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Nickal named Penn State Male Athlete of the Year

Bo Nickal throws Stanford's Nathan Traxler in the Southern Scuffle finals (Photo/Sam Janicki, SJanickiPhoto.com)

The honors keep piling up for Bo Nickal.

Nickal, three-time NCAA Division I wrestling champion who earned 2019 InterMat Wrestler of the Year honors and the 2019 Hodge Trophy, has been named Penn State Male Student-Athlete of the Year, the school announced Monday.

Nickal becomes the seventh individual Nittany Lion wrestler to earn Male Student-Athlete of the Year. The most recent PSU wrestler to earn this honor was Zain Retherford in 2015-16 and 2016-17.

At the 2019 NCAA Division I Wrestling championships, Nickal won his third consecutive national title -- this time, at 197 pounds - which helped propel the Nittany Lions to another team title. The Allen, Texas native concluded his senior season with a perfect 30-0 record, including 18 pins, three technical falls and six major decisions. In his time as at Penn State, Nickal tallied a 120-3 career record, with 59 pins, 12 technical falls and 23 major decisions.

In addition to earning InterMat Wrestler of the Year and Hodge Trophy honors in 2019, this year Nickal was named Co-Big Ten Wrestler of the Year (shared with teammate Jason Nolf) and the 2019 NCAA Most Dominant Wrestler.

In prior years, Nickal was named the 2018 NCAA Tournament Outstanding Wrestler and 2017 NCAA Tournament Gorriaran Award recipient for the most falls in the least amount of time. He ends his career second on Penn State's all-time pins list (with 59) … tied for third on Penn State's all-time NCAA wins list (19); and tied for 13th on Penn State's all-time wins list (120). Nickal also was an Academic All-Big Ten honoree, was a first team NWCA (National Wrestling Coaches Association) National All-Academic selection and won the 2019 U.S. Open title this past April.

Ally McHugh was named Penn State Female Student-Athlete of the Year at the same time Nickal was revealed for the school's male athlete for 2019.

McHugh and Nickal will be on the ballot for Big Ten Male and Female Athletes of the Year with honorees from the other 13 conference institutions.

Speaking of Big Ten honors … just last week, Bo Nickal's teammate, Jason Nolf, was named Penn State's male recipient of the Big Ten Medal of Honor.

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