By Gary Abbott
Seven 2019 NCAA Division I individual national wrestling champions and members of the 2019 NCAA Division I wrestling champion team from The Pennsylvania State University, visited the White House on Friday morning.
The wrestling delegation was among 22 collegiate national sports teams who were honored today at The White House, and met with President Donald J. Trump as part of their visit.
Five of the athletes in attendance are winners of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame’s Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award: Anthony Ashnault, Yianni Diakomihalis, Nick Nevills, Bo Nickal, and Nick Suriano.
The wrestling visit was organized by Representative Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma, chairman of the Congressional Wrestling Caucus, Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, a NCAA wrestling champion for the University of Wisconsin and Captain Adam Chamie, who helped found the Congressional Wrestling Caucus.
Jordan was honored by the Hall of Fame as an Outstanding American in 2014 while Mullin was honored as an Outstanding American by the Oklahoma Chapter of the Hall of Fame in 2016.
Invited to the White House were Penn State’s 2019 NCAA championship team, as well as all 10 of the 2019 NCAA Division I individual champions, which also includes athletes from Arizona State University, Cornell University, Northern Iowa University, Rutgers University, the University of Iowa, and Virginia Tech University. While wrestlers have been to The White House before, this is reportedly the first time all of the NCAA Div. I individual wrestling champions have been invited.
Seven of the 10 NCAA champions from 2019 were in attendance, as well as four members of the 2019 Penn State team. Some of those invited were not able to attend because the White House visit conflicted with scheduled competition.
Photos were taken with each of the wrestling teams represented, with Representative Jordan and United States Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos in many of the photos. The wrestling delegation was also invited for a private meeting in the Oval Office afterwards.