After a noteworthy win Saturday, Penn State wrestler Zain Retherford was named Athlete of the Week on Tuesday by the country’s national governing body for wrestling.
Retherford earned the national accolade by securing a 65 kg spot on the U.S. Men’s Freestyle World Team over the weekend after beating his former coach, Frank Molinaro.
The senior has yet to prove himself on the world scale. But, by the looks of his performance Saturday in Lincoln, Neb., he may be well on his way.
After emerging from the challenge tournament unscathed, with a technical fall over Jaydin Eierman and shutouts over Nick Dardanes and B.J. Futrell, Retherford faced off against Olympian Molinaro in the best-of-three championship series.
Never miss a local story.
Molinaro took the first match, edging out his former training partner 7-6. Retherford took the momentum back in the second match, dominating Molinaro 6-0. He rode that momentum into a very physical third match, which left both wrestlers bloody. The Penn State senior came out on top, 7-4.
“I’ve trained with Frank, we’re from same club, and we know what each other has,” Retherford said after the match. “He got in on my leg on the first match. I made some adjustments for the second two, and it paid off.”
Retherford will represent Team USA at the World Championships Aug. 21-26 in Paris, France.