There was plenty of speculation on the health of Jason Nolf’s knee coming into the championships.
He answered those questions by topping North Carolina State’s Hayden Hidlay, a Mifflin County graduate, for his second straight NCAA title. Hidlay was the nation’s only undefeated freshman coming into the bout.
“Hayden has really good defense. He stays in a really good position,” Nolf said. “I just fought my match. I lifted my life up to the Lord and said, ‘It’s in your hands now.’ Definitely felt real spiritual out there and just grateful.”
Nolf came out and recorded the first points of the match with a takedown just over half way through the first period. He added one more for a 4-1 lead.
In the second period, the lone point was a Nolf escape. Hidlay tacked on an escape in the third period. Nolf kept to his defense and added a riding-time point for the 6-2 win.
“That one was a little bit closer match. It felt better,” Nolf said comparing this title to last year’s. “Maybe that’s why I got more excited at the end. I didn’t really mean to get that excited over it. But it happened.”
Nolf’s victory handed Penn State the team lead by two — a lead it wouldn’t relinquish.