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[Live Blog] 2019 NCAA Wrestling Championships

Greetings from PPG Paints Arena, Nittany Lions fans! Penn State wrestling’s quest for an eighth NCAA title in nine years is officially here. Cael Sanderson’s squad will have nine wrestlers in the field vying to hold off Ohio State, Oklahoma State, and others for the fourth consecutive year. We’ll have updates throughout this weekend’s championship on this page, including analysis, photos, tweets, and more.

Session 6

10:18 p.m. — That’s a wrap, folks. Penn State finished the 2019 NCAA Championships with seven All-Americans, five finalists, three national champions, and the overall crown.

10:08 p.m. — Bo Nickal is a champion once again, taking out Kollin Moore with a 5-1 decision.

10:05 p.m. — It’s still 2-1 at the end of the second. Nickal will start the final period down.

10:03 p.m. — Bo Nickal comes up with a takedown at the end of the period for a 2-0 lead. Kollin Moore will start the second in down position.

10 p.m. — Bo Nickal has taken the mat for his bout with No. 2 Kollin Moore of Ohio State.

9:42 p.m. — We have a one more final before Penn State finishes off its night with Bo Nickal.

9:35 p.m. — Hall couldn’t get a late takedown and fell to Valencia in the final for the second straight year.

9:33 p.m. — Valencia escapes to make it 4-3 with 44 seconds of riding time in hand. 1:20 remains in the bout.

9:31 p.m. — The call stands and Valencia rides out Hall the rest of the period to keep it 3-3 going into the final period. Valencia will start down.

9:29 p.m. — Valencia ties it 3-3 with a takedown, but Penn State is challenging it. 43 seconds left in the second period.

9:27 p.m. — Hall leads after the opening period 2-1. He begins the second period down.

9:24 p.m. — It’s Mark Hall time.

9:15 p.m. — Mekhi Lewis dethrones two-time defending champion Vincenzo Joseph for the 165-pound title, winning by 7-1 decision.

9:12 p.m. — After a scoreless first period, Lewis comes away with four near fall points early in the second period.

9:06 p.m. — Death row continues with Cenzo against No. 5 Mekhi Lewis.

8:59 p.m. — Nolf and Berger rode each other out for the final two periods to finish off the bout with Nolf champion again — 10-2 major decision.

8:54 p.m. — Nolf starts the second period down, leading Berger 8-2.

8:52 p.m. — NEAR FALL FOR NOLF! He leads 6-2 with a minute left in the first period.

8:51 p.m. — Jason Nolf grabs a takedown within the opening minute over Berger.

8:25 p.m. — We’re finally back to Penn State wrestlers after the Ashnault-Jordan bout.

7:39 p.m. — We’ve got a long layoff before the next Nittany Lion Jason Nolf takes the mat at 157.

7:14 p.m. — Cassar took Derek White right to the woodshed, oh my. He wins by 10-1 major decision for Cael Sanderson’s first heavyweight champion at Penn State.


7:10 p.m. — After a scoreless first period, White starts the second period down.

7:06 p.m. — Cassar and White are underway at heavyweight.

6:35 p.m. — The Parade of All-Americans is about to get underway. Seven Nittany Lions earned All-American honors this season, including the five finalists, fifth-place finisher at 141 pounds Nick Lee, and freshman 133-pounder Roman Bravo-Young.

6:25 p.m. — The show is finally here. Penn State has five in tonight’s finals, starting with the heavyweights, then going back down to 125 pounds and moving up the ranks until we hit Bo Nickal at 197 to cap off the night. Here’s the full slate in order below:

Session 5

12:52 p.m. — That’s it for Session 5 for the Nittany Lions. They’ll be back Saturday night with five finalists.

12:45 p.m. — Nick Lee started the second period in the down position and reversed to take home fifth place with a pin against Mitch McKee.


12:42 p.m. — Lee jumps out quickly with a pair of takedowns for a 4-1 lead and a minute of riding time with 45 seconds left in the first period.

12:40 p.m. — Live on Mat 1: No. 3 Nick Lee vs. No. No. 7 Mitch McKee of Minnesota



12:38 p.m. — Minnesota’s Ethan Lizak rides out Roman Bravo-Young in the third period to earn seventh place with an 8-5 decision.

12:36 p.m. — Bravo-Young can’t escape within the first minute of the third period and still trails by three, while Lizak has 1:59 of riding time in hand.

12:34 p.m. — After a hectic first period, the second was scoreless. Bravo-Young will start the third period down, trailing 7-4.

12:32 p.m. — Lizak leads 7-4 at the end of the first period. They’ll start the second in neutral.

12:28 p.m. — Live on Mat 3:
No. 10 Roman Bravo-Young vs. No. 6 Ethan Lizak of Minnesota.


12:18 p.m. — It’s placement match time against a pair of Golden Gophers:

Mat 3: Roman Bravo-Young is on deck wrestling for seventh at 133 against Ethan Lizak.

Mat 1: Nick Lee is in the hole wrestling for fifth at 141 against Mitch McKee.


11:26 a.m. — Nick Lee rallied in the final period — coming within a takedown of tying the score after trailing 9-5 early in the third period, but a late takedown from Demas sealed his fate with the Sooner taking the bout 13-9. Lee will head to the fifth place bout.

11:22 a.m. — Demas has four takedowns to Lee’s none, but he trails just 8-5 thanks to a handful of escapes and a locked hands call against the Oklahoma star.

11:19 a.m. — Demas grabbed two takedowns for a 4-2 lead after the first. Nick Lee starts the second down.

11:14 a.m. — Nick Lee vs. Dom Demas is live on Mat 2. The session is airing on ESPNU and there’s a single mat stream here:

11:07 a.m. — Third-seeded Nick Lee will be up on Mat 2 following the Rivera-Glory bout.

11 a.m. — Good morning, Penn State fans! We’ve got two Nittany Lions competing in this session’s medal round before Saturday night’s finals. Coming up shortly, Nick Lee will take on Oklahoma’s No. 9 Dom Demas in the wrestlebacks semifinals.

Session 4


10:49 p.m. — The call stands! It’s 3-3, but Cassar has 1:01 in riding time, enough for the point, with 42 seconds to go.

10:47 p.m. — Steveson escaped but not before Cassar secured riding time. Minnesota is challenging the time of the escape.

10:46 p.m. — CASSAR WITH THE TAKEDOWN! He leads 3-2 with 1:30 to go in the third period.

10:43 p.m. — Steveson leads 1-0 after a stalling call in the first period. He starts down in the second.

10:38 p.m. — It’s a Big Ten heavyweight title bout rematch. Anthony Cassar and Gable Steveson are live on Mat 2.


10:26 p.m. — Nickal finally let him loose, then got another takedown to finish the first period up 4-1.

10:24 p.m. — Nickal got a quick takedown and refused to let go, racking up more than a minute of riding time with 1:20 left in the first period.

10:22 p.m. — Bo Nickal is about to take on Patrick Brucki of Princeton in the 197 semifinals on Mat 1.

10:05 p.m. — Meanwhile in the wrestlebacks, Roman Bravo-Young dropped a 10-0 major decision to John Erneste of Missouri. He’ll wrestle for seventh Saturday morning.

9:59 p.m. — After a quick escape in his down position start, Mark Hall rides out Amine for 30 seconds to grab the overtime win and advance to the final!

9:56 p.m. — We’re heading to sudden victory.

9:55 p.m. — Hall escaped in 13 seconds. It’s tied 1-1 with a minute to go.

9:54 p.m. — Hall will start the final period in the down position, trailing 1-0 with 37 seconds of riding time.

9:51 p.m. — Hall was aggressive, but we’re scoreless after the opening period. Amine will start the second period down.

9:48 p.m. — Mark Hall vs. Michigan’s Myles Amine is live on Mat 1.

9:41 p.m. — Joseph holds off Shields down the stretch to advance with a 3-2 decision.

9:38 p.m. — Shields gets an escape to make it 3-2 with 1:30 left in the final period.

9:37 p.m. — Joseph finally escapes midway through the second period to take a 3-1 lead.

9:33 p.m. — Joseph jumps out to an early lead of this all-Pittsburgh semifinal with a takedown in the opening 30 seconds.

9:32 p.m. — Vincenzo Joseph has taken Mat 2 against No. 3 Joshua Shields of Arizona State.

9:22 p.m. — The Penn State senior narrowly advances to the 157-pound final with a 3-2 decision.

9:21 p.m. — Oh my gourd that was almost a disaster for Nolf. He held off Hidlay in the final seconds of what surely looked like it was going to be a last-second takedown.

9:18 p.m. — Nolf leads 3-2 with a minute to go in the final period.

9:16 p.m. — Nolf gets an escape, then gets his first takedown. He leads 3-1 midway through the second period.

9:15 p.m. — After review, the call is reversed. We’re scoreless heading into the second starting with Nolf down.

9:12 p.m. — Hayden Hidlay jumps on top with a takedown before the end of the first period. It’s under review.

9:09 p.m. — We’re underway with Nolf-Hidlay!

9:07 p.m. — The opponent for Nolf: NC State’s No. 5 Hayden Hidlay, who the Penn State sophomore defeated in last year’s 157-pound NCAA title bout.

9:03 p.m. — Jason Nolf’s in the tunnel. It’s almost go time on Mat 1.

8:46 p.m. — Despite a stalling penalty, McKenna takes down Nick Lee thanks to a riding time point, 4-3.

8:44 p.m. — McKenna gets a huge takedown to go up 3-1 with a minute to go in the final period.

8:42 p.m. — Lee gets an escape after 1:05 of riding time is racked up by McKenna.

8:40 p.m. — It’s deadlocked at 0-0 after an uneventful first period. Lee starts the second down.

8:37 p.m. — Nick Lee’s showdown with No. 2 Joey McKenna of Ohio State in the 141 semifinals has begun.

8:28 p.m. — Nick Lee is up next on Mat 2 in Penn State’s first semifinal of the night.

8:26 p.m. — The call stands! Bravo-Young advances in the wrestlebacks with a 4-3 decision.

8:25 p.m. — Bravo-Young holds off Phillippi for a 4-3 decision, but there’s a challenge block from Pitt on the mat.

8:23 p.m. — Bravo-Young grabs a pair of takedowns in the second to hold a 4-3 lead.

8:19 p.m. — Phillippi gets the opening score off an escape in the second after a scoreless first period.

8:16 p.m. — Roman Bravo-Young’s taken Mat 3 against Pitt’s Phillippi.

7:53 p.m. — Alongside the semifinals, we’ve got the blood round. Penn State’s lone wrestler without All-American status who hasn’t yet been eliminated is Roman Bravo-Young. He’ll open the session for the Nittany Lions on Mat 3 against Pitt’s fourth-seeded Micky Phillippi.

7:50 p.m. — Welcome to Semifinal Friday, Penn State fans! Here’s Penn State’s main draw slate:

Session 3

3:14 p.m. — Session three wraps up with the Nittany Lions plowing ahead.

2:49 p.m. — Shakur Rasheed’s NCAA Championships end at the hands of Dakota Geer after a late takedown to win it by a 4-2 decision.

2:46 p.m. — Rasheed earned a reversal to start the third, but Geer escaped to tie it 2-2. Riding time isn’t a factor.

2:45 p.m. — Rasheed starts the third period in the down position, trailing Geer 1-0.

2:42 p.m. — Rasheed and Geer are scoreless through the opening period. Geer will start the second down.

2:37 p.m. — Because apparently Penn State Lives on Mat 7, Shakur Rasheed will wrap up the session on that mat for the Nittany Lions against No. 26 Dakota Geer of Oklahoma State.

2:28 p.m. — Berge’s NCAA Championships end with 4-2 sudden victory loss to Thomas Thorn.

2:26 p.m. — Just kidding. Berge started in neutral. It’s 2-2 midway through the third.

2:25 p.m. — Berge is all knotted up 2-2 with No. 20 Thomas Thorn of Minnesota midway through the second. The Penn State freshman will start the final period down.

2:20 p.m. — Now it’s Brady Berge time on Mat 7!

2:19 p.m. — Bravo-Young advances in the consolation! He survived a few late attempts from No. 15 Ben Thornton to hold on for a 3-1 decision.

2:15 p.m. — Bravo-Young still leads 2-1 after two. He starts the final period down.

2:14 p.m. — The Penn State freshman has 1:09 of riding time in hand with his 2-1 lead midway through the second period.

2:13 p.m. — Bravo-Young leads 2-0 after the first period. Thornton will start down.

2:10 p.m. — Roman Bravo-Young is back on Mat 7 for the wrestlebacks against Ben Thornton of Purdue.

1:49 p.m. — Make it six All-Americans for Penn State. Anthony Cassar rides out Trent Hillger in the third period to close out a 4-0 decision.

1:44 p.m. — Cassar escapes after 21 seconds in the second period to take a 3-0 lead.

1:41 p.m. — Anthony Cassar will close out the quarterfinals for Penn State on Mat 4 against No. 7 Trent Hillger of Wisconsin.

1:35 p.m. — Top-seeded Nickal earns his All-American status with a 14-4 major decision over No. 8 Nathan Traxler.

1:28 p.m. — Nickal leads 6-2 after the opening period. He’ll start the second down.

1:24 p.m. We’re back! Bo Nickal is on Mat 6 against Stanford’s Nathan Traxler.

1 p.m. — NCAA Championships showdown, Part 3?

12:54 p.m. — Mark Hall continues the trend of multi-time All-Americans for Penn State, earning his third consecutive trip to the semifinals with a 5-3 decision.

12:51 p.m. — Mark Hall came into the period in a 2-2 deadlock, but did more than preserve his riding time point — he gets a reversal to take a 4-2 lead with 59 seconds left in the bout.

12:49 p.m. — Lujan equalizes 2-2 on a second-period escape, but not before Mark Hall could rack his riding time up to 1:41.

12:47 p.m. — Hall earned a takedown early and held on for a minute of riding time. He leads 2-1 deep in the first period.

12:43 p.m. — Exhales… Now that you’ve had a second to calm down, Mark Hall will take on Taylor Lujan of Northern Iowa on Mat 6.

12:39 p.m. — Oh my, No. 1 seed at 165 pounds Alex Marinelli has gone down. No. 2 Vincenzo Joseph is the top seed left standing in that bracket.



12:35 p.m. — Joseph and White are deadlocked 1-1 off a pair of escapes with 1:30 left in the third period. Riding time isn’t a factor.

12:31 p.m. — Joseph just missed on a takedown and ends the first period scoreless.

12:26 p.m. — Vincenzo Joseph will be Mat 4 next against No. 7 Isaiah White of Nebraska.

12:25 p.m. — 4-0, folks,,,

12:21 p.m. — TECH FALL! Top-seeded Jason Nolf is racking up bonus points for Penn State with another easy win over No. 9 Christian Pagdilao of Arizona State

12:18 p.m. — Jason Nolf is out here racking up some near fall points to move into a 14-3 lead over Pagdilao.

12:16 p.m. — Nolf leads 8-3 after the opening frame.

12:14 p.m. — It’s 6-2, Jason Nolf, midway through the first period.

12:12 p.m. — Berge advances 6-2! Now, it’s Jason Nolf time.

12:10 p.m. — Berge’s up 3-1 with a 1:09 of riding time midway through the final period.

12:07 p.m. — Brady Berge is rolling on Mat 7 with a 2-0 lead and 57 seconds of riding time on Tejon Anthony of George Mason after the first period.

11:59 a.m. — Jason Nolf is up next on Mat 6 following the slate of 149 bouts. No. 9 Christian Pagdilao is all that stands between the three-time All-American from sealing that status once again.

11:50 a.m. — ALL-AMERICAN STATUS! Nick Lee takes out Max Murin to advance to Friday night’s semifinals.

11:48 a.m. — LEE GETS HIS TAKEDOWN. He leads 3-1 with 38 seconds left in the bout.

11:45 a.m. — Nick Lee has the lone point of the bout via escape through two periods. Murin will start the third down.

11:34 a.m. — Penn State’s first quarterfinalist Nick Lee will take Mat 3 next. The No. 3 seed will take on No. 22 Max Murin of Iowa.

11:33 a.m. — Roman Bravo-Young advances in the wrestlebacks with a 6-2 decision over Cornell’s Charles Tucker.

11:30 a.m. — Big takedown for Bravo-Young to finish off the second period and he earns another early in the third period. He has a 5-2 lead with 1:01 remaining.

11:28 a.m. — Bravo Young and Tucker finish the first period scoreless. The Penn State freshman will start the second down.

11:21 a.m. — Roman Bravo-Young will open Session 3 for the Nittany Lions in the wrestlebacks against No. 9 Charles Tucker of Cornell on Mat 2 following the Verner-McGee bout.

11:00 a.m. — We’re back for some the quarterfinals! Here’s Penn State’s main draw slate:

Session 2

9:10 p.m. — Penn State lost a team point for a control of mat area violation, presumably stemming from coaches on the mat during the Roman Bravo-Young bout. The Nittany Lions still have a 7.5 point lead with a couple wrestlebacks remaining in the second session.

8:54 p.m. — Cassar has a 4-1 lead after two periods with 1:42 in riding time. He’ll start the final period down.

8:48 p.m. — Anthony Cassar will cap off the session for Penn State on Mat 2 against Utah Valley’s Tanner Orndorff.

8:37 p.m. — Meanwhile, let’s check in on Bo Nickal:

8:31 p.m. — Shakur Rasheed’s title run has come to a premature end with an 8-5 decision in favor of UNC’s Chip Ness.

8:26 p.m. — Mark Hall plows through the final period for an 8-3 decision to advance to the quarterfinals.

8:25 p.m. — Shakur Rasheed has jumped out to a 2-1 lead over Chip Ness of UNC after the first period. The Tar Heel will start down.

8:21 p.m. — Mark Hall leads 3-0 early in the second period after an escape on the down start. Shakur Rasheed is about to take on Chip Ness of North Carolina on Mat 3.

8:19 p.m. — Joseph caps finishes off Flynn with an 8-4 decision.

8:16 p.m. — Joseph scored a takedown to lead 5-0 heading into the final period.

8:13 p.m. — Vincenzo Joseph leads Connor Flynn of Missouri 2-0 after the opening period. The Nittany Lion will start the second period down.

8:10 p.m. — Nick Lee is also into the quarterfinals.

8:04 p.m. — We’ve got a pair of bouts coming up in the next 10-15 minutes:

Mat 5: No. 2 Vincenzo Joseph vs. No. 15 Connor Flynn of Missouri

Mat 6: No. 1 Mark Hall vs. No. 16 Brandon Womack of Cornell

8:01 p.m. — Surprise, surprise: Nolf earns bonus points again. He wins via tech fall to move into the quarters.

7:57 p.m. — Jason Nolf is on Mat 5 against the Rutgers 157-pounder John Van Brill. Penn State’s two-time national champion leads 13-3 after two periods.

7:55 p.m. — Berge bows out 8-2 against Princeton’s Matt Kolodzik.

7:52 p.m. — Things aren’t looking good for Berge. He trails 5-1 after two periods and Kolodzik holds 1:26 in riding time. The Nittany Lion will start down.

7:48 p.m. — Brady Berge is on Mat 8 against fifth-seeded Matt Kolodzik. The Princeton man leads 2-1 in the first.

7:47 p.m. — While Bravo-Young was in a tight match, Nick Lee picked up his second pin of the competition to advance to the quarterfinals.

7:46 p.m. — Bravo-Young falls 5-2 to DeSanto.

7:41 p.m. — Trailing 3-2 in the third, Bravo-Young went into the scorer’s table and needed a concussion evaluation. He nearly had a takedown, and Penn State is challenging the call.

7:31 p.m. — Bravo-Young is on Mat 4 now for his showdown with the higher-seeded Hawkeye.

7:21 p.m. — Nick Lee will also be in the hole on Mat 3.

7:14 p.m. — Bravo-Young will be on Mat 4 following these next two bouts.

7 p.m. — We’re back for Session 2. All nine Nittany Lions advanced to the second round and we’ll start with Roman Bravo-Young against seventh-seeded Austin DeSanto. Here’s the full slate:

Session 1

3:31 p.m. — Session 1 is in the books:


3:17 p.m. — Cassar is live on Mat 8 to cap off the session.

3:11 p.m. — Cassar is on deck on Mat 8.

2:50 p.m. — Penn State has one more bout remaining in Session 1: No. 2 Anthony Cassar vs. No. 31 Antonio Pelusi of Franklin and Marshall. There’s no mat assignment yet.

2:46 p.m. — Shakur Rasheed moves Penn State to 8-0 on the day with his 11-2 win over Princeton’s Kevin Parker.

2:42 p.m. — Bo Nickal took the mat after Shakur Rasheed, but he’s in the first period. Rasheed leads 8-2 with more than three minutes of riding time deep in the second period.

2:38 p.m. — Both Rasheed and Nickal are live.

2:30 p.m. — The Nittany Lions have been cooking through their first round bouts, which is leading to some of these long layoffs. But we’re about to be back with Shakur Rasheed against Princeton’s Kevin Parker on mat 6 and Bo Nickal vs. Rider’s Ethan Laird on mat 7.

2:06 p.m. — Vincenzo Joseph makes quick work with Penn State’s third pin of the session, while Mark Hall is up 5-0 with more than three minutes of riding in the second period of his bout against UNC’s Devin Kane.

1:53 p.m. — We’re finally back with Vincenzo Joseph on deck on mat 3. The two-seed will take on Clarion’s Evan Delong.

1:45 p.m. — Jason Nolf will get a rematch Thursday night in the second round with the Scarlet Knights’ John Van Brill. Yes, that John Van Brill.

1:30 p.m. — We had classes this morning so just getting to the arena (student media outlets, am I right?), but while we were away Brady Berge earned a 6-3 win and Jason Nolf pinned Benjamin Anderson in 43 seconds.

1:05 p.m. — Brady Berge and Fresno State’s Khristian Olivas will be next on mat 2 at 149 pounds.


12:57 p.m. — Lee jumps out immediately to a 4-1 lead with more than 1:30 in riding time after the first period.

12:54 p.m. — Nick Lee battles Purdue’s Nate Limmex at 141 next on mat 8.

12:52 p.m. — Roman Bravo-Young ADVANCES 8-2 over Mario Guillen at 133 thanks to a couple near fall points in the third.

12:50 p.m. — Bravo-Young scored on a takedown in the final minute and rode out for the 4-2 lead with 32 seconds in riding time. Guillen starts neutral.

12:48 p.m. — Bravo-Young started down and earned the first point off the escape to begin the second period.

12:47 p.m. — Bravo-Young and Guillen are scoreless after the opening period.

12:45 p.m. — Roman Bravo-Young is on the mat for the opening bout for Penn State.

12:30 p.m. — Looks like we’ll finally get some Penn State wrestling soon. Bravo-Young will take on Ohio’s Mario Guillen at 133 pounds on Mat 8.

12 p.m. — Roman Bravo-Young will be first up for the Nittany Lions, but he doesn’t have a mat assignment yet.

11:45 p.m. — Folks, it’s go time. Here are Penn State’s matchups for the opening session:

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About the Author

Steve Connelly

Unfortunately, former editor Steve Connelly has graduated. Where is he now? He might be doing something related to that PR degree he got in 2019. Maybe he finally opened that sports bar named after one of his photos, the Blurry Zamboni. Or he might just be eating chicken tenders and couch surfing. Anything’s possible. If you really want to know that bad, follow him on Twitter @slc2o.


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