Five Nittany Lions capture Open titles
UNIVERSITY PARK – The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team, ranked No. 6 in the latest Intermat Tournament Power Index, crowned five champions at the 2014 Nittany Lion Open. The event, hosted by the Nittany Lion wrestling club, is a non-team scored open tournament.
Jordan Conaway (125), Jimmy Gulibon (133) freshman Jason Nolf (157), Matt Brown (174) and Matt McCutcheon (184) won titles. Morgan McIntosh finished second at 197, and 285-pounders Jimmy Lawson and freshman Nick Nevills split second place.
Conaway picked up Penn State’s first title of the day. Conaway went 3-0 with two technical falls and a major to advance to the finals, where he handled Dalton Macro, a non-collegiate grappler. While the finals victory doesn’t count in his record, the win gave Conaway the 2014 Nittany Lion open title at 125. Gulibon won the 133-pound title with a 3-1 win over Rutgers’ Anthony Giraldo in the finals. Gulibon went 2-0 against collegiate competition to win the crown.
Two Nittany Lions met in the finals at 157. Nolf took on redshirt freshman and starter Cody Law, and Nolf earned a 21-8 major decision to take the 2014 NLO crown at 157. Nolf went 5-0 with three pins, a tech fall and a major to win the crown while Law was strong with a 3-1 mark, including a pin, to take second. Likewise, at 174, two Nittany Lions met in the finals with All-American Matt Brown taking on true freshman Bo Nickal. The duo put on quite a show with Brown posting a 10-7 win to win the crown. Brown posted a 3-0 mark to take first place while Nickal was 2-1 to finish second.
Redshirt freshman McCutcheon posted a 4-0 mark with a pin, a tech fall and a major to win the title. McIntosh posted a perfect 4-0 mark and took second place at 197 (he did not compete in the finals). McIntosh had two pins and two majors. At 285, the finals bout between Lawson and Nevills was not contested, and the duo split second place. Lawson was 1-0 (with two more wins over non-collegiate grapplers) and Nevills was 2-0 with a pin (and another pin over a non-collegiate).
Junior Luke Frey had a solid tournament, going 5-1 with two majors and a tech fall to place third at 149. Redshirt freshman Kade Moss posted a 3-2 mark to place fourth at 141 while junior Michael Waters went 3-2 at 141 and took seventh. Junior James Frascella posted a 4-2 mark with a pin, a tech and a major to place fourth. True freshman Anthony Cassar went 5-2 to place fifth at 197. Redshirt freshman Garett Hammond posted a 4-1 record at 165 to place seventh. True freshman Kenneth Yanovich went 3-3 at 125 and placed eighth in his first run through the NLO.
With a Big Ten dual meet just four days away, a number of Lions saw limited action. Sophomore Zack Beitz suffered an upset loss in the opening round of the tournament to go 0-1 on the day. Senior Jon Gingrich pinned Virginia Tech’s Brandon Taylor in the first round at 285 in his only match of the day, going 1-0.