About Bo

The Collegiate Career Is Over and All Eyes are on Tokyo 2020.

After leaving a collegiate legacy in a Penn State singlet by being a 3x NCAA and 3x Big Ten Champion, Bo Nickal will now set his eyes on World and Olympic Gold. But first, let's talk about that college career.

Parents: Jason and Sandy Nickal
 Major: Kinesiology

Senior Bo Nickal heads into the 2018-19 season looking to win his third-straight NCAA title and become a four-time All-American. Nickal has advanced to the NCAA final in each of his first three seasons as a Nittany Lion, winning the final match of the 2017 NCAA Championships, capping off Penn State’s 5-0 run in the finals, and clinching Penn State’s 2018 team title with a pin in the final in Cleveland. Nickal, and teammates Vincenzo Joseph and Jason Nolf, will be looking to join Ed Ruth and Zain Retherford as Penn State’s only three-time NCAA Champions and David Taylor as Penn State’s only four-time finalists.


2017-18: Fast fall over Army’s Noah Stewart in just 0:26 in season opener vs. Army on 11/9...Majored Drew Phipps of Bucknell (16-6) on 11/12...Dominating major over #14 Steven Schneider of Binghamton on 11/17...Went 4-0 with three pins and a tech fall to win the Keystone Classic on 11/19...Pinned #16 Mitch Sliga of Northwestern in just 0:48 in the final...Beat #4 Ryan Preisch of Lehigh on 12/3...Fifth pin in under a minute with a pin of Indiana’s Norman Conley at the 0:42 mark on 12/17...Went 5-0 with three first period pins to win the 2018 Southern Scuffle championship, including a 10-2 major of #10 Drew Foster of Northern Iowa in the final...Notched 5-2 win over #5 Domenic Abounader of Michigan on 1/12...Pinned Purdue’s Max Lyon on 1/19 (1:55) and Maryland’s Nico Capello (3:23) on 1/21...Pinned Minnesota’s Dylan Anderson (5:31) on 1/26...had a 6-5 win over #12 Nicholas Gravina of Rutgers on 1/28...Commanding 10-2 major over #2 Myles Martin on 2/3, to spark Penn State to a 19-18 victory over the Buckeyes in Rec Hall...Seventh fast fall in under a minute on 2/10, pinning Iowa’s Mitch Bowman at the 0:50 mark in BJC Dual win...Pinned Buffalo’s Brett Perry in just 0:11 on 2/18, tied for second-fastest pin in PSU history (with David Taylor in 2014/record is 0:08 by Dylan Alton in 2013).

Big Ten Championships (3-0, Champion, NCAA Qualifier): Won second Big Ten title (won at 174 in 2016) with 3-0 run in East Lansing, including a 5-2 win over #7 Emery Parker of Illinois and a 7-4 win over #2 Myles Martin in the final.

NCAA Championships (5-0, Champion, All-American): Won second-straight NCAA title by pinning #2 Myles Martin of Ohio State at the 2:29 mark in NCAA final...Pin clinched Penn State’s seventh NCAA team title in last eight years...Downed #16, #9, #5 and #2 wrestlers in 5-0 run at NCAAs, including a major and the pin of Martin...Won Schalles Award as nation’s top pinner...2018 NCAA Championship Outstanding Wrestler.

2016-17: Ranked #2 by InterMat...posted a 2-0 weekend to open the season getting pins at Army WP (0:25) and Stanford (6:21)...Pinned his way to Keystone Classic title at Penn on 11/20, going 4-0 with four falls to win the crown, improving at the time to 6-0 with six pins on the year...Pinned Lehigh’s Kyle Gentile on 12/4 in BJC Dual, his seventh-straight pin to open up the season...Stayed unbeaten with all bonus victories by dominating #13 Steve Schneider of Binghamton on 12/11, posting an 18-7 major in Rec Hall...Pinned Minnesota’s Bobby Stevenson (2:36) in B1G action on 1/6...Dominated #3 TJ Dudley of Nebraska 10-5 on 1/8 in Lincoln...Thrilling pin of #14 Nicholas Gravina of Rutgers in Rec Hall on 1/13...Dazzling first period pin of #5 Sammy Brooks at Iowa on 1/20 (0:38)...Was Big Ten Wrestler of the Week (1/22)...Pinned Wisconsin’s Hunter Ritter (2:35) in Madison on 1/27...Majored #20 Mitch Sliga of Northwestern on 1/29...Dominated #10 Myles Martin of Ohio State, posting an 8-2 win with three takedowns to lead Penn State to a 32-12 victory over the Buckeyes...Recorded an 18-5 major over #12 Emery Parker of Illinois on 2/10...Thrilling and quick pin at the 0:38 mark vs. #4 Nolan Boyd of Oklahoma State on 2/19, helping lead Penn State to 27-13 win at OSU for NWCA Dual crown...Winner of The Hammer Award from Amateur Wrestling News, presented annually by AWN to the winner of what AWN deemed the toughest weight class at the NCAA Championships.

Big Ten Championships (3-1, 3rd place, NCAA Qualifier): Placed third at Big Tens in Indiana on 3/4-5, going 3-1 with a pin.

NCAA Championships (5-0, Champion, All-American): Took down two-time defending NCAA Champion Gabe Dean in the national final, 4-3, to win first NCAA individual championship in St. Louis...Rolled to 4-0 mark with three pins and a major to claim first crown...Pinned #3 Sammy Brooks of Iowa again in just 1:01 in semifinals.

2015-16: Ranked #1 by InterMat...Posted 21-6 tech fall over Tyler Wood of Lock Haven in collegiate debut on 11/13...Dominated #3 Zach Epperly of Virginia Tech 6-2 on 11/15...Pinned returning All-American and #16-ranked Bryce Hammond of CSUB at the 1:57 mark on 11/20 then majored Stanford’s Keaton Subjeck 12-4 on 11/22 in California...Named Big Ten Wrestler of the Week (11/22)...Went 5-0 with three pins to win Nittany Lion Open crown on 12/6...Dominating 16-2 major over #16 Ricky Robertson of Wisconsin in BJC Dual on 12/13, Nickal’s Big Ten dual debut...Dominated the field at the 2016 Southern Scuffle, winning the title as the #4 seed...Went 6-0 with two tech falls and a major...Downed #11 Michael Ottinger of Central Michigan and beat former unbeaten and #1 Brian Realbuto of Cornell 14-7 in semifinals...Was named Big Ten Wrestler of the Week for second time (1/5)...Strong 10-3 win over #14 Micah Barnes of Nebraska on 1/15...Pinned previously unbeaten #5 Zac Brunson of Illinois in Champaign on 1/23...Dominant third period with 10 points led to 11-5 win over #14 Myles Martin of Ohio State on 2/5...Picked up major at Lehigh on 2/13 and tech fall at home vs. Michigan State on 2/13...Had a 17-2 TF over Heston Lamons of Oklahoma State in dual meet win on 2/21...Was two-time Big Ten Wrestler of the Week and first-team All-Big Ten honoree.

Big Ten Championships (3-0, Champion, NCAA Qualifier):  2016 Big Ten Champion with dominant 3-0 run through tournament on 3/5-6 in Iowa...Majored #23 Phil Bakcuckas of Rutgers 15-3, pinned #14 Myles Martin of Ohio State (2:28) and majored #3 Zach Brunson of Illinois 18-9 in final.

NCAA Championships (4-1, Runner-Up, All-American):  2016 NCAA National Runner-Up...Went 4-1 at first-ever NCAA Championship, getting upset in NCAA final to place second...Downed #16 Micah Barnes, #9 Chandler Rogers and #12 Nathan Jackson on his way to the NCAA final.

2014-15: Redshirt season...Went 13-2 in open tournaments, wrestling unattached...Had two majors, a tech and three pins...Won the Bearcat Open at Binghamton on 11/19/14.

High School/Personal:

Came to Penn State from Allen, Texas, where he emerged as one of the nation’s top high school wrestlers...Brought three Texas state titles (and one runner-up) with him to Happy Valley...Led Allen High School to four-straight dual meet titles and four-straight state team championships...Ended his career with a 183-7 record, including 131 pins...Competed in the Dapper Dan Classic, as well as the 2014 USA Dream Team dual, winning at both events...Won numerous national and international freestyle titles...Parents were both collegiate athletes, with his mom playing basketball at San Diego State and his father playing football at Chadron State.


Career Statistics 
2014-15 Red Shirt Season 
2015-16 33-215-1 (8-1)18-1 (3-0/4-1)8-07-08-071
2016-17 26-114-0 (9-0)12-1 (3-1/5-0)17-01-03-071
2017-18 31-014-0 (9-0)17-0 (3-0/5-0)16-01-06-069
Career 90-343-1 (26-1)47-2 (9-1/14-1)41-09-017-0211