Penn State Wrestlers Ready for National Championships

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – No. 1 Penn State, the 2016 Big Ten Champions, will head to the 2016 NCAA Wrestling Championships with three No. 1 seeds.

(Photo of Jason Nolf. Photo courtesy of Penn State Athletics)

Sophomore Zain Retherford(Benton, Pa.), red-shirt freshman Bo Nickal (Allen, Texas) and senior Morgan McIntosh (Santa Ana, Calif.) each earned top seeds for head coach Cael Sanderson’s squad. Penn State will take nine NCAA qualifiers to the event, which takes place on Thursday through Saturday, March 17-19, in New York City’s Madison Square Garden.

Retherford, 2016 Big Ten Champion, will be the No. 1 seed at 149 and will take on the pigtail winner of Chris Vassar of Gardner-Webb vs. Bryce Hammond of CSU Bakersfield. Retherford will carry a 29-0 record into the tournament. He is the 2016 Big Ten Wrestler of the Year and was a 2014 All-American, placing fifth at 141. He red-shirted last season.

Nickal, 2016 Big Ten Champion, will be the No. 1 seed at 174 and will meet Josef Johnson of Harvard in the first round. Nickal sports a 29-1 overall record and is on his way to his first NCAA Championship tournament. Nickal was the lone freshman Big Ten Champion at this year’s tournament in Iowa City.

McIntosh, 2016 Big Ten Champion, will be the No. 1 seed at 197 and takes on Rider’s Ryan Wolfe in the opening round. McIntosh is a two time All-American, placing seventh in 2014 and third in 2015. He is a two-time Big Ten Champion and heads to his final NCAA tournament with a 28-0 record.

Senior Nico Megaludis (Murrysville, Pa.) is the No. 3 seed at 125 and will tangle with the pigtail winner of Brandon Jeske of Central Michigan vs. Chasen Tolbert of Utah Valley in the opening round. Megaludis is a three-time All-American, having been national runner-up twice (2012 and 2013) and third place (2014). He red-shirted last season and heads to New York City with a 27-3 overall record.

Red-shirt freshman Jason Nolf (Yatesboro, Pa.), 2016 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, will be the No. 3 seed at 157 and will face Chattanooga’s Kamaal Shakur in the opening round. Nolf, Big Ten Runner-Up, owns a 29-1 overall record as he heads to his first NCAA Championship tournament.

Senior Jordan Conaway (Abbottstown, Pa.) is the No. 5 seed at 133 and wrestles Central Michigan’s Corey Keener in the tournament’s opening round. Conaway, an All-American last year at 125 (8th), heads to his final NCAA Championship with a 26-5 overall record.

Sophomore Matt McCutcheon (Apollo, Pa.) is the No. 16 seed at 184 and takes on Bucknell’s Tom Sleigh in the opening round. McCutcheon is headed to his second straight NCAA tournament and is 16-6 overall. He went 2-2 a year ago in St. Louis.

Junior Jimmy Gulibon (Latrobe, Pa.), 2016 Big Ten runner-up, is unseeded at 141 and meets No. 5 seed Matt Manley of Missouri in the opening round. Gulibon, the Big Ten Runner-Up at 141, heads to Madison Square Garden with a 12-9 overall record. He was an All-American at 133 a year ago, placing fifth.

Junior Geno Morelli (DuBois, Pa.) received an at-large bid to the tournament at 165 and will make his NCAA Championship debut in New York. Morelli will face No. 11 seed John Staudenmayer of North Carolina in the opening round. He carries a 19-10 record with him to NCAAs.

Sanderson’s Lions will be looking to win its fifth NCAA Championship in the last six years (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014) and its sixth overall (1953). The Nittany Lions will be looking to add to a lengthy list of team accolades already won this year: a sixth-straight Southern Scuffle, a third Big Ten Regular Season title (co-), the NWCA National Dual Championship crown and its fifth Big Ten Championship in six years. Seven of Penn State’s NCAA Qualifiers are seeded at the tournament.

The three-day NCAA Championship event begins on Thursday, March 17, at 12 p.m. The tournament’s six sessions are as follows: Thursday, March 17, 12 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Friday, March 18, 11 a.m. and 8 p.m.; Saturday, March 19, 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. The full event airs on ESPNU, ESPN (semis and finals) and ESPN3.

Penn State Fans are encouraged to follow Penn State wrestling via twitter at @pennstateWREST, on Penn State Wrestling’s Facebook page at and on Instagram at The 2015-16 Penn State wrestling season is presented by The Family Clothesline. This is PENN STATE. WRESTLING lives here.


125 #3 Nico Megaludis Sr. Murrysville, Pa./Franklin Regional // 27-3
3X All-American (2nd, 2nd, 3rd), 13-3 All-Time at NCAAs

133 #5 Jordan Conaway Sr. Abbottstown, Pa./New Oxford // 26-5
Coaches, All-American (8th at 125), 7-5 All-Time at NCAAs

141 Jimmy Gulibon Jr. Latrobe, Pa./Derry 12-9
All-American (5th at 133), 5-4 All-Time at NCAAs

149 #1 Zain Retherford So. Benton, Pa./Benton // 29-0
All-American (5th at 141), 4-2 All-Time at NCAAs
Big Ten Champion, 2016 Big Ten Wrestler of the Year

157 #3 Jason Nolf Fr. Yatesboro, Pa./Kittanning // 29-1
0-0 All-Time at NCAAs
2016 Big Ten Freshman of the Year

165 Geno Morelli Jr. DuBois, Pa./DuBois // 19-10
0-0 All-Time at NCAAs

174 #1 Bo Nickal Fr. Allen, Texas/Allen // 29-1
0-0 All-Time at NCAAs
Big Ten Champion

184 #16 Matt McCutcheon So. Apollo, Pa./Kiski Area // 16-6
2-2 All-Time at NCAAs

197 #1 Morgan McIntosh Sr. Santa Ana, Calif./Calvary Chapel // 28-0
2X All-American (3rd, 7th), 12-5 All-Time at NCAAs
Big Ten Champion

Team ranking is Final InterMat Tournament Power Index (TPI) as of 3/8/16

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