125- Spencer Lee (Iowa) dec. Nick Suriano (Rutgers) 5-1

133- Seth Gross (South Dakota State) dec. Stevan Micic (Michigan) 13-8

141- Yianni Diakomihalis (Cornell) dec. Bryce Meredith (Wyoming) 7-4

149- Zain Retherford (Penn State) dec. Ronald Perry (Lock Haven) 6-2

157- Jason Nolf (Penn State) dec. Hayden Holiday (NC State) 6-2

165- Lorenzo Joseph (Penn State) dec. Isaiah Martinez (Illinois) 6-1

174- Zahid Valencia (Arizona State) dec. Mark Hall (Pen State) 8-2

184- Bo Nickal (Penn State) pinned Myles Martin (Ohio State) 2:30

197- Michael Macchiavello (NC State) dec. Jared Haught (Virginia Tech) 3-1

285- Kyle Snyder (Ohio State) dec. Adam Coon (Michigan) 3-2

     Penn State won their seventh title in eight years at the 88th annual NCAA Wrestling Championships before 19,776 fans at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. The Nittany Lions tallied 141.5 points to edge Big Ten champion Ohio State who finished with 134.5 points and crowned four champions. Two-time champion Bo Nickal (31-0) countered a Myles Martin (Ohio State) double leg takedown and near fall with a stunning roll reversal and flattened him at the 2:30 mark of their 184-pound pivotal bout and clinched the team title. The Nittany Lions were also paced by three-time titlist Zain Retherford (31-0,121-3 career), Jason Nolf (26-1) and Vincenzo Joseph (25-2) who defeated two-time winner Isaiah Martinez (18-1,116-3 ) of Illinois.

     Ohio State finished as runners-up and crowned one champion: three-time winner Kyle Snyder (17-1,94-5), amongst their eight All-Americans. Finishing in third place was Iowa (97) and had true freshman Spencer Lee (22-2) capture the talented 125-pound class. Other NCAA winners were: Seth Gross (29-1), undefeated Zahid Valencia (32-0) and Michael Macchiavello (27-4) at 197. Valencia, a sophomore, dominated the loaded the 174-pound bracket, and in the finals he scored with his relentless single leg takedowns against defending NCAA champ Mark Hall and posted a solid 8-2 victory.

      Cornell had an impressive tournament as they finished in 7th place and emerged with four wrestlers who earned AA honors including a national champion. Yianni Diakomihalis (34-1), a well-poised true freshman edged two-time champ Dean Heil (Okla State) in the quarterfinals, scored an exciting overtime victory in the semi-finals and and rallied against senior Bryce Meredith of Wyoming in the gold medal match. In that bout, he escaped and scored with a crucial single leg takedown and clamped on an overhead cradle in the last 45 seconds of the third period for a dramatic 7-4 victory. Diakomihalis who  kept his composure throughout the championship bout stated: "In those tight situations you always have to belief in your abilities and yourself, and I have be able to do that."

Mat Notes:

     New York State finished with four All-Americans; the aforementioned Diakomihalis, Shakur Rasheed ( 24-5) of Penn State, 7th at 197, along with a pair of 285-pounders: Michael Hughes (39-6) of Hofstra who finished in 6th place and Youssif Hemida (30-8) who placed 8th. Hughes (115-47) won the NCAA Award for the Most Falls in the season with 18 pins. The Pride landed in 28th place with 12 points. Only three NCAA wrestlers remained unscathed on the season: Retherford, Valencia and Nickal. Retherford, a four-time All American and a team leader for the Nittany Lions finished his illustrious career with a 94-match win streak. The combined record of the ten Division I champions was 269 victories and only 11 losses. The attendance for the finals set a single session attendance record and the totals for the six sessions was 113,743  wrestling fans. The 2019 NCAA Championships will be held in Pittsburgh, PA.

OSW Award: Bo Nickal (Penn State) - 184 pounds


Team Scores:

  1. Penn State (141.5 points)

  2. Ohio State (134.5)

  3. Iowa (97)

  4. Michigan (80)

  5. NC State (80)

  6. Missouri (61.5)

  7. Cornell (48)

  8. Virginia Tech (47.5)

  9. Nebraska (47)

​10. Arizona State (43)

11. Rutgers (42.5)

12. South Dakota State (42)

13. Oklahoma State (37.5)

13. Illinois (37.5)

15. Lehigh (36.5)

        ​2018 NCAA CHAMPIONS