CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Northern Iowa had seven finalists, including four runner-up finishes, as the Panthers took second at the 2018 Southern Scuffle.

UNI was outdistanced by defending national champion Penn State, who had six champions, 197-127.

“I’m proud of this team and look forward to the future and continued growth of each of them and the group as a whole,” UNI head coach Doug Schwab said. “We have challenged this team with two major events so far this season, and that experience is going to pay off in the coming months.”

The Panthers got seconds from Jay Schwarm at 125, Bryce Steiert at 165, Drew Foster at 184 and Jacob Holschlag at 197.

Three of UNI’s four finals losses came against defending national champions. Schwarm lost 11-4 to Lehigh’s Darian Cruz. Schwarm had advanced to the finals with three pins, and his 10 pins leads UNI. Bryce Steiert lost to Vincenzo Joseph of Penn State, 8-0, and Drew Foster battled Bo Nickal before falling 10-2 at 184.

Holschlag was caught and pinned in 46 seconds by Penn State’s Shakur Rasheed of Penn State in the 197 final.

“Foster looked the best he has this season,” Schwab said. “He is only going to continue to get better from here. He got a great opportunity to wrestle an NCAA champion and realized a lot of things during and after the match.”

Josh Alber at 141 and Taylor Lujan rebounded from semifinal losses to finish third. Alber scored a technical fall over Kyle Shoop of Lock Haven, 18-3, for third, while Lujan pinned Forrest Przybysz of Appalachian State in 2:42 for third at 174.

Max Thomsen took fifth at 149.

UNI’s seven medalists is better than the five it had a year ago, when the Panthers had three thirds, a sixth and a seventh.

UNI returns to action Jan. 13 at the Virginia Duals.

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Sports Reporter

Sports reporter for The Courier

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