Penn State Wrestling

Former Nittany Lion wrestler Bo Nickal earns a spot on the U23 World Team

Former Nittany Lion Bo Nickal might have fallen short of his goal of representing the U.S. at the 2019 World Wrestling Championships, but will still have a chance to represent his country on the international stage.

The three-time national champion and reigning Hodge Trophy winner bested Oklahoma wrestler and U23 World Team Trials champion Jake Woodley 2-0 in a best-of-three special wrestle-off Tuesday in Fargo, North Dakota.

Having met the proper requirements, Nickal requested the special wrestle-off after dropping both his matches at Final X Rutgers to reigning 92-kilogram World Champ J’den Cox in June. Nickal was granted is request, and he and Woodley faced off during the USMC junior men’s freestyle nationals finals Tuesday at the FargoDome.

Nickal took both matches, 12-4 and 8-2.

“I think any opportunity I have to make a World Team and represent the country is awesome,” Nickal told USA Wrestling. “I was excited to have the chance to do it. I am excited to compete in October and represent the country.”

The U23 World Championships will be held Oct. 29 in Budapest, Hungary.

In addition to Nickal, several wrestlers connected to Centre County have been competing in Fargo this week at cadet and junior nationals for both freestyle and Greco-Roman. A recap of all their results will be published in an upcoming edition of the Centre Daily Times.