NCAA finalist and leader of the Pitt Wrestling team, Nino Bonaccorsi is now a U23 World Team member for the United States, and will represent his country at the U23 World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia in November.
The Bethel Park native has been one of Pitt’s best wrestlers since he first joined the team, but last year, along side Jake Wentzel, emerged as the face of the program.
Making the U23 World Team is not as prestigious in these parts as NCAA success, mostly as freestyle competition just doesn’t get the same media coverage, or have as big a following as high school and college folkstyle. However, within the wrestling diehard circles, and especially to recruits who may be interested in extensive freestyle careers, this accomplishment of Nino’s may be even more significant to the Pitt program than his NCAA finals appearance. In other words, this is a big deal.
Nino will get to train exclusively on freestyle all summer, and who better to do that with than Keith Gavin? The Panther head coach made the US national team six times, placed 2nd at the Pan American Championships, and made the Senior World Team in 2013. Qualifying for World’s will also likely afford Nino the opportunity to train at the US Olympic Training Center for at least some part of the summer alongside America’s best wrestlers.
The rest of Nino’s Serbia bound American teammates include:
- 57 Pat Glory – Princeton
- 61 Chris Cannon – Northwestern
- 65 Dom Demas – Oklahoma
- 70 Jacori Teemer – Arizona State
- 74 Peyton Robb – Nebraska
- 79 Mikey Labriola – Nebraska
- 86 Myles Wilson – Iowa
- 92 Nino Bonaccorsi – Pitt
- 97 Jay Aiello – Virginia
- 125 Tony Cassioppi – Iowa
Nino has placed highly at multiple freestyle events in the past, including this very one, but has never found himself on top of the podium before. He will also be Pitt’s first World Team member since Gavin.