CHATTANOOGA, TN — No. 1 Penn State (4-0, 0-0 B1G) is standing tall after the first day of the 2019 Southern Scuffle, presented by Compound Sportswear, in Chattanooga, Tenn. Head coach Cael Sanderson’s Nittany Lions sit in first place and have 11 semifinalists at nine weights.
Two Lions notched milestone wins on day one. Senior Bo Nickal became the newest member of the Nittany Lion 100-wins club on day one. He picked up three wins (all by fall) to hit the 100 career win mark. Nickal enters tomorrow’s second day of the Southern Scuffle with a 100-3 career record. Senior Jason Nolf tied the Penn State record for falls in a career with two pins as well. He has 53 now, tied with Zain Retherford, David Taylor and Josh Moore. He needs one more to own the record alone.
True freshman Roman Bravo-Young, ranked No. 15 at 133, was solid on day one of the Scuffle, becoming Penn State’s first semifinalist with a 3-0 day at 133. Bravo-Young downed Stanford’s Dalton Young 4-3, Lehigh’s Nick Farro 4-1 and Virginia Tech’s Collin Gerardi 8-6 (sv) to move into tomorrow’s semifinal round. Sophomore Nick Lee, ranked No. 4 at 141, went 4-0 on the first day, getting a pin in the first round and then reeling off three straight impressive majors.
Redshirt freshman Brady Berge, ranked No. 10 at 149, rolled through the first day of the Scuffle, going 4-0. He had two majors and moved into the semifinals with a strong 4-3 win over No. 17 Jared Prince of Navy in the quarterfinals. Nolf, ranked No. 1 at 157, went 3-0 on day one and tied the Penn State all-time pins list (53) with two quick pins.
Sophomore Bo Pipher had an outstanding first day at the Scuffle. He opened up his tournament by rolling over No. 14 Dan Reed of Columbia, posting a 16-0 tech fall at the 3:00 mark. He added wins over Chase Straw of Iowa State and Ben Anderson of Duke to advance to the semifinals. Junior Vincenzo Joseph, ranked No. 1 at 165, went 3-0 at 165.
Junior Mark Hall, ranked No. 1 at 174, sailed into the semifinals with three bonus wins. He notched two tech falls by a combined 39-9 in his first two bouts and then majored Iowa State’s Marcus Coleman 14-4 in the quarterfinals. Senior Shakur Rasheed, ranked No. 3 at 184, also advanced to the semifinals. He went 2-0 officially, both major decisions over Joel Shapiro of Iowa State and Hunter Yeargan of Ohio in the quarterfinals. Rasheed also picked up a 12-2 major over non-collegiate wrestler Jonathan Loew, a result that does not count as a win or a loss, nor for any stats or team records.
Nickal, ranked No. 1 at 197, picked up three wins on three pins to earn his 100th career victory at Penn State and punch his ticket to the semifinals. Nickal pinned North Carolina State’s Tyrie Houghton (3:49) and Lock Haven’s Luke McGonigal (1:34) to advance to the quarters. He then picked up win 100 with a third straight fall, this one over Josh Roetman of Navy at the 1:47 mark. Senior Anthony Cassar (Rocky Hill, N.J.), ranked No. 5 at 285, went 3-0 on day one, getting three dominating majors over wrestlers from Ohio, Rider and Iowa State to advance to the semifinals. Senior Nick Nevills also went 3-0 on day one at 285. Nevills was strong, posting a pin, a tech fall and a 7-1 win over No. 17 Joey Goodhart of Drexel in the quarters to move to the semifinals.
Redshirt freshman Jarod Verkleeren went 2-1 on day one. He advanced to the quarterfinals with a first round tech fall and a major in the second round. In the quarterfinals, he lost a close 3-2 decision to No. 12 Kaden Gfeller of Oklahoma State and will continue in consos. Redshirt freshman Mason Manville had a strong first day at 165. Manville won his first two bouts, a major and a 6-2 win over Navy’s Tanner Skidgel, to move to the quarterfinals where he met No. 3 Chance Marsteller of Lock Haven. Manville battled the ranked Bald Eagle tough but lost 4-2 and will continue in consolation action.
The Nittany Lions lead the team race after the first day with 121.5 points while Oklahoma State is second with 111.5. Iowa State and Lock Haven are tied for third with 60.0 each. Penn State went 41-11 on day one, including a 30-8 first session and an 11-3 second session. The Nittany Lions totaled 29 bonus point wins off 15 majors, five technical falls and nine pins.