PSU wins national dual wrestling title
UNIVERSITY PARK — No. 1 Penn State took care of No. 2 Oklahoma State on Sunday to win the 2016 National Wrestling Coaches Association National Dual Championship Series title.
Head coach Cael Sanderson's squad took down the Cowboys 29-18 in front of yet another sold out Rec Hall crowd.
The NWCA dual crown is the third different championship won by Penn State to date this season: the team won its sixth straight Southern Scuffle title on Jan. 1-2 and a share of the 2016 Big Ten regular-season title (shared with Iowa, Penn State's third such championship). The dual was wrestled in front of 6,575 fans, the 29th straight Rec Hall sellout and the 32nd of 33, including the Bryce Jordan Center.
Three seniors wrestled in their final dual meets in Rec Hall and the dual meet began with two of them. Senior Nico Megaludis, ranked No. 4 at 125, brought the standing-room-only crowd to its feet with a pin in his final match in Rec Hall. Megaludis pinned No. 6 Eddie Klimara at the 3:58 mark to give Penn State an early 6-0 lead. Senior Jordan Conaway ranked No. 5 at 133, added to the Lion lead with a strong win in his final Rec Hall match. The New Oxford High School graduate controlled Gary Wayne Harding, rolling to an 8-4 win with 2:03 in riding time.
PSU sophomore Zain Retherford, ranked No. 1 at 149, dominated No. 12 Anthony Collica, rolling up 2:35 in riding time on his way to a 4-1 win. Red-shirt freshman Jason Nolf, ranked No. 1 at 157, sent Penn State into the intermission on a high note, hitting a standing cradle to pin Ryan Blees at the 6:32 mark in the third period.
Red-shirt freshman Bo Nickal, ranked No. 1 at 174, rolled to a 17-2 technical fall. Senior Morgan McIntosh, ranked No. 1 at 197, closed out his Rec Hall career in rousing fashion, getting a quick first-period pin (1:59) of Andrew Marsden.
PSU's 16-0 record marks the first time since 1972 that a Penn State team wrestling 10 or matches has gone through the season unblemished (no losses or ties).
Penn State's three starting seniors head to their final postseason with outstanding career marks. Conaway is 83-27, Megaludis is 111-18 and McIntosh is 106-18. Each of the senior trio has already earned All-America honors (Conaway once, McIntosh twice, Megaludis three times).
Penn State will head to Iowa City, Iowa, for the 2016 Big Ten Wrestling Championships at the University of Iowa on March 5-6.
No. 1 Penn State 29, No. 2 Oklahoma State 18
Sunday at Rec Hall, University Park.
125: #4 Nico Megaludis PSU pinned #6 Eddie Klimara OSU, WBF (3:58) / 6-0
133: #5 Jordan Conaway PSU dec. Gary Wayne Harding OSU, 8-4 / 9-0
141: #1 Dean Heil OSU dec. Jimmy Gulibon PSU, 9-5 / 9-3
149: #1 Zain Retherford PSU dec. #12 Anthony Collica OSU, 4-1 / 12-3
157: #1 Jason Nolf PSU pinned Ryan Blees OSU, WBF (6:32) / 18-3
165: #1 Alex Dieringer OSU tech fall Geno Morelli PSU, 17-2 (TF; 4:36) / 18-8
174: #1 Bo Nickal PSU tech fall Heston Lamons OSU, 17-2 (TF; 4:39) / 23-8
184: #13 Nolan Boyd OSU inj. def. #6 Matt McCutcheon PSU, (3:38) / 23-14
197: #1 Morgan McIntosh PSU pinned Andrew Marsden OSU, WBF (1:59) / 29-14
285: #5 Austin Marsden OSU maj. dec. Jan Johnson PSU, 18-6 / 28-18