The World Team Trials Challenge Tournament took place this weekend in Raleigh, NC. In this tournament, the top wrestlers in the U.S. competed for a spot in the Final X later this summer. The winners of the Final X will represent the U.S. at the 2019 World Championships.
Zain Retherford (65 kg) scored two 7-6 victories over former 2X NCAA Champion and multiple time U.S. National team member Jordan Oliver to win the best of three finals at the World Team Trials Tournament. On his was to the finals Zain defeated former NCAA Champ Dean Heil by technical fall and earned a hard fought victory over former Olympian and teammate Frank Molinaro.
Bo Nickal (92 kg) had a bye to the best of three finals after his U.S. Open Title last month. Bo defeated NCAA Champion Michael Macchiavello by scores of 10-0 and 5-0 to win the title.
Ben Provisor (87 kg) dominated in three straight matches to win the Greco-Roman Challenge Tournament and then defeated Patrick Martinez by scores of 1-1 criteria and 3-1 to win the best of three finals.
Several Other NLWC Wrestlers also had Fine Performances
Competing for the first time up a weight at 74 kg, Jason Nolf won the challenge tournament before dropping the final match in the best of three series. Mason Manville, competing in Greco at 77 kg had three straight victories before losing in the best of three finals. Roman Bravo-Young (61 kg) finished second in the Junior Freestyle challenge tournament while Mark Hall (79 kg) also earned a silver. Josh Rodriguez (57 kg) and Riley Lefever (92 kg) both earned third place with Josh defeating 2019 NCAA runner-up Jack Mueller, 11-8, and Riley tech falling 2019 NCAA runner-up Kollin Moore in their bronze medal matches. Jarod Verkleeren, Geno Morelli (79 kg) and Nick Nevills (125 kg) wrestled but fell short of placing.
Former NLWC wrestlers Nico Megaludis, Frank Molinaro, and Dan Vallimont also competed. Both Nico and Frank had outstanding tournaments, finishing true 2nd in their weight classes.
NLWC wrestlers Mark Hall (79 kg) and Nick Nevills (125 kg) won the Last Chance World Team Trials Qualifier yesterday and are now qualified to compete at the U.S. World Team Trials Challenge Tournament in Raleigh, NC.
On his way to gold, Mark scored four straight technical falls by 10-0 scores, not giving up a single point in the tournament. Nick scored three straight technical falls to win the the title.
Mark and Nick now join a large group of NLWC wrestlers who will be competing at the World Team Trials Challenge Tournament, May 16-19.
Pictured above L-R
Nick Nevills, Eric Thompson, Mark McKnight, & Mark Hall
Nittany Lion Wrestling Club Olympic Regional Training Center and Penn State Wrestling Coach Casey Cunningham was recently announced as the winner of the prestigious 2018 Terry McCann Award as USA Wrestling Freestyle Coach of the Year. The NLWC would like to thank Coach Cunningham for all of the time and effort he has put into developing the Club's wrestlers. He has been instrumental in the development of the many, many NLWC wrestlers who have enjoyed tremendous success at both the National and International levels
The NLWC came away from the U.S. Open National Championships in Las Vegas this past weekend with one gold medalist, two silver medalists, three bronze medalists, two fifth place finishers, and one sixth place finisher. Club wrestlers suffered some very close, heart-breaking losses in the semifinals and finals, but overall, it was an outstanding showing!
Bo Nickal Wins Gold in Senior Freestyle
In his first competition since winning a 3rd NCAA Championship in March, Bo Nickal (92 kg) had an outstanding tournament, winning five straight matches to capture the gold. In the semi-finals, Bo defeated the 2018 197 lb. NCAA Champion, Mike Macchiavello (TMWC/Wolfpack WC) 14-4, and in the finals, he defeated 2018 U.S. World Team Trials finalist Hayden Zillmer (Minnesota Storm) 13-3. This performance gives Bo a bye into the finals of the 2019 World Team Trials Challenge Tournament. Congratulations Bo!!
Bringing Home Silver were Roman Bravo-Young in Junior Freestyle and Zain Retherford in Senior Freestyle
Roman Bravo Young (61kg) dominated in five straight wins, including a 12-1 decision in the semi-finals over 2018 NCAA All-American Pat Glory (NJRTC). Roman was winning 4-2 in a tough final's match before getting caught on his back in a scramble and pinned by Gabriel Tagg.
In what was probably the deepest and toughest weight class in the tournament, Zain Retherford (65 kg) had five straight dominating wins on his way to the finals. In a great match between two outstanding competitors, Zain led Yianni Diakomihalis 4-2 late in the match before giving up a couple scores and dropping a close 6-4 decision.
Jason Nolf Earns Bronze in Senior Freestyle while Mason Manville and Ben Provisor Earn Bronze in Senior Greco-Roman
Jason Nolf (70 kg) went 6-1 on the weekend with his only loss being a 6-6 criteria decision to 2X World Medalist James Green in the semi-finals. Both Mason Manville and Ben Provisor had fine tournaments on their way to bronze medals. Both lost in hard-fought matches in the semis but dominated in their other matches during the tournament.
Geno Morelli, Jarod Verkleeren, and Riley Lefever all placed to Qualify for the 2019 World Team Trials
Geno Morelli (79 kg) has been training at the NLWC's RTC while he works on his MBA at Penn State. The former top college wrestler had an outstanding tournament, finishing in 5th place in the Senior Freestyle. Jarod Verkleeren (67 kg) also had a fine tournament, finishing in 5th place in the Senior Greco-Roman division, while Riley Lefever (92 kg) who missed the entire 2018 season due to injury, continued his comeback and earned a 6th place finish in the Senior Freestyle Tournament.
BY TIM FOLEY, UWW | JAN. 01, 2019, 12:50 P.M. (ET)
CORSIER-SUR-VEVEY, Switzerland (January 1) - With the 2018 wrestling season officially at a close, United World Wrestling has awarded "Best Wrestler of the Year" honors to David TAYLOR (USA) for freestyle, Petra OLLI (FIN) for women's wrestling, and Peter BACSI (HUN) for Greco-Roman.
The award was based on the number of ranking points each of the wrestlers attained over the course of the 2018 season. A majority of points were earned at the world and continental championships, with additional points earned at a number of style-specific Ranking Series tournaments around the world.
For their efforts, Taylor, Olli and Bacsi each received a 10,000 CHF prize from United World Wrestling.
Taylor, the 86kg world champion in freestyle finished the season with 112 total ranking points. In addition to his world title Taylor took gold at 2018 Senior Pan-American championships, the Ivan Yariguin (Ranking Event), and the Yasar Dogu (Ranking Event). Taylor didn't lose a match all season.
"I'm really grateful for the opportunity to compete for the USA and represent the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club," said Taylor. "I wouldn't have been able to reach this point without my coaches, training partners, and the treigning lab. I'm honored to be the wrestler of the year and look forward to 2019!"
Nittany Lion Wrestling Club Resident Athlete David Taylor (86 kg/189 lbs.) scored pins in all four matches to win a gold medal at the Yasar Dogu International in Istanbul, Turkey this weekend. This was a pre-World Championships ranking tournament, and David set himself up for a high seed at the upcoming World Championships in October.
In his first match, David pinned Azamat Dauletbekov of Kazakhstan in 4:37; in his second match, he pinned 2017 World silver medalist Boris Makoev of Slovakia in 3:50; in the semi-finals, it was a pin in 4:05 over Ahmet Bilici of Turkey; and in the finals, he decked 2017 European silver medalist Murad Suleymanov of Azerbaijan in 1:22.
On Saturday in Penn State's Rec Hall, NLWC Resident Athlete David Taylor defeated North Carolina State star Nick Reenan in two straight matches at 86kg to win a spot on the U.S. World Team. David dominated, winning by technical fall in both matches, 13-2 and 10-0.
Rec Hall was full of Penn State and Nittany Lion Wrestling Club fans, and it was a great atmosphere. Thanks for the tremendous support of the NLWC and David!
David will be competing for team U.S.A. at the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, October 20-28.
World Team Trials Challenge Tournament in Rochester, Minnesota
Resident Athlete Nico Megaludis (61 kg) earned a silver medal at the World Team Trials Challenge Tournament. Nico earned a win over Tyler Graff in the semifinals but dropped two matches in the best-of-three finals to Nahshon Garrett. Regional Training Center Coach Jake Varner (125 kg) was upset in the semifinals by former Minnesota National Champion Tony Nelson, but wrestled back with wins over Tanner Hall and Dom Bradley to earn the bronze.
Beat the Streets in New York City
Resident Athlete Josh Rodriguez (57 kg) lost a 5-2 decision in the annual Beat the Streets dual meet in New York City. Josh faced U23 World Champion Reineri Andreeu Ortega of Cuba in the dual.
U.S. Junior World Team Trials
Collegian Brady Berge (70 kg), wrestling under the NLWC banner, had a tremendous weekend and earned a spot on the 2018 U.S. Junior Freestyle World Team. Brady won three straight matches to win the challenge tournament and face Austin O'Connor in the final best-of-three series. Brady won the first match, 7-4, lost by technical fall in the second match, and scored a 6-2 victory in the third match to win the World Team spot. Congratulations Brady!!!
Nick Lee (65 kg) won three straight matches over top opponents to make the finals of the challenge tournament where he lost to Andrew Alirez.
Jarod Verkleeren (65 kg) lost his first match, 2-2 criteria to Sammy Sasso. Jarod then won six straight matches to wrestle back and place third in the challenge tournament. In the match for the bronze, Jarod faced Sasso again and scored a 15-4 victory in the rematch.
Congratulations to all of the NLWC Wrestlers on fine performances!
From the desk of the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club
The NLWC had an outstanding weekend with three wrestlers winning Gold Medals at the Pan American Championships in Lima, Peru!
One week after capturing a U.S. Open National Championship, Resident Athlete Ben Provisor (87 kg/192 lbs.) won a Bronze Medal in the Greco-Roman Championships. Ben had three wins on his way to the bronze. Ben was not expecting to compete in freestyle also, but after the U.S. team's J'den Cox became sick, Ben moved up to 92 kg (202 lbs.) and competed in the freestyle tournament. In an impressive performance, he then tech his way through the freestyle bracket to capture the Gold Medal.
Resident Athlete David Taylor (86 kg/189 lbs.) continued his winning ways by scoring four straight victories to capture the Gold Medal. In the finals, David knocked of two-time champion Yudenny Torreblanca of Cuba, 3-2. In the World Freestyle Rankings recently released by United World Wrestling, David is currently ranked 2nd in the World at 86 kg/189 lbs.)
Collegiate wrestler Mark Hall also competed under the NLWC banner for team U.S.A. at the Pan American Freestyle Championships. Mark dominated the competition to win a Gold Medal at 79 kg/174 lbs.
Congratulations to all three NLWC Wrestlers on outstanding performances at the Pan American Championships!
From the desk of the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club
The NLWC had two gold medalists, two silver medalists, and one bronze medalist at the U.S. Open National Championships in Las Vegas this past weekend. It was an outstanding showing by the Club wrestlers!
Ben Provisor Wins Gold
At 87 kg/191.5 lbs., NLWC Resident Athlete Ben Provisor, already a 2X Olympian and 2017 World Team member, won his third U.S. Open National Championship. In the finals, Ben fell behind Joe Rau (Minnesota Storm) 0-6 before fighting back to take a 14-10 victory. On his way to the finals Ben scored wins over Austin Chaon (NMU-OTS), 10-1, Robert Hammers, 8-0, and Kevin Radford (Sunkist Kids), 8-1.
David Taylor Wins Gold
At 86 kg/189 lbs., NLWC Resident Athlete David Taylor continued his domination of this weight class. In the gold medal match, David defeated Richard Perry (New York AC/Penn RTC), 8-0 to capture his third U.S. Open title. On his way to the finals, David scored wins over Evan Hanson (Viking Wrestling Club), 10-0, Austin Coburn (Predator), 10-0, Noe Garcia (Roadrunner WC), 2-0, and Timothy Dudley (Sunkist Kids), 12-2.
Jake Varner Earns Silver and Nico Megaludis Bronze
In his first competition in several years, NLWC Coach Jake Varner made an impressive showing earning a Silver Medal 125 kg/275 lbs. Despite a significant size difference, Jake lost a close 1-3 decision to Adam Coon (NYAC/MWC) in the finals. Jake scored four straight wins to earn the spot in the finals.
In one of the tournament's deepest and toughest weight classes at 61 kg/134 lbs, NLWC Resident Athlete Nico Megaludis had a fine performance. In the bronze medal match, Nico defeated Tyler Graff (TMWC), 10-0. Nico's only loss was a 2-5 decision to eventual champion, Joe Colon (TMWC). Nico had five other victories in his performance, knocking off several top competitors.
At 57 kg/125.5 lbs., NLWC Resident Athlete Josh Rodriquez opened his tournament with two wins before dropping a 1-2 decision to eventual champion Tony Ramos (Sunkist Kids). Josh dropped his next match to fall short of placing.
College Athletes Competing under the NLWC Banner
Brady Berge, competing at 70 kg/154 lbs., had an incredible tournament earning a silver medal in the UWW Junior freestyle division. Although Brady dropped a 2-2 decision in the finals, he scored four technical falls and 8-0 shutout on his way to the championship bout. Jarod Verkleeren also in the UWW Junior freestyle division had several good wins at 70 kg/154 lbs. but fell short of placing. Luke Gardner, competing at 70 kg/154 lbs. in the senior division, lost his first match to eventual champion Jason Chamberlain (Titan Mercury WC), won his second match, but dropped his third bout.
Regional Training Center Competition
The Nittany Lion Wrestling Club finished as the Regional Training Center Cup runner-up in the tournament's Regional Olympic Training Center competition.
Congratulations to all of the NLWC Wrestlers and Coaches on an outstanding performance!