NCAA Wrestling Championships

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The weekend of March 21 – 23 was by far my favorite and the most unpredictable. There were many upsets that I wasn’t expecting and I feel that many others did not either. The one thing everyone was expecting was Penn State winning another national team title. They clinched it mathematically Saturday morning before finals even started.

I will now talk about each individual weight class and the results:

125 pounds: Spencer Lee won his second consecutive national title and is currently on route for four straight; that only a select few has done before. He defeated Jack Mueller of Virginia. Mueller was on fire throughout the tournament and defeated some top wrestlers, those being: Michael McGee (ODU), Ronnie Bresser (ORST), and Sebastian Rivera (NW). Rivera was the first seed in the tournament and beat Spencer Lee the only two times they met. “Seabass” was the only person that could beat Lee and he was taken out by a wrestler that no one thought about; the score was 8-2. That was one of the upsets that no one thought was going to happen.

133 pounds: Nick Suriano made school history as the first Scarlet Knight to win a national championship in the sport of wrestling. He won over the first seed Daton Fix of Oklahoma State. Fix beat him in the regular season in overtime to a controversial call, hands-to-the-face. John Smith was trying to get another hands-to-the-face call and pulling on the headgear in the final but it didn’t work out for him and Fix this time. Suriano ultimately winning 4-2 in SV-2. Not to mention that Suriano beat Stevan Micic in the semis 4-1 to advance to the finals, another great wrestler.

141 pounds: Yianni Diakomihalis also won his second consecutive title and had a great tournament. On his way to a finals victory, he defeated the following wrestlers: Pete Lipari (RUT), Chad Red (NEB), Dom Demas (OU), Jaydin Eierman (MIZZ). In the finals match, he defeated Joey McKenna of Ohio State in SV-1, 6-4.

149 pounds: Anthony Ashnault was the second Scarlet Knight in school history to become a national champion, they brought back two golden trophies this year. On Ashnault’s path to victory he defeated the following: Malik Amine (MICH), Davion Jeffries (OU), Jarrett Degen (ISU), Matthew Kolodzik (PRIN). When wrestling in the finals, he defeated Micah Jordan of Ohio State with a 9-4 decision. This was a rematch of the Big Ten finals where Ashnault also came out on top.

157 pounds: Everyone knew what the outcome of this weight class was going to be; Jason Nolf coming out on top. Jason Nolf is one of the best wrestlers of my time, since I didn’t get to watch Cael Sanderson growing up; arguably one of the best collegiate wrestlers of all time. These were the “speedbumps” who were in Nolf’s way: Ben Anderson (DUKE), John Van Brill (RUT), Christian Pagdilao (ASU), Hayden Hidlay (NCST). Nolf wrestled Tyler Berger in the finals and this was a rematch from the Big Ten finals. Nolf ultimately ended up winning with a 10-2 major decision. This meant a lot to Nolf because Berger was talking some smack against Jason during the season. Nolf ended his collegiate career as a 3-time national champion and that is something to be proud of.

I will continue this article in a part two, stay tuned!

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