Penn State Wrestling

Nittany Lions wrestlers learn preseason rankings

Fans take in Penn State wrestling’s second annual kickoff event on Friday night in Rec Hall.
Fans take in Penn State wrestling’s second annual kickoff event on Friday night in Rec Hall. Photo provided

Penn State will start the season ranked No. 4 as Intermat released its preseason rankings, with the Big Ten dominating the dual meet poll with eight teams among the top 15.

Penn State is the second-highest ranked conference team. Iowa leads the way at No. 2 behind Oklahoma State. Missouri (No. 3) and Ohio State round out the top five. Other Big Ten schools include Nebraska (6), Minnesota (9), Illinois (10), Michigan (11) and Rutgers (15).

The defending champion Nittany Lions are also No. 4 on the tournament poll with Oklahoma State, Iowa and Ohio State in the top three spots. The conference boasts six more in the top 25 with Nebraska (8), Illinois (9), Minnesota (10), Michigan (11), Wisconsin (13) and Rutgers (16).

As for the individual side, one thing jumped out.

Shakur Rasheed and Bo Nickal have been listed in different weight classes.

Rasheed, who wrestled at 165 pounds last year and had trouble controlling his weight, is No. 18 at 174 pounds. Nickal, meanwhile, finished runner-up to Ohio State’s Myles Martin at 174 last year but is ranked behind Martin at No. 3 at 184. Cornell’s Gabe Dean is the man at the top.

Zain Retherford (149) and Jason Nolf (157) received the top spots in their weight classes.

Retherford was undefeated last season to earn his first NCAA championship, and will defend his crown at the weight class this year. Nolf suffered two losses last season — both to Illinois’ Isaiah Martinez in the Big Ten and NCAA championships — but won’t have to contend with Martinez this season. Martinez is No. 1 at 165, where Penn State’s Vincenzo Joseph is No. 10.

Nittany Lion true freshman Nick Suriano, who has the task of replacing NCAA champion Nico Megaludis at 125 pounds, has No. 10 beside his name. Also coming in at No. 10 is Jered Cortez at 133 pounds. Senior Jimmy Gulibon is No. 12 at 141 pounds and Nick Nevills, who wrestled well when he came back from injury, is No. 14 at heavyweight.

Penn State doesn’t have a wrestler ranked at 197 pounds. The Nittany Lions open their season Nov. 11 with a trip to Army West Point for a 7 p.m. start.