iowa right behind the Nittany Lions with 15 and 14 points. Oklahoma State, Missouri, and Lehigh tied four fourth with 12 points each.

3:02 p.m. — That’s all for Penn State in session one. Check back tonight starting at 7:00 p.m. for session two, which will be nationally broadcasted live on ESPN.

3:00 p.m. — Nick Nevills with a late takedown to get the 4-2 win over Vollaro. Penn State goes 8-0 in the first round.

2:53 p.m. — Last match for Penn State in the first session is coming up on mat 3. Nick Nevills will face Doug Vollaro of Lehigh. Nevills beat Vollaro 8-4 in the BJC Dual in December. (Watch Live on ESPN3).

2:49 p.m. — Penn State is now 7-0 to start the NCAA Championships after a big pin from Matt McCutcheon over Purdue’s Christian Brunner.

2:38 p.m. — Not only does he pin fast, Nickal also gets tech falls quickly. 15-0 tech fall over Sliga at 3:20 mark. Nittany Lions have four in the first round.

2:37 p.m. — Nickal dominated his way through the first period to take a 12-0 lead on Sliga after one.

2:24 p.m. — Keep an eye on mat 2. Bo Nickal will go to work there shortly against Northwestern’s Mitch Sliga and you never have quickly the match will be over when he takes the mat. (Live on ESPN 3).

2:18 p.m. — Hall with the 8-2 decision over David Kocer and Penn State is off to a 5-0 start.

2:04 p.m. — Joseph beats Subjeck 5-1. Mark Hall is next on mat 8 (Live on ESPN3).

2:01 p.m. — After a slow first period against Subjeck, who appears to be a bit stronger, Joseph posts three points in the second period to go up 3-0.

1:55 p.m — Vincenzo Joseph will now match up with Keaton Subjeck of Stanford on mat 5 (Live on ESPN3). Back in November, the two met at Rec Hall and Subjeck beat Joseph 18-12 in his second collegiate match. Cenzo has come a long way since then.

1:31 p.m. — Make it a tech fall hat trick for the Nittany Lions. Nolf finishes off Bullard for another bonus point.

1:14 p.m. — Jason Nolf takes on NC State’s Thomas Bullard next on mat 2 (Live on ESPN3).

1:10 p.m. — That was quick. Penn State has two tech falls in two bouts as Retherford clinches the win over Arizona State’s Maruca.

1:04 p.m. — 30 seconds into the bout and Retherford already holds a 4-0 lead.

12:58 p.m.  Zain Retherford is up next against Arizona State’s Josh Maruca on mat 5 (Live on ESPN3).

12:55 p.m. —  Jimmy Gulibon avenges his Big Ten Championships loss to Javier Gasca to advance via technical fall. What a huge statement to open with for Penn State.

12:50 p.m. — Huge first period for Gulibon. He scores on two takedowns and an escape for a 5-0 lead over Gasca.

12:35 p.m. — Jimmy Gulibon will be up first for the Nittany Lions at 141 on Mat 4. He gets a rematch with Javier Gasca, who defeated the Penn State senior at the Big Ten Championships. You can watch live on ESPN3 here.

12:03 p.m. — Wrestling is about to get under way in St. Louis. Even with Suriano out, some former Penn State greats are still very confident the Nittany Lions can get it done yet again this weekend.

Brackets

Update on the 125-pound weight class bracket: Nick Suriano withdrew on Wednesday with injury.

Photo By: Alex Bauer
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