PITTSBURGH – Ten minutes after winning the first wrestling national title in Rutger's school history, Nick Suriano stopped answering a question about feat and pointed to a television based on his press conference. He had a proclamation to redo a teammate.
"Anthony Ashnault on the screen right there to do the next. And it must be a day in history. It's a blessing," Suriano said. 19659002] Certainly, after no national champs since 1930, Rutger's title no. 2 was half an hour later at PPG Paints Arena.
Suriano's 149-pound teammate, Ashnault, ended his Scarlet Knights career with a 9-4 victory over Ohio State's Micah Jordan. Twice before, Suriano had claimed a regular loss in Oklahoma State's Date Fix and beat Cowboy 4-2 in the second sudden victory period this time around.
At his postmatch news meeting, Suriano stopped before the first question as footage of his father, celebrating the winnings rolled in the background.
"I'm just looking at my dad's going," he said before continuing. "It came down not to finish this last fight. I was close to it."
Suriano needed a late flight from scratch to get the battle for the second sudden victory period, but he got it – then the school made history with a takedown against Fix.
Suriano was a decorated New Jersey high school star who went undefeated along the way to four state titles. He went to Penn State for a year before transferring to Rutgers. He lost in the 125-pound final last year, but roared back this season to win the 133-pound division in what most observers considered to be the toughest top-to-bottom weight class.
Ashnault fought back from injuries earlier in his career and received a sixth year of support from the NCAA. He swept through the 2018-19 with a 36-0 record culminating in Saturday's national title. Due to the order of the finals starting at heavyweight, Suriano first took the mat and beat Ashnault to the historic battle.
At his press conference, Ashnault interrupted a question that said he should be tied first with Suriano in the history of the school.
"Nah, he's the first," said Ashnault. "I had three chances. I didn't get it done."
The two individual titles drove Rutgers into a ninth place in the team game.
Virginia Tech also saw his first national champion as eighth-seeded Hokie Mekhi Lewis disturbed two-hour defender champ Vincenzo Joseph of Penn State 7-1 in the 165-pound final.
As expected, Penn State turned to its eighth nine-year title and put five wrestlers in the final with three masters. 19659018] Heavyweight Anthony Cassar walloped Oklahoma State's top-seeded Derek White 10-1 to get the night started. Nittany Lions Jason Nolf and Bo Nickal joined their seniors who won their third individual NCAA title and fourth title since joining State College. Nolf handled Nebraska's Tyler Berger 10-2 to 157-pound crown. Nickal beat Ohio State's Collin Moore in the 197-pound final 5-1.
Penn State's Mark Hall fell into the 174-pound final to rival Zahid Valencia in Arizona State in a tight 4-3 decision. Valencia also beat Hall to win last year's NCAA title.
In the other three finals, Spencer Lee in Iowa was a 5-0 winner over Virginia Jack Mueller at £ 125. Cornell's Yianni Diakomihalis defended his 141-pound championship by beating Ohio State's Joey McKenna 6-4 in overtime and Northern Iowa's Drew Foster put Maxwell Dean of Cornell 6-4 at 184 pounds.
The final standings went to Penn State (137.5 team points), Ohio State (96.5), Oklahoma State 84), Iowa (76), and Michigan (62.5).