Connect with us


Penn State wrestling legend announces retirement at U.S. Olympic Team Trials

One of the top Nittany Lions in the Cael Sanderson era of Penn State wrestling called it a career at Olympic Team Trials today.



Penn State wrestling, Mark Hall, Olympic Team Trials
Mar 16, 2018; Cleveland, OH, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions wrestler Mark Hall reacts to defeating Mizzou Tigers wrestler Daniel Lewis during the NCAA Wrestling DI Wrestling Championships at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State wrestling great Mark Hall announced his retirement from the sport on Saturday after falling to Trent Hidlay in wrestlebacks of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials. In the symbolic move known around the wrestling world, the former Nittany Lion left his shoes on the mat in the place he called home throughout his historic collegiate career. The sentimental moment was just one of the headliners from a busy Saturday morning for Penn State at the trials.

Penn State wrestling legend Mark Hall calls it a career

Mark Hall left his shoes on the BJC mat Saturday morning, wrestling his final competitive match where he once electrified the Nittany Lion faithful. Hall fell 9-4 to Trent Hidlay in the 86 kg consolation bracket as he was attempting to wrestleback for third place.

Hall was a highly touted prospect out of high school, compiling a 278-5 record and six Minnesota state championships. He is widely considered the greatest wrestler in the state’s history.

At Penn State, Hall finished with a 116-6 record, winning one National Championship and finishing as a runner-up twice. He was a runner-up in the Big Ten Championships during his freshman year, but defeated No. 1 Zahid Valencia and No. 2 Bo Jordan on his way to the 2017 National Championship at 174 pounds, capping off a 31-3 record.

Mark Hall then finished runner-up during his sophomore and junior campaigns, with only Zahid Valencia defeating him during that stretch. The Nittany Lion wrestler went a combined 62-2 over those years. In 2020, Hall earned a No. 1 seed after a 23-1 regular season and was favored to finish on top of the podium again before the NCAA Tournament was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since leaving Happy Valley, Mark Hall entered the coaching ranks, joining Penn in 2021 as an assistant coach. The Penn RTC is where he trained leading up to the Olympic Team Trials.

Multiple NLWC wrestlers look to punch Olympic ticket

In the final session of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, multiple wrestlers from the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club look to punch their tickets to Paris this summer. At 74 kg, Kyle Dake took a 1-0 lead over NLWC teammate Jason Nolf, winning 4-1 in the morning session. Dake can clinch an Olympic berth with a win in match two tonight, while Nolf will look to push the series to a winner-takes-all later in the night.

At 86 kg, Aaron Brooks pulled a stunning 4-1 upset over defending gold medalist David Taylor in the first match of the series. Taylor was thought to be one of the locks to return to the Olympics, but his NLWC teammate and four-time NCAA Champion may have other plans. Taylor will have to win two consecutive matches against Brooks in the night session to have any shot of defending his Gold Medal.

Kyle Snyder made relatively easy work of Isaac Trumble with a 5-0 decision in the morning session. Snyder will look to close it out and send another NLWC member to Paris at 97 kg for a second consecutive Olympic games.

Thank you for reading Basic Blues Nation, the market’s fastest-growing Penn State sports outlet. Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and insights on your favorite Penn State athletics. For feedback, questions, concerns, or to apply for a writing position, please email us at or direct message us on our social media. Also, be sure to check out our new site shop. It’s due to your support that we can proudly claim a readership of over 3.5 million in our first year of operation. 

Former contributor at Nittany Central, Patrick joined Basic Blues Nation in 2023 as the Social Media Director, Penn State Wrestling beat writer, and producer of the Penn State Roar Room spaces. Patrick is also a contributor of Penn State football, basketball, and ice hockey news for the site.


Spinstralia Casino: online pokies real money, real fun! Get in on the action today!