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Bo Nickal

Bo Nickal

Bo Nickal is an American amateur wrestler with a lengthy career in both the freestyle and folkstyle rulesets, where he held 3 NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) titles and a Hodge Trophy - a yearly award given to the nation's best college wrestler, accomplishments conquered while playing for the Penn State Nittany Lions. In freestyle, Nickal has won the U23 World Championships (2019) as well as the US Open (Freestyle Nationals) and is widely regarded as one of the most talented wrestlers of his generation.

Bo Nickal Wrestling


High School
- 1st Place Texas State Championship (2012, 2013, 2014)
- 1st Place Cadet World US Team Trials (2013)
- 1st Place Fargo Junior Nationals, Freestyle (2012, 2013)
- 1st Place Fargo Junior Nationals, Greco-Roman (2012)
- 3rd Place Fargo Junior Nationals, Greco-Roman (2011)

Dan Hodge Trophy Winner (2019)
NCAA D1 All American (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019)
- 1st Place NCAA D1 Championships (2017, 2018, 2019)
- 1st Place Big 10 Championships (2016, 2018, 2019)
- 2nd Place NCAA D1 Championships (2016)
- 3rd Place Big 10 Championships (2017)

- 1st Place U23 World Championship (2019)
- 1st Place US Open / Senior Freestyle Nationals (2019)

- 174 lbs (Collegiate)
- 184 lbs (Collegiate)
- 197 lbs (Collegiate)
- 86 kg (Senior)
- 92 kg (Senior)

- Rio Rancho High School
- Allen High School
- Penn State University

Bo Nickal Instructionals

Bo Nickal Biography

Bo Dean Nickal was born on January 14, 1996, in Rifle, Colorado, United States. He is the son of Jason and Sandy Nickal.

Both of Bo's parents were successful athletes in the nation's scholastic system, with Jason (father) playing football and wrestling, and Sandy (mother) playing basketball at a collegiate level for San Diego State University, later becoming an educator and Jason a wrestling coach.

Although extremely involved in Bo's (and his brothers: Jordan, Lexis, and Shelby's) athletic endeavors as they grew up, Sandy Nickal still found the time to keep active in the sporting world, playing professional football for the Colorado Valkyries, coaching high school girls' basketball and tennis and playing competitive soccer.

Given the nature of both his parent's professions, Bo lived in different locations while growing up, though his formal wrestling practice started around the age of 6 in Wyoming with his dad. The family moved to New Mexico when Bo was in 5th grade as the father, Jason Nickal, accepted a position as Head Wrestling Coach of Rio Rancho High School.

It was at Rio Rancho that Bo started making his talent noticed, after making the varsity high school team where he placed 2nd in the state that year as an 8th grader. From that year onwards, Nickal would not place less than 2nd place with 9 consecutive finals matches in any State Championship Tournament or College National Championship Tournament.

During his high school career, Bo won every state championship since his sophomore year, making him a three-time Texas titleholder, graduating from high school with a 183-7 record, including 131 pins as the number 9 ranked P4P wrestler in the nation.

Nickal did not rest on his state-level curriculum and looked for more as a high schooler. At the Fargo Junior Nationals, an event recognized as America's most prestigious tournament for youth wrestlers, Nickal made three appearances (2011-2013) in both freestyle and Greco-Roman rulesets. Although he took 7th and 3rd respectively during his first year, Bo came back stronger in 2012, becoming a double champion by taking 1st place in both styles at 152 and 160 pounds. Truly in a league of his own.

Not content with what he had done at a State and National level, Bo aimed even higher for 2013, winning Fargo's freestyle bracket at 170 pounds, and then clearing the Cadet World Team Trials. Sadly, he did not medal at the Cadet Worlds, losing to Ali Mojerloo of Iran.

After his experience with freestyle, Bo Nickal turned his focus towards his collegiate career guided by the legendary Cael Sanderson at Penn State University, where he, once again, dominated. Wrestling unattached in his redshirt season (2014-2015) he compiled a 15-2 record in open tournaments. This solid start proved to be the appetizer for his following 4 seasons, all of which Bo made the finals of the NCAA (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019), winning 3 of those.

Once his folkstyle career over, Bo Nickal's goals returned to the international scene, where he won the U23 World Championship and made the US team for the Summer Olympics of 2020 - postponed due to the COVID19 pandemic.

Bo Nickal “Houdini” Maneuver


Bo Nickal Ride and 2-on-1 Tilt