TULSA, Okla. – A year after hitting the lowest point in his college wrestling career Nino Bonaccorsi stood atop the podium as the 197-pound titlist at the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships on Saturday night.
“I dreamed of this moment,” Bonaccorsi said after his 5-3 victory over South Dakota State’s Tanner Sloan. “You have no idea, every single day. And I can’t believe it. I put in so much effort. I have no words. I’m just so blessed and grateful. And I can’t believe I’m sitting here right now.”
Bonaccorsi’s victory capped a 21-0 season and gave Pitt its first national champion since Keith Gavin – the current Panthers coach – won the 174-pound title in 2008.
“This means everything to me,” said Bonaccorsi, a Bethel Park graduate. “I was born in Pittsburgh. I’m 20 minutes from Pitt. That’s my hometown. … I always dreamed of wrestling at P...