Buckeyes standing in Lions’ way of title

MINNEAPOLIS — As expected, Penn State is going to have earn the team championship at the 2019 Big Ten Wrestling Championships and it’s going to have to hold off two-time defending champion Ohio State to do it.

The Nittany Lions sit in first place in the team race with 131 team points, six finalists and three still alive in the consolation bracket. The Buckeyes have 112.5 points, six finalists and three more alive in the consolations.

“I think overall the team wrestled fine. I think we wrestled pretty well. Lots of tough matches, lots of tight matches. The conference is loaded. Some of the matches you’re seeing in the semifinals, could be matches you see in the nationals, in the semifinals or the national championship,” Penn State coach Cael Sanderson said. “We wrestled fine. Obviously we have to finish strong tomorrow.”

Jason Nolf (157), Vincenzo Joseph (165), Mark Hall (174), Shakur Rasheed (184), Bo Nickal (197) and Anthony Cassar (285) all advanced to the finals of their respective weights.

Nick Lee (141) and Brady Berge (149) both lost in the semifinals. Roman Bravo-Young bounced back from a quarterfinal loss with two consolation wins and is still alive.

Devin Schnupp (125) lost his first two bouts to get knocked into a mini-tournament to determine the ninth qualifier at 125. He then lost that match and was eliminated.

Nolf had a bye and a fall in 2:14 before surviving a 7-1 decision against Michigan’s Alex Pantaleo in the semifinals. Nolf faces Nebraska’s Tyler Berger in the finals.

Joseph had a bye and a 21-6 technical fall to advance to the semifinals. Against Michigan’s Logan Massa, Joseph was winning 3-2 late when he scored a takedown and turned Massa in the process, tightening his grip and scoring a fall in 6:41. He meets Iowa’s Alex Marinelli in the finals.

Hall, too, had a bye and a fall before facing unanticipated resistance from surprise semifinalist Devin Skatzka of Minnesota. Hall hung on for a 4-2 decision. He will meet Michigan’s Myles Amine, who always seems to give him fits, in the final.

Rasheed lived up to what some considered a surprising second seed. After a bye and a fall, he was cruising past Nebraska’s Tyler Venz 5-3 when Venz took him down and locked up a cradle. Rasheed broke the lock and won, 6-5, on the strength of a riding time point. He will meet Ohio State’s Myles Martin in the final.

Nickal wasn’t tested in his march to the finals. He had a bye and rolled to a 19-4 technical fall before getting a measure of revenge against Nebraska’s Eric Schultz. Schultz held Nickal to an 8-6 decision in the regular season, the only non-bonus point win for Nickal this season. Nickal this time was too talented, too slick for Schultz in a 10-2 major decision. He will face Ohio State’s Kollin Moore in the final.

Cassar posted a 12-4 major decision and then an 8-4 decision to earn his semifinals pairing with Northwestern’s Conan Jennings. Cassar thoroughly dominated the bigger man, posting a 10-2 major decision. He will meet undefeated No. 1 seed and freshman Gable Steveson of Minnesota.

Bravo-Young, Lee and Berge all face consolation semifinal matches. Each of the three could finish as high as third and no lower than sixth.

“Roman’s done a great job battling back,” Sanderson said. “He has a big day tomorrow.”

Wrestling resumes at 1 p.m. with consolation semifinal seventh- and ninth-place bouts. The championship finals, third- and fifth-place bouts will be televised live on Big Ten Network starting at 4 p.m.

Results Saturday from the 2019 Big Ten Wrestling Championships at the University of Minnesota’s Williams Arena in Minneapolis:

KEY TO TEAMS: Illinois – ILL, Indiana – IU, Iowa – I, Minnesota – MIN, Michigan – UM, Michigan State – MSU, Maryland – MD, Nebraska – NEB, Northwestern – NU, Ohio State – OSU, Penn State – PSU, Purdue – PUR, Rutgers – RUT, Wisconsin – W.

Quarterfinals

125 pounds: Sebastian Rivera, NU, won by tech. fall over Devin Schroeder, PUR, 20-4 (6:22); Rayvon Foley, MSU, dec. Travis Piotrowski, ILL, 7-3; Sean Russell, MIN, maj. dec. Drew Mattin, UM, 10-1; Spencer Lee, I, pinned Elijah Oliver, IU, 1:37.

133 pounds: Stevan Micic, UM, dec Dylan Duncan, ILL, 9-4; Luke Pletcher, OSU, dec. Roman Bravo-Young, PSU, 8-5; Nick Suriano, RUT, maj. dec. Ethan Lizak, MIN, 10-2; Austin DeSanto, I, dec. Ben Thornton, PUR, 9-3.

141 pounds: Chad Red, NEB, dec. Mike Carr, ILL, 8-4; Kanen Storr, UM, dec. Tristan Moran, W, 4-1; Joey McKenna, OSU, maj. dec. Mitch McKee, MIN, 8-0; Nick Lee, PSU, dec. Max Murin, I, 8-3.

149 pounds: Anthony Ashnault, RUT, dec. Malik Amine, UM, 6-3; Thomas Thorn, MIN, dec. Cole Martin, WIS, 7-5; Brady Berge, PSU, dec. Pat Lugo, I, 4-2 SV2; Micah Jordan, OSU, dec. Shayne Oster, NU, 6-2.

157 pounds: Jason Nolf, PSU, pinned Eric Barone, ILL, 2:13; Alec Pantaleo, UM, dec. Kaleb Young, I, 3-2; Steve Bleise, MIN, dec. Ryan Deakin, NU, 7-5 TB; Tyler Berger, NEB, dec. John Van Brill, 11-5.

165 pounds: Vincenzo Joseph, PSU, won by tech. fall over Joey Gunther, ILL, 21-6 (5:59); Logan Massa, UM, dec. Isaiah White, NEB, 8-6; Evan Wick, W, dec. Bryce Martin, IU, 6-1; Alex Marinelli, I, dec. Te’Shan Campbell, OSU, 6-3.

174 pounds: Mark Hall, PSU, pinned Drew Hughes, MSU, 2:38; Devin Skatzka, MIN, pinned Mikey Labriola, NEB, 6:22; Dylan Lydy, PUR, dec. Ethan Smith, OSU, 5-1; Myles Amine, UM, dec. Ryan Christensen, 6-1.

184 pounds: Myles Martin, OSU, won by tech. fall over Max Lyon, PUR, 25-10 (5:58); Emery Parker, ILL, dec. Cash Wilcke, I, 3-2; Tyler Venz, NEB, maj. dec. Mason Reinhardt, W, 14-0; Shakur Rasheed, PSU, pinned Cameron Caffey, MSU, 5:17.

197 pounds: Bo Nickal, PSU, won by tech. fall over Brad Wilton, MSU, 19-4 (5:34); Eric Schultz, NEB, dec. Christian Brunner, PUR, 3-2; Jacob Warner, I, maj. dec. Beau Breske, W, 10-2; Kollin Moore, OSU, maj. dec. Dylan Anderson, MIN, 12-4.

285 pounds: Gable Steveson, MIN, dec. Sam Stoll, I, 5-3; Trent Hilger, W, dec. Chase Singletary, OSU, 3-1; Conan Jennings, NU, dec. Mason Parris, UM, 9-7; Anthony Cassar, PSU, dec. David Jensen, NEB, 8-4.

Semifinals

125 pounds: Rivera, NU, maj. dec. Foley, MSU, 14-6; Lee, I, maj. dec. Russell, MIN, 8-0. 133 pounds: Pletcher, OSU, won by forfeit over Micic, UM; Suriano, RUT, dec. DeSanto, I, 6-3. 141 pounds: Red, NEB, dec. Storr, UM, 4-1; McKenna, OSU, dec. Lee, PSU, 5-4. 149 pounds: Ashnault, RUT, dec. Thorn, MIN, 5-1; Jordan, OSU, maj. dec. Berge, PSU, 13-4. 157 pounds: Nolf, PSU, dec. Pantaleo, UM, 7-1; Berger, NEB, Bleise, MIN, 6-3.

165 pounds: Joseph, PSU, pinned Massa, UM, 6:4; Marinelli, I, dec Wick, W, 2-1. 174 pounds: Hall, PSU, dec. Skatzka, MIN, 4-2; Amine, UM, dec. Lydy, PUR, 6-5. 184 pounds: Martin, OSU, dec. Parker, ILL, 8-3; Rasheed, PSU, Venz, NEB, 6-5. 197 pounds: Nickal, PSU, maj. dec. Schultz, NEB, 10-2; Moore, OSU, dec. Warner, I, 5-2. 285 pounds: Steveson, MIN, dec. Hilger, W, 10-4; Cassar, PSU, maj. dec. Jennings, NU, 10-2.

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