Penn State Wrestling

Scuffle shakes up rankings for Penn State wrestling

The Penn State wrestling team entered the year with nine wrestlers ranked by InterMat — but are now down to seven.

Although Penn State sailed through the Southern Scuffle on Jan. 1-2, setting a school record for most points and crowing six champs, it did suffer a few causalities.

Due to all the tournament action over the past couple weeks — including Midlands and the Scuffle — InterMat did not release updated rankings last week.

When the newest rankings were released Tuesday, junior Jered Cortez (11-1) fell off the board from No. 15 after exiting the Scuffle early due to an ankle injury, and senior transfer Corey Keener (9-2) also dropped out of the rankings, from No. 18, after suffering two losses.

Junior heavyweight Nick Nevills (15-2) fell from No. 3 to 8 after finishing fourth at the Scuffle, with losses to unranked Mike Boykin of N.C. State and then-No. 11 Nathan Butler of Stanford.

And at 197, InterMat dropped Anthony Cassar (12-2) from the No. 9 spot and out of the rankings completely, replacing him with teammate Shakur Rasheed (12-2) at No. 10. Rasheed, who has thus far this season wrestled only in tournaments for the Nittany Lions, made a statement during the Scuffle, tallying two pins in less than a minute over nationally ranked wrestlers, and another in 46 seconds over Northern Iowa’s Jacob Holschlag, who edged out Cassar in the semifinals. Rasheed earned the title and the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler award.

Joining Rasheed on the podium in Chattanooga, Tenn., were Penn State’s five defending national champions — Zain Retherford, Jason Nolf, Vincenzo Joseph, Mark Hall and Bo Nickal — who each left the tournament with wins over ranked opponents.

Retherford, Nolf, Joesph and Nickal all maintained their No. 1 rankings, and Hall his No. 2.

Aside from the Nittany Lions, the biggest shakeup in individual rankings this week was again at 141.

After having his 55-match winning streak broken by Wyoming’s Bryce Meredith a few weeks ago, Oklahoma State’s Dean Heil lost again. Heil’s second consecutive loss — to North Carolina State’s Kevin Jack at the Tussle for the Troops in Naples, Italy — dropped the two-time national champ to No. 5.

Cornell’s Yianni Diakomihalis, who was most recently ranked No. 1, lost last week to then-No. 5 Jaydin Eierman, of Missouri, at the South Beach Duals in Deerfield, Fla. The loss dropped Diakomihalis to No. 4 and lifted Eierman from 4 to 3, making way for Jack at No. 2 and Meredith as the new No. 1 at 141.

There was much less chaos this week in the National Wrestling Coaches Association/USA Today Coaches Poll, as the top 17 positions remain unchanged.

Penn State (5-0) remains No. 1 with 395 points and 11 first-place votes, while 8-0 Ohio State sits at No. 2 with 389 points and five first-place votes.

Oklahoma State, Missouri, N.C. State, Lehigh, Iowa, Michigan, Virginia Tech and Arizona State round out the top 10.

The Nittany Lions next take on a ranked opponent Friday when they face No. 8 Michigan.

Penn State wrestling coach Cael Sanderson and Nick Nevills talk about Sunday's dual against Lehigh at the PPL Center in Allentown.

Lauren Muthler: 814-231-4646, @lmuth1259

NWCA/USA Today Division I Team Coaches Poll

Jan. 9

Rank

Team (First)

Record

Points

Previous

1

Penn State (11)

5-0

395

1

2

Ohio State (5)

8-0

389

2

3

Oklahoma State

6-0

367

3

4

Missouri

12-0

350

4

5

NC State

10-1

334

5

6

Lehigh

6-1

316

6

7

Iowa

8-0

312

7

8

Michigan

5-1

304

8

9

Virginia Tech

5-1

268

9

10

Arizona State

3-2

254

10

11

Northern Iowa

2-1

234

11

12

Illinois

3-2

212

12

13

Cornell

4-2

194

13

14

Minnesota

6-3

191

14

15

South Dakota State

5-2

179

15

16

Wisconsin

4-0

172

16

17

Rutgers

3-3

145

17

18

Central Michigan

4-3

119

21

19

Nebraska

3-3

104

20

20

Lock Haven

4-0

86

22

21

Rider

5-2

64

23

22

Purdue

5-2

49

24

23

Wyoming

5-2

46

NR

24

North Carolina

5-4

38

19

25

Northwestern

6-1

15

NR

Others Receiving Votes: Navy 13, West Virginia 12, Oklahoma 9, American 8, Edinboro 6, Utah Valley 5, Drexel 4, North Dakota State 4, Kent State 1, Pittsburgh 1.

Dropped out: No. 18 Oklahoma, No. 25 North Dakota State.

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