Penn State Wrestling Wins 2019 Big 10 Championship

No. 1 Penn State (14-0, 9-0) rolled through the competition to claim the 2019 Big Ten Championship. Head coach Cael Sanderson's squad crowned four individual champions to out-distance second place Ohio State by over 30 points. Sanderson's squad had nine wrestlers place in the top six, qualifying all nine competitors for the 2019 NCAA Championships in Pittsburgh on March 21-13. Penn State won the team title with 157.5 points, far out in front of second place Ohio State, who had 122.5.  Iowa was third with 107.5 and host Minnesota was fourth with 101.5. Senior Jason Nolf, ranked No. 1 at 157, met No. 2 Tyler Berger of Nebraska in the first of six Big Ten title tilts for Penn State. Nolf swarmed Berger off the whistle, taking him down just :04 into the bout to open up an early 2-1 lead after cutting Berger loose. The Lion senior quickly grabbed Berger's ankle, lifted his leg off the mat, and finished off a second takedown to lead 4-2 with 1:50 on the clock. Berger chose down to start the second period and Nolf was strong on offense. He maintained control long enough to build up over 1:00 in riding time before cutting Berger loose. Nolf added a third takedown to lead 6-3 with over 2:00 in riding time after two periods.  Nolf added an escape and a takedown midway through the third period to open up a 9-4 lead.  He added a final takedown and 2:45 in riding time to roll to the 12-4 major decision and become a two-time Big Ten champion.

Senior  Bo Nickal , ranked No. 1 at 197, took on No. 2 Kollin Moore of Ohio State in the conference title bout. Nickal was steady for the first minute and a half before turning a low shot into a takedown and a 2-0 lead at the 1:04 mark.  The Lion senior then maintained control of Moore for the rest of the period to lead 2-0 after one.  Nickal escaped to start the second period and then countered a Moore shot, scrambled through a takedown and took a 5-0 lead.  He added a last second takedown and led 7-1 after two periods.  Moore escaped to start the third period but Nickal continued to pour on the offense.  The Lion senior added another takedown and built his riding time point up well over 2:00.  Nickal went on to post the 10-3 win with 2:51 in riding time to become a three-time Big Ten champion.

Sanderson was named Big Ten Coach of the Year for the fifth time in his ten years at Penn State.
Nickal and Nolf were named Co-Big Ten Wrestlers of the Year, becoming Sanderson's eighth and ninth Big Ten Wrestler of the Year winners.  Nolf was honored as the 2019 Big Ten Championship Co-Outstanding Wrestler, sharing the honor with Alex Marinelli.  He is Sanderson's fifth tournament O.W. Penn State has now won six Big Ten championships (tournament) under Sanderson and six Big Ten regular season (dual meet) titles, including this year's dual crown. The Nittany Lions have now had 26
individuals win a total of 47 Big Ten individual titles.

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