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Penn State Wrestling Preps for World Championships Run

Three former Nittany Lions are headed to Final X, where the U.S. World Team will be determined.

Jason Nolf, Zain Retherford and David Taylor highlight the Penn State wrestling contingent that will compete in the final round of USA Wrestling's World Team Trials, also known as Final X.

Nolf and Retherford earned berths in the Final X Championship Series this past weekend at the World Team Trials Challenge Tournament in Coralville, Iowa. They will join Taylor, Penn State's first Olympic gold medalist, Thomas Gilman and Kyle Snyder of the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club, who already had earned spots in Final X.

Two Final X events will be held in June to determine the USA Wrestling Senior World Team that will represent the U.S. at the world championships in September in Serbia. In addition, Jennifer Page-Rogers, who trains at Penn State's Olympic Regional Training Center, earned a bid to Final X in women's 62 kg freestyle.

Nolf, a three-time NCAA wrestling champion at Penn State, earned his spot in Final X by going 3-0 at the Challenge tournament. Nolf, who wrestles at 74 kg freestyle, swept the Challenge finals with a pair of technical falls over Joey Lavallee.

At Final X, Nolf will wrestle Kyle Dake for the U.S. World Team spot. Dake is a three-time world champion and the defending champ at 74 kg. Dake also won bronze at 74 kg at the 2020 Olympics.

Retherford, also a three-time champ at Penn State, went 2-0 at 70 kg to reach Final X, defeating 2022 U.S. Open champion Alex Pantaleo. Retherford will face Jordan Oliver in the best-of-three final. Oliver, who wrestled at Oklahoma State, is the defending U.S. Olympic Team Trials champ at 70 kg.

Three wrestlers from Penn State's 2021 national championship team competed in freestyle at the Challenge Tournament. Carter Starocci, a two-time NCAA champ, went 3-1 and placed third at 79 kg. Two-time national champ Nick Lee went 2-2 at 68 kg to place in the top 6. Beau Bartlett went 1-2 at 65 kg.

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Final X will be conducted at two different sites in June. Final X Stillwater is scheduled for June 3 in conjunction with the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Honors Weekend. Final X New York is scheduled for June 8 at Madison Square Garden's Hulu Theater and will serve as the 12th annual Beat the Streets benefit.

Olympic Gold Medalist David Taylor

David Taylor, the first Penn State wrestler to win an Olympic gold medal, will compete at Final X for a trip to the Senior World Championships.

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