Penn State Wrestling

Penn State ends 2017 at No. 1 with 9 ranked wrestlers

Penn State’s Zain Retherford wrestles Indiana’s Davey Tunon at 149 pounds during a match Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017 at Rec Hall.
Penn State’s Zain Retherford wrestles Indiana’s Davey Tunon at 149 pounds during a match Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017 at Rec Hall. psheehan@centredaily.com

The end of the semester offered a bit of a reprieve for college wrestlers — but not much.

Teams across the country are now gearing up to compete in holiday tournaments.

Due to the lack of dual action last week, a new National Wrestling Coaches Association/USA Today NCAA Division I Team Coaches Poll was not released Tuesday.

The Nittany Lions will head into the new year on top of the team rankings with 396 points, followed by Ohio State with 388, Oklahoma State with 367, Missouri with 351 and North Carolina State with 333.

Penn State will also be carrying nine individually ranked wrestlers into 2018.

In Tuesday’s final InterMat NCAA Division I Rankings of the year, Penn State has four top-ranked wrestlers in Zain Retherford at 149 pounds, Jason Nolf at 157, Vincenzo Joseph at 165 and Bo Nickal at 184. Mark Hall is ranked second at 174, Nick Nevills is third at heavyweight, Anthony Cassar ninth at 197, Jered Cortez 15th at 141 and Corey Keener 18th at 133.

The biggest story in the rankings this week was the shakeup at the top of 141. Two-time national champ Dean Heil, of Oklahoma State, saw his 55-match winning streak snapped by Wyoming’s Bryce Meredith in a close 2-1 sudden victory battle in Cheyenne on Dec. 19. The loss kicked Heil down to No. 3, making room for a new No. 1 — Cornell’s Yianni Diakomihalis, who beat Meredith in sudden victory in the Cliff Keen Las Vegas tournament at the beginning of the month. Last week’s win elevated Meredith one spot up to No. 2.

Of note to Penn State fans: redshirt freshman Nick Lee dropped a 12-7 decision to Diakomihalis in the semifinals of the Bearcat Open in November.

The Nittany Lions are back in action in Chattanooga, Tenn., on Monday, when they look for their seventh Southern Scuffle title in eight years.

NWCA/USA Today Division I Team Coaches Poll

Dec. 20

Rank

Team

Record

Points

Previous

1

Penn State

5-0

396

1

2

Ohio State

6-0

388

2

3

Oklahoma State

5-0

367

3

4

Missouri

8-0

351

4

5

NC State

10-0

333

6

6

Lehigh

6-1

328

5

7

Iowa

7-0

301

7

8

Minnesota

3-1

286

8

9

Michigan

2-1

273

9

10

Virginia Tech

4-1

260

10

11

Arizona State

2-2

237

11

12

Cornell

2-0

226

13

13

Illinois

11-2

198

14

14

Northern Iowa

2-1

191

15

15

South Dakota State

4-2

177

16

16

Wisconsin

4-0

145

18

17

Rutgers

3-2

140

17

18

Nebraska

2-2

103

12

19

Oklahoma

2-2

101

19

20

Lock Haven

4-0

81

22

21

Central Michigan

3-3

80

23

22

Rider

2-1

74

21

23

Purdue

4-1

70

19

24

North Carolina

2-3

37

NR

25

Edinboro

2-1

24

24

Others receiving votes: Navy 20, Northwestern 7, Utah Valley 6, Drexel 2, North Dakota State 2

Dropped out: No. 25 Navy (3-0)

  Comments