Three Former Penn State Wrestlers Qualify For World Championship Team
Former Penn State wrestlers Nick Lee, Zain Retherford, and David Taylor took home Final X wins and marked their names on the World Championship team roster Saturday. Nittany Lion Wrestling Club (NLWC) members Kyle Dake and Kyle Snyder also made the team, while Jennifer Page earned a spot on the women’s team.
Each wrestler competed in a best-of-three series to try and earn a spot on the team to compete in Serbia this fall.
Lee defeated former Cornell four-time NCAA national champion Yianni Diakomihalis at 65 kilograms 7-6 and 8-8. The match started off with a one-point win before the second bout of the series had a late two-point takedown to end it all and grant Lee the victory.
Retherford did the same at 70 kilograms against Pennsylvania Regional Training member Tyler Berger and defeated his opponent 2-0, 11-2, and 4-3.
Penn State legend Taylor defeated current Penn State wrestler Aaron Brooks at 86 kilograms 6-0 and 5-4 to make the team. Brooks received a team alternate designation following his loss to Taylor.
NLWC member Kyle Dake defeated former Penn State wrestler Jason Nolf 2-0 in the 74-kilogram weight class. Dake dominated and didn’t allow Nolf to score a point with 6-0 and 3-0 wins. Nolf is now also an alternate for Team USA alongside Brooks.
Rounding it out for the NLWC, Kyle Snyder was set to compete against J’Den Cox at 97 kilograms but was put through onto the Championship team by way of a Cox forfeit.
NLWC member Thomas Gilman suffered a 2-0 series loss and Penn State wrestling alum Vincenzo Joseph forfeited early, losing their potential spots on the roster.
Altogether, six of the nine wrestlers who set out for a spot on the team from State College will represent Team USA, while three earned runner-up designations.
The World Championships will take place starting Saturday, September 10, in Belgrade, Serbia. A full list of the roster can be found on the Team USA website here.
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