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Penn State Wrestling Advances Five To NCAA Championships Semifinals

The Friday morning session of the NCAA Championships got off to a big start for Penn State wrestling, winning its first five quarterfinal bouts, before a rough finish closed out the afternoon on a down note.

Zain Retherford, Jason Nolf, Vincenzo Joseph, Mark Hall, and Bo Nickal all advanced to the semifinals with wins, while Shakur Rasheed and Nick Nevills each lost leads off of reversals during the third period.

Penn State sits in second place with 67 points behind Ohio State’s 80.5-point total.

Corey Keener was eliminated from the tournament after he was pinned by Rico Montoya of Northern Colorado. He finishes his weekend with a 1-2 record and his college career as a four-time NCAA qualifier with a 72-47 record.

Nick Lee advanced in the 141 lb. wrestle backs with a 5-0 win over No. 10 Mason Smith of Central Michigan and a 13-5 major decision over No. 16 Cole Weaver of Indiana.

Once semifinal action began for Penn State, Zain Retherford picked up his second technical fall of the weekend with a 20-2 win over No. 8 Boo Lewallan of Oklahoma State.

The 157 lb. quarterfinal pitted third-seeded Jason Nolf against sixth-seeded Michael Kemerer of Iowa in what many had believed would be the weight class’s final for most of the season. Nolf led Kemerer 2-1 after the first period but used an escape, takedown, and third period rideout to win 6-2.

Vincenzo Joseph followed Nolf with a 4-2 sudden victory over No. 11 Isaiah White of Nebraska. Joseph led White 2-1 in the third period, before the Cornhusker escaped to force sudden victory. Joseph managed to advance and avoid the upset by scoring a takedown.

At 174 lbs., Mark Hall took down No. 7 Taylor Lujan of Northern Iowa and scored two near-fall points against him in the first period. He took a 4-1 lead into the second period and held on for a 6-2 win.

Bo Nickal met Max Dean of Cornell, the younger brother of Gabe Dean who Nickal memorably took down in last year’s NCAA Finals, in the 184 lb. quarterfinal. Nickal took Dean down five times and outpaced the Big Red freshman in a 13-7 win.

After Nickal’s win, Penn State’s luck began to turn. In a four-versus-five matchup at 197 lbs., Shakur Rasheed took a 3-1 lead over NC State’s Michael Macchiavell0 into the third period. Macchiavello reversed Rasheed to tie the score at three, before the Nittany Lion managed to escape with 40 seconds to wrestle. Macchiavello however scored a clutch takedown to top Rasheed 5-3.

Nick Nevills also brought a narrow lead into the third period at 285 lbs. Oregon State’s Amar Dhesi. Desi scored two points off of locked-hands calls against Nevills and reversed him to take a 4-1 lead. Nevills managed to escape to cut the deficit to 4-2, which was the final score.

Wrestling resumes at 8 p.m.

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About the Author

Anthony Colucci

Anthony Colucci was once Onward State’s managing editor and preferred walk-on honors student who majored in psychology and public relations. Despite being from the make-believe land of Central Jersey, he was never a Rutgers fan. If you ever want to know how good Saquon Barkley's ball security is, ask Anthony what happened when he tried to force a fumble at the Mifflin Streak. If you want to hear the story or are bored and want to share prequel memes, follow @_anthonycolucci on Twitter or email him at [email protected] All other requests and complaints should be directed to Onward State media contact emeritus Steve Connelly.

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