FloWrestler Of The Week: Bo Nickal, PSU
And the Lion that stood out above the rest was Bo Nickal, who going into the finals had not had a full match in the entire tournament. Nickal recorded a technical fall followed by three straight pins in the round of 16, quarterfinals, and semifinals, respectively. Just one of his pre-final bouts made it to the third period, and that was for just 34 seconds before he pinned Binghampton's Steven Schneider in 5:34.
But despite all of Nickal's early-round dominance, it was his incredible come-from-behind victory over returning two-time champion and No. 1-ranked Gabe Dean of Cornell that clinched the 184-pound NCAA national title and capped off PSU's perfect 5-0 run in the finals.
Bo Nickal's great performance to finish off Penn State's historic showing makes him our FloWrestler of the Week presented by Cliff Keen.
Bo's results:Finals: Bo Nickal (Penn St.) DEC Gabriel Dean (Cornell), 4-3
Semifinals: Bo Nickal (Penn St.) F Samuel Brooks (Iowa), 1:01
Quarterfinals: Bo Nickal (Penn St.) F Timothy Dudley (Nebraska), 4:37
R16: Bo Nickal (Penn St.) F Steven Schneider (Binghamton), 5:34
R32: Bo Nickal (Penn St.) TF Mitch Sliga (Northwestern), 15-0 3:21
Other FloWrestler of the Week Nominees:Darian Cruz, Lehigh: Defeated top-ranked and undefeated Thomas Gilman in overtime before going on to beat Ethan Lizak in the finals to win the title at 125.
Vincenzo Joseph, PSU: Did what no one expected and pinned two-time returning NCAA champion Isaiah Martinez in 5:24.
J'den Cox, Missouri: Became the first wrestler in school history to win three NCAA titles.
Zain Retherford, PSU: Was the most dominant wrestler of the tournament as he bonused his way to a second straight title with a tech fall in the finals. He was also named the tournament's Outstanding Wrestler.
Cory Clark, Iowa: Fought through an injury-plagued season and defeated the top two seeds on the way to claiming the title at 133 pounds.