Retherford selected as USA Wrestling Athlete of the Week

By Taylor Miller, USA Wrestling | Sept. 04, 2019, 2:34 p.m. (ET)

Photo by Justin Hoch,

Zain Retherford (State College, Pa./Nittany Lion WC) has been selected as USA Wrestling Athlete of the Week on Sept. 3, 2019.

Retherford secured the Senior Men’s Freestyle World Team spot at 65 kg over Labor Day weekend in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., defeating Yianni Diakomihalis in a Final X special Wrestle-Off.

Retherford only needed to win one match on Monday because he won the first Final X: Rutgers bout in June, 10-4. Initially he was awarded the second match at Final X: Rutgers, 6-6. However, an independent arbitrator ruled that an improper challenge occurred, and therefore the match had to be re-wrestled.

In the only match wrestled on the day, Retherford edged out two-time Cadet World champion and 2019 U.S. Open champ Diakomihalis in an exciting bout with multiple scrambles, 2-1.

Diakomihalis scored the first point on a failed challenge from Retherford’s corner after a wild exchange. But moments later, Retherford scored on a takedown and was able to hold off Diakomihalis for the rest of the bout to claim the World Team spot at 65 kg.

Retherford will compete Sept. 19-20 at the 2019 Senior World Championships in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan. It will be Retherford’s second appearance at the Senior World Championships.

Each week USA Wrestling will select an Athlete of the Week based upon performance within wrestling for that week. The selection committee will consider any level of wrestling from youth programs through the senior level. Twitter fan votes also play a part in decision.

To nominate a wrestler for this honor please send the athlete's name, wrestling program, weekly accomplishments and career accolades to USA Wrestling Communications Coordinator Taylor Miller at