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Penn State Love Stories: Meet the Penn State/Ohio State Couple Who Got Engaged Last Weekend

We’re all still talking about it; last weekend was one of the best sports moments in Penn State history. The victory against Ohio State and the madness that ensued afterward sparked memories that Penn Staters will cherish for the rest of their lives. For Kristin Bielski and Jake Nickol, the weekend was nothing short of memorable…but for slightly a different reason.

Bielski and Nickol met online in July 2015 and their chemistry was instantaneous. Bielski moved to Philadelphia after graduating from Penn State when Nickol moved there to begin his own work. However, there was immediately something funny about the budding relationship: Bielski realized she had fallen for an Ohio State grad despite being surrounded by Penn State alumni.

There are fans out there who undoubtedly can’t imagine such a connection. But for the couple, the rivalry simply adds a unique twist to their relationship. Bielski and Nickol both share a fierce love for their universities, a trait they’ve grown to admire in each other.

“In reality, we are both just happy that we met someone who understands why the other’s alma mater and college football is so important to them and their family,” Bielski said.

Hanging out and watching football is one of the pair’s favorite ways to spend time together, so they knew they couldn’t miss the opportunity to attend the ultimate showdown at Beaver Stadium last weekend. The couple luckily had the opportunity to travel to Happy Valley for the game with their families and friends. The trip kicked off with Bielski celebrating some of her favorite Penn State traditions around campus. However, little did she know something much bigger was on the way. The course of her weekend completely changed the moment Nickol got on one knee.

He proposed at the Lion Shrine because he knows how much Penn State means to me,” Bielski said. “The proposal was wonderfully overwhelming. I felt so happy to have the love of my life and best friend asking me to be his wife in the place that means so much to me.”

(Photo: Kristin
Photo By: Kristin Bielski

The weekend had already turned into one the couple would cherish forever. But there was still a major portion of it left — the game. The couple knew there could only be one winner when it came to their favorite sport.

Like many others, the couple expected a relatively quick victory for Ohio State. But when Grant Haley stunned the crowd by returning a blocked field goal for a touchdown with minutes left in the fourth quarter, Bielski was speechless.  

“The weekend would’ve been amazing regardless of the outcome of the football game,” Bielski said. “But that glorious win (and like I said, I’ve been to more than my fair share of great Penn State games in amazing locations), was the icing on the cake that made it an absolutely perfect weekend that I couldn’t even have dreamed up.”

For Nickol and the rest of the Ohio State crowd, the upset was nothing short of a nightmare. But somehow, it simply didn’t matter — Nickol had proposed to the love of his life that weekend, and it was a better victory than he could have imagined.

“[He] said that, despite the unexpected loss of his team while hosting Ohio State friends, it was still the best weekend of his life and he’s so happy it turned out perfectly for me.”

About the Author

Claire Fountas

Claire Fountas is the student life editor for Onward State, as well as a junior pursuing a double major in journalism and psychology. She lives in a suburb of Chicago and strongly disagrees with anyone who hates the Cubs or the Blackhawks (so, pretty much anyone at Penn State). You can follow her @ClaireFountas or email her at [email protected]



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