Penn State wins fourth straight NCAA wrestling title, two Berks alumns finish in top five

by Staff Report, Reading Eagle

Posted on March 24, 2019

Article originally appeared here:
https://www.readingeagle.com/sports/article/wrestling-wood-finishes-fourth-desanto-fifth-and-penn-state-wins-national-title

Jordan Wood finished fourth and Austin DeSanto came in fifth, and Penn State won its fourth straight national title Saturday at the NCAA Wrestling Championships in Pittsburgh.

Wood, a Boyertown grad and Lehigh sophomore, placed fourth at 285 pounds. DeSanto, an Exeter grad and Iowa sophomore, finished fifth at 133.

They are the 10th and 11th Berks wrestlers to earn All-American honors. It was the first time since 2008 that two Berks wrestlers earned All-American honors in the same year and just the second time overall.

Penn State continued its dominance by winning its eighth national championship in nine years under coach Cael Sanderson.

Bo Nickal and Jason Nolf each won their third straight national titles and Anthony Cassar won his first for the Nittany Lions.

Penn State, which also had two runners-up among seven All-Americans, finished with 137.5 points. Ohio State was a distant second with 96.5.

DeSanto, who fell one win short of becoming an All-American last year while at Drexel, split two matches on Saturday.

He lost to Ohio State's Luke Pletcher 7-6 before bouncing back to defeat Missouri's John Erneste 11-6 to finish the season 23-6.

Wood (25-5) also split two matches. He defeated Oregon State's Amar Dhesi 7-3 before losing his bout for third place 4-0 to Minnesota's Gable Steveson.

Nickal ended his dominant run to the 197-pound title with a 5-1 decision over Ohio State's Kollin Moore. Nickal, who won his previous two titles at 184, had three falls and a major decision on his way to the finals.

Nolf defeated Nebraska's Tyler Berger 10-2 to win at 157.

Cassar dominated No. 1 seed Derek White of Oklahoma State in a 10-1 major decision to win his title at 285.

Penn State's Vincenzo Joseph and Mark Hall lost in the finals.

Joseph was denied his third national title when he lost a 7-1 decision to Virginia Tech's Mekhi Lewis.

Hall, a 2017 champion and runner-up last year, finished second again with a 4-3 loss to Arizona State's Zahid Valencia.

Also for Penn State, Nick Lee placed fifth at 141 and Roman Bravo-Young was eighth at 133.

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