With a fall in 43 seconds, Penn State wrestler Mark Hall joined an elite club Tuesday when he won his third world title, second at the junior level.
The rising Penn State sophomore joins incoming Iowa freshman and Franklin Regional High School product Spencer Lee as the third American to win two junior world titles in freestyle wrestling.
“There’s only been so many two-time Junior World champs in United States history,” Hall told the media between matches. “I’m just grateful to be on that short list, to be able to be on the same list as Spencer Lee.”
With Penn State coaches Cael Sanderson and Casey Cunningham in his corner, Hall used a mixer to put Uzebekistan’s Isa Shapiev on his back to win the title at 74 kg in the 2017 World Wrestling Championships.
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Hall’s win put Team USA within one point of Russia, with three matches to go, in the team race Tuesday.
Ohio State sophomore Kollin Moore’s bronze at 96 kg then gave the Americans the lead. Day 1 ended Tuesday with a 30-30 tie between Russia and the Americans.
Minnesota sophomore Mitch McKee also helped the team race with a silver medal at 60 kg.
Hall started his campaign for a third title with a technical fall against Ukraine in the first round.
He followed that with a 6-2 decision over Russia’s Radik Valiev, a technical fall over Iran’s Mohammad Mottaghinia in the quarterfinals and a 10-3 win over Turkey’s Muhammet Kucukyildirim to put him into the finals.
Hall finished his freshman campaign at Penn State with a record of 31-3, after having his redshirt pulled midseason. He went on to win the NCAA championship at 174 pounds as a true freshman, and was runner up at the Big Ten tournament.
Hall’s Penn State and Nittany Lion Wrestling Club teammate Zain Retherford will compete for a senior world title Aug. 21-26 in France.