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.