UNIVERSITY PARK — Penn State Nittany Lion wrestler Mark Hall (Apple Valley, Minn.) has been named the Big Ten Wrestler of the Week for the week ending December 16, 2018. Hall earns Penn State’s first weekly honor of the 2018-19 season.
Hall, a two-time All-American and the 2017 national champion, dominated No. 1 Zahid Valencia 4-0 in Penn State’s 41-3 dismantling of visiting Arizona State on Friday night. The match-up pitted the last two NCAA champs at 174 against each other as Hall beat Valencia in the 2017 NCAA semifinals on his way to the ’17 title and Valencia beat Hall in last year’s NCAA title bout.
After escaping to start the second period to break a scoreless tie, Hall notched the bout’s lone takedown with 0:41 left in the period to take a 3-0 lead. The Lion junior did not allow Valencia off bottom from that point on. Hall rode the Sun Devil out in the second and then, after Valencia chose down to start the third period, controlled him the entire third period to end the bout with a whopping 2:41 in riding time and rolled to the 4-0 victory.
Hall’s win was one of nine for Penn State in the 41-3 victory over No. 9 Arizona State in front of nearly 7,000 fans in sold out Rec Hall. The crowd of 6,676 was the sixth largest in Rec Hall since head coach Cael Sanderson’s arrival in 2009-10. Hall is now 8-0 on the season with three pins and a major. Penn State improves to 4-0 overall.
Penn State will head to Chattanooga, Tenn., once again to ring in the New Year at the Southern Scuffle. The Lions have won the event in each of their last seven trips. The 2019 Southern Scuffle is set for Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 1-2, at UT-Chattanooga’s McKenzie Arena.