Eight Nittany Lions earned top-three seeds in this weekend’s Big Ten Wrestling Championships, as the tournament brackets were finalized and released Friday.
Zain Retherford (149 pounds), Mark Hall (174) and Bo Nickal (184) each earned the top seeds, while Nick Lee (141) Jason Nolf (157), and Shakur Rasheed (197) are seeded second, and Vincenzo Joseph (165) and Nick Nevils (heavyweight) got third.
Corey Keener picked up the sixth seed at 133 pounds, while fellow senior transfer Carson Kuhn is 14th at 125.
Retherford, Nickal and Keener will need just one win apiece to reach the semifinals, as they each will start out the tournament with a bye.
Retherford will see the winner of Minnesota’s No. 9 Steve Bleise and Michigan’s No. 8 Malik Amine in the quarterfinals. As for Nickal, he’ll get the winner of Northwestern’s Mitch Sliga and No. 8 Brandon Krone of Minnesota. Keener will likely see Minnesota’s No. 3 Mitch McKee, who will be wrestling Northwestern’s Colin Valdiviez in the first round.
Hall will start his quest to avenge his Big Ten finals loss from last year against Michigan State’s Logan Richie.
Nolf, who has been sidelined by injury since the end of January, will start his quest for a second Big Ten title against unseeded Jake Tucker of Michigan State, while freshman Nick Lee will get his first taste of Big Ten tournament action against Rutgers’ Mike Van Brill. Rasheed will face Indiana’s Jake Kleimola in his first-round matchup.
Joseph will see his first action of the tournament against No. 14 Mike Sepke of Northwestern, while Nevills will see Illinois’ Duece Rachal.
Meanwhile, Kuhn will get another shot at Ohio State’s No. 3 seed Nate Tomasello right off the bat.
The first round of the Big Ten wrestling Championships in East Lansing, Mich., starts at 10 a.m. Saturday.