Penn State got a huge boost with back-to-back wrestlers winning Big Ten titles on Sunday afternoon.
Zain Retherford won his second straight title at 149 pounds and Jason Nolf followed it up with a championship of his own at 157 pounds. Penn State needs all the titles it can get if it wants to win its sixth Big Ten team championship in seven years. The Nittany Lions entered Sunday in second place behind Ohio State.
It was the first Big Ten championship for Nolf, a sophomore. He improved to 24-0 on the season with an 8-2 win by decision over Iowa’s Michael Kemerer.
Nolf lost just twice as a freshman at 157 last year, both coming to Illinois’ Isaiah Martinez (Big Ten title match and NCAA title match). Martinez moved up to 165 this season.
"I don't think I did a great job that match."
— Penn State On BTN (@PennStateOnBTN) March 5, 2017
Retherford, meanwhile, won the 149-pound weight class for the second consecutive season. He easily defeated Ohio State’s Micah Jordan in the final, beating him 16-1 by technical fall.
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) March 5, 2017
Retherford, a redshirt junior who is 23-0 on the season, will attempt to defend his NCAA title at 149 pounds in two weeks.