PSU Wrestling Has Eight Champions at Keystone Classic

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team (2-0, 0-0 B1G), under the guidance of head coach Cael Sanderson, sent 19 wrestlers to the University of Pennsylvania for the 2016 Keystone Classic and came away with eight champions. Sanderson’s team rolled to the team title by more than 100 points.

(Photo courtesy of Penn State Athletics)

Penn State advanced 10 wrestlers to the finals at nine weights as two faced off against each other at 174. The Nittany Lions went 8-2 in the finals and rolled to the team title with 245.0 points. Second-place Pittsburgh had 121.5 and Eastern Michigan took third with 110.5.

True freshman Nick Suriano (Paramus, N.J.), ranked No. 6 at 125, rolled to the 125-pound title, posting a 4-0 record with a pin and two majors to take first. Junior Kade Moss (South Jordan, Utah) sparked Penn State at 141, advancing to the finals before suffering his first loss. His 4-1 run to second included two pins and a major. Junior Zain Retherford (Benton, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 149, was unstoppable. Retherford went 5-0 with five pins to claim the title. Retherford, who was named Outstanding Wrestler, moved to 17th on Penn State’s all-time pins list with 25.

Sophomore Jason Nolf (Yatesboro, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 157, stormed through the field to win the title. Nolf went 5-0 with three pins and two tech falls. Red-shirt freshman Vincenzo Joseph (Pittsburgh, Pa.), ranked No. 12 at 165, had a stellar day in winning the title at 165. Joseph downed No. 5 Chad Walsh of Rider 12-5 in a dominating semifinal performance. He ended the tournament with a dominating 9-5 decision over No. 13 Te’Shan Campbell. Joseph went 4-0 with two tech falls.

Senior Geno Morelli (DuBois, Pa.), ranked No. 13 at 174, faced sophomore teammate Shakur Rasheed (Coram, N.Y.) in the finals at 174. In a thrilling and even match that went well beyond extra time, Rasheed used an escape with :04 left in his second tie-breaker to grab a 2-1 (TB2) victory and claim the 174-pound title. Rasheed ended the tournament with a 5-0 mark, a pin and a tech fall while Morelli was equally impressive, going 4-1 with three pins.

Sophomore Bo Nickal (Allen, Texas), ranked No.3 at 184, pinned his way to the title at 184 just like Retherford. Nickal went 4-0 with four falls and is now 6-0 with six pins on the year. Junior Matt McCutcheon (Apollo, Pa.), ranked No. 14 at 197, won the 197-pound crown with an outstanding 3-1 win over No. 16 Frank Mattiace of Penn in the finals. McCutcheon went 4-0 with a fall. Sophomore Nick Nevills (Clovis, Calif.), ranked No. 9 at 285, dominated No. 9 Denzel Dejournette of Appalachian State in the title bout to win his crown. Nevills went 4-0 with two pins.

Sophomore Jered Cortez (Carol Stream, Ill.), ranked No. 9 at 133, rebounded from a semifinal upset to nab two falls and place third. Cortez went 4-1 with three pins. Red-shirt freshman Gary Dinmore (Skillman, N.J.) was strong at 149, posting a 3-2 mark to place fourth at 149..

Red-shirt freshman Dominic Giannangeli (Murrysville, Pa.) went 4-2 with a major to place fifth at 141. Red-shirt freshman Kellan Stout (Pittsburgh, Pa.) was solid at 197, posting a 3-2 mark to finish fifth. Senior Jimmy Gulibon (Latrobe, Pa.), ranked No. 11 at 141, went 4-2 with a major and a tech fall but did not place.

Red-shirt freshman Patrick Higgins (Monroeville, N.J.) went 2-2 at 125, senior Caleb Livingston (Drexel Hill, Pa.) went 1-2 at 165, sophomore Devon Van Cura (Washington, N.C.) went 0-2 at 184 and sophomore George Carpenter (Chapel Hill, N.C.) went 0-2 at 133.

The Nittany Lions opened up the day lighting the Palestra up with fireworks. Through the quarterfinals, Penn State rolled to a 37-5 record with a stunning 20 pins. Sanderson’s squad added on four technical falls and four majors to close out the morning half of the event with 28 bonus point wins in its 37 victories. The sizzling morning set the stage for Penn State’s outstanding overall record and performance. Penn State ended the day with a 64-19 overall record, including 27 pins, six tech falls and five majors. Penn State had 14 of its 19 entrants place (eight champs, two runners-up, one third, one fourth, two fifth).

Penn State will host No. 10 Lehigh in the Bryce Jordan Center on Dec. 4 in its next outing. The dual, which will air live to a national audience on the Big Ten Network, starts at 12 p.m. 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.

2016 Keystone Classic – Final Team Standings (top three):
November 20, 2016 – The Palestra – Philadelphia, Pa.

1: PENN STATE – 245.0
2: Pittsburgh – 121.5
3: Eastern Michigan – 110.5

Weight-by-weight agate (rankings listed are InterMat 11/15/16)

125: #6 Nick Suriano, Fr.
Rd 1: Tim Johnson, Sacred Heart – WBF (1:30)
Qtrs: Anthony Rubinetti, Northwestern – W, 16-4 maj. dec.
Semis: Zack Fuentes, Drexel – W, 4-2 dec.
Finals: Noah Gonser, Eastern Michigan – W, 12-4 maj. dec.

Notes: Opened up tournament with a quick first period pin (1:30) of Sacred Heart’s Tim Johnson. He took care of Northwestern’s Anthony Rubinetti in the quarterfinals, notching a 16-4 major decision. Suriano downed Zack Fuentes of Drexel in the semifinals to advance to the finals. Suriano then controlled Eastern Michigan’s Noah Gonser, posting a 12-4 major decision with 2:30 in riding time to claim the title.

125: Patrick Higgins, Fr.
Rd. 1: Matt Rodriguez, Harvard – W, 3-2 dec.
Qtrs: Noah Gonser, Eastern Michigan – LBF (3:19)
Cn 3: Tim Johnson, Sacred Heart – WBF (1:47)
Cn Q: Dalten Henderson, VMI – L, 0-12 maj. dec.

Notes: Higgins used a second period ride out to build up a riding time edge, crucial in his 3-2 opening round win over Harvard’s Matt Rodriguez. Higgins got the win on 1:13 in time. Pinned by Eastern Michigan’s Noah Gonser (3:19) in the quarterfinals, he rebounded to pin Sacred Heart’s Tim Johnson at the 1:47 mark. Higgins’ tourney came to a close with a 12-0 major loss to Dalten Henderson of VMI.

133: #9 Jered Cortez, So.
Rd. 1: Gerald Daley, Sacred Heart – WBF (1:45)
Qtrs: Shayne Wireman, Eastern Michigan – W, 10-3 dec.
Semis: Kevin Devoy, Drexel – L, 4-5 dec.
Con Semis: Jeffrey Ott, Harvard – WBF (0:43)
3rd Place: Shayne Wireman, Eastern Michigan – WBF (0:44)

Notes: Fast burst in the first period led Cortez to an early pin at the 1:45 mark of Sacred Heart’s Gerald Daley. Posted a 10-3 win over Eastern Michigan’s Shayne Wireman in the quarterfinals. Cortez was upset by Drexel senior Kevin Devoy in the semis, 5-4, dropping into consolation action where he rebounded with a quick first period pin of Harvard’s Jeffrey Ott (0:43). In the third place bout, Cortez faced Wireman again and posted his second straight quick pin, getting the fall at the 0:44 mark to take third.

133: George Carpenter, So.
Rd. 1: Anthony Canfora, Drexel – L, 6-10 dec.
Cn. 3: Shayne Wireman, Eastern Michigan – L, 4-7 dec.

Notes: Dropped tough 10-6 decision to Anthony Canfora of Drexel to open the tournament. Fell 7-4 to EMU’s Shayne Wiremen, going 0-2 on the day.

141: #11 Jimmy Gulibon, Sr.
Rd. 1: Evan Fidelibus, Rider – W, 14-5 maj. dec.
Rd. 2: Kyle Springer, Eastern Michigan – L, 5-8 dec.
Cn 2: Nick Maher, Franklin & Marshall – W, 16-0 (TF; 3:42)
Cn 3: Ryan Friedman, Harvard – W, 6-0 dec.
Cn 4: A.J. Vindici, Penn – W, 9-2 dec.
Cn Q: Irvin Enriquez, Appalachian State – LBF (1:21)

Notes: Opened tournament with 14-5 major over Rider’s Evan Fidelibus, including 3:47 in riding time. He then gave up a first period takedown and could not recover in an 8-5 upset loss to Eastern Michigan’s Kyle Springer. Rebounded with 16-0 tech fall over F&M’s Nick Maher and a 6-0 decision over Harvard’s Ryan Friedman in consolation action. He continued to roll in conso action with a 9-2 decision over Penn’s A.J. Vindici. He then lost to Appalachian State’s Irvin Enriquez to end his tournament with a 4-2 mark.

141: Kade Moss, Jr.
Rd. 1: Paddy Quinlan, Franklin and Marshall – WBF (4:14)
Rd. 2: John Reed, VMI – WBF (4:59)
Qtrs: A.J. Vindici, Penn – W, 14-2 maj. dec.
Semis: Dominic Giannangeli, Penn State – W, 7-3 dec.
Finals: Kyle Springer, Eastern Michigan – L, 2-5 dec.

Notes: Pinned Franklin & Marshall’s Paddy Quinlan at the 4:14 mark in his first bout. He followed that up with a pin of VMI’s John Reed with one second left in the second stanza (4:59) to advance in the championship bracket. He posted a dominating 14-2 major over third-seed A.J. Vindici of Penn in the quarterfinals and then downed teammate Dom Giannangeli 7-3 in the semifinals to advance to the championship match. In the finals, Moss fell to Eastern Michigan’s Kyle Springer 5-2 and took the runner-up nod at 141.

141: Dominic Giannangeli, Fr.
Rd. 1: Nick Maher, Franklin & Marshall – W, 10-2 maj. dec.
Rd. 2: David Pearce, Drexel – W, 5-2 dec.
Qrs: Samuel Goldman, Harvard – W, 3-2 dec.
Semis: Kade Moss, Penn State – L, 3-7 dec.
Cn Semi: Evan Fidelibus, Rider – L, 5-7 (SV)
5th: Irvin Enriquez, Appalachian State – W, 8-7 dec.

Notes: Majored Franklin & Marshall’s Nick Maher 10-2 to begin the tournament. He took down tourney’s second-seed, David Pearce of Drexel, 5-2 in the second round and then moved into semifinals with a 3-2 decision over Harvard’s Samuel Goldman. The freshman lost a tough 7-3 decision to teammate Kade Moss in the semifinals, moving down to consolation action. Giannangeli lost a tough 7-5 (sv) decision to Rider’s Evan Fidelibus, pushing him to the fifth place match where he held on for an 8-7 win over Irvin Enriquez of Appalachian State. His 4-2 run to fifth included one major.

149: #1 Zain Retherford, Jr.
Rd. 1: Kyle Brady, Sacred Heart – WBF (1:21)
Rd. 2: Joe Oliva, Penn – WBF (4:04)
Qtrs: Shayne Oster, Northwestern – WBF (0:48)
Semis: Mikey Racciatto, Pittsburgh – WBF (4:43)
Finals: Matthew Zovistoski, Appalachian State – WBF (2:46)

Notes: Began tournament with a first period pin (1:21) of Sacred Heart’s Kyle Brady. He then pinned Penn’s Joe Oliva at the 4:04 mark and then got his third straight fall, this one at the 0:48 mark over Northwestern’s Shayne Oster to move into the semifinals. Retherford made it four-for-four pins with a fall over Pitt’s Mikey Racciatto (4:43) to advance to the title bout. He made it five for five in pins, decking Appalachian State’s Matthew Zovistoski at the 2:46 mark to claim the crown.

149: Gary Dinmore, Fr.
Rd. 1: bye
Rd. 2: #9 Matt Cimato, Drexel – W, 6-4 dec.
Qtrs: Alex Murray, Pittsburgh – W, 3-1 (SV)
Semis: Matt Zovistoski, Appalachian State – L, 2-3 (TB)
Cn Semi: Nick Barber, Eastern Michigan – W, 10-8 (SV)
3rd: Mikey Racciato, Pittsburgh – L, 5-9 dec.

Notes: After a first round bye, Dinmore upset No. 9 Matt Cimato of Drexel, the tournament’s second seed, 6-4. He used a first period cradle to open up a lead that Cimato could not erase. Dinmore followed that win up with a thrilling 3-1 (sv) win over Pitt’s Alex Murray to move into the semifinals. In the semis, he dropped a hard-fought 3-2 (tb) decision to Appalachian State’s Mikey Racciatto and shifted down to consolation action. He battled back from an early deficit to nab a 10-8 (sv) win over Eastern Michigan’s Nick Barber, scrambling to a takedown in extra time to advance to the third place match. He fell to Pitt’s Mikey Racciato 9-5 to finish fourth with a 3-2 overall record.

157: #1 Jason Nolf, So.
Rd. 1: Mike Marano, Franklin & Marshall – WBF (1:27)
Rd. 2: Zeth Dean, Harvard – WBF (1:16)
Qtrs: Zac Carson, Eastern Michigan – WBF (3:45)
Semis: Jake Wentzel, Pittsburgh – W, 19-4 (TF; 6:01)
Finals: #19 May Bethea, Penn – W, 25-10 (TF; 6:04)

Notes: Quick first period pin at the 1:27 mark of Mike Marano of Franklin & Marshall. Second straight first period pin, this one at the 1:16 mark over Harvard’s Zeth Dean. Pinned Eastern Michigan’s Zac Carson at the 3:45 mark to move into the semifinals. He posted a 19-4 tech fall over Pittsburgh’s Jake Wentzel and advanced to the championship bout. Nolf then handled No. 19 May Bethea of Penn, putting on a takedown clinic on his way to a 25-10 tech fall at the 6:04 mark to win the 157-pound title.

165: #12 Vincenzo Joseph, Fr.
Rd. 1: bye
Rd. 2: David Kasper, Eastern Michigan – W, 21-6 (TF; 5:55)
Qtrs: Austin Rose, Drexel – W, 23-6 (TF; 6:41)
Semis: #5 Chad Walsh, Rider – W, 12-5 dec.
Finals: #13 Te’Shawn Campbell, Pittsburgh – W, 9-5 dec.

Notes: A resounding 21-6 tech fall over Eastern Michigan’s David Kasper to open the tournament and another tech fall, 23-6 over Drexel’s Austin Rose, sent Joseph into the semifinals. In the semis, Joseph met No. 5 Chad Walsh of Rider, the top seed, and rolled to a 12-5 decision over the Bronc veteran. The win moved Joseph into the title bout where he took on No. 13 Te’Shan Campbell of Pitt. Joseph dominated the action, rolling to a 9-5 win with 1:15 in riding time to claim the championship.

165: Caleb Livingston, Sr.
Rd. 1: bye
Rd. 2: #17 Forrest Przybysz, Appalachian State – L, 6-8 dec.
Cn. 3: Cade Kiely, VMI – W, 9-3 dec.
Cn. 4: Joseph Velliquette, Penn – L, 6-8 (TB) dec.

Notes: Led late into the third before No. 17 Forrest Przybysz notched a takedown to hand Livingston a tough 8-6 loss. Rebounded with a 9-3 win over Cade Kiely of VMI to move on in consolation action. After tying the bout, he gave up a late takedown to drop an 8-6 (tb) decision to Penn’s Joseph Velliquette, ending his tournament run at 1-2.

174: #13 Geno Morelli, Sr.
Rd. 1: Austin Bell, Pittsburgh – WBF (3:24)
Rd. 2: Joe Toci, Sacred Heart – WBF (4:27)
Qtrs: Shabaka Johns, VMI – WBF (4:05)
Semis: Jacob Davis, Eastern Michigan – W, 6-0 dec.
Finals: Shakur Rasheed, Penn State – L, 1-2 (TB2) dec.

Notes: Used a quick lock and throw to pin Pittsburgh’s Austin Bell early in the second period, getting the fall at the 3:24 mark to open up the tournament. He then pinned Joe Toci of Sacred Heart (4:27) to move into the quarterfinals. His third pin of the tournament, a 4:05 fall over VMI’s Shabaka Johns, sent Morelli into the semifinals. Morelli shut out Eastern Michigan’s Jacob Davis 6-0 to move into the finals where he met teammate Shakur Rasheed. The duo battled evenly into a second tie breaker before Rasheed escaped with just :04 left in his second tie-breaker to steal a hard-fought 2-1 (TB2) win. Rasheed took first and Morelli second .

174: Shakur Rasheed, So.
Rd. 1: Ben Wagner, VMI – WBF (2:10)
Rd. 2: Marcus Johnson, Appalachian State – W, 18-2 (TF; 5:27)
Qtrs: Nick Elmer, Drexel – WBF (1:30)
Semis: Johnny Sebastian, Northwestern – W, 7-2 dec.
Finals: #13 Geno Morelli, Penn State – W, 2-1 (TB2) dec.

Notes: Rasheed pinned VMI’s Ben Wagner at the 2:10 mark in the first period in his first match of the tournament and the year. Dominated Appalachian State’s Marcus Johnson, posting an 18-2 tech fall (5:27). He moved into the semifinals by pinning Drexel’s Nick Elmer at the 1:30 mark of the first period. Rasheed then took down Johnny Sebastian of Northwestern to move into the finals where he met teammate Geno Morelli, ranked No. 13 nationally. The duo battled evenly into a second tie breaker before Rasheed escaped with just :04 left in his second tie-breaker to steal a hard-fought 2-1 (TB2) win. Rasheed took first and Morelli second .

184: #3 Bo Nickal, So.
Rd. 1: Elliott Antler, Sacred Heart – WBF (3:49)
Qtrs: Kayne Maccallum, Eastern Michigan – WBF (2:57)
Semis: Anthony Mancini, Franklin & Marshall – WBF (2:12)
Finals: Mitch Sliga, Northwestern – WBF (6:34)

Notes: Dominant opening bout, posting a fall over Elliott Antler of Sacred Heart at the 3:49 mark. He followed that up with a first period pin (2:57) of Eastern Michigan’s Kayne Maccallum to advance to the semifinals. Nickal made it three straight pins, getting the fall over F&M’s Anthony Mancini at the 2:12 mark to advance to the finals. Nickal made it four straight pins for the crown, getting the fall over Northwestern’s Mitch Sliga at the 6:34 mark to win the title.

184: Devon Van Cura, So.
Rd. 1: Alex DeCiantis, Drexel – L, 6-7 dec.
Cn. 4: Kayne Maccallum, Eastern Michigan – LBF (TB; 8:56)

Notes: Lost a tough 7-6 decision to Drexel’s Alex DeCiantis in the first round. He lost in a tie-breaker to Eastern Michigan’s Kayne Maccallum (LBF; TB/8:56) to close out his tournament 0-2.

197: #14 Matt McCutcheon, Jr.
Rd. 1: bye
Rd. 2: Demazio Samuel, Appalachian State – WBF (2:55)
Qtrs: Zach Bruce, Pittsburgh – W, 5-2 dec.
Semis: Jacob Berkowitz, Northwestern – W, 7-1 dec.
Finals: #16 Frank Mattiace, Penn – W, 3-1

Notes: Strong first period led to a late flurry and an opening period pin with just five seconds left, with McCutcheon getting the fall over Demazio Samuel of Appalachian State (2:55). He then moved into the semifinals with a 5-2 decision over Pitt’s Zach Bruce. A 7-1 win over Northwestern’s Jacob Berkowitz sent McCutcheon into the finals. McCutcheon faced No. 16 Frank Mattiace in the title tilt and notched a last second takedown to post the 3-1 win and claim the 197-pound crown.

197: Kellan Stout, Fr.
Rd. 1: Derek Hillman, Eastern Michigan – W, 6-3 dec.
Qtrs: Josh Murphy, Drexel – W, 6-4 (SV)
Semis: #16 Frank Mattiace, Penn – L, 2-3 dec.
Cn Semi: Joe Heyob, Penn – L, 1-3 dec.
5th Place: Randall Diabe, Appalachian State – W, 8-6 dec.

Notes: Strong 6-3 win over Eastern Michigan’s Derek Hillman to advance to the quarterfinals. Used a scrambling takedown over Drexel’s Josh Murphy in extra time to post a 6-4 (sv) win and advance to the semifinals. He took No. 16 Frank Mattiace of Penn to the end of the line before dropping a hard-fought 3-2 decision. In consolation action, Stout dropped a 3-1 decision to Penn’s Joe Heyob and dropped to the fifth place match where he downed Appalachian State’s Randall Diabe 8-6 to take fifth.

285: #9 Nick Nevills, So.
Rd. 1: Ryan Cloud, Rider – WBF (4:06)
Qtrs: Tommy Shea-Roop, VMI – WBF (1:57)
Semis: Joey Goodhart, Drexel – W, 8-1 dec.
Finals: #8 Denzel Dejournette, Appalachian State – W, 8-3

Notes: Pinned Rider’s Ryan Cloud at the 4:06 mark to open up his tournament run and then moved to the semis with a first period pin (1:57) of VMI’s Tommy Shea-Roop. He then downed Drexel’s Joey Goodhart 8-1 to move into the finals, building up over 4:00 in riding time in the process. In the finals, Nevills took on No. 8 Denzel Dejournette of Appalachian State in the finals and rolled to an 8-3 victory to claim the crown.

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