Penn State sends eight to Southern Scuffle semifinals to take big lead in team race

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | Jan. 01, 2018, 9:39 p.m. (ET)
Jason Nolf of Penn State pins Tyler Marinelli of Gardner Webb in the Southern Scuffle quarterfinals at 157 pounds. Video capture from Flowrestling broadcast.

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - Defending NCAA champion Penn State pushed eight into the quarterfinals and led the team race after the quarterfinals at the Southern Scuffle on Monday.

All five of Penn State’s returning NCAA champions, who are seeded No. 1 here, reached the semifinals: Zain Retherford (149), Jason Nolf (157), Vincenzo Joseph (165), Mark Hall (174) and Bo Nickal (184). Nolf and Nickal scored pins in the quarterfinals, Retherford earned a technical fall, and Joseph and Hall scored decisions.

Another No. 1 seed at the Scuffle from Penn State reached the semifinals, Anthony Cassar (197). Also in the semifinals for Penn State at 197 pounds is unseeded Shakur Rasheed, who pinned No. 3 Scottie Boykin of Chattanooga in 27 seconds. Cassar will face No. 5 Jacob Holschlag of Northern Iowa in the semifinals, while Rasheed draws No. 2 seed Matt Williams of CSU-Bakersfield.

Penn State also pushed freshman Nick Lee, who is competing unattached, into the semifinals at 141. Lee, who was seeded No. 5, will battle No. 1 seed Josh Alber of Northern Iowa in the semifinals.

Penn State stands in first with 101 points, which is 19.5 points ahead of second place Northern Iowa. Lehigh is in third with 68 points. The Nittany Lions are seeking a seventh Southern Scuffle title, having won six in a row before not competing at the event last year.

A sixth 2017 NCAA champion has reached the semifinals, No. 1 seed Darian Cruz of Lehigh at 125 pounds. Cruz has drawn No. 4 Louie Hayes of Virginia in the semifinal round.

The Nittany Lions did lose the highest seed beaten in the quarterfinals, as No. 1 seed Nick Nevills was defeated by No. 8 seed Mike Boykin of NC State, 4-3. Nevills held a No. 3 national ranking with Flowrestling coming into the tournament.

Another big upset in the round came at 149 pounds, when unseeded Josh Heil of Campbell knocked off No. 2 seed Max Thomsen of Northern Iowa, 3-2. Thomsen is currently ranked No. 6 in the Flowrestling rankings, while Heil, the brother of two-time NCAA champion Dean Heil of Oklahoma State, is not ranked.

The semifinals is scheduled for 12:00 noon ET on Tuesday morning and is being broadcast live by Flowrestling. The finals are set for 7:00 p.m. ET. Flowrestling is where all of the tournament matches are also being archived, as well as complete brackets and results.

At Chattanooga, Tenn., January 1, 2018

Semifinal pairings

125 pounds
No. 1 Darian Cruz (Lehigh) vs. No. 4 Louie Hayes (Virginia)
No. 2 Jay Schwarm (Northern Iowa) vs. No. 6 Sergio Mendez (CSU-Bake)

133 pounds
No. 8 Colby Smith (Unattached) vs. Gary Wayne Harding (Oklahoma State)
No. 2 Jack Mueller (Virginia) vs. No. 3 Austin Desanto (Drexel)

141 pounds
No. 1 Josh Alber (Northern Iowa) vs. No. 5 Nick Lee (Penn State-unattached)
No. 2 Luke Karam (Lehigh) vs. No. 6 Kaden Gfeller (Oklahoma State)

149 pounds
No. 1 Zain Retherford (Penn State) vs. No. 5 Sam Krivus (Virginia)
No. 3 Jared Prince (Navy) vs. Josh Heil (Campbell)

157 pounds
No. 1 Jason Nolf (Penn State) vs. No. 5 Paul Fox (Stanford)
No. 2 Mitch Finesilver (Duke) vs. Garrett Hammond (Drexel)

No. 1 Vincenzo Joseph (Penn State) vs. Gordon Wolf (Lehigh)
No. 2 Bryce Steiert (Northern Iowa) vs. No. 3 Chance Marsteller (Lock Haven)

No. 1 Mark Hall (Penn State) vs. No. 4 Jadaen Bernstein (Navy)
No. 2 Jordan Kutler (Lehigh) vs. No. 3 Taylor Lujan (Northern Iowa)

No. 1 Bo Nickal (Penn State) vs. No. 5 Nick Reenan (NC State)
No. 2 Drew Foster (Northern Iowa) vs. No. 3 Bryce Carr (Chattanooga)

No. 1 Anthony Cassar (Penn State) vs. No. 5 Jacob Holschlag (Northern Iowa)
No. 2 Matt Williams (CSU-Bake) vs. Shakur Rasheed (Penn State)

No. 5 Nathan Butler (Stanford) vs. No. 8 Mike Boykin (NC State)
No. 2 Jacob Kasper (Duke) vs. No. 3 Mike Hughes (Hofstra)

Team Standings after day one
1 Penn State 101
2 Northern Iowa 81.5
3 Lehigh 68
4 Navy 50.5
5 Duke 49
6 CSU-Bake 46
6 Virginia 46
8 Drexel 42
9 Stanford 38.5
10 Lock Haven 36.5
(of 25 teams)

Quarterfinal results

No. 1 Darian Cruz (Lehigh) MD No. 8 Thayer Atkins (Duke), 17-8
No. 4 Louie Hayes (Virginia) DEC No. 5Gabe Townsell (Stanford), 6-4 SV
No. 6 Sergio Mendez (CSU-Bake) DEC Luke Resnick (Lehigh), 11-7
No. 2 Jay Schwarm (Northern Iowa) F Alonzo Allen (Chattanooga), 0:41

No. 8 Colby Smith (Unattached) DEC Isaac Jimenez (Air Force), 9-4
Gary Wayne Harding (Oklahoma State) DEC No. 5 Rico Montoya (N. Colorado), 6-2
No. 3 Austin Desanto (Drexel) DEC Nathan Boston (Campbell), 8-5
No. 2 Jack Mueller (Virginia) MD Sean Nickell (CSU-Bake), 10-0

No. 1 Josh Alber (Northern Iowa) MD No. 8 Kyle Shoop (Lock Haven), 16-3
No. 5 Nick Lee (Penn State) MD No. 8 Russell Rohlfing (CSU-Bake), 15-5
No. 6 Kaden Gfeller (Oklahoma State) M FOR No. 3 Jered Cortez (Penn State)
No. 2 Luke Karam (Lehigh) DEC No. 7 Nic Gil (Navy), 5-0

No. 1 Zain Retherford (Penn State) TF No. 8 Jamal Morris (NC State), 15-0 5:43
No. 5 Sam Krivus (Virginia) DEC Ty Buckiso (Citadel), 3-1
No. 3 Jared Prince (Navy) DEC Jarod Verkleeren (Penn State), 8-5
Josh Heil (Campbell) DEC No. 2 Max Thomsen (Northern Iowa), 3-2

No. 1 Jason Nolf (Penn State) F No. 8 Tyler Marinelli (Gardner Webb), 1:43
No. 5 Paul Fox (Stanford) DEC No. 4 Alexander Mossing (Air Force), 6-1
Garrett Hammond (Drexel) DEC No. 3 Ian Brown (Lehigh), 9-3
No. 2 Mitch Finesilver (Duke) MD No. 7 Zack Davis (Navy), 15-3

No. 1 Vincenzo Joseph (Penn State) DEC Ebed Jarrell (Drexel), 10-7
Gordon Wolf (Lehigh) DEC No. 4 Drew Daniels (Navy), 9-6
No. 3 Chance Marsteller (Lock Haven) DEC No. 6 Mekhi Lewis (Virginia Tech), 3-1
No. 2 Bryce Steiert (Northern Iowa) DEC Keilan Torres (N. Colorado), 6-1

No. 1 Mark Hall (Penn State) MD No. 8 Matt Finesilver (Duke), 12-3
No. 4 Jadaen Bernstein (Navy) DEC No. 5Keaton Subjeck (Stanford), 10-5
No. 3 Taylor Lujan (Northern Iowa) TF Spencer Carey (Navy), 18-2 4:32
No. 2 Jordan Kutler (Lehigh) DEC No. 7 Forest Przybysz (Appalachian State), 4-0

No. 1 Bo Nickal (Penn State) F Stan Smeltzer (Virginia Tech), 1:09
No. 5 Nick Reenan (NC State) DEC No. 4 Michael Coleman (Navy), 6-4
No. 3 Bryce Carr (Chattanooga) TF No. 6 Dylan Gabel (N. Colorado), 16-1 7:00
No. 2 Drew Foster (Northern Iowa) TF Gary Jantzer (Unat. Utah Valley), 17-1 3:37

No. 1 Anthony Cassar (Penn State) DEC No. 8 Stephen Loiseau (Drexel), 4-1
No. 5 Jacob Holschlag (Northern Iowa) MD Jay Aiello (Virginia), 11-1
Shakur Rasheed (Penn State) F No. 3 Scottie Boykin (Chattanooga), 0:27
No. 2 Matt Williams (CSU-Bake) DEC Anthony Mclaughlin (Air Force), 7-4

No. 8 Mike Boykin (NC State) DEC No. 1 Nick Nevills (Penn State), 4-3
No. 5 Nathan Butler (Stanford) DEC No. 4 Jordan Wood (Lehigh), 4-2
No. 3 Mike Hughes (Hofstra) DEC No. 6 Thomas Haines (Lock Haven), 4-2
No. 2 Jacob Kasper (Duke) MD No. 7 Joey Goodhart (Drexel), 10-2