Right before the 184-pound NCAA final, Penn State No. 2 Mark Hall lost, which presented the opportunity for Ohio State to win the team title, if No. 2 Myles Martin and No. 1 Kyle Snyder both finished off their championship runs. But before Snyder had his chance, Martin could not get it done.
Penn State No. 1 seed Bo Nickal pulled off a stunning pin against Martin to win the 184-pound national championship and clinch the team title for Penn State. This is Penn State’s seventh national championship in the past eight years, with the Buckeyes in 2015 claiming the other title.
Ohio State finished second at the NCAA wrestling championships for the second straight season behind Penn State.
The Buckeyes held a six-point lead going into the finals, but couldn’t keep up with Penn State, which had four individual national champions, and fell 141.5 to 134.5.
“This this was set up for, I watch a lot of sports but, an epic ending. You got the Olympic champion trying to beat the 280 pound, tremendous wrestler himself, to win a team title, if Myles gets that win,” head coach Tom Ryan said.
Snyder won his third national championship in the heavyweight final against No. 2 seed Adam Coon of Michigan. The rubber match between the two finished in epic fashion, with Snyder scoring the winning takedown with 19 seconds remaining in the match.
“At Ohio State and the Team USA national team coaches, they’ve helped me so much, so couldn’t have done anything without all of their support. There’s a lot of people that go into accomplishing stuff like this,” Snyder said.
The 134.5 was the most team points scored by any second place team in history. For comparison, Ohio State scored 102 points when they won the national championship in 2015.
Earlier in the day, Ohio State’s Nathan Tomasello placed third at 125 pounds in his final collegiate match with a takedown in sudden victory to win 8-6. He finished his career with one first-place finishes and three thirds at the national tournament.
No. 1 seed Kollin Moore got upset by unranked Kent State wrestler Kyle Conel in Friday’s quarterfinals. He fought back with three straight wins to advance to the third-place match, but found himself wrestling Conel again. Once again, Moore lost. This time Conel defeated him 5-3, leaving Moore to finish fourth at 197 pounds.
Luke Pletcher was upset by North Carolina State freshman Tariq Wilson in the 133-pound third-place match. Wilson opened the first period with a quick takedown to set the tone in the rematch. Pletcher rebounded to take a 3-2 lead entering the second. Wilson then then scored a takedown and a near fall to take a commanding lead. Wilson won 17-8 and Pletcher finished in fourth place.Wilson won 17-8 and Pletcher finished in fourth place.
Ohio State 141-pounder Joey McKenna came up short of a national title Friday night, but responded by advancing to the third–place match with a win against North Carolina State No. 5 seed Kevin Jack 4-3. A takedown by McKenna and a quick reversal by Jack saw the first period end 3-2 in favor of in favor of McKenna. McKenna extended the lead to 4-2 with an escape in the second, and held off Jack’s late shots in the match to claim third place.
“The bottom line is that, I’m not sure that we gutted out enough close ones to win this tournament,” Ryan said prior to the championship round beginning. “I said at the start of this thing, that this will be the most points scored for any second place team in the history of the sport. I was hoping it wasn’t us.”
As the No. 4 seed, McKenna faced another tough consolation opponent, finishing off his season with a 7-2 decision against Missouri No. 2 seed Jaydin Eierman to place third at 141 pounds for the Buckeyes.
Ohio State No. 7 seed Micah Jordan went lost both of his matches Saturday with a 4-2 decision going in favor of Cornhusker Tyler Berger and a comfortable 6-3 win for Alec Pantaleo in the fifth-place match.
Ohio State senior Bo Jordan only wrestled once on Saturday since his opponent, Lehigh’s Jordan Kutler, medically forfeited the fifth-place match at 174 pounds. Jordan lost to Michigan’s Myles Amine 6-2 in a bout that would have sent him to the third-place match.