Nine Nittany Lion Wrestling Club members and five former Penn State wrestling greats will be looking to make the US World Team when they compete at the Final X Saturday, June 10.
What is the Final X?
It’s a series of three matches in each of the 10 Olympic weight classes.
Some competitors are already on the Olympic World Team while others either won at World Team Trials or are U.S. Open champions. For instance, Penn State legend and two-time Hodge Trophy (wrestling’s Heisman) winner David Taylor is an Olympic gold medalist and World Team member.
Taylor will compete at 86 KG against current Penn State star Aaron Brooks, a three-time national champion who won the U.S. Open in April.
Other notable matchups include Thomas Gilman— who wrestled at Iowa but is a NLWC member— going against Zane Richards at 57 kg. Recent Penn State alum Nick Lee will challenge Yianni Diakomihalis— who won his fourth national championship for Cornell this March, becoming the fifth wrestler in history to do that— for his spot.
Diakomihalis was a 2022 World medalist at 65 kg.
One of the other four to win four national titles, Kyle Dake— another Cornell grad— is an NLWC member. Dake (74 KG) and former Penn State wrestler Zain Retherford (70 kg) were 2022 World medalists. Dake announced his move to the NLWC last September. Retherford will take on Tyler Berger and Dake will challenge teammate Jason Nolf, who wrestled at Penn State.
In the women’s division, Jennifer Page (59 KG) is the only NLWC member competing. She got here by winning last month’s World Team Trials. Page will be going against U.S. Open Champion Michaela Beck. Page dominated Beck in the two’s only prior meeting, winning via technical superiority, 11-0, at the US Nationals in 2019.
Here’s more information on how to watch Penn State wrestling and NLCW stars at this year’s Final X.
When: 12:30 Saturday, June 10
Where: Newark, New Jersey
Arena: Prudential Center
Streaming: FloWrestling (paid subscription)